Balance, Not Excess
Hi fellow Nat Med family,
Today I wanted to chat about the health troubles I’ve been having over the past several weeks, which has changed my activity in life and online a fair amount. I’m also taking ownership of things I can and will be doing to improve that situation instead of relying on others to tell me what to take or do.
So one of the things we as humans definitely take advantage of is the fact that we usually have pretty good health. When things are going well there can sometimes be events that bring all of that to a screeching halt and we figure things out that should haven’t gotten the way they were. Until that happens though, we often do things that we know we shouldn’t but do anyways. It’s tough, I think, to be so dedicated to a healthy routine sometimes.
As I’m getting older, I’m having more of these little events and it’s unfortunate because it’s not as easy to bounce back after them. It’s not impossible but this ones really thrown me for a loop. I don’t want to sound like I’m 80 but it’s just something I’m aware of, how things happen and it’s a little harder to get around it. I like to confront these issues when I have them instead of ignore them or medicate them away so I don’t notice it. Medicating it is a big problem in our world I think.
Back in the winter I was going out for a walk with the little man as I have tried to do as often as I can to get some exercise in the evenings when it’s not too cold. This night was a little colder than others but there was snow and lots of ice around and while we were walking I was scolding him for doing dangerous things (probably climbing on top of a giant mound of former snow, now mostly ice and slippery) as I often have to do, though the point doesn’t sink in usually lol. When I was doing that I felt a sudden pain in the front of my chest and it went up my shoulder and into my elbow. I immediately thought fuck am I having a heart attack? What the hell is this!? It was a sudden jolt and it went away as quickly as it came but adrenaline kicked in and I was all out of sorts so I immediately ended the walk and took it easy the rest of the evening and was definitely off with my normal self. I felt off but I knew I wasn’t having a full on heart attack so we didn’t need to go to the ER. I worked a few days later on the weekend at my little side hustle but I didn’t feel right those few days so I was unfortunately not in the best of shape at that point. I ended up having to go home sick and that’s when I knew I had to tell my wife, Siena about it. I don’t withhold those types of things from her too often mostly because she’s got a lot going on as well in her family and health so I didn’t want to add to it until I had to. Well I had to here! I called her on my way home and she knew something was wrong because I had only been there two hours and I told her what was going on and I wanted to go to the ER. She was certainly scared and nervous as was the little man, my health is usually the better of the two of us so this was a challenge. We’ve had lots of challenges already so we just roll with the punches.
I get a bunch of tests done and thankfully everything is looking okay, no obvious signs of heart issues or a heart attack and they can’t determine what the issue is but they can tell me what it’s not so thankfully there was that to look forward to. I was due to follow up with my primary care doctor as soon as I could so we went home, confused but thankfully with a decent result.
Stormy seas as a metaphor for some health challenges
I was having some strange issues, random slight dizziness, arm pain, chest discomfort, and some muscle weakness here and there. Difficult symptoms for sure but not really terrifying things that make me go right back to the ER. I know something is wrong but trying to figure out what it is is the challenge.
One of the things I know I had been doing and needed to stop is overdoing things from a diet perspective. I was drinking too much coffee every day at home and I was also getting every few days a coffee from the coffee shop near us because it tastes better since it’s got sugar and stuff in it. Not great but not something someone in their 30’s who doesn’t have other health issues should spend time worrying about. I was also consuming excessive amounts of Apple cider vinegar to try and combat what I knew was a bad habit of the coffee and the occasional sweet or bagel sandwich I would get in the trip.
We are supposed to limit consumption to two teaspoons of the stuff a day but I was doing 2-4 tablespoons or more a day and overconsumption of the stuff had been linked to some health issues like bone demineralization from the excessive use among other things. source Mix in there take out once a week or every other week, stress from life and other things and lack of sleep and it was a situation waiting to happen. Some may think it’s not the right idea to cite ACV but I’m trying to isolate to things that my body doesn’t like at all. What I was doing at the time was drinking excessive coffee, excessive ACV and some other things in quantities I knew I shouldn’t be. (Nothing as fun as drugs, don’t worry lol)
What I found out through trying to use it to help me sleep is that magnesium helped me with a lot of my issues. I was having muscle cramps and some twitches here and there and looking that up is honestly fucking terrifying for possible causes, which further added to the stress. I needed some good sleep and I needed it now. We bought a bottle of magnesium oil spray and you spray it on your feet at night to help you sleep and boy does the stuff work! What was remarkable though is a lot of my symptoms subsided to points where they were only noticeable at points during the day instead of frequently, or disappeared entirely. I knew I was onto something and figured I was over consuming the stuff above to the point where my body was depleted of the magnesium it’s supposed to balance out. I’m going to do a separate post at some point to flesh out the importance of magnesium and how I didn’t know we needed what we do, as well as how often it’s deficient. Magnesium is important stuff, that’s all I’m gonna say now!
I have been supplementing magnesium every day in multiple ways and I’ve felt largely better than I did when I wasn’t taking the stuff at all. Some of the best ways I’ve been getting magnesium is through the foods I’m eating. Thankfully three of the best sources of magnesium are things that I can easily eat and have quite often in the house in normal circumstances. Almonds, avocados and Brazil nuts are some magnesium powerhouses to get the important mineral from. Almonds are a bit too hard for my intestines so I’ve been using almond butter instead, since it’s already crushed up. I don’t need any diverticulitis issues to suddenly appear and make all of this shit worse lol. The Brazil nuts aren’t as hard but I still pulverize them before I swallow it. Between those things during the day, I’ve been getting enough magnesium that the muscle twitching has stopped entirely which is the most reassuring. That, rightly so, was the scariest part of it all. I can deal with muscle aches but when shit starts randomly twitching then things are going wrong.
I’m not saying that I’m by any means a very smart person but one thing I’m thankful for is the ability to try and look objectively at a situation and try to figure out what are contributing factors, what I can do to modify and what some results are. I knew that I immediately needed to stop drinking coffee, eating junk like sweets, restrict sugar from things like jams and jellies and stuff (which I honestly just recently bought my favorite strawberry jam, damn it lol) and get on as much of an alkaline diet that I can while I figure out what’s happening. I think too often, people experience these things and don’t change their diet to try to improve the one factor they have the most control over while they wait for testing and all that.
I’ve had a few doctors visits, seen a cardiologist and my doctor and thankfully they agree that it’s not something truly immediately life threatening such as an issue with my heart but they need more things to help them figure out what’s going on. I have my suspicions but I’ll be following up with them in the coming weeks and will get some tests and blood work, hopefully they listen to me with what I think is going on so we can get to the bottom of this and I can eliminate this. One benefit of it all is that I went to my first acupuncture appointment and have gone a few times since! It was a great thing to do and my knee certainly feels a lot better after going to them so that’s excellent. Gotta try and have some positives when you can, I think!
Besides needing to stay alive for obvious reasons, the most important motivator for me is making sure the little man doesn’t grow up without a father. I may jump to conclusions a bit but this stuff with my variety of symptoms has really been a tough few weeks, I’ve been through the whole emotional scale on this one. I’m determined to figure it out and get rid of it though, not only for my wife who is important to me above almost all else, but for the little man. He’s what keeps me going to figure this stuff out and change whatever I need to in order to get back on the right track. I thought of him growing up without me and that scared me the most. The wife was behind him by the smallest margin of course but it’s different for a young child to lose a parent. I don’t want that to happen!
Fun times seem to never end! Lol
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