Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Health Update April 2017

Back to the land of the living. Well, getting there day by day at least. Just getting over a very bad respiratory infection. Had a very rough past three weeks, it was so bad at one point that I almost went to urgent care. But the worse appears to be over now. My life saver has been eucalyptus oil and various concoctions of herbal tea, the best so far being Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Tea. Have to stock up on that. I have a job that requires me to speak on the phone my entire shift, so it can be quite taxing on the throat.

There are two main factors that I think contributed to my illness:

One, it's been unusually windy here the past few weeks, and I ride my bike 50 miles a week, and I know I picked up something in that wind because that's when I first started feeling sick on my bike ride to work during a dust storm. I now always ride with a dust mask on windy days, which for now I've improvised using a wet bandana. I'm using a white bandana which I hope will make me look less like a bandito. It's been a life saver, and the temperatures being really hot already, we're talking upper nineties, the wet bandana helps cool me down some too.

Two, the other factor that I feel contributed to my illness is that I let my weight drop too low. You see I'm burning so many calories that if I skip a meal I lose weight really fast. For my height I feel best being around 120 pounds, but I dropped down to 105, and that is I believe when all my troubles started. I read that recently having too low of a body mass index makes a person more susceptible to respiratory diseases such as asthma and pneumonia. So I've been forcing myself to eat, I start the day with a banana and protein powder shake, make sure I always eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have snacks in between. I'm also no longer a vegetarian. I may go back that way again, but for now I feel that I need to eat meat, though mostly it's just chicken and fish, and the occasional burger, but overall I don't eat that much meat, maybe only three times a week. I want to be clear that I do not feel that eating meat is necessary for a person to be healthy, but lately I have been enjoying the taste of it, and enjoying the flavor of food is critical to making sure that I get enough to eat and do not skip meals.

But the important thing is that I can't ever let my weight fall below 110 pounds again, because I think it made me sickly. Oh yeah, and also because of my health scare, I've also started taking vitamin supplements again, mostly B-Complex and Vitamin C. I don't know if it's done any good, I've heard pros and cons for and against it, but I feel at this point it can't hurt.

I've also cut back on the beer drinking, just can't hold my liquor like I used to, I get a hangover from 3 beers, so pretty much two beers is my limit now. And yes I drink them everyday, which according to the Mayo clinic is still too much, they say I should drink no more than 7 drinks a week. Well, I may get there eventually, but I really love having my two beers after a long day. I don't consider that excessive and especially if I keep my weight up and keep taking my vitamins I think I should be okay.

As far as exercise, I'm back to doing pullups. I hadn't done them at all for years because I haven't had access to a pull up bar or a tree branch. Well I decided to go ahead and buy a door frame mounted pull up bar so I can do them whenever I feel like it. Best 20 bucks I ever spent. When I first started, I could barely do one. Now I'm up to six. And feeling significantly stronger as a result. It's a great workout, much better than lifting free weights, it's like a whole upper body workout, more balanced than lifting weights that only exercise one or two muscles at a time.

Haven't been doing any walking. Instead I ride my bike everywhere. The library, the grocery store, the bank, the post office, my job. I ride my bike about 50 miles a week. Would like to get back into running, would be happy running 3 miles regularly, but every time I start any kind of running routine it always seems to make my sinus problems worse, but we'll see what happens, as I keep getting healthier in other ways maybe I'll be able to handle the running.

As far as education. I'm back to taking a mathematics refresher course. It's amazing that a person can be a high school graduate and yet be only at a 5th grade math level. Well, it is what it is. I saw the problem and sought to do something about it and I did. I have since graduated the 5th grade and am now in 7th grade and moving at a rapid pace. Maybe in another year I'll be ready for college. Yeah, I've made it my goal to get through all the math lessons at Khan Academy. I do a few lessons every morning and it feels like I'm accomplishing something real. Probably the most practical real world benefit I obtained thus far from it is the ability to figure out percentages rapidly in my head.

Haven't been reading much at all. Just mostly reference material. For instance, I've had a lot of fun perusing the 2017 World Almanac, it's a great inspiration, great food for thought. As far as books I've read in their entirety I've only read one book this year, and it wasn't even that good, just so so, it was an anti-socialism book. And I'll leave it at that. That's way below my previous years average, where I used to read 50 books a year, mostly non-fiction, and some massive 1000 plus page classics too. Just haven't been in the mood. Haven't had the patience, haven't had the time.

Been working so much, only part-time for my day job, but also doing some work at home stuff that is sometimes more lucrative than my day job, and between the two I'm easily working 40 plus hours a week. It's a big change. I've sort of been slacking off the last ten years. Well now I have no more free passes, I'm entirely on my own now, and no one will help me if I get into trouble. If I lose my job and run out of money, I will get evicted and become homeless. There is absolutely no one that would help me now. No one.

So that's a huge source of stress. Usually people have someone. There parents. A sibling. A relative. A friend. Nope. I've got no one. It's all on me now, I can't afford to mess up. It's all about the money right now. Building a nest egg. Financial security. Once I have that I can go back to the dreams, the philosophy, the poetry.

I wonder what I will do with this blog. I guess for now I will use it for whatever. Eventually it will become something... different, but for now it is what it is.