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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.

Categories
Biohacking Startups

Day 1039 and Can’t Wait for Monday

Maybe this is my second wind finally kicking in but I cannot wait to start my week tomorrow.

I am pleased that this is how I feel at 5pm Mountain Time. I woke up at 3am thanks to my comical jet lag from having been on GMT +8 for several weeks. I don’t recommend flying a transcontinental flight the day before daylight savings incidentally. I proceeded to feel like absolute shit all day.

But as the Sunday scaries kick in for the rest of the timeline, I am absolutely pumped for my work week. My workload is just super exciting.

The Network State conference left me pumped. The mutuals I spent time with in Amsterdam for other engagements also got me pumped. A founder I’ve been working with for almost a year is hitting his first visible traction moment and I am pumped to strategize with him. Another builder friend is interested in pursuing some funding and asked me to weigh in. The communications work I do for founders has led me to a particularly interesting challenge I want to help them solve.

I am just overall really excited for my work. I can only hope my body is up for it. I will have to carefully manage rest and recovery as this workload is worth the annoyance of treating my body with utmost care.

Categories
Biohacking Travel

Day 1034 and Green Light

When I travel I do my best to maintain a steady routine for my health. I find it much easier to manage stressors to my physical body, and my autonomic nervous system, if I get adequate sleep, nutrition, and restorative activities.

I’m the sort of person who travels with an organizer of supplements & vitamins, multiple biomarker trackers (my Apple Watch & Whoop) and helpful devices (Apollo Neuro Band, percussion massager, noise canceling headphones) to keep myself “in the green” no matter how much stress I throw at myself.

My Whoop strain tracking as I traversed 4 countries in 4 days. I traveled between Finland, Estonia, Denmark and the Netherlands.

And I put myself under some fairly significant strain over the last week as I traveled by boat and airplane through four countries in four days. As you can see from my Whoop data traveling induces more strain than rest days or work days.

I spent all day at a conference yesterday which involved a fair amount of time on my feet and socializing. But it doesn’t compare to the strain of taking a ferry to Helsinki and walking for five miles sightseeing in the cold.

I was careful today to rest after the conference so I’d be able to make use of the remainder of my time in Amsterdam. And my biomarkers seem to agree. My Welltory saw my heart rate variability fully in the green this afternoon.

Balanced stress, energy & health on Welltory say all systems are go for me.
Categories
Biohacking Finance

Day 1009 and Non-Reactivity

I’ve been working on my Q3 investor update all day. I am a little behind my own artificial deadline for it as I believe it’s good to get it out in the first week of the new quarter. I am chasing down a bigger theme in my market insights section that is being refined as I rework my own narrative understanding in real time.

I feel that there is a collective disagreement on consensus reality. We’ve got multiple worldviews that are being hotly contested. Epistemic status humble as the kids say. And so I am doing what I can to get outside the presumed worldview of my own geography and nation and see if a more global perspective is helpful.

But being able to see any of these different vantage points and narratives will require me to be accepting of other competing or adjacent narratives. The presumption is that I can control my own reactions. My body has to be open. So I am here with my Apollo Neuro band sending sound waves to my body while I listen to Endel’s chill program on my noise canceling headphones. I plan to do a Non-Sleep Deep Rest mediation after I’m finished.

I can only give my best performance when I’m sure my body is in a non-reactive place. Parasympathetic is sometimes called “rest and digest” versus its more active sympathetic nervous system partner “fight or flight.” We must assess our world and the many competing perceptions from a place of non-reactivity. It is the only way through the fog of the moment. Never let the stress of the moment distract you.

Categories
Biohacking Medical

Day 1003 and Externalizing

My body gave me a bit of a surprise on the road. I keep a close eye on my inflammation as it’s the first trigger in my autoimmune condition. Generally it manifests internally as swelling in my spine or joints. But it didn’t always. My inflammation used to manifest externally on my skin.

I woke up today in Tallinn without my typical spinal pain but covered in red welts. If I had to guess, some change in climate, pollution, or weather was the culprit. Stress is stress and you can’t always predict how it manifests. I’m so used my body being in pain I’d forgotten that sometimes symptoms can just as easily manifest on the outside as the inside.

It takes an entirely separate set of medications to manage inflammation on my skin as it does to manage inflammation my joints and spinal column which is a bit of a pain in the ass. I am much more eager to treat it. Maybe it’s easier tolerate being in pain than being red and itchy. You’d think it would be the other way around.

Given that my body feels a bit stressed I’ll keep this short today. Hopefully the manifestations of inflammation calm themselves down and I won’t be dealing with either tomorrow.