Biohacking Chronic Disease

Day 162 and Reactivity

I’m sensitive to everything. Physically I mean. I’m surprisingly tolerant of emotional volatility, which means I’m well suited to entrepreneurial nonsense and financial chaos. Physically, on the other hand, I’m a hot house flower. Orchids have a wider band of tolerance than I do. If you don’t feed, water and rest me on a precise schedule I will cascade from blooming to dead in a few hours. Only a slight exaggeration.

I’ve got endless examples I can share. I can go from zero strain & a low heart rate when working out at 65 degrees to vascular distress and heart rate spikes at 75 degrees. When I was younger I would get drunk from one drink and now I can’t even have a sip of wine without turning beat red. If a drug has rare side effects I’m virtually guaranteed to get it. My doctors are pretty familiar with this now and like to make jokes about it. “Well .001 of patients experience thinning hair so you will probably go bald!”

On a day to day basis I hate this because it means I have a lot less flexibility to fuck around. I will find out. I need to keep strong rhythms and routines. And I can often spot when even a planned and positive therapy has negative consequences almost immediately.

For instance, I take an immune suppressing biologic every two weeks to keep my immune system from getting too worked up and causing inflammation. I’ve got ankylosing spondylitis which means the swelling shows up in my spine. It’s good to keep this suppressed. This drug lets me walk and live normally which is awesome! Yay! But on the day of my shot and about 24 hours after I feel like shit. I can literally feel my immune system getting shut down in real time. I’m sniffly, tired and slow today. While this is good in the long run, we want to keep my immune system down, I’m grumpy as fuck that I feel the effects of this drug.

The upside to this reactivity is even modest changes show up in my tracking tools. I can leverage many subtle therapies, diagnostics, treatments and supplements to significant effect. It’s probably a factor in my affection for biohacking. I can see results quickly. The feedback loops tend to be short and noticeable for me, which thanks to tracking many variables over a long time span, means I can isolate effects within relatively short order. So while I’m a pain in the ass patient I’m also a pretty emotionally satisfying one. If you make a correct diagnosis on me you will find out pretty fast. That’s so satisfying.

The irony of this short feedback loop reactivity is that I mostly work on longer term horizons and on extremely volatile things. Maybe it’s because I get the benefits of compounding because I have built up so many positive habits? I don’t get worked up by any individual data point because I’m used to seeing extreme reactions in myself. No big deal. I don’t mind chaos at all because I don’t have much chaos in my daily life because I’m constantly managing my own biology. Maybe I’m actually perfectly suited for my professional life now!