Saturday, November 17, 2012

Progress Made By Not "Exercising"

It looks like I have been making some serious progress by NOT EXERCISING. About two week I have not doing any serious walking and biking, and the improvement is discernible. This shows how I cannot use one solution for all - each period of time I need to have different strategy. The exercise since I started biking several months ago seemed to be a little too much. The "heart attack" was a warning. I once doubt it was caused by drinking some wine at night, now I tend to believe it was due to my almost everyday walking or biking. My heart was not ready for that. And I realized, as soon as I quit, my energy increased.
Sleep, foods, are still my priority. Being lazy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Who Is The "Culprit": Thinking sad or Thinking Itself?

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris
The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last Monday (about 10 days ago) I had a major heart problem occurred unexpectedly. I was grateful that later on a fried came by to help me with some dinner. Before she left, my condition was still ongoing, so she went to CVS to see if there were any medicine could help to release rapid heart beating. She didn't get any, but couple of suggestions: drink some cold water and good sleep. About the cause, the pharmacist told her there are two: heart malfunction, and thinking too much unhappy or sad things.

What the pharmacist said must have reasons, but by my own experience  his words are not sufficient. First of all he didn't mention one of very important reason for heart malfunction: energy overdrawn. I believe fatigue can be the biggest burden to heart, that's why marathon competition is basically a "heart function competition". Second, about "thinking negative", I am not in complete agreement with this popular notion. My own experience tell me that it was not necessarily thinking "negative", but "thinking too much" that damaged my heart or other physical function, no matter thinking "positively" or "negatively". To be more specifically, it is logic type of thinking, problem solving thinking, memorizing, or any other type of LEFT SIDE brain works that overdraw my energy, caused many negative physical consequences. In fact, I enjoy thinking, which means I am happy when I doing such things, but I still got sick because my body simply cannot support my "happiness".

Why? I am not a scientist so I cannot put this in a profession analysis. But put my understanding in plain words, I think the reason is that our left side of brain is like brain muscle, when it works it would cost our body energy. Imagining our bodies would get trouble if we over exercised, same when we over exercised our left brain.

What would be the worst is thinking too much without physical exercise. I found a analogy here: a car motor and battery. Imagining battery is our brain (left brain), car motor is our body (or heart), if the car is being driving, motor is working, battery gets charged; but if we only turn on electric without turning motor on, letting battery working alone, battery dies very soon. So is our body function, if we keep physical exercise, our brains would get "charged", we can think more, and think sharper; but if we don't exercise, our brain function cannot work as well we want. Not only that, a sedentary life style - using too much brain but not body, we get into chronic health problems*.

At least this is how I got mine problems - during all earlier years of my life I exercised very little and thought too much. Now, since my body function is so weak that the damage of thinking has been more and more 'tangible". I found whenever my health was not in good shape, any serious reading or thinking would cause my heart beating irregularly (or any other type of malfunction) almost immediately. On the contrary, "thinking sad", or sadness alone never caused me any discernible physical problems. I remember when my mother died almost two years ago, I was sad, overwhelmingly, for several weeks, but I did not get any relapses, not even minor crashes. Not only that, strangely, shedding massive amount of tear even help me sleep, so my health condition was even more stable.

I understand that there is a difference between "thinking sad" and "feeling sad" - the former is more like a negative thinking, stress or depression, the later is more a emotion release, which is not necessarily a type "thinking".

So my point is simple: it is not necessarily "thinking sad" that make us ill, but thinking itself. Of course I am not against thinking at all, since it is one of my favorite "hobbies". I believe as long as we feel good, keep balance between physical and mental work, certain logic thinking is just like body exercise in gym, is healthy.

*I have a person observation and thought on the strong anti-rationalist tendency existed in Chinese traditional culture. It is a common belief among Chinese people that "thinking" is harmful to physical health, and because of this belief, Chinese culture never encouraged logic reasoning, never developed true science. The reason of this, I believe partially is because of the Chinese people's belief, partially because of the overall health condition of Chinese population. Chinese civilization encouraged a sedentary life style from beginning, and this lifestyle weakened Chinese people's physical condition (I once said that all Chinese medicine is about Chronic fatigue syndrome). I am also more and more convinced that cultural ideology somehow related to the its people's physical condition, i.e., the physically stronger people, such as nomads, tend to be more adventurous, and physically less strong people, such as those agricultural type of people, are more reserved or conservative. While many ancient (and modern) Chinese people are right about the fact that thinking could be harmful to physical health, they failed to realized that physical strength can also enhance mental power.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Unexpected Heart "Attack"

Yesterday morning, while everything felt perfect normal, my heart suddenly raced up. I first thought it was temporary, but it ended up a full 12 hours with rapid heart beating (120 - 130 per minute). I struggle cooked simple lunch, later evening a friend came to helped with dinner (how grateful! This was actually the first time someone came over taking care of me for all these years).
Even during my heart fast beating hours, I knew it was "temporary", because beside my heart, all other parts or function of my body felt normal. All my previous crash or relapse, even though my heart did not race so rapidly, my overall body function was "tangibly" weakened, and I could felt that it would not recover for a certain period of time. So, that why after last night sleep, I now feel quite normal again, except a little weakness overall.
However, the "attack" was serious, I was not able to stand up for over several seconds, because if I did so, my heart would rush to high rate which my body could not sustain. So all those 12 hours yesterday, I was kept horizontal, except when I had to get up, and whatever I had to do, I have to finish quick.
So because of the seriousness, I wonder what caused this heart-raid. I guess again, my improved condition probably made me a little careless. I remember previous day (Sunday) I had two classes, biked about 25 minutes, also, I did some lifting - I tried again to put my bike into my SUV. Plus, my diet was not good enough on Sunday. So probably all these added up, caused my Monday problem. Or my recently reading and writing also increase my energy use, which my body could not support without difficulty?
Anyway, I got to slow down again. It looks like, there still is a long way to go, for myself to be perfectly healthy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Update and A Brief Review On My Past

I have been doing steadily well for several months. No major crashes, and if I over exercised, the "consequence" usually last only for hours, or maximum couple of days, during which I could still take care of myself. I give myself a score about 80% (which is better than my last year 80% at the same time, because I started to score my energy more reservedly).
All my treatments are still diet, rest and exercise. I equipped with some multivitamin, which seems helpful, but overall, I know foods are the most essential.

Looking back, here is a list of the symptoms I had (or still have) for all past years, start from the most severe ones:

1. Heart malfunction (include beating too fast or too slow, or irregularly. Sometime they came slowly, sometime suddenly. One type of symptoms seems like heart muscle spasm, but I was not "scientifically" sure);
2. Shortness of breath (asthma like);
3. Stomach upset (extreme hunger/heartburn);
4. Extreme fatigue;
5. Constipation,
5. Arthritis;
6. Muscle sore and pain;
7. Brain fog and headache.

The heart problem exists since my early teen years and had been ignored by myself until my middle 30s - when it was too serious to be overlooked. Doctors could not find any solutions so I had to work on it on my own. Even though I found treatment: exercise (walking), but at the time (between about my age of 35-45) my tough fate didn't allow me to have full care which I desperately needed. These tough life experience worsened this heart problem, also brought me all the extra different symptoms, and together with my heart problem, they made negative circles, or chain reactions frequently by triggering each other, especially during the past a few years.

The negative circle is like this: my heart is desperately in need of exercise., and exercise needs energy, so, the less energy I have, the less I could exercise; and the less I exercise, the weaker my heart functions; the weaker my heart functions, the less I am capable of exercising. so on and on...
The positive circle is this: the better energy I have, the more exercise I could do, so my heart would function better; and the better my heart functions, the more exercise I could do, so the more energetic I feel.

The cause of the bad circle looks like my heart, as most doctors would suggest. But I know it is not (at least at this stage), because I had the heart problem since I was very young. I would say it is a "genetic" problem. If heart was my only problem, exercise would simply solve it. But as we can tell from the circle I describe above, in order to exercise, I need energy. So, the real cause is lack of ENERGY.

How can I get energy? Foods. We humans are not like plants who can MAKE energy by themselves, we need foods from which our energy transfer. All these years I had been doing terribly on my diet, so not only  my body lacked energy, but also in huge "debt". No doubt I had stomach problem (hunger) too. So during the past two years I was pretty much working on diet. I also realized that, not all foods are right for our body - different people, or people in different health condition need different type of foods. So what would be the right foods for me? This is another big lesson I learned during the years with huge price! The right answer is "listen to my body", instead of listen to doctors or nutrition professionals*. This, is a simple policy that I followed for these couple of years (I also found, that my body would send out clearer signal what it needs when my health condition is better. So when health is bad, it's also harder for me to know what I want to eat). And finally, I found I am closed to the positive circle.

Of course, I am not really there yet, but I see the light.

*Of course, I am not saying that we cannot take their words as suggestions. But strictly follow their advices is not the way I would recommend. I also understand that many people who have no ideas about what their bodies need will have to listen to experts.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I have been enjoying biking. Had to slow down a lot recently due to several minor crashes last week, but still, I could bike a little once another day.

I used to complain about the local geographical condition but no more, because I found the up and down slopes are good for me to exercise and when going down hill, I would literally experience an ecstasy of "flying".

This is going to be my life time hobby.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sick or Not, Who Decides?

As modern medicine evolved into this formidably complicated ("obese" is a better word) system - from theory to practice, from financial/labor investment to sky high price, modern people seem to completely yield themselves to medicine authority, for any trivial issues to serious ones, unquestionably listen to doctors, depend on doctors, and no longer listen to their own bodies, no longer depend on themselves.

We have annual check up, if the results said you have this or that disease, you would believe totally, and take whatever treatments doctors assigned to you, even if you felt completely nothing wrong with your daily physical function. And sooner or later you may still felt nothing different but, after going back check up again, doctor told you that numbers were all good now, then you certainly believed that, felt happy that all your suffering was over, even though all you suffered during the "illness" was "taking pills". On the other hand, there are a huge amount of people who claim being sick, or even chronically sick, but doctors could never find anything wrong with them. So these "sick people" have to do "doctor shopping" again and again, the result was the same: the numbers (of check up) are all "beautiful". At this point doctors usually would suggest that the patients' feeling ill was "imagined". So here comes mental issue: how is your personal life? Have you been feeling depressed?

Usually this type of "patients" with "beautiful numbers" have two choices: listening to doctors and take those anti-depressant and get sicker and sicker, or, refused to accept doctors' assumptions about mental illness and put the health into their own hands. I am one of the latter who refused to admit I was mentally ill. After a few attempts (back 10 years ago) trying to get helps from cardiologists I pretty much realized they could do nothing good for me. Even though after all these years I am still not completely recovered yet, I have no doubt that I will reach that day, sooner or later.

I also know many people who listened doctors' suggestions ("mental illness") and ended up with disastrous consequence. One of examples is Sophia Mirza (1), who died in 2005 with CFS when she was 29. Before she was died, she was treated as a mental ill patient. According to Wiki: "Mirza's physical symptoms were treated as a mental condition and her carers were accused of 'enabling' her. In July 2003 Mirza was sectioned for two weeks by her doctors, who believed her condition was psychosomatic, an action which her mother believed severely worsened her condition". (
I personally believe that the death of Sophia Mirza was mostly caused by medical treatments.

There are tones of other patients who followed medical experts also had very serious consequence. Many of them could not even handle their daily life. And the chronic conditions last not only months, but years, some of them decades (mine is over 10 years). When these patients realized that listening do doctors was essentially wrong, usually it was very late. For some of them they it was indeed "too late".

Most people believe that science of modern medicine knows everything about our bodies, so they naturally believe that if doctors find nothing wrong with a person, this person must imagined his/her illness. Many "normal" people don't even know that there exists a huge population of "invisible disease patients" (I don't remember where I've read that the population of invisible disease patients in US are approximately 1 million). This, is so unfair to most unknown illness patients, because not only they don't get any helps from professionals (2), but also they don't get much mental support. They have to live not only with physical suffering, but also mental isolation, misunderstanding, social stigma and prejudice (many of them even come from family members). (I have many personal stories about this so just don't let me start...)

I think, the real blind spot is, after human mind evolved for so long time, we have been so amazed by left hemisphere of human brain (reason) that we forgot our right side brain (feeling, sense) is the "real boss" (I actually tend to believe that many people pretty much lost the ability to "feel" over the course of "civilization"). I believe, as far as our physical health is concerned, we better follow how our bodies feel than to depend on the numbers of check up by machine. This is not to say that I don't believe in science, nor to say that the numbers checked by machines are all useless, but only mean that the function of our bodies are way more complicated than what modern medical science can cover (so far), so better we use professionals' opinions as references, in many cases, if not all cases.

Modern society is a complicated machine, in which people work in different "parts". Modern cultures create "experts" in different fields, and these experts usually know nothing about others fields. Humans become more and more like tools that work in different separate parts of modern machine: lawyer, engineer, doctor (and among doctors we have eye doctor, lung doctor, cardiologist, dentist, etc.). My experience told me, that if we really know nothing about the fields outside of our own professions, and completely trust those experts, we easily end up with huge mistakes when we do "business" with them (I had bad business with lawyer, car mechanics, etc.), and the fault is our own. Since health is most crucial to our lives, doubtlessly, the biggest mistake we could ever make is to completely trust medical experts, ignoring completely what our won bodies telling us.


1: More information about Sophia Mirza:

2: For me this is acceptable because I actually believe many illnesses are "personal", so it's up to patients themselves to cure.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Journey of Up-climbing

Country Road
Country Road (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For quite a while I have not written anything, both English and Chinese. My health condition is drawing my full attention - I am experiencing some crucial changes inside my body - for good.

During my past a few years every major relapse marked by my serious cardiovascular symptoms, such as frequent heart irregular beating, shortness of breath. During this period of time, I was totally dragged down to the bottom, had tremendous difficult to move (bedridden). The journey of recovery usually started from "ceaseless" hungry and I had to eat a lot to satisfy my stomach. This fact convinced me that my worst symptoms - cardio - were caused by severe lack of nutrition, especially protein. The fact was, after I "feasted" for a while, my hunger disappeared and my heart became normal. Years ago I considered this hunger symptom as "illness" and tried very hard to fight against it, the result was worse.

My second step on recovery was detoxification. After "feast" my body got a little stronger, so those parasites live together with me. I learned after all these years hard lessons that there are two ways to do this: diet and exercise. However, since I had serious nutrition deficiency, the diet alone not only won't work, it would cause me worse trouble: my body cells could not receive nutrition they need so it could not rebuild themselves. So, exercise is a choice. But I had to be very careful, because overdoing does harm too.

Maybe, the last step would be exercise combining with diet, to do thorough detoxification. Again, I will need to be careful with this step, not overdo with both exercise and veg diet.

I am currently on the second step. After gaining some extra weight for over two years, I am terribly unfit and need lots of exercise.

Also, as my energy climbing up, I am able to do some serious house cleaning (still only maximum about couple of hours a day). Since my last relapse (February) I have not do much house cleaning. I found my dirty kitchen also is a major toxic source for my body.

Overall, I am in progress. And I am very happy that I am in control of this progress.
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Another Sign of My "Significant" Improvement

After the recent improvement, I decided to go to bike on Tobacco Trail. It was my dream for over a year. The difficulty was to put my bike into my car. I thought of buying a bike rack, but seeing those racks are all quite high, which require lifting when in use, I decided to just trying to put bike inside trunk of my small Rav4 SUV.

When I just bought this bicycle from store, I put it inside my SUV trunk by myself, but the consequence was  severe, it hurt my heart. Over these years I realized that "heavy lifting" can do the most damage to my heart function. Also as long as damage was done, it required days, weeks and sometime even longer to recover. So for long time I've been very careful about lifting heavy things (actually not heavy for normal people at all) so putting bike into my care was totally out of question.

However, after my recent improvement, I decided to give it a try. yesterday.I put bike into trunk first, without too much difficulty, but after having quite good time in Tobacco Trail, I found it was more difficult to do repeat this task. The last step of this task was to adjust the bike's position so I could close the trunk door, and it was proven to be a "heave lifting" and I immediately felt the violent reaction of my heart. After I got home, I had to immediately lay down and rest. Not much serious malfunction followed but I still understood (by my past experience) that I had to wait longer to see the consequence, because usually the "consequence" really came much later, usually half day or one day later.

Now 20 hours passed, though I found myself feeling somehow weak, but overall I am quite OK. I can now "jump into conclusion" that this incident did not beat me, like many time it did before. I shall rest today, and maybe tomorrow, but I know there will be no relapse followed this time.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Biking - An Improvement and An Enjoyment

English: Mountain biking in Julian Alps, view ...

Finally, after purchasing a bike for over a year, I am able to do some biking.

I bought a bike last June. Just after a couple of times riding I had some quite serious relapses followed. I realized that biking (for me) requires more heart strength. Since my heart is my major problem so I quit bike for long time. However, after feeling more energetically recently, I decided it's time to try biking again. Last Saturday, after one of parents of my students pumped air into tires of my bike (I had some difficult to do that and he was so kind to help me), I started riding bike again. Since then, I biked about 5 times, averagely once per day, and each time about 25 to 35 minutes, and I found myself not only "survived", but also feeling better. It helps my metabolism tremendously.

I don't remember it's been how long I have not enjoyed biking. The last time I really biked was over 10 years ago! Still I cannot ride bike all the way from beginning to end, because I had to stop to walk whenever go uphill (the neighborhood is not perfectly flat), even those "hills" that are not steep at all. Today, when I walked along street a lady stopped car and asked if I was alright. I thought that was very kind of her. 

Anyway, after being tired of recording the progress or declines of my chronic condition, this, truly is a major improvement that is worth for me to write down!
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"Imagined Illness" - Did I Get Enough?

Again today, someone suggested that my illness was imagined. I had to explain, as brief as possible. I thought I wasn't unhappy at all, but found myself a bit frustrated later. Why? Why is it so important to convince people about the truth of what I know?
I guess, after digging deep, it is because - 1, not only "imagining illness" is not my personality, but it is also just the opposite of my personality (During my entire early life, not only I did not imagine illnesses, but also I ignored their existence. I know many normal "tough" people would call 911 if they suffer only 10% of what I suffered); 2, I am still somehow "weak", need some mental understanding and support; 3, For so long time I have not found a clear logic to refute such "theory" effectively.&

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


This morning, I walked around neighborhood about 25 minutes (I thought it was 30 minutes), and came back with perfect heart rate. This is a proof that my heart function has been improved greatly. Also, I have been doing some studio rearrangement these days and sometime I was very tired, then I realized that I could be in big trouble if this condition happen couple of month ago. So I am glad I am much capable of physical work now, even though I still have some other less serious symptoms.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Vegs From Backyard

 It seems ages ago that I ate sweat-potato leaves. Earlier this year I planted some sweat potatoes. For a while I thought them dead, but later they grew up, strong and healthy! I made salad (scald them in hot water first) with some of them today and they were delicious!

Water spinach? They grow fast. I usually make salad with them or stir fry.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lifestyle Change - Getting Up Earlier

Yosemite Valley in the morning
Yosemite Valley in the morning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was always a night person. Somehow recently, I was able to sleep earlier, get up earlier. And I found, with same amount of time, sleep early get up early seems to be more efficient on energy wise. Plus, the morning freshness makes feel like enjoying life more.

Overall, I have not made fundamental change yet. I give myself a score of 65%- 70% on my energy level.
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

B1N1 - Protein responsible for the contraction of heart identified

Heart Muscle Weakness - the Root Problem of My Chronic Heath Condition?

Schematic representation of the atrioventricul...
I had a "perfect" day yesterday, did things more than I expected, and did not feel anything wrong until I was ready to sleep - when that familiar heart weakness (actually "malfunction" is a better word) occurred. And this morning I woke up with a "not much better" feeling, realized my only option was to cancel all my Saturday classes. But, the good thing is, with a sudden enlightenment that came from no where, I realized what exactly wrong with my heart - weak heart muscle!

The reason I believe that my heart muscle is the ultimate "culprit" (at least one of major one!) is, for so long time, I've been always struggling  with my limit of energy - in order to feel better, or get my heart stronger, I have to exercise, but if I exercise just a bit over the limit, I got serious trouble. And this limit seemed to be impossible to figure out, if I stopped at the time I really feel tired, it is no doubt too late. So I really should stop before I really feel tired, say 5 or 10 minutes before, but this is a real problem, because I would always feel good before tiredness really comes, how could I tell when is the "5 or 10 minutes before"? Yesterday was an example, I even felt quite good after all day's busy working. This morning, I suddenly thought about how muscle works - it gets sore NOT during exercise, but AFTER exercise. And this resembles exactly how my heart functions. So I think it must be the weak heart muscle who messed up so many things for so long.

Of course, I also have so many other issues than just heart muscle, but I do have my reason to believe this is a major one. For what I know there is no truly a treatment for this problem but exercise. So, as I understood long time ago, if I want live a healthy life, I must walk everyday!

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Monday, May 28, 2012


I started liking gardening since couple of years ago, and this year, I enjoy it much more than pretty* years. Spending time with all these green is my greatest pleasure during daytime, it makes me feel healthy and alive. Most of vegs look greet so far. 
Below are the photos of one side of my backyard. 

*  "Previous" was mistyped as "pretty". But i guess every year is pretty, so I decided to keep it that way:-)

Modern Myth - Mental Unwellness as the Cause of Physical Unwellness

Health (Photo credit: 401K)

It seems to be many people's belief that mental wellness plays big role in our physical health, even functions as a cause of many physical illnesses. I doubt it. I do believe that our mental wellness play big role in the overall quality of our lives, but not necessarily (a big role) the physical part of it.

Studies show that many people who have mental problems such as depression or anxiety also have physical problems. This result seems to be very convincing about how mental wellness affect physical condition, but for me, it doesn't. I agree it does show the connection - our mental and physical parts of lives closely connect to each others, but, I do not see it shows mental condition IS THE CAUSE and physical illness IS THE CONSEQUENCE. For me, a reversed procedure is much more convincing - that very often mental unwellness is the consequence of our bad physical condition.

By my limited knowledge, the reasons that many people believe mental unwellenss is a cause of our physical health are: 1, modern psychology brought the importance of mental condition to our concern (which is good); 2, many studies show the connections between mental and physical health; 3, the "faith" to modern medicine (in other words, when doctors cannot diagnose a self-claimed physical illness, they blame to patients' mental conditions). But for me, none of these reasons show precisely that mental illness is the CAUSE of our physical illness - modern psychology just stressed the importance of our mental health, it does not necessarily make it as the cause of everything; the connection between mental and physical condition does not prove mental condition is the cause of latter (as I pointed out above), and doctors' failure on diagnosing physical diseases also cannot be a proof of patients' mental problems (rather, it is a proof of the ignorance of many so call "experts:). But why people still easily believe on our mental power? I am not entirely sure, and that's why I call it "modern myth".

One of examples of how people hold such belief is how doctors treat patients with unknown chronic illnesses. Whenever they failed diagnose some diseases by their knowledge and expensive equipment - which they (doctors and many people) believe as "omnipotent" on humans' physical function, they would confidently ask patients: "are you in depression?" And in most case, these patients are unfortunately in depression, at lease when they are very ill. But important fact is, their depression usually is caused by their physical condition, not the another way around:
"we should not confuse the fact that the vast majority of fatigue patients are depressed BECAUSE OF CHRONIC ILLNESS, not chronic ill because of they are depressed. this is a very important distinction and one that most doctors fail to draw... to treat depression as causing the whole illness is wrong" (i would add "is not only wrong but dangerous". ---Edward Conley, author of "america exhausted"

Of course, Conley was addressing those patients with physical chronic illness only. He did not say that all depressions are caused by chronic physical illness. I agree that there are also plenty of depressions are caused by mental issues, not physical ones. All I am trying to express here is, while our mental condition does affect our physical condition to some degree, it is not "scientific" nor "reasonable" to stretch this "some degree" to an exaggerated extent, like many people believe. I personally believe, that compare with our physical condition, mental condition is "secondary" in our overall life quality. This "belief" is based on a simple fact: our physical condition IS THE FOUNDATION of our whole life being. For those who believe our spiritual condition is more important, I would suggest that it is because sometime, or some of us, our physical condition allow us to be "spiritual", and we probably just take it for granted.

Again, I do agree that mental wellness is important to the overall quality of our lives (because it does affect our happiness tremendously), but not as crucial to our physical body function. Just imagining a person who is chronically tortured by physical pain, can he/she by so call "positive"? He/she might be tough enough to hold hope, certainly cannot be happy and cheerful all the time. On the contrary, I have seen plenty of people who have sever depression but still in decent (some are in excellent) physical health. For me, this is enough to show the dominance of our physical condition to our life existence.

And we all know, if our physical body died, we don't even have so call mental health exist, unless, of course, if you believe we have soul, which continues to act "positively" in heaven.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No Time For Depression

Depression Cycle
Depression Cycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many people seem to have a belief that the reason most CFS/ME sufferers got ill is because of their depression. This is mostly wrong. While it is true that patients with chronic (we talked about years, not months) illness would hardly not to get depressed, but which is cause, depression, or chronic physical problems?

Speaking for my own experience, I do not even have time for depression! I have been so busy to dealing with symptoms. Ironically, it was those moment when I got better I did feel some loneliness or depression, but they usually quickly went away either due to either my symptoms attacks or, my natural happy spirit.

However, sometime, during physically not so bad and not so good time, I would feel depressed, for the long last fatigue condition. But, this mood also can be changed as soon as my physical condition changes, either for better or for worse - if my physical condition changes to good, I would involve in some activities which lighten me up; or, if physical condition gets worse, I would be again busy on "problems solving".

I do not think I am the only one in the CFS/ME world. I believe that most CFS/ME patients would be in a similar way: inevitably feel depressed/frustrated DUE TO seemingly forever sick situation. I read this passage from a book and I think it's worth to quote it again:
"We should not confuse the fact that the vast majority of fatigue patients are depressed BECAUSE OF CHRONIC ILLNESS, not chronic ill because of they are depressed. this is a very important distinction and one that most doctors fail to draw... to treat depression as causing the whole illness is wrong" (I would add "is not only wrong but dangerous".
---Edward Conley, author of "America Exhausted"
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Amazing Progress!

Since 18th of this month, my health has been climbing up again, by the "speed of light"!

April 18th is a date that I will not forget, because it is my birthday. What did I do on my birthday? Cutting off white rice, a typical acid food that made my stomach upset almost every night! Of course, rice was not the only cause, all the acid foods I took together made my stomach very sick. However, I was not able to cut off red meat, because if I did, I would feel extremely weak, and the weakness would inevitably trigger my heart symptom. So for longtime I struggled between diet with and without red meat, either way caused me trouble. Just recently I learned that steam bread - a main course that eaten by northern Chinese people, is as matter of fact "alkaline", even though it was made by white wheat. And my stomach did feel very good every time when I eat steam bread.  So I suddenly realized that I could change my main course. And I did, on April 18th, first time in my life I ate like northern Chinese "barbarians" - steam bread all the way! The result was a magic (no doubt they beat up southerners all the time!): the same night I had first non stopped sleep since longtime! And I did the same thing the second day, then another good night sleep followed.

The reason that steam bread give me good sleep is, I think, that its alkalinity neutralized the acidity in the red meat that I ate.

For the third day after I ate steam bread, my stomach started feeling for potatoes. So I boiled some potatoes (with skins), ate it as main course, the result is just wonderful (seems better than steam bread).

I do eat lots of vegs. I know raw vegs would be the best choice but my stomach cannot handle raw stuffs, so I made salad by half boiled vegs (lots of squashes), it works well.

Before April 18th, the date that I changed my main course, my energy level was about 40% - 50%, now, only a week, I am at 75% - 80%  (feels like 85%).

What's even better? I am losing weight!

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Life on the mend

Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After a serious relapse which lasted almost two months (February and March), I am getting better this month. The symptom mostly was my heart malfunction, it immobilized my body for the most of February and part of March. The second symptom was stomach weakness which prevent me to get enough nutrition, and consequently affect my heart's recovery.

I did terrific in the second half of last year and I thought I was on the way out of trouble. What triggered this major attack? By looking back, my answers again, is "multiple causes": The first one I would think was my thinking/writing hobby, which made my body lacked exercises, hence my heart suffered; the second cause I would say it was "coffee". I drank 2- 3 cups of coffee almost every afternoon last year. It overburdened my heart. After these two, there were some other trivial ones, like diet, rest, etc.

Lesson learned again in a tough way. I was demanded to change my lifestyle: thinking/writing as less as possible, engaging in physical activities as much as I could (the problem is that I could not do "too much" physical activities either - right amount of physical activities is beneficial, too much would be the worst nightmare, and the line in between is almost "invisible"!). This pretty much means to change my personality. But I have no choices. Without a healthy body, I could not enjoy my colorful mind. So while my body is on the mend, i hope my life is also on the mend.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Falls Lake

Having been hungry to water view for longtime, I finally got chance and energy to go to Falls lake, a place that is only 25 minuets drive from where I live. The trip was "delicious, but not without "price".

It was unbelievably warm and windy. I wore short t-shirt, felt like Summer, but, it's only February!

Friday, February 10, 2012

An Unexpected Relapse

Road bed in the Long Pond Greenbelt
Image via Wikipedia
My January of 2012 was pretty bad, compared with previous "success" - I did feel wonderful during most of last summer and fall. Now it seems that I am in a more serious condition than I expected: my first major relapse in more than one year. I have nothing to do except rest, and rest again, because my heart simply doesn't allow me to do anything.

But I know things will be better. All I have to do is good rest, and good diet. I roughly have idea what was the cause this time - not much different from before. And I know very well that just because I know the cause, it doesn't mean I could prevent it from happening again, because... well, it's complicated, even a daily normal life can contain tasks that overdraw my energy. But again, I know I can deal with it, it's just a matter of time.

It seems that I do need to live a much more "reserved" life style than what I had before: accept the difficulty, spend much more time on cooking, sleep longer (as much as I need), never sit still for too long, and super important: do not challenge my body, exercise must be less than I estimate.

This relapse doesn't discourage me much, if not any, because my whole last year was a steady improvement. All these mess was caused by my recent negligence due to my feeling so well before the end of last year.

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Friday, January 27, 2012


Lifestyle Network
Image via Wikipedia
(Current energy level: ~70%)
In a Chinese forum an online friend said that all diseases are just warnings that our bodies giving us,  telling us that our LIFESTYLES DO NOT WORK! I think this is a very true (Except the "all" part)! For my own case, I am fully convinced that 90% of my health problems are caused by my bad lifestyle. So changing life style is just what I need. Even after I recovered completely, I shall still keep in good life style: never sit down for too long! Always keep enough physical activities!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter - a season for storing energy

Since a middle scale relapse over one week ago, I realized the most important regimen for me during the season is REST. I have been doing well on following this rule, no exercise except stretches or simple housework. I started feeling quite good for a couple of days.
I am convinced that during my past several of years "exercise" was my primary cause of all problems. "Exercise" became a "faith" since almost 10 years' ago, when I first realized walking helped my heart. However, my health situation changed along time but my "faith" did not catch up. Now, mentally I have completely come down and able to put all of elements together, I seem to find the simple solution, which was there always, but never truly appear to my observation until I was ready.
However, the past year was a major progress, mostly due to my careful diet. This year, I certainly look forward for a more completely improvement. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Relapse

After couple of weeks "hard" working, I had a relapse for couple of days. I would score it 7 (10 would be my worse). However it didn't last long, as I know the reason and I also coped it with right strategy.
Now I know my summary of 2011 end with 90% of my energy level was a little too optimistic.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My 2011

Oh I! from Gary
Image by aliweb_gt via Flickr
It was a year of improvement! I had no major relapse and my energy level steadily climbed up from less than half (beginning of the year) to 90% (end of the year).

My last relapse occurred in middle of August of 2010. That was a cruel battle and it forced me to see my blinding spot in my diet, which I believe was the last missing piece of my health puzzle. Since then, by adjusting diet alone, I recovered from the worst symptoms, and my energy level was lifted up to over 70%. During late summer of 2011, I found my diet alone might not be enough, so I equipped my diet with supplements - Calcium and multi-vitamin. The result was positive - soon my energy level climbed up again to around 90% during the fall.

However with overall a upward progress, I still had often some small relapse, which usually took several days to be recovered.

I believe 2011 was the turning point of my "middle age adversity", during which my health went toward positive direction. Of course, after all these years' struggle, I no longer expect a sharp end point of my chronic condition, rather, I prepared for a long journey which requires the utmost patience. So I look forward patiently for more improvement in 2012.
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