sad skies | Doctor Neil Floch

sad skies

 was sitting on the back deck yesterday along with my faithful companion, Abbey the dog, and lamenting the oncoming chill signaling the end of my favorite season, summer. It brought to mind the following lyrics from a Dan Fogelberg song:

“End of October
The sleepy brown woods seem to
Nod down their heads to the Winter.
Yellows and grays
Paint the sad skies today
And I wonder when
You’re coming home”

‘ve been lucky this summer to have played a fair amount of golf and the fall, while still “golf weather,” brings with it lots of leaves (making it harder to find the ball), and the colder weather keeps the ball from going as far. At my age any loss of distance, for any reason, makes a tough game even tougher. I was making a list of things to bring on one last testosterone filled golf trip with some friends up to Maine this coming weekend and having finished that was flipping through various articles online and came upon something from the NY Times regarding a terrible connection between obesity and Covid, the salient points went like this:

  • “A recent analysis of thousands of patients in Southern California “identified extreme obesity as an independent risk factor for dying among Covid-19 patients — most strikingly, among younger and middle-aged adults 60 and younger, and particularly among men,” the New York Times reported.


ender is a significant factor, as well.

  • Obese men tend to carry the most excess fat around their bellies, which puts them at higher risk of dying from Covid-19 than women who are just as overweight, but have different fat distribution.
  • And on top of all that, even after a vaccine is developed and tested, it might be less effective for the obese, as it is with the flu vaccine and others.”

hen I took the step to have sleeve surgery in July of 2015 and made the commitment to use it as a tool to help change my life, I had no idea that a scant 5 years later I may very well have taken the biggest step ever toward my very own health. I, of course, knew all the downsides; medical as well as physical. To being “portly cadet” (a popular euphemism at clothing stores for being short and fat) but for over two decades, I had gained weight almost indiscriminately most often blaming my circumstances but always using food as my friend as it is never judgmental. What I didn’t know then, that clearly I know now, is how MUCH that change has meant to me and to all around me. I have no medical markers that are not now in the “green” range. I’m active, almost too active some days, and to have seen that piece and realized what I had done is even more uplifting than the facts are scary.

o with the summer waning and the fall (and inevitable winter close behind), I decided to leave the sad skies to someone else and played the following from Bruce to remind myself of the fact that it’s never too late to make a positive change and never too late to enjoy the outcome…

“Well my soul checked out missing
as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin’ away
Yeah just sittin’ around waitin’ for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin’ away
I’m tired of waitin’ for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin’ ’round the bend…
Tonight this fool’s halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell
And I feel like I’m comin’ home These are better days baby There’s better days shining through These are better days…

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Dr. Neil Floch’s gastric sleeve patient with over 180 lb. weight loss


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Dr. Neil Floch