Slice of Chaotic Life

The daily life of a celibate middle-aged man.

Archive for May, 2013

Excessive outdoorsyness

Posted by Itlandm on May 26, 2013

Yesterday I was out walking in the sun for 3-4 hours in a stretch. This was not the best possible idea, I guess, judging from my bright red nose and forehead today. So today I waited until late in the afternoon before taking the bus to Kristiansand to hack portals. The sun was setting when I took the bus home. But that was two and a half hours later. I guess it adds up, because I feel even more tired than yesterday.

I did not jog, just walked and walked. But evidently there are limits even to that. I haven’t really been exercising more than an hour at a time at all this year. Last summer I would typically follow a 5-quarter many days, but this year I mostly take the 40-minute route (over the new bridge). I have read in numerous popular science articles that there is little benefit in exercising more than 30 minutes a day. I already do approximately that just getting to work and back, not to mention any trips in the lunch break. So adding another 40 minutes after I come home is pure luxury, I guess, but I often enjoy it.

Evidently adding a couple more hours to that requires my body to make some adjustments. Pulse remains 10-15 beats over normal throughout the rest of the evening. If I don’t have an infection without knowing it, the higher pulse usually means the body is busy changing something. Perhaps adding new tiny blood vessels to muscles, or adding glycogen to muscles or liver, or shuffling fat around from long-term deposits to more accessible places. I don’t expect the muscles themselves to bulk up simply from traipsing around on the pavement.

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Posted by Itlandm on May 12, 2013

I have written about these attacks from time to time almost from the beginning of my journal in the late 1990es. Back then I had no idea what they came from. After 2005 I have concluded that they come from eating fat. I can process small quantities of fat, but if I eat a normal Norwegian diet, I get these attacks frequently. If I stick to a low-fat diet, they don’t happen at all.

Usually an attack start by a feeling of intense cold, coming from within. It feels as if I have already spent a lot of time in a cold place and am chilled through. My muscles are stiff and I start shivering and shaking.  The next symptom is usually intense contractions of the bowels, causing abdominal pain and a hurried visit to the bathroom. The stomach is also upset, but not to the point of throwing up, more a deep vague nausea. A sense of dread is typically the third, although these three can sometimes switch places. At this stage my intelligence is reduced – it is hard for me to think clearly, and typing or handwriting is filled with typos; also my senses seem to be dampened, which is why I used to call these attacks “darkenings” before I knew what triggered them. The final stage is overwhelming sleepiness which cannot be resisted. I usually fall asleep in my chair. When I wake up (which I have obviously done every time so far) the attack is over. But my digestion is usually upset for a day or two afterwards.

Today’s attack, if that is what it is, has not been typical. I have been sleepy during the day, napping and waking up just as sleepy. It was similar enough that I thought of Darkening, but without the other symptoms it did not seem reasonable. Then while I was sleepily playing Neverwinter a bit, my heart suddenly started beating very hard. Not extremely fast, but very hard. That certainly made me take notice. Some minutes later, I suddenly started freezing, even though it was not that cold. A little on the chilly side, but nothing as extreme as this (shivering, shaking).  And while my stomach is a little upset, I have not yet had colon spasms.

I know my fat intake has been in the borderlands lately, as I have taken to eating a delicious bread made with oats, sunflower seeds and roasted pumpkin seeds. These seeds are full of fat, and I eat it with mustard and a salad spread made with fine-cut vegetables and mayonnaise. (The mayonnaise is not particularly rich, but this ingredient is one of the ones I tolerate the least usually.) I guess it is possible that I have bumped into the border line of fat intake I can handle, but judging from the incomplete symptoms, I may not have gone far over the line at least.

Or it could be something different, I suppose. The heart gallop is not part of the usual sequence.

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