When I air the struggles of being an entrepreneur to my friends, they say something along the lines of “Trouble in paradise?” They seem to consider starting your own business to be really fun, until they think hard about why they’re not doing it. The reality is that trying to take your “idea” from concept to product is like the fleeting joy of gliding on thin ice. It’s just another rat race except you need to build your own legs before you run. Then you add in Cari and I being very much chronically-ill (she’s having a particularly difficult time right now), and we’ve had to compromise in ways that we wouldn’t have if we weren’t.
One of the biggest risks is forming an equal-ownership partnership that just doesn’t mesh well. But I don’t think any of you really want to hear about our behind-the-scenes struggles, so I won’t air them. What keeps us in the game is moral responsibility and our belief that it would help patients make better treatment decisions. For now, that’s trumping personal differences. (FYI Cari and I have no beef whatsoever. I still think she’s a Disney character though.)
To wrap up the heavy stuff, I just want to say to our followers and readers: thank you thank you thank you for your patience.
Holiday Fakin Bacon
I hope everyone had a good holiday season. Holidays for patients can also be captured as “trouble in paradise.” My holiday consisted of returning home for the first time in years, meeting up with friends, and….not much else. A typical holi-day for me: wake up, eat, conserve energy, meet up with a friend, decompress, eat, decompress, sleep. (Was that a OMG me too moment for you?)
My definition of meeting up with a friend: Act normal. When they ask how you’re doing, respond “Better, it’s all relative right?” Ask questions about career and dating, be ready to respond that you’re single and happy. Reflect on stories from the past that have zero relevance to the present. Smile often. Post pictures on facebook and stare at the screen until you get 5 likes.
But in the middle of all that decompressing, faking, eating, and sad attempts to sleep, I discovered raw goat milk (next step: apply for Amish student exchange program.) Claravale sells raw cow’s and goat’s milk, and I’ve been dying to try SCD legal raw goat yogurt after an epic failure using the Myenberg brand. This one went down like a champ (and no gamey taste!)
If you’re in California, here’s a list of stores that sell it: claravaledairy.com/store_list.html. I’ve found http://www.realmilk.com/real-milk-finder/ and localharvest.org to be other good sources for locating the raw goods (which are illegal in many states, so check with yours.) Finding this alone was worth the trip.
Love Rainy Days and Long Walks On The Beach…Just Not Together
On the flipside, I discovered some not-so-happy news after camping out on the orange county coast after the rain, feeling sicker than usual, and smelling nastiness in the air. A surfer then told me they’re actually advised not to surf after it rains because of urban runoff. This is when those drains you see on your streets (aka storm drains) get flushed out directly to the ocean. Urban runoff can actually be worse than sewage because it’s totally untreated.
According to http://www.healthebay.org/about-bay/pollution-101/urban-runoff: “Urban runoff is the largest source of pollution to Southern California’s coastal waters.”
Ew. In other words, I’m never camping out by the beach during rainy season again. And can Southern California not hire monkeys to conduct urban planning please? San Francisco actually processes urban runoff (Pft. Liberals and their long-term logic.)
But for every McNasty a patient takes in, there is the attempt to Yang it out with detox. I’ve been hitting up natural mineral hot springs lately and trying out Hydrotherapy, which is alternating between hot and cold water multiple times. Everyone thinks I’m nuts at this spa, but ice plunges after saunas are really popular around the world (thanks Finland!), and one of the guys that laughed at me promptly got a bloody nose from staying in the spa for an hour.
The evidence that it works? I feel rejuvenated after spending a total of 40 min-1 hour in 105F water, instead of like boiled soup. There is the obvious benefit of cold water constricting your vessels after the hot water dilates them (which is why some POTS/OI patients can stand for longer in freezing cold temperatures), but cold adaptation also benefits on a much deeper level. It is well-known that most neuroimmune patients are deficient in MSH and adrenal function:
“Cold thermogenesis actually strengthens adrenal function by increasing alpha MSH levels across the entire genome and really is the key to the biochemical pathway.” - http://www.jackkruse.com/cold-thermogenesis-6-the-ancient-pathway/