August 10th, 2015

pigtails

2 week update

It's been 2 weeks since I hit the end of my rope with all the stress-related health problems and decided to change things based on what my blood tests appeared to be saying.

The aims:
- Be able to sleep till 5:30am
- Clear up skin rash and back pain
- Regain motivation and clear thinking
- Improve general mood and wellbeing
- Respond better to stressful situations

The method:
- Reduce stress (namely, stop trying to work and study at the same time)
- Eat a diet specifically designed to reduce stress on adrenal system (basically paleo but with dairy, and 5 meals a day instead of 3 - or 2)
(the alternative was to get put on SSRIs and well fuck that if I can avoid it.)

Results so far:
- The first week I didn't notice any real improvement in sleep. Last week I slept 4 nights out of 7 to 5:15 or 5:30. Notably, the 2 nights I woke at 3-3:30 were after a stressful situation cropped up, and one was because it rained so hard it woke me up. So this seems to be improving, slowly.

- My skin rash got worse in the first week but this is normal - it's normally at its worst 2 weeks after the trigger stressful event. It's slowly clearing up now and I can't see any new lesions. Jury's still out on this one. Also in the first week I noticed pain over my right kidney on most days. The second week I noticed it less. Looks hopeful, but I should probably start keeping a record of this to be sure.

- Still having trouble with my mind wandering sometimes and short attention span, but I feel more clearheaded and have been more productive at work. Had a couple of bad days, again after the stress last week.

- Generally I am feeling better. I don't think my response to stressful situations is all that good, I tend to be quite short-fused, but yesterday when my sewing machine needle jammed in the last seam of a project, I didn't shout and cuss, just calmly fixed it and then went "Huh. Check me out with my not getting het up." So maybe things are improving. I'm definitely happier, but I need to be careful that I'm not mistaking the satisfaction of taking action for actual improvement. Time will tell.

- Other stuff. Oh hello sex drive! This is the most positive sign of the lot IMO, because I'm the kind of person who the saying "If you're horny, you're healthy" definitely applies to. Also, turns out living on mostly protein and vegetables and unprocessed food makes you lose weight. I'm down a couple of kilos. In the first week I struggled a bit with feeling weak, so I upped the protein content and that improved things - my energy levels are definitely better than before I started this. Also, I'm never hungry because of filling my face with things every couple of hours.

So generally, it seems things are looking up. I'm hesitant to make too many assumptions, because eating a healthier diet will usually make you feel better, so I'll keep an eye on the stress reaction and the back pain/rash in particular. But so far, I'm thinking maybe horse food (for horses that are also carnivorous) is changing my life for the better.

Yay!