Day 16

I spent concern, time and wife-explanation yesterday on this whole high potassium thing and it was all for nothing.

The kind nurse called me with the results at work, and I didn’t have the my copies of the baseline tests handy. When I got home, I looked them up to see what the upward spike looked like and discovered that the bloody numbers were actually going down.

Long live beer!

With 3.7-5.1 established as “normal,” I started two weeks ago with potassium at 5.4. Somehow the height of that was overlooked since all my other numbers were completely pukka. This time, a closer eye noticed I was sitting at 5.3. Though it’s headed downward, the doctor still wanted to monitor it. Basically, everything went down, with the exception of CO2, Calcium and something called AGAP. One piece that went down was my prealbumin. With the ideal range at 20-40, it dropped from 40 to 29. This is a number that reflects general nutrition. While it’s not good that it’s down, it proves that one can get enough nutrition to survive on beer.

By contrast, my liver numbers went up: AST, ALT and Bilirubin Direct (whatever those are). They didn’t check my cholesterol this time, but it’s feeling pretty good.

Do I need to prove anything? No. These numbers over the duration of two weeks tell some good stories. It’s possible to live on beer. It puts pressure on your liver.

Now if I could just stop tapping my foot when listening to Paul Simon’s “That Was Your Mother” and going to the bathroom all the time I would stop burning unnecessary calories–it’s 33 steps to my bathroom at work and just 15 trips works out to a half-mile of walking. Too much.

For the record, today I weighed in at 148 pounds, which means I did a good job of sitting for most of the day.


About Wilson

J. Wilson is an award-winning homebrewer, BJCP judge and pretty good dad. View all posts by Wilson

7 responses to “Day 16

  • John

    I heard about this project when you were getting started and just checked in on your progress. One thing that you haven’t discussed that I’m curious about is your calorie intake.

    I’m getting married in a year, and, in an attempt to drop weight before that point, I’ve been carefully monitoring my caloric intake. Now I’m not considering a beer fast, but I’m wondering if you’re drinking beer just to satiate hunger pangs or if you’re aiming to drink a dietarily-appropriate number of calories daily.

  • Wilson

    4 beers on weekdays; 5 beers on weekends. 288 calories per beer. It’s a deficit but works ok

  • greg

    the medical findings are interesting, your doc might get a published paper out of you. the results would probably help in the treatment of those addicted to alcohol and those with otherwise poor eating habits.

  • WildCat

    Are we talking 12oz. or 16oz. servings? Also, can you please explain a little more about what a Dopplebock is? I imagine it as a dark malty beer. Is this a certain beer or a style of beer? Are any Dopplebocks available in Kansas that you know of? Can you post a pic. with a pint?

  • Wilson

    WildCat: most of that’s gotta be around here somewhere, but this will help a little on specific beer info:
    12 ounce servings. it’s a style. Google German Beer Institute and click on doppelbock for a decent primer on history and style info if you don’t want to dig around here. There’s also a few posts related to brewing my version on my brewvana blog.
    KC’s Boulevard does Seeyoulater Doppelbock, aged on cedar as part of their Smokestack Series. Surely there’s more, and definitely some German Imports like Celebrator, Salvator, etc.

  • Catholic Phoenix

    […] is on Day 16 of his monkish Doppelbock-only Lent.  He and his doctor are watching the blood numbers, and […]

  • virgil g

    “Though it’s headed downward, the doctor still wanted to monitor it. Basically, everything went down, with the exception of … something called AGAP”

    When I read this, the first word that came to mind was AGAPE. I remember it from my childhood days of going to church. Looking it up on wiki, it says:

    “Agape is one of several Greek words translated into English as love, one which became particularly appropriated in Christian theology as the love of God or Christ for mankind”

    Interesting that as you use this to get close to God that your AGAP and AGAPE levels are increasing.

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