Categories
Chronic Disease Medical

Day 1150 and Gut Biome

At the risk of being “TMI” (this is a gesture of self knowledge to readers not an actual concern of mine that I will ever include too much information), I did something stupid to my personal biome today.

I took an expired a probiotic. I fucked up my bacterial mix. In my defense, I didn’t know it was possible to have an expired Lactobacillus mix. Expired doesn’t seem to mean dead. It just is not doing what I’d hoped and I feel worse not better.

I honestly sort of believed that most probiotics on the self were bullshit. It’s hard to decide what’s medical woo anymore. But I acquired it from a German pharmacy last year and I guess GlaxoSmithKline supplies better shit in Frankfurt than it does in Bozeman.

I immediately nuked the new, supposedly friendly, bacteria from orbit with a one-two punch of doxycycline. I always carry some with me when I travel. Don’t tell my health insurance I’m so cavalier with my over-the -counter bacteria.

I’m joking, but only just. I’m sure artificial intelligence will be put out to nefarious purposes like denying health care coverage to random idiots who blog about their bodies any day now. I just doubt any lawyer will care what nonsense I got up to with yogurt when so many other forms of Medicare fraud are more accessible.

So in the spirit of my blogging forefathers and mothers, I’ve included you in the circle of trust as to the inner workings of my co-infections, symbionts, and other biological processes. Let’s hope, unlike in the case of Ripley, that nuking from orbit works. No need to be carrying aliens in my dark places.

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
Emotional Work Travel

Day 1133 and Trading Capital for Labor

I had very ambitious plans to be present in the daily routine of being far off the civilization grid. A cabin in the woods where I attended to the daily needs of life seemed like a reinvigorating prospect. Time spent in the wilderness improves cognitive function.

I am however finding it to be really tiring to do all of the cooking and cleaning in a tight space. I feel like I just don’t have the energy to keep up with it. I am more tired by it than I has hoped I’d be.

I actually feel pretty good except that it’s just a lot more strain than I’d like to manage the basics of life. I benefit a lot from access to help as I similarly don’t have that much spare energy in a day.

Thankfully it’s possible to find civilization with a little effort. No matter how remote it is possible to find someone who would like to exchange their labor cooking a meal for your capital. Trade is the connective tissue of our species.

Categories
Homesteading

Day 1109 and Cabin Fever

I hope the rest of America is enjoying the polar vortex that is bearing down on them. Our weather improved somewhat from from there last two days of -40 into the comparatively balmy -5.

I do feel a little bit stir crazy being inside for this long or maybe I’m just feeling a little crazy from pain. I’m feeling some intense pain in my spine and joints during this freeze. It’s unclear if the pain weather related but I’ve got no reason to be experiencing any kind of flare so my mind has tied them together.

I’m hoping that as the weather recedes for us on the western half of the country I’ll be ready to leap into action. I’m a bit antsy. I’ve been considering a number of moves as I have commitments to work on a number of portfolio and founder related initiatives as well as the most crucial #FreedomToCompute campaign.

I’d write more but I am not at the top of my game so I’ll dip back into reading and hope tomorrow is a good day.

Categories
Chronic Disease Medical

Day 1100 and New Symptoms

I am experiencing some ongoing nausea today alongside a number of odd side symptoms like body temperature disregulation. I am displeased with this development

It’s probably a cluster of symptoms related to a migraine. So I’ve taken an Imitrax. I had some sort of reaction to dinner last night (possibly allergic though to what I couldn’t say) that hasn’t quite subsided. I am in a dark room silent with an ice pack popping Zofran and praying.

I always hate when I have a new symptom as it’s scary. I don’t know if it’s a new problem or something a new spin on my existing autoimmune issues.

It’s easy for me to slip into fear as I run through a differential diagnosis. The idea that I might have a new dimension to deal with in my daily health routine triggers all my autonomic stress responses. I’ve got a handle on my existing health issues and I don’t have any desire for new ones.

There is a strange aspect of chronic disease where if you’ve reached any kind of stability or continuity you simply don’t want to mess with it. Adding in new treatments or medication is always a scary prospect. I’ve been doing bodywork that seems to have significant impact in a positive way but I’m terrified that as it improves things I’ll have down days as systems interact. I shall pray it improves soon.

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.

Categories
Chronic Disease Medical

Day 1094 and Small Progress

I am clinging to the small progress in my physical condition. I feel numb and exhausted which is an improvement over being so much pain I can’t think while also breaking the variance ranges on my Whoop.

It would appear as if I missed Christmas and much of the week off even though I did enough doing some work when I had a few good hours.

I figure if I aggressively pursue a program of medication, rest and positive inputs I can make the small progress that should have been back if I just don’t rush it.

No one is looking for 2024 to get here and faster than necessary. Cling to the last moments of the year and cling to small progress. Who knows what happens next.

Categories
Chronic Disease Medical

Day 1092 and Responsible

Being responsible for your own life sounds like it should be a shared cultural goal. I was raised to view America as a place where we placed high cultural value on personal responsibility. Now I’m not so sure it’s a shared value for Americans at all.

I have been struggling this week with the responsibility I have to myself. I’ve been up and down with pain so excruciating I’ve struggled to think. And I’ve had a few glorious respites from the intensity. My afternoons have been a misery as my pain gets worse as the day goes on.

I don’t seem to have fully resolved what is causing my pain to be so much worse this week and I am praying it is just exacerbated by my end of year fatigue.

With that in mind I will be responsible for myself and keep this short. Hopefully I’ll be up for a year end review before the year is actually over.

Categories
Chronic Disease Medical

Day 1089 and Silencing Inputs

I am doing very poorly today. All inputs into my system are being read by my senses as pain.

I’ve spent the last two or three hours in a dark room without any systems inputs but background. I’d hoped to become unconscious but was unable to sleep. It was an extended period of consciousness doing battle with pain. I didn’t set a timer or I’d be able to tell you for sure how much time I spent in this state.

I couldn’t read text on paper or watch visuals on a screen, I couldn’t listen to audio or intake spoken word without difficulty and intense focusing, nor could I tolerate novel or new smells. You’d think this would be very boring except that the intensity of the nerve outputs clouded all thought.

My body seems to be reading all changes in systems inputs as painful. I am unsure where the proximate source of my pain might be as it’s both too intense to get outside of and too diffuse to respond to mindfulness.

Typical locations like my thoracic spine hurt but I feel it in every joint as I take inventory. My intercostal muscles across my rib cage and chest are so tight I’d swear I have several broken ribs if I didn’t know better.

I’ve taken several pain medications of varying strengths (anti inflammatory and analgesic) to little effect. I had to stop watching Christmas movies with my husband sometime in the afternoon as I simply couldn’t handle the noise and sound coming from the tablet.

I don’t know how coherent my writing is at the moment and I feared I wouldn’t be able to muster any focus. I am finding it hard to look at my mobile phone screen even at the minimum brightness setting. This usually indicates a migraine but that seems like a secondary issue.

I hope this passes as I do not have time to manage this kind of symptomatic intensity. Perhaps my body knows this and is simply allowing a breakdown on a day where it’s safest to do so. In which case I may need another holiday or two to actually find a break restorative instead of as emergency maintenance.

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.