Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

81 Responses

  1. Patrick Cahalan says:

    Holy cow, dude.

    I’d say, “get better”, but that seems woefully inadequate. Get better anyway.Report

  2. Murali says:

    Dude, I’ve seen you on Leaguecasts. You’re not fat. As for exercise, see what can be don with swimming. Maybe Russell should have a say here.Report

  3. Chris says:

    Damn. Get better and feel better.Report

  4. Burt Likko says:

    Re: the blood pressure thing. You are not fat. Not even close. I’m stouter than you are, inch for inch. And my blood pressure is, well, on the high side of good, but still within what most doctors would say is the green zone rather than the yellow. There is some correlation with blood pressure and weight, but it’s far from the only factor. Now, all that French cooking, with the saturated animal fats? That could be your problem right there.Report

    • Michelle in reply to Burt Likko says:

      True dat. The Russian lost 50 pounds and still has high blood pressure. Weight and diet are sometimes only part of the issue.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Michelle says:

        I finally went on ACE inhibitors (which, for poor Tod and his soon to be insane medical bills — are generic and cheaper than dirt) at 30. My blood pressure had stayed stubbornly high for 10 years.

        It, in fact, hovered at the exact same numbers (130ish/90ish) for my entire 20s — as far back as my doctor’s records went. Never higher, never lower.

        That covered a weight range of almost a hundred pounds, and lifestyles that ranged from absolutely sedentary to 3 hour-long, highly aerobic, exercise sections a week for two years. It wasn’t weight, it wasn’t exercise — I was just running a bit high, naturally.

        So now I take some bare minimum dose of some drug that costs like 4 dollars a month, and that’s if I don’t have insurance, and my BP is exactly where it should be.Report

    • Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

      That said, Metabolic syndrome ought to be taken seriously, and reducing weight definitely reduces probability of problems.

      Can’t blame the doc for focusing on stuff you CAN fix, rather than tell you “You’re probably gonna die ten years younger than your wife will”Report

  5. zic says:

    Ugh. Ouch. Sad.

    Small diet changes pay off. So don’t completely cut out the ice cream; cut the amount. Seriously, just a few spoonfulls.

    Same with other sweets; a little, enough to tackle the craving, but not a lot.

    If you drink soda, replace it with water yesterday. If you don’t think you like water, try adding a squeeze of lemon, lime, maybe a crushed strawberry, whatever flavor you do like. Try herbal teas or green teas, too, without sweeteners. If you put sugar in your coffee, cut it in half, then in half again, or just stop.

    Notice that I focused on sugars, not fats. Yes, to loose weight, you should cut down on fat, but don’t eliminate; you need it to metabolize nutrients and you need it to feel satiated. Just make sure they’re good fats — expeller pressed fats that are minimally processed. If you don’t already, begin taking fish or flax-seed oil, too.

    Carbs are a problem, they get converted into sugar, and then into fat. Avoid white flour whenever possible, (this is a big part of why I so like spelt flour, whole grain spelt flour can replace white flour in many recipes.) The breads they sell in the grocery store frighten me with their long ingredient lists; I just don’t eat it anymore. If you like bread, make it. This is a good task for a bread machine, and it’s pretty nice to set it up the night before and wake up to the smell of baking bread.

    Eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s amazing how little of this stuff many people eat. Cut your meat servings in half, and fill your plate up with fresh greens, a combination of vegetables cooked and raw, some fresh fruit. Eat nuts; they’re really good for you.

    I always serve two or three vegetables with a meal, now. Often, some fruit, as well. The steak I would eat myself now serves four of us; a few bites; it’s a condiment.

    And I know it pays off. My sibs are all seriously overweight. My husband’s brothers all have coronary problems and weight problems. We’ve eaten like this for a long time now, and we’re both of healthy weight and blood pressure and cholesterol.Report

    • Michelle in reply to zic says:

      Yes, yes, yes to what Zic says. I’ve upped my intake of fruits and veggies since the beginning of the year and have lost some weight. The Vitamix is my best friend. You’d be amazed how well you can disguise raw spinach and other veggies. It’s made a big difference in helping to add leafy greens to my diet.Report

    • Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to zic says:

      I wonder if a glucose-free diet would help.

      We like the sugar-free flavorings from Crystal Light et al. The melon flavor available from Target is REALLY good.Report

      • zic in reply to Jeff No-Last-Name says:

        Sigh. I would be more inclined to actually stick an actual chunk of melon in my water glass.

        I have no idea what’s in a Crystal Light; but I have a very strong suspicion that I don’t want whatever it is in me.Report

  6. Jaybird says:

    I had a high blood pressure “incident” a couple of years ago. Remember when I would not shut up about being sick? Well, apparently, I had a sinus infection like you would not believe.

    When I went in for my blood pressure, it was something like 160 over 100. Something *AWFUL*. I got my perscription, I got my antibiotics, and my sinus infection went away. It was the pain I was in, and the stress that was caused by the pain I was in, that caused my bloodpressure to go up.

    The next time I went in, my pressure was back to 120something over 80something.

    So you’re not fat. You’re fluffy. Get your pain and your stress under control and I won’t be surprised to hear that you’ve got normal bloodpressure, it’s a bit high, nothing to get worried about though.Report

    • zic in reply to Jaybird says:

      Wow. Thank you for pointing that out Jaybird; I’d never really considered there being a link between pain and blood pressure, but it makes total sense.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to zic says:

        Yeah, I was scared crapless when I saw those numbers. Every time I went to Safeway for the next three weeks, I got my blood pressure checked at the silly automatic machine they have there next to the pharmacy… but I noticed my numbers kept going down.

        I’m guessing that RTod suffers similarly.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

          After a routine work check-up a few years back, I received a message from my doctor’s office.
          “Hi, Mr. Kazzy. Your lab results came in and there are some concerns about your blood tests. Nothing major but you should call us back immediately. We don’t mean to alarm you, don’t worry… but call us as soon as you can.”
          Mixed message much?
          I called back but they had already left for the day. And it was a Friday. I called the after-hours number only to be told that I’d have to wait until Monday. Being 24 and stupid, I spent the entire weekend thinking I had AIDS. Like, that is seriously what I thought. That is not a fun thing to think. Not one bit.
          I finally got into the doctor on Tuesday, a different doctor in the same practice.
          “Give it to me straight, doc. What’s wrong? How serious is it?”
          “Let me ask you this, first. Did you eat before your blood was drawn?”
          “Yea, I had just had lunch.”
          “Yea, you’re fine.”
          “Ummm… WHAT?”
          “One of your levels was slightly out of range, but that tends to happen if you just ate. Nothing to worry about. Everything else was normal so it’s just a minor blip. You’re fine.”
          “You need to fire whoever leaves messages on people’s voicemail on Friday afternoons.”Report

        • Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

          There’s also whitecoat hypertension.
          Guys, one measurement is not data. Get it doublechecked in a couple of weeks.Report

    • Patrick Bridges in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yeah, I’m the same way. I was in for emergency gall bladder surgery a few years ago screaming for pain meds while they worried about my blood pressure. Unshockingly, when the pain went down, my blood pressure returned to normal. The other thing is to continue to take deep full breaths when they take your BP.Report

  7. Stillwater says:

    Holy *$#% Tod. I hope all this works out for well for you. One thing to remember is that the experience of great pain – and anxiety too! – can elevate blood pressure. Lots of people who are overly anxious – or in great pain! – read higher than their normal levels. So maybe you’re alright there.Report

  8. Lyle says:

    One thing to consider is getting a wrist blood pressure monitor and taking readings yourself. There is something called the white coat effect that can increase blood pressure in a doctors office. The devices cost about $60 and beep when your arm is in the right position. Providing a bunch of readings over days is more meaningful than one reading in the office, in particular where you were under a lot of stress with the other two incidents. If not now soon it will be possible to download the readings to a smartphone instead of transcribing them. Take readings for a week or so and then go back with the readings. (The device instructions say to take the readings sitting up but only after having sat for 10 or more mins.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Lyle says:

      I had to get my blood pressure taken for an insurance examination. It was at my home, and the examiner had left the sphygmomanometer in her car. While she went to get it, I absentmindedly picked up a barbell and did a couple of fairly heavy sets of standing presses. As soon as she got back, I realized my mistake. I don’t think she actually told me the numbers, but I got the impression that they were alarmingly high. After I told her why, she took another measurement twenty minutes later, and everything was fine.Report

  9. Turgid Jacobian says:

    I have done this thing with the pan before. Fishing stupid, and so fishing spacey. I hate burns.Report

  10. James Hanley says:

    Best of luck, friend. I don’t know what else to say, but our thoughts are with you.Report

  11. Kazzy says:

    Damn, man. We just spent the entire day in the emergency room (no details to share, per Zazzy’s request, but all is well with us and almost-baby) and our experience sounds like a day in Candy Land relative to your week. Fare the well, brotha.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

      And I will say this, with regards to ankles…

      I’ve long suffered with a variety of ankle issues, all stemming from overzealous rebounding in basketball. Eventually, I was recommended for surgery due to tears and spurs and the like. In seeking a second opinion, I was recommended for physical therapy. I couldn’t accept that stretching and massages would cure full tears, but the orthopedist put it this way, “You can either get surgery, wait, and then do 6-12 months of PT OR you can do 3-4 months of PT and, if it works, be done and if it doesn’t, then you go for surgery. No matter what you do, you’re going to be in PT. But one option at least has the possibility of you getting back on the court this year.”

      Begrudgingly, I gave it a try, but made sure to find a sports specialist who was capably trained and had a track record of success. Holy crap, was it effective! I’ve now fixed a chronic ankle pain on one side and an acute trauma on the other side via PT and am stronger in both than I’ve been since high school. All thanks to PT, which I never thought would work for me. So if you haven’t had experience with PT or were skeptical like I was… give it a shot, if you can find a good doc, and you might be able to avoid the knife.Report

      • Kim in reply to Kazzy says:

        What exercises were you doing?
        I constantly sprain my ankles.
        (ever had a sprain which the doctor thought was a broken foot, it was swollen so bad?
        And that’s why we elevate the foot.)
        [the cocky sadist in the room said, “Of course it’s not broken.” — but try telling a doctor your hands are better at his at recognizing crepitus.]Report

  12. Anne says:

    Sorry to hear about your really fished up health triad. I will echo Jaybird, Stillwater, Lyle etal. on the high blood pressure/pain and stress connection. I had an incident of high BP associated with a, you guessed it painful stressful incident and once that was resolved so was the BP.

    I second all of Zic’s eating recommendations. I am an identical twin and have been either vegetarian or mostly veg (put fish back in my diet and the occasional small bit of wild game) since the 90’s. My sister well not so much. I was always heavier than her up until my diet switch and now well I’m probably 20 pounds lighter than her and much healthier. I LOVE carbohydrates but do now make my own bread as often as I can and try to buy healthier pastas and rice. Get well soonReport

  13. Miss Mary says:

    Before you give up I’ve cream altogether, there’s a great place in Portland that comes highly recommended by a friend of mine.Report

  14. greginak says:

    WOW…best wishes to you. Diet and exercise can work wonders, speaking from experience. But you don’t have to make a massive change right this second. Start with small changes. Pick the easiest changes to build positive momentum then work up to big changes.

    Zic’s recommendations are good. Also look into the South Beach Diet. My FIL is a medical doc and has a PhD in Nutrition ( or something like that) and he is says its the best plan out there. He also worked in baryatric medicine so he has counselled many people on weight loss so he knows what he is talking about. The south beach concepts are well founded and proven. It is not a diet per se, but an improved way of eating for life. You don’t have to follow any of it to the letter as long as you understand the principles. I eat in a SB style and it works very well for me.Report

  15. Plinko says:

    Dang, Tod, that’s quite a week.

    I have trouble believing your weight is so dramatically affecting your blood pressure, so I’m hoping it’s just the pain/stress connection and things will settle into safer territory soon.

    Also, been there on absentmindedly picking up a hot pan off the stove, been there many times in fact. Many times.Report

  16. BlaiseP says:

    There is nothing like a burn. Nothing. To even say “I know what you feel” is outrageous. That sort of misery cannot be shared.

    It is always best in cases like these to make like the friends of Job, who sat with him, simply to let him know he wasn’t alone in his misery. And unlike Job’s friends, it’s best not to ask dumb questions about any of it.

    We are rooting for you, Tod.Report

  17. Maribou says:

    Thinking of you, my friend. (Also I was totally going to tell my “high blood pressure / being in pain and stressed –> less pain and stress / no more BP problem” story, but then I saw our friends above have covered that. *hugs*)Report

  18. Mike Schilling says:

    1. Don’t sweat the BP reading right now. Get everything else under control, and you’ll probably be back to well within normal range.
    2. You’re not fat.
    3. Speech and debate injury?Report

  19. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    I just did the same thing with my AllClad skillet this evening. Two more finger pads without prints for a while.

    Now if I want to see an X-Ray tech flinch, I get my arms X-rayed. Got enough hardware in both to make me a TSA favorite!Report

    • Kim in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      Better that than being told “there’s nothing wrong with your joint. and we /can’t fix/ your bones. they haven’t healed, and they aren’t going to”Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Kim says:

        No, I get “Sorry about your knee, nothing much we can do, but new procedures & technologies are being developed to treat this & should be ready in 5 years” for the past 20 years.Report

        • Kimmi in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

          ahh. knee injuries are a bitch.
          At least yours were (probably) not willfully inflicted.

          [not me, but someone i know’s story]
          “How’d your fingers get so busted?”
          “Someone took a hammer to ’em. Repeatedly.”Report

  20. Andrew says:

    Hey Tod,
    Sorry about all the health issues. When you mentioned your ankle, the first thing I thought of was the infamous speech and debate injury. When your hand heals up come on out and burn some calories kayaking with me.Report

  21. Shazbot5 says:

    “racking my brain for exercise options that you can do with one leg and one hand”

    Never tried it standing on one leg, but it could be a workout.Report

  22. Shazbot5 says:

    I recommend a vegetarian diet, done right.Report

  23. Will H. says:

    I’ll echo what JB & Anne have said about the blood pressure thing.
    Same thing happened to me. Then, for an unrelated incident, I got some pill that brought the blood pressure down. Made me feel ten yrs younger overnight. I could feel the strength coursing through my body just walking around.

    I have a recommendation for you though.
    Take two bricks, and put one underneath the foot of your bed on either side. As long as you don’t have acid reflux or some other such condition, it’s not going to bother you.
    That’s enough of an incline to roll the blood out of your lower body while you’re sleeping. With high BP, you might even feel the pressure of it in your eyes. If you’ve had dental work done, it can bring on some throbbing.
    But it will help with the swelling in the ankle, and make your heart work less hard to pump blood to your vital organs.
    As long as you can keep your hand below your heart, it should help with the swelling there as well.Report

  24. Diablo says:

    Burns hurt. I used to work in a propulsion plant of an aircraft carrier. I once accidentally burned “estingho” on my leg so bad I smell it before I feel it.

    Same boat, I fell on pipe and thought I broke a testicle. I broke my pelvis. The idiot corpsman told me I bruised my cervix. I would have punch him for being stupid, but I could not stand. I got 48 hours off of duty for that. It took six days for me to stop pissing blood.

    Same boat, I accidentally cut off finger. I got to leave plant and the junior watch sees my finger in my front pocket and passes out. I ended having to wait for someone to show up to relieve that kid before I could go to medical to get reattached.

    When I was kid, I have spina bifida. I had to get lower back fused. Lots of spinal taps and catheters. No fun. I think I have bad luck. Dr Ben Carson was the person that did some of my surgeries.Report

  25. North says:

    Lord and Lady what a mess! I hope things improve from here my Tod!Report

  26. Damon says:

    Best burn cream ever. Call you doctor and ask if he’ll write you a script. You can get it OTC in mexico. 🙂Report

  27. I am so, so, so tempted to offer unsolicited and probably unhelpful medical advice. In lieu of offering unsolicited and probably unhelpful medical advice, I will merely express extreme irritation on your behalf that the techs who did your MRI didn’t fishing tell you to leave your wallet elsewhere!! They’re supposed to warn you about that! I am very, very annoyed on your behalf.

    I know nothing about adult ankles. Call me when you’re a teenager.

    And, having had the pleasure of meeting you in person, I can assure you that you are not fat. I am not entirely sure I buy the “Tod is fat and that’s why his blood pressure is high” theory, because you are not fat. The “Tod is suffering from unrelated stressful/painful medical conditions, which is contributing to an elevated blood pressure at this time” seems more plausible to me. But what the hell do I know? Call me when you’re a teenager.

    The bottom line, my friend, is that I’m so, so sorry you’ve had such a craptacular time. Anytime you want to solicit free, probably unhelpful medical advice, you know who to text.Report

  28. Annelid Gustator says:

    I know nothing about adult ankles. Call me when you’re a teenager.


  29. I’m late, I know, but I want to echo what’s been said above. We’re on your side, and in the unlikely event that there is anything I can do, just ask.Report

  30. Michelle says:

    I’m forwarding this article to my husband, who’s having his gall bladder removed on Thursday. It should make him feel better.

    I hope your hand heals quickly, your diet goes well, and the docs can resolve the issues with your ankle without much difficulty.Report

  31. Glyph says:

    Yes, yes, but how will all this affect ME? HOW WILL YOU BLOG WITH A BURNED HAND?

    Just kidding. Get well soon Tod.

    As far as the ankle, my grandma would have said “soak it in Epsom salts in a warm footbath”. Probably doesn’t do anything, for all I know the heat may even make any inflammation worse, but at least it feels pleasant. (Not medical advice, obviously).Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Glyph says:

      As far as the ankle, my grandma would have said “soak it in Epsom salts in a warm footbath”. Probably doesn’t do anything, for all I know the heat may even make any inflammation worse, but at least it feels pleasant.

      I sprained a wrist severely as an undergraduate, back in the days when all students had access to the same treatments used for the school’s big-time football program. After the first day, hot paraffin treatment was used to increase blood flow to the damaged joint, followed by heavy taping to keep the swelling down (treatment sessions were interesting, scrawny me and four football players soaking a hand or foot in the big stainless-steel paraffin tub). I injured it on Monday and they didn’t tape it after the last treatment on Friday — I was astounded by how quickly it healed. Sometimes heat is good. OTOH, Tod’s ankles sound like a lot of cumulative damage, so much harder to treat.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Glyph says:

      heat increases bloodflow to a joint. aids in healing.Report

  32. aaron david says:

    Hope it all clears up soon Tod, there is nothing worse than a burn, except maybe not being able to walk away from it.Report

  33. Citizen says:

    Damn dude, tough days.
    Here’s what I do:

    For the burn, I usually apply fresh aloe sap immediatly. (I am lucky in that I grow the stuff) Re-apply every few hours. Leave open to air and allow sunlight to hit it every few hours. After it scabs over, start applying egg whites. If it starts to become infected anywhere around the scab, apply Blistex ointment.

    For the ankle, stay off it as much as possible. About the only exercise that is useful is to lay on the back and ride the invisible bicycle upside down. Any weight you could lose would help the ankle considerably. I start counting calories like hundred dollar bills, and backfill with whey protein.

    The BP is a tough one, first cut the salt. No, really cut the salt. Typically I use about 50-50 blend of sodium chloride and potassium chloride. Try to drink only water, and have it carry you salt consumption out of your system on a daily basis. Stay away from chips, popcorn, salsa, french fries and dill pickles. Take an aspirin at least once a week. My blood pressure has always been good, it was consistently a problem in the family history on both sides. With a little prevention I appear to have beat the odds for now.

    kindest regardsReport

  34. Morat20 says:

    My wife burned her hand in the exact same way about 6 years ago. Thankfully it was on the night our doctor’s practice has evening hours, and she got in right before they closed. She got some sort of cream, directions for handling the burn, and hydrocodone.

    The worst part was weaning her off the ice pack — it made her hand hurt worse when it came off.

    It’s an awful place for a burn. You can’t go through life without flexing that skin.

    When we got home, at ten PM, she took her pills and made us all eat the food she’d been cooking. Otherwise, the food would have won.Report

  35. Oh my, that sounds horrible. I don’t have any advice, but you have my best wishes.Report

  36. Za says:

    That’s… that’s pretty bad, dude.


    At least it’s not life threatening!

    … try psychosomatic blood clots. Never know which one is gonna kill ya.Report

  37. Tod Kelly says:

    Thanks, everyone! The comments here were really quite touching.Report

  38. Wow – I’m sorry to hear all this. Get well soon, my friend.Report

  39. Michael Cain says:

    Greatly sympathize with the x-ray experience. I fished my wrist up as an undergraduate and the student health clinic took x-rays (in those days, student health was essentially a small hospital that treated anything short of surgery). Drop-dead gorgeous blond female x-ray tech seemed to absolutely delight in twisting my hand into position for the next shot. Echoing other comments above, hopefully PT can straighten things out without surgery.Report

  40. Jeff No-Last-Name says:


    Ditto all the above, especially making small gradual changes. These are changes you’re going to have to live with, so make sure you can live with them. If you make a change and can’t live with it, cut it back until you can.

    Non-dehydrating fluids are your friends (fluids which are dehydrating, like sodas are the ENEMY).Report

  41. Peter says:

    So, how was the pork tenderloin?Report