Beer Fast


This past Friday I officially ended my 4-month beer fast. Well…it was also 4 months of a very strict diet with added exercise.

In June, I began feeling really off. I had extreme fatigue where any amount of physical energy I put out left me feeling exhausted. Getting to work was a lot of effort. I was winded, had heart palpitations and was dizzy much of the time. I thought I was going crazy. So I saw a doctor. I had the blood work and after a review with my own doctor, she was as perplexed as I was. The blood work did reveal one thing that I needed to take immediate action on, however. I was prediabetic. What the hell? That still didn’t explain what was happening to me but, ok, let’s fix this.

My doctor’s best course of action was to send me for an electrocardiogram (EKG) and to a cardiologist. But not before telling me to cut out caffeine entirely. Shocking but necessary, I agreed. I would go cold turkey. Bad idea. I nearly died the next day and I had to wean off the stuff over the next week. Brutal!

At my doctor’s recommendation, my employer made the possible for me to work from home. For the first week, mostly coffeeless and still feeling so alien in my body, I was able to get some work done. I tried to rest more and cut out everything that was bad for me: sugar, alcohol, carbs – that part was easy! The hard part was coping with the stress of What the fuck is happening to me?!

As the weeks went by, my symptoms began to improve. The exhaustion wasn’t as severe, the waves of dizziness slowly petered off but the stress of the whole ordeal had manifested itself in physical pain by this point, which was pretty good indicator that I was dying. I wasn’t obviously but oh, the places your mind will go.

When I finally saw my doctor for a followup, I was feeling much better by this point and both she and I felt I could get back to work. And I did. Before I left her office, she basically shrugged her shoulders and said, “Perhaps it was just a bug?”. Apparently, medical science can’t always explain some things.

It’s been 3 months since then and I’ve had some checkpoints along the way. EKGs, more blood work and followups with the cardiologist and finally my doctor. All reports were positive and after losing 2o-ish lbs, I’m happy to report that I’m no longer prediabetic and was able to cut my already good cholesterol in half!

A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 36th birthday in typical Melinda fashion: Low key and with a breakfast of coffee and (sugar free, low carb) cake. I feel better than I have in some time and there’s no looking back. I’m still young enough to be able to slow down the aging process if I continue to work at it.

I had my celebratory beer last night and you know what? It was alright but I’m content without it. Which is surprising since that’s all I talked about during my 4-month beer fast.

I’ve been chronicling the whole stupid ordeal in a series of humorous
illustrations. I hope to reveal this series by June 2017. 

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