Categories
Biohacking

Day 1135 and In The Red But Climbing

I’d love to know if this happens to anyone else. I find I’m easily influenced by the data that my fitness trackers share with me. Sometimes it will even affect my mood negatively. A green recovery can make me feel more optimistic.

I’m a user of both a Whoop and an Apple Watch. I’ve got a whole biohacking routine like every other Silicon Valley bro.

This morning, after a fitful seven and a half hours of sleep, my Whoop showed my recovery was in the red. My HRV was 26 which is low even my my standards.

I felt worse yesterday than I do today so it’s my hope that my Whoop is merely showing me the bad day I had after the fact. Pain can affect my recovery significantly as it’s a lot of stress. I’ll manage my way through it slowly and with lots of rest. And I’ll try not to let it get to my head. A quiet day in bed reading the internet is is a good day in my book.

Categories
Biohacking Travel

Day 1130 and Accidental Fast

I had a series of unplanned excursions today that got slightly out of hand. A hotel didn’t work out and I found myself switching my base of operations.

In the process of moving about, I thought to myself “I’ll just have a coffee and eat later!” I fart all the time. It was 10am at that point and I’d had dinner the night before at 6pm.

Truly I sealed my own fate. I did not stop to eat for the next ten hours. I first repacked all of my clothing and other travel items. I then packed it all into a car. I then drove all over town running various errands to make sure I was prepared for the week. I didn’t want any distractions during my workweek.

Being practically minded, and hoping to avoid eating out for all meals, I ended up at a grocery store and bought a week’s worth of meal ingredients. That itself took over an hour. By then was a busy Sunday afternoon so it felt as if the entire city was doing grocery shopping at the same time as me. Fighting with folks in the parking garage made me reconsider if some people should be allowed cars at all. I was getting exasperated.

The drive to my subsequent my lodging managed to take well over an hour and a half. Traffic on the weekends right?

While I knew the lodging was up a hill it somehow didn’t occur to the “bitches be shopping” version of me at the grocery store.

The version of me that lives in reality had to schlep suitcases and a week’s worth of groceries up what my fitness tracker says is five flights of stairs. It took a few trips.

By the time I’d unpacked, put away the groceries and finally had the sense to put together a plate of cold cuts and tomatoes it was 6pm.

That number of activities doesn’t seem like it should have taken the whole day but at least I got in an accidental fast. I hadn’t planned to go an entire day but I’m sure I’ll make up for it with all the groceries I bought tomorrow.

Categories
Biohacking Chronic Disease

Day 1099 and Wide Ribs

I’ve started some body work recently with an osteopath to see if more muscular skeletal fixes might be helpful. I’ve only had two sessions but I’ve already learned some very interesting things about my body.

I have a wider more open rib cage apparently. The osteopath noted that I’m on the wider side of ribs and that I could do some zipping to “close” them to impact my thoracic.

I did lot of singing and voice work in my school years. It was a requirement of Waldorf curriculums not any personal preference I had myself. Diaphragmatic breathing was a big part of voice training for me and it served me well over a number of athletic hobbies over the years.

I now wonder if I was born lucky with wider ribs on average (a reasonable assumption in my mind) or if the regular practice of voice work strengthened it such that it’s now now part of my affects and thereby reshapes my entire compensatory system. Either way my ribs are open and wide and I can breath and move my posture around this fact.

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Biohacking Emotional Work

Day 1097 and Wait Not Yet

I don’t think folks were ready to go back to work today. I know I wasn’t. Everything felt a little bit “and they are off” starter gun pandemonium. Too many issues and too many people were smacking into each other on all forms of social media. It felt a bit Welcome to Thunderdome on every distinct algorithm I watch.

The first workday of the year seemed to catch me off guard personally because I don’t really recall how the last two weeks disappeared so quickly. I blame it on general exhaustion and poor health but also that I didn’t intend to take any time off. That was probably a mistake and I should have done a feel decouple from the world for at least a few days.

I am quite sure I am worse for wear and need to find a way to get offline and recover a bit more before I’ve got to earnestly launch into the year. I have too much to accomplish.

Categories
Biohacking Chronic Disease

Day 1086 and Body Language

When I was younger I spent a lot more of my time in my body. As I’ve aged I’ve become more cerebral and this has had a negative impact on my overall health.

I had the opportunity over the last two days to do some bodywork with very present people. It was frankly much needed. I haven’t felt entirely in my own body and was as reactive.

It helped to be with someone who was very present and attuned to body language. I spend so much time communicating in virtual spaces recently that I’ve felt further away from my body than I’d like.

If you haven’t had cause to get in better touch with your body this week might be a good time. There is something to be said for simple communication between humans that isn’t captured in our writing. Maybe artificial intelligence can work entirely without being embodied but human intelligence is still very much embodied.

Categories
Biohacking Medical

Day 1084 and Tension

For the last week or two I’ve been getting tensions headaches. While I have migraines that manifest mostly around hormonal cycles, I can’t say I’ve had a tension headache before.

Migraines make me sensitive to light, sound, and smells but this new headache type was more like a pressure inside my cranium. Typical migraine medicine like Imitrax didn’t do much but neither did Advil or Tylenol. I tried caffeine to minimal effect. Exercise seemed to exacerbate the issue, especially if I was getting my heart rate up.

After discussing it with my physician I’ve got a suspicion that I’ve done something compensatory that has caused tension in my upper spine.

I have ankylosing spondylitis in my thoracic spine so it’s a decent hypothesis that to protect myself from the chronic pain there I’ve added additional pressure further up my spine. A inflammatory issue causing a complete different mechanical issue is a logical differential diagnosis.

I’ve got a couple of approaches to fixing the problem. I can get some body work done to relieve some of the pressure in my neck and shoulders with a massage, physical therapy or craniosacral therapy. I can take more magnesium as it is nature’s muscle relaxer. I also can take muscle relaxers.

I think this development is coming now as I’ve been really upping my intensity professionally this fall. I’ve traveled a lot, attended a number of conferences and meetups, and generally applied acceleration to everything in my world. It’s a good thing that Christmas is almost upon us as it seems like it could use some time away from the world. I will be turning within.

Categories
Biohacking Emotional Work

Day 1068 and Routine Versus Speed

I always find myself disappointed by how much time I put into health. Perhaps it’s a sign of how high expectations are for performance in the tools we use daily that it seems preposterous that it should require a third of your time in maintenance.

Perhaps this is an unfair intuition on my part. For every hour of flight the F-16 needs around 17 man-hours of maintenance. I’d prefer to not be quite so resource intensive as a fight jet but maybe fighting entropy does require 8-10 of my day.

As I try to do more with my days and push myself to do more in less time I still have to put in the effort to stay at my old baseline. I put my faith in the miracles of compounding. What was once a huge effort is now a habit.

I try to fight my tendency to optimize even as tracking my own data has its benefits. Most of my inputs are just a refinement on existing heuristics. Occasionally I’ll find someone who has a fix so might better than what I’ve been doing it fundamentally resets my understanding of my works model. It happens more than you’d think.

In accelerating I must apply more energy to my existing systems. Or course the old systems seem to call out depending more. As I push for performance my body demands its sleep, its fuel and any other number of needs. Sometimes it’s a want. It’s not always clear so I test.

Categories
Biohacking Internet Culture

Day 1054 and Extra Strain

This year has had a number of absolutely crazy weekends where it’s felt as if the entire world was having the rules written overnight. Seemingly unrelated bits of the world will flare into supernova attention grabbers.

Off the top of my head, I can recall weekends devoted to aliens, bank collapse, room temperature super conductors, war in Israel and fear we’ve summoned artificial intelligence.

The fact that we can participate in the narratives as they emerge on social media means that every type of influence actor does just that. And it’s exhausting even as it’s occasionally a fun interactive game.

Today I found myself with a poor Whoop recovery and more physiological strain that is ideal. You can see it in my awful heart rate variability. Nevertheless I tried to stick to good routines, possibly to my detriment.

My afternoon went from enjoyable walk to migraine to a low stability.

You can see my Welltory data after I went for a forty minute walk. My HRV tanked and I went into a migraine pattern. Thankfully Imitrax, meditation, and a short non sleep deep relaxation exercise got me stabilized in about two hours.

Categories
Biohacking Travel

Day 1042 and Oh Dip

For the last three days I’ve been experiencing a significant dip in energy and function in the later afternoon around 4pm.

Not only am I fatigued, but I seem to have some sort of either allergic response or potentially common cold symptoms. It’s a little unclear as I don’t have consistent symptoms nor do I have a fever.

Some of it is probably jet lag as I returned home to Montana after a month in Europe over the weekend. I haven’t quite recovered my sleep deficit as I am pushing very hard on my workload as well.

I tried doing a bit of polyphasic sleeping today to see if it might help abate the intensity of the dip. The idea behind polyphasic sleep is to get your required 7-8 hours not in one monophasic chunk at night but across your own natural energetic ebbs and flows.

I did a packed morning of work and meetings and then slept between the hours of 3-5pm. I do feel better having been asleep during the dip but I could feel the symptoms rising while in the light sleep mode. I wasn’t able to fall into deep or REM sleep.

Whatever is happening I clearly need more rest. My attempts at diagnosis of any other symptoms and their proximal causes are unlikely to matter if I’m not getting adequate rest. In which case, I’ll try to sleep more at night and add in some naps till it passes.

Categories
Biohacking Chronic Disease

Day 1041 and Short Notice

I’m extremely frustrated right now. I didn’t get much sleep last night. I won’t get into the details, but it’s mostly because I was overstimulated by a very long workday after what was a very productive week.

I didn’t think it would matter if I was a little fucked up today from overexertion yesterday as I didn’t have any major obligations.

Except I got invited to mid-morning to something tonight. I wasn’t obligated to go but really wanted to do so as the guest of honor may end up having a significant impact on my life. And I’ve had an interest in it which I’d expressed months ago.

Now I had strong interest in attending as it won’t be a repeatable opportunity. So I wanted to push myself to go. I did my best through the afternoon to rest and prepare myself. But ultimately my body just couldn’t do it.

I cascaded into a migraine from the smell of my husband’s cologne. All my efforts to try to be restorative with the few hours of my afternoon were gone through a single small instance of environmental stressor. An obvious sign that I shouldn’t be going anywhere if something small could set off symptoms.

Now I’d like to say that I could have made it if I’d slept more. Maybe if I’d not worked so many hours yesterday. But I feel good about the things I prioritized yesterday.

But I am so fucking angry that I couldn’t have been given a little bit more notice as I would have found a way to make it. Literally even one day would have been enough so I could prioritize sleep.

It’s obviously no one’s fault. I’m simply furious that in an effort to budget my energy and physical capacity for what was my priority yesterday, I couldn’t find any remaining capacity today.

I guess the lesson is that if you want me to show up please let me know at least twenty four hours in advance. Or even just the night before.