Or “stop trying, already.”
What is a guy to do when he finds out that he’s royally F’ed up his blood pressure, but doesn’t really know why? How does a guy proceed when all the typical allopathic tests show that he’s otherwise healthy, but still might be risking an aneurysm or stroke just by waking up in the morning? Where does a guy (or gal) turn when he doesn’t know where to begin? That’s a really good question. But first…
In a visit to the average medical laboratory, bless their hearts, you’re likely to get some extremely, and I mean extremely, important information. As a result of these visits, you are essentially going to get a snapshot of the really high-level screeners and risk-factors present in your chemistry. These are extremely important, but also extremely non-specific. The types of tests that you get will give you very broad information about silos of specific information, but it will not tell you what’s going on in each one of said silos, nor the specificity of the information therein.
These tests will only tell you if there is something wrong, and in most cases (but not my own), they will even tell you where to look or not look. What they will not tell is what, exactly is wrong. Once there is an indocator of a major problem in a soli, the proper medical procedure would be to crack open the most logical silo and start searching around for the exact problem using more tests. (It just so happens that, in nearly all of my rounds of testing, not one single silo indicates that it needs urgent attention…hence my arrival to today without a diagnosis, nonetheless any direction.)
Let’s take, for example, one blood test called C-Reactive Protein, or CRP for short. We’ve all got a little bit of it floating around our blood, but generally we want it to remain low. When CRP rises, it indicates inflammation in our system. But where? From what? and for how long?…so basically…WHY!?
Many many many of the test that we get eventually trace back to a “why”. Your CRP is low, that’s good, but why? What got you there? Is it because you’re genetically gifted in certain enzymatic reactions? Is it because your gut-lining generally handles gluten better than most, even though you eat bread three meals a day? Or maybe it’s because you live an extremely low allosteric load type of lifestyle and your body just generally doesn’t need to inflame itself to fight things off all the time. Maybe, just maybe, you’re actually healthy.
Or, on the flipside, what if your CRP is high? *Gasp* Why? Where is it coming from? Is it leaky gut? Maybe you went on a bender two days before this test and your alcohol dehydrogenase pathways (responsible for clearing alcohol from your system) are inefficient due to some deficiencies or genetics. Maybe you’re gluten intolerant, but not fully celiac. Maybe you live off of sodas and Kit Kats. Maybe your stress load is so high that you’re incapable of healing to your fullest capacity. Or, in a crappier scenario, you’re in the early stages of a life-threatening illness. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
Do you see what I am getting at here? I live in a world where people “try” gluten free, they “try” chiropractic or physical therapy or massage or IMS. They “try” this thing before bed, “try” that morning routine, and “try” the ketogenic diet.
“I think I’ll just try a month of things that start with “C”, I bet that will work. I’ll try CrossFit. I’ll try a Chiropractor. I’ll try a coffee enema. I’ll try on Celiac’s Disease. I’ll try coconut oil. I’ll try cruciferous vegetables. I’ll try cold immersion. I’ll try carrot juice. I’ll try, I’ll try, I’ll try….”
Stop trying, already.
I am astounded that people will generally try things for dozens of years, only to find out that none of it “worked” the way that they thought it did, fixed their problems, or magically changed everything about them. Dag, yo. I was really hoping that the Atkins Diet would give me my marriage back. To many of us, this isn’t shocking. But to many of us, this sounds like our story. Some of us going through diet extreme hell, while some of us pray extremely hard to the diet deities that “the others” will gain to common sense to make it a “lifestyle, not a diet”. And then some of us just don’t give two poops about this conversation because we’re healthy enough as it is.
Well let me tell you this, because this I know for sure.
If you’re not assessing, you’re just guessing.
It’s not to say that there are not truisms across the board. Smoking is stupid. Broken bones are bad. Lacerations bleed. We get it. But there are things which are just blatantly not applicable to every person in every situation. For scenarios such as mine (and many others), the optimization of health status is more appropriately approached with a game-plan tailored to the war. Hence, we must first assess the landscape upon which we will wage our war if we are to tactfully engage and subdue our opponent. We must study the enemy, study the battlefield, and know ourselves fully if we have a chance of progressing our cause. And I have every damn intent of being the champion of this cause.
Bringing this back down to earth, where do I begin? With a true and honest assessment, system by system, joint by joint, structure by structure, piece by piece.
This is the first installment of a 5-ish part series about my assessment and plan of attack. I have had numerous people send me private messages, texts, and phone calls asking, “Did you think about this?” or “Have you addressed that?” or “I experienced this”. And I truly, honestly have appreciated every last person reaching out after my first blog post went live (and was viewed by waaaaaay more people than I expected). And here’s the answer to all – every single one – of your questions:
“Yes, I have thought of that. Thank you for asking.”
Having gotten pretty well nowhere with the medical diagnostics, and assuming I never will, it’s time for me to stop looking for indicators of a pathological process in my body and start looking for ways to optimize my health status, piece by piece.
It’s time to build a new Benjamin.
Even though these are not entirely written yet, here is the index for my plan. It’s actually my planning plan:
Part 1: Genetic Reporting and Historic Evidence (and what to do with it)
Part 2: Hormonal Indicators (and what they likely mean for me)
Part 3: Food Sensitivity Tests (and how I will be eating as a result)
Part 4: Spiritual and Emotional State (and how I think it relates to my physical health)
Part 5: Autonomic Nervous System State (regulation thereof and…coffee?)
Part 6: My Physical, Bodily State (and how to become superman despite the interesting history)
Part 7: My Food/Supplement Regime (and why it’s for me specifically, not you)
Part 8: My Lifestyle Design (to make Part 1-7 integrate flawlessly)
Part 9: Longevity, and 2020+
When every one of these goes live, I’ll come back here and link up the new article to make sure it tells like a story. Every single one of these Parts will start with an assessment. I don’t want to spend any more of my time just “trying” things, and hoping that they’ll do well for me. Good guiding principles will get you far, and I think I have a good grasp on those. However, I am in a precarious health situation that I am no longer willing to mess around with.
I am going to get specific.
I am going to get particular.
I am going to get free.
I am going to start from scratch a build the ultimate Benjamin.
Along the way I plan on sciencing a lot and telling a lot of stories. Hopefully I’ll be helping you a bit along your own path to breathing life-giving fire from your lungs, oozing enchanted awesome-sauce from your pores, and spitting up-lifting words of empowerment from within your very being.
It’s go time.