Day 1284 and The Average Person

I am in the middle of a “don’t try this at home” biohacking experiment in which I am using a low dose nicotine patch to treat my week seven Covid malingering. A quick overview of the method of action.

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been proposed as potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19. Research suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein may interact with nAChRs, potentially influencing the disease’s pathophysiology.


I am doing alright with it. I was wary of keeping the patch on all night long (I am very sensitive to stimulants such that I won’t drink caffeine past 10am) so I removed it at about 5pm. That may have been a mistake.

Yesterday my Whoop recorded physiological stress. I wasn’t coughing, I had more capacity for exertion, and I felt generally less exhausted.

But I didn’t come down easily for sleep. I ended up taking a number of anti-inflammatory medications as well as an Ambien. My heart rate was stable but I felt “up” which I don’t care for at night.

And I did not wake up to good news. My HRV absolutely tanked. There are lots of confounding variables here in that I got good restorative sleep (medicine induced surely) but some strain has clearly been too much. 40% down isn’t a rousing endorsement.

I am also noticing a lot of chatter around addiction and whether or not it’s responsible to discuss these things. The fear that the average person is in fact prone so addiction and will have adverse affects. Which I’m sure is true. I don’t think normal people should take unnecessary risks and it’s good to have the minimum viable dose be none at all.

It’s wise to remember that I am not at all living in average circumstances nor do I have average medical conditions so I am not necessarily who you should be looking to for health advice. You should do the basics like eat more protein, lift heavy things, sleep an adequate amount, be in the sun and move around, and manage your baseline health metrics first.

Biohacking Medical

Day 1269 and Reconditioning

I feel as if I lost a lot of ground to a gnarly case of Covid over the past couple of weeks. I had two weeks of clear infection symptoms and then a week of simply being exhausted and unable to get out of bed.

The benefit of keeping trace of one’s biometrics that I at least have some visibility into the misery. Of course, the downside is that I have visibility into how much misery. An extremely both sides of the bus meme situation.

I have a lot of reconditioning in front of me. Or at least my health data suggests that. It’s very discouraging to have health apps say you’ve had a 90% decrease in activity.

This week I slowly began the work of going back to life. I attended a policy gathering. I’ve been working on deals. I suppose I was doing that while I had symptoms too. It’s been hard as I want this to be better but I lost a lot of ground and relatively quickly.

I’m now doing all the little things one does help get your body back on track. Simply changed and reminders are most effective if you have injuries or are chronically ill.

I have little routines where I get up and do body weight squats on the hour. I’ll make sure to walk 500 steps each time I get up. I’ll touch my toes and stretch.

All these things feel very hard at the moment and I get blaring warning signals from the trackers suggesting physiological strain when I do. The slog of not giving up is a permanent part of the human condition and I refuse to let entropy win. But I am discouraged by how much work it is to do the basics. You can’t ever escape that life is just chop wood and carry water

Biohacking Medical

Day 1264 and Party’s Over

I am going on my third week of having Covid symptoms. I don’t know if it’s time to call it “Long Covid” but my autoimmune response to it feels like it’s being dragged out.

My family doctor (an absolute gem of a general practitioner with a concierge clinic if you are ever in need in Montana) helpfully reminded me of the basics of immune response.

The infection is cleared but my immune cells did not get this memo. I’m still coughing, I’ve got clear phlegm, and I am struggling with a high respiratory rate. I am exhausted.

Yesterday I went for a short 15-20 minute stroll to get sunshine and I found myself with a very heightened respiratory rate overnight.

Apparently even small stressors like pollen count or exertion are hard when your immune response is overactive. I’ve been living with an autoimmune condition for years so while rationally I know this, it helps to be reminded.

If one is inclined to a forced metaphor, the party is over and the guests have left but the host hasn’t figured out it’s time to turn off the stereo, lock up and pick up the trash.

Calming immune responses is a tricky business. Sometimes you succeed by waiting it out as your system slowly resets to a healthy baseline. Sometimes you use more interventionist approaches with either local or systemic steroids. I try to avoid this but sometimes the only approach is the brutal one.

It’s my hope that the party being over means I can simply manage the mop up but I hope my immune cells decide to chill and get back to baseline soon.

Internet Culture Medical

Day 1260 and Boredom

I’ve never understood boredom. I am very much the kind of nerd who enjoys learning. I’m mostly topic agnostic so life has been a pretty joyful experience of deep dives & rapt attention.

I struggle to be empathetic towards boredom as everything interests me. I don’t know if curiosity is innate or learned but I’m glad I have it in abundance.

The closest I get to understanding boredom is the exhaustion and brain fog that comes with illness. I’ve had an awful bout of Covid that I’ve intermittently worked through over the past two weeks.

My mind just has less capacity to hold onto focus. I’m in pain and the misery of the experience makes it harder to do more than the basics. I normally thrive on focus but now I’m stuck in ongoing being able to do tasks that require less cognitive overhead.

This has led to a kind of boom and bust set of cognition for me as I save up my focus for the deals that just can’t wait and then I am like a zombie on my fun unable to do much as finish a pdf about “situational awareness.” Maybe this is what they meant by boredom all along?


Day 1258 and Relapse

I woke up feeling reasonably good this morning. I thought perhaps my prayers have been answered. I have been managing a case of Covid for over a week so I really wanted to be turning the corner on recovery.

It’s hard fully rest with an infection and this case overlapped with a lot of big things for my portfolio companies. That excitement made it even harder to stay away from working. I was joyfully working all weekend for multiple deadlines.

I’ve not been the best behaved patient though I have stayed in bed. I thought I’d at least maintained the appropriate protocols for sleep, nutrition, supplements and medication.

What I really wanted was to go outside and enjoy the weather. June in Montana is heaven. Cool bright mornings turn into sunny dry days.

I thought that a short walk in this type of environment would be healthy. I walked the property and down our dirt road. I wasn’t out for more than twenty minutes.

Walking by our little pond fed by a creek.

It was too much. By early afternoon I was exhausted, feverish and coughing. I slept but it was the fitful half conscious sleep of the sick.

I am disappointed as I want this to be over. The pushback from supposedly health giving activity like strolling in the morning sun was immediate. It isn’t over and I’ve been punished for joyful nativity. But damn it’s a beautiful day to be alive.

Chronic Disease Medical

Day 1252 and Maximum Health Protocols

I must have wanted some early 2022 vibes as my current “Covid infection after a traveling to a crypto conferencefeels aesthetically familiar. It still feels like we are in the same long now of Empire’s End but this time with more geopolitical risk.

I can’t think about most of this at the moment as I am officially on my Maximum Health Protocols which is a mix of expensive piss and biohacking basics with a hint of woo and a triple helping of pharmaceuticals.

I still feel like shit but my hope is that dedication will save me from long post viral complications. I’ve worked too hard on my health to let some stupid inflammatory Covid event get me off track.

Covid isn’t any more worrying than most triggers to my overclocked autoimmune system but the additional pain of the inflammation isn’t doing me any favors. Does anyone else remember cytokine storms? To quote South Park, I member

I dislike the brain fog and exhaustion as it feels like writing about illness has become boring. I’d rather be going on tangents and rants but I’m stuck linking to posts recommending vitamins and sleep. Probably a sign that I love my work that my irritation is this strong.

Biohacking Medical

Day 1251 and Summer Covid

I don’t know why this didn’t occur anyone earlier but this morning as I went about my news review the New York Times surfaced a piece on handling a rise in summer covid cases. My brain went huh so I took a Covid and as it turns out this viral thing is in fact just fucking Covid.

Whomp whomp.

A blast from the past. A positive Covid test!

If anyone wants to make some jokes about how I was just at a crypto convention I could use some throwback pandemic humor. I am certainly enjoying the irony.

As new variants of the coronavirus continue to gain traction, doctors and researchers are bracing for a potential rise in cases this summer. KP.2, one of these variants, now accounts for 28.5 percent of cases, and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a small increase in Covid-related emergency room visits and positive tests

Summer 2024 Covid

I am naturally not thrilled. I know no one takes covid seriously anymore so protocols are lax but I’ve got an overactive immune system. I don’t want to give myself any chance at post-viral nonsense nor do I want to put anyone around me at any additional risk.

For what it’s worth I hate being sick in public so only my husband Alex has been in particular close proximity to me as my symptoms got worse. I pulled back from the conference as soon as my symptoms really hit.

I will not be leaving bed until I’m sure I’ve got this absolutely licked. I am throwing all the usual suspects in the biohackers arsenal at this thing. If you’ve got suggestions for fending off post-viral nonsense send them my way.

Medical Travel

Day 1250 and Viral Load

I very much picked up something awful and I suspect viral in Texas and am going to be coping with its fallout for a few days.

I’ve lost track exactly of its onset as my brain is scrambled by cold medication, decongestants and the process of being sick. You go very hard trying to show up for panels and dinners and then you find you can’t get out of bed at all.

I do find it modestly funny to crack jokes about being high on DayQuil and experiencing coughing fits so strong incontinence is a concern. But I guess it depends on your sense of humor. Yes that’s a diaper joke. Either way I’m useless to myself and others except as a source of amusement.

I haven’t had the sort of viral or bacterial load type infection that one would qualify as a cold or flu for sometime.

My immune system is so overclocked that your common cold barely stands a chance. I have endless autoimmune problems but actually having the flu is a bit unusual. I hope it passes soon. Till then I’ll be in bed hopefully not wetting it.

Medical Travel

Day 1248 and DayQuil High

I got a bit of a viral thing going on as my time in Austin for the Consensus conference wraps up. I feel as if missed a lot of time with people I’d wanted to catch up with simply because I was sick. I made it to all the programming and a few gatherings.

I am not the only one who is being stricken by various forms of infection. It seems like a lot of folks even at the conference were struggling. So perhaps it’s just a case of conference crud but it’s still annoying as nothing is so awful as a DayQuil high.

If I missed hanging with you I am very sorry. I am available on other channels. And I hope my panels were ok! For now I’ll rest and appreciate that the DayQuil high is keeping the misery at bay

Startups Travel

1241 and Catching My Breath

Next week I’ll be flying to Austin for what’s become an annual crypto pilgrimage to Consensus. I am excited as it’s like summer camp.

I’ll be participating in a few private sessions but I’ll be a speaker in public town hall forums as well. If you will be in Texas for the event (or are simply in the city) drop me a note on Twitter and perhaps we can overlap.

Given the intensity of the travel I have ahead of me I’m trying to take it easy today and tomorrow. I’ve been doing laundry and organizing myself.

I am not a hot weather person so I worry about events in hot climates in the summer. Heck, I worry about hot climates even in mild seasons. Last year I found myself struggling with Frankfurt in May so summer in Texas isn’t exactly my easy season.