Blackhawk!

Corps Strength – Take Charge, Yeah I’m Talking to You Sports Fan

Sorry for the longer than usual time in between articles guys. I had a death in my immediate family this past month I have spent a lot of time over the last month working through those issues and trying to work in the Covid world. In any case I hope you all are staying healthy and as upbeat as possible during these challenging times. 2020 has sure been one for the books (so far). Hang tough, it will pass. Looking forward, people who have followed my articles here on SSD and/or have read my book, know that I am a big believer in the mental aspect of heath and fitness. IMO it’s actually more important that sets/reps, eating, etc., when trying to get and stay in top condition. The body always follows the mind in the success, or failure of anything. With that aspect I have come to learn (the hard way), that there is another part of all this that is very important and all too often overlooked. That is understanding who is fundamentally responsible for your health? That would be you and if you don’t take charge of it, it could lead to some bad outcomes, or at the least prevent you from achieving your goals.

Now on the surface this may seem obvious, but it isn’t that obvious to everyone and in my own case it really wasn’t until recently. In some past SSD articles I have shared a little of my own battle with TBI, not a lot as I don’t come on here to complain about my own (reactively minor) health issues, but to share my experience and information that I think could help people with their weight loss and fitness goals. Plus, I know fellow services members with much worse battle field injuries and chronic service related conditions than mine. I learned many years ago, when you start to feel sorry for yourself, look to your left or right and you’ll see someone who has it worse. So suck it up buttercup.

However in the spirit of trying to help others through my own experience I will share a little more today. For some background info, a little over a year ago I started having these weird headaches. They weren’t really what you would call a headache, but more of a dizzy, lightheaded thing. Out of nowhere, they would sneak upon me, when I was teaching a class, trying to do some computer work, driving, or even just watching TV? My balance was affected sometimes too. It would just happen and there was never an apparent cause? At first I thought it was an ear problem, as I’ve been prone to ear infections, especially as I travel a lot and when I climb above 10,000 ft, which I had been doing a fair amount of. So after trying my usual denial and just gut it out for a few weeks method, it only got worse, so I went to see a doctor.

As I’m retired military I have Tri-Care and go the hospital here on base. Which over the last 10 years has been fine. The fact was it was just like I was still on active duty as I would go and see what ever Navy doctor (or Corpsman) was on duty that day. No problem. Yearly physicals, flu shots, tests, blood work, etc., it was all good. So I go to the doctor this time and take a bunch of tests and the young female Navy Doc tells me that she can’t find anything wrong with me? But this thing was just getting worse, I felt like I was severely hung over 24/7. The only time I actually felt good was when I sweating, like during PT or climbing. However, as soon as I would stop and settle down, it would come back. So she set me up with a Neurologist.

So to make a (very) long story short with this part, I go and had a whole series of MRI’s, soft tissue, with contrast, etc. etc and I go to a ENT. Again nothing, but after a lot of discussion with the Neurologist and his review of tests and my service medical records he tells me that he is 99% sure I have some level of TBI. Ok, I get it, that figures, now what? He says medication is the answer. Now at age 60 I have never been on any long term prescription medication, for anything. So he prescribes me something and I go get it. My wife (who is a nurse) looks at it and tells me that it’s an anti-depressant, something commonly prescribed for PTSD? I call the doctor and he tells me that’s true, but it has been known to help people with TBI and he also thinks I may have some underlying PTSD. Huh? Really? However, as I have always trusted doctors without question, I start taking this stuff as directed.

Right away this shit makes me nuts. I couldn’t sleep with crazy nightmares and it had me ready to cut my own F’ing head off as my TBI symptoms actually got worse. The doctor tells me to just hang in there as it takes awhile to get into your system, call him back in two weeks. After after two weeks and I’m about ready to go active shooter he decides that it’s not right for me and he prescribes something else. My wife looks at this new stuff and tells me that this is high blood pressure medicine? Huh? I don’t have high blood pressure, never have? So like before I call the doc and he says, Yes, it’s for high blood pressure, but it has been known to help people with TBI. Now my blind trust in doctors is starting to fade, but there’s still enough to do what he tells me.

This new medication isn’t as bad as the first, I stopped having zombie nightmares and homicidal thoughts, but it really wasn’t helping the original problem either. After a few weeks I call the doctor and he wants me to try another, different drug? This is where I decide just throwing drugs against the wall (my wall) to see what sticks isn’t going to work, not for me. Thanks, but no thanks. I stop taking the drugs (and actually feel a little better) and my wife sets me up with a civilian doctor, which I’m seeing in a few weeks. In the meantime, I started doing my own research on TBI, PTSD and the medications that are associated with with their treatment. There is a metric F ton of information out there and much of it is written by people who suffer with these problems. The point is that now that I have taken charge of my issue by educating myself about it, as i’m in a much better position to decide on how I want to try and fix it, (if possible). Does that mean I will not listen to doctors and do just what I think is best? No, of course not. What it means is I’m better informed about the potential consequences of different treatments and medications before I buy into it. It helped me look my situation in a better more informed way and will help me discuss this better with a doctor going forward. I was too trusting and frankly lazy about this and it bit me in the ass.

It’s the same thing with something like losing weight and getting your health and fitness on line, you need to take charge of your own situation. Do some research and cut through all the slick marketing and media hype that promotes new workout routines, equipment, supplements and diet plans. Keep in mind that the bottom line is the #1 purpose of any of these products is to make money. If they actually help people is secondary. Now before you say anything, I don’t give a shit if I ever sell another book, the little money I have made from book sales wouldn’t add up to minimum wage when you add up the hours I’ve invested in. It’s always been more about talking to others about a subject I love than making money. The fact is I actually wrote my book at the urging of other Marines that followed my program and advice and it helped get people in better shape for their career. Yes, I’ve sold a lot of books. Way more than I ever thought I would and certainly a lot more than my publisher thought I would. LOL However, I think it’s only sold so well over time is because the advice is sound, honest and timeless. It doesn’t not work because some time has gone by or it’s some new high tech break through. It just works, that’s all.

But forget my book and any other book and take charge of your own health and fitness by doing your own research and figure out for yourself what makes sense for you. The fact is only you know what’s best and will work for you.

Till next month: “Be Safe Always, Be Good when you Can”.

Semper Fi

MGunz

Tags:

2 Responses to “Corps Strength – Take Charge, Yeah I’m Talking to You Sports Fan”

  1. DevilDawg says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Just wanted to thank you for all the good work you do.

  2. Iggy says:

    Great post. When i moved to the mountains a guy at a ski field told me “you dont need a fancier car, you just need to know how to drive this one better”.