More low-cost ways to get my act together

I’ve been thinking a lot about what a wreck my life was, for so long.

To this day, I find it hard to believe how messed up I was – from just a bump on the head. Some days, I find it hard to believe that I ever had those kinds of problems.

But I did.

Crazy wild emotional swings. Violent outbursts. Meltdowns on a semi-regular basis.

Pain and light and noise sensitivity and headaches, as though the world were ending.

A terrible, terrible memory, and a nominal level of interacting with others.

Holy crap – things are so much better now.

I am so much better now.

The things that have helped me, have been very low-cost (in terms of money), but they demanded real dedication and discipline.

  • Making up lists for what I was going to do each day, and sticking to those lists.
  • Getting enough exercise by moving as much as I could, when I could – and doing it regularly, so I had a cumulative benefit.
  • Eating good food that I fixed myself. It was cheaper, and it trained me to sequence and handle things in logical orders. It also taught me to keep my cool under pressure.
  • Being honest with myself about my shortcomings.
  • Being willing to try again, each day.

I’m tired. I’m running out of steam.

That’s it for today.

Good night.

Vitamin D3 is your friend

Vitamin D3 is your friend - learn more at Found My Fitness -

Vitamin D3 is your friend – learn more at Found My Fitness –

#1 Takeaway: Vitamin D3 is essential for brain health, healing, and a healthy system. If you read nothing else, please make sure you get enough Vitamin D3. You can get it at any drug store or supermarket. It’s possibly one of the cheapest ways to heal up and stay healthy.

Including brain-healing and brain-healthy.

And it’s made a huge difference for me.

Now, for years my Vitamin D3 was low. My doctor (rest their soul) measured it each year and told me to just take 3,000 IUs a day, I’d get better. But they never explained to me exactly *why* I needed to take my Vitamin D3, other than it having to do with my bone density.  So, I never actually took as much as I needed, and sure enough, year after year, my numbers went down… and down… and down… dangerously low. And I stayed that way in the interim, which can’t be good.

This is the doctor who just passed away last month after an 8-month battle with sarcoma. I really liked them, yet in some respects, I felt I wasn’t getting proper care. And if they hadn’t passed away, I would be working with another doctor. The Vitamin D3 thing is a big reason for that.

All the while I could have been checking intermittently to see how I was doing. But it wasn’t until I’d been low-low-low for something like 3-4 years that they actually scheduled follow-up tests. And then my levels bounced back. Because my neuropsych explained to me some of the importance of Vitamin D3 to cognition and feeling like a normal human being… and I also did some research on it.

But did my doctor (rest their soul) tell me any of this?


And that is a huge problem.

I’m going for my annual physical today. I’m 4 months overdue, because I was waiting for my doctor to return, which they never did. I’m going back to the same practice they were at before, because they have all my records, and I don’t feel like starting from scratch right now. After I have this physical and get my blood drawn and get my numbers, I’ll move on. I’ve found some doctors who look like possible candidates, and I’ll be interviewing them over the coming months. I take my health very seriously, and I am on a preventive care mission, to keep things from spiraling out of control like they have before… and also to make sure I am healthy for a long, long time.

I’ve just now come out of the woods with my TBI issues, and I don’t want to squander any more time on needless suffering and drama.

Vitamin D3 is a big part of it. I take 3,000 IUs religiously each morning – with my calcium-magnesium, B-Complex, Glutathione, Taurine, and a probiotic with 45 billion little bacteria to keep my gut healthy. I started with the Glutathione and Taurine a couple of weeks ago while I was on vacation, and I can’t sense any detrimental effects, so I’m going to keep taking them.

The king of them all, however, is Vitamin D3. I’ve been listening to Rhonda Patrick talk about it on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Here’s a video of it — it’s long — 3 hours. But the first hour has a lot of good stuff in it about Vitamin D3.

Apparently, D3 controls a whole bunch of things, and according to a theoretical paper by Dr. Rhonda Patrick, low Vitamin D3 could be implicated in things like autism. It’s all very complicated, but seratonin is involved, which is also related to gut inflammation, and it also has to do with other conditions where the gut is inflamed.

And I wonder if low Vitamin D3 hasn’t played a role in my brain not functioning properly — as well as often having been taken for autistic by people who just met me. I know I have a lot of abdominal inflammation — that’s another thing that my past doctor (rest their soul) said, every time I went in for an annual checkup. They noted it, but they didn’t actually take steps to do something about it. It’s like they expected me to tell them what to do.

I dunno. So much of the research is new and emerging, it’s hard to keep current, but if there are persistent issues that show up every single year and don’t change over time — and those issues can be connected with other health issues — then it seems like a prudent thing to actually do something about it.


I think so. And after today, I’m looking for another doctor who will take a preventive approach — not treat the human body like an overly complex system that cannot possibly be understood by any one person. That’s like saying, because I don’t understand the minutiae of electricity, I  shouldn’t change the lightbulbs in my house, turn off the lights when I leave a room, or use energy-saving appliances. It’s like saying, because I don’t understand precisely how your car functions, you shouldn’t clean it or put gas in it, or do preventive maintenance. You should only take it to the mechanic when you hear a sound you cannot explain, or you break down by the side of the road.

People take better care of their vehicles than their bodies, by and large. If we know how to take care of our cars, why not apply those same principles to taking care of our bodies?

And why not take Vitamin D3? Seriously, the cost is so low, and the benefits are so immense, it only makes sense. It might even help clear up cognitive/behavioral issues for you — like it did for me.

I cannot say enough about this. And the more I listen to Dr. Rhonda Patrick talk about it, the more convinced I become.

Take your Vitamin D3 people. It is the one thing that will look out for you, when no one else will.



A little pain… for a lot of gain

The more you put into things, the more you can get back

The more you put into things, the more you can get back

Sorry in advance for the rambling nature of this post. I’m very out of it — haven’t been sleeping well, and lots has been going on.

I’ve been watching videos and listening to podcasts by Dr. Rhonda Patrick while I work out, lately, and I’m learning a lot – especially about the biochemistry of the brain and how to augment it. She talks a good deal about brain health, nutrition, exercise, the benefits of sauna, and hormetic stress (where you introduce a bit of stress to your system to kick in adaptive responses that actually make your system stronger).

I’ve been a big believer in the hormetic approach for years – stress inoculation fascinates me, and hormesis really appeals to me, as well. And then you have the Stoics, who were all about training your system to not get worked up over the things that don’t matter, so you can better attend to the things that do.

It’s just common sense to me, and it’s great to find people online who are on the same wavelength.

I got a good dose of stress yesterday. But it looks like it’s going to pay off in a big way.

I’m kind of wiped out today. Yesterday I bought a new (to me) car — it’s a small 2006 SUV that lets me sit up higher than I have been in my little compact commuter car. It’s got everything I need — which is not terribly much. The biggest change is that it has power locks and windows, as well as A/C. My old car has crank windows, manual locks, and no A/C, and it rides very low to the ground. It hasn’t been a huge problem, over the past 10 years that I’ve had it, but when it’s been a problem… it’s been a problem. There’s only so much you can do on hot-hot days — and when you’re driving through the heat to important appointments, stopping along the way to pay tolls or just get out and stretch your legs, not having any A/C or power windows and locks and having to climb in and out of your car, can be pretty taxing.

In a way, it’s been good for me. It’s forced me to work at things that others take for granted. And it makes me appreciate luxuries like a good view of traffic and air conditioning, all the more.

But it’s also been a pain. Literally and figuratively. It’s so low, that I had to build up the seat with folded towels and a pillow, to keep my hips and legs from cramping in excruciating pain.

It’s become increasingly clear to me that I need a “grown-up” vehicle. And I got one on Saturday. I now have a car payment, after 10 years of being free of that. So, that’s a change. But with the money I’m saving on insurance and other cost savings at work, it’s not going to sting terribly much. It’s going to set back some of my home improvement projects, but that’s okay. I needed a new car.

So, today I need to clean out my old car, find the title to hand over (I’m trading it in for a pittance – but then again, there are a ton of issues with the vehicle that all add up to thousands of dollars of work), get the garage cleared up, so I have a place to park, and make sure money is in the right account(s). I have to shuffle a bit of dough between the mortgage account and the everyday expenses account, which I’ll take care of later this morning when my bank opens at a local supermarket. I love these 7-days hours. It really saves my bacon.

Anyway, that’s the excitement. I’m pretty wiped out from yesterday, because it took a lot out of me. And then I found some pieces of furniture that were on sale at an antiques place for a fraction of what they usually cost. That involved more running around, making arrangements to move them, etc. I got them home, at last, and I need to clean them up in the coming days. But that may need to wait till next weekend when I have the house to myself for 3-4 days.

With all the activity that’s been going on, I am really looking forward to a few days of solitude and peace. As much as I love and adore my spouse, they are a lot of work, and it’s going to be great, not being the one and only person who has to do all that work.

It will also be nice to catch up with myself and kind of level-set on my life. Getting this new car is like another piece of proof that I am getting better, and that I have something to show for all the work I’ve done. I’ve had this car about as long as I’ve been struggling with TBI issues after my fall in 2004, and there are many, many parallels between driving that car and keeping it on the road, and recovering from TBI. All the challenges, the difficulties, the extra work I’ve had to do… It’s been very much like driving a car without any power controls or A/C or reliable heat, and needing to go about your everyday life.

Getting this new (to me) car is yet another sign that I really am getting better, and that I am able to recognize and enjoy that for what it is — real progress. And that’s hugely gratifying.

Best of all, the vehicle is rich gold color, which makes me feel rich in countless ways.

Well, it’s turning out to be another beautiful day. I think I’ll go for a walk in the woods before I run my banking errands.

I physically feel like crap from being so wiped out from yesterday, but I know things are going great, so that balances it out. And I’m hoping a walk in the woods will clear the cobwebs.


Yes, indeed, onward.

And then I hit my head (again) – now I can’t sleep

Man, this is so messed up. When I think about it, I start to get pissed off. And then I remember what getting really pissed off does to me, and I back it down a bit. I get my mind off it. I think about other things. I redirect the energy towards something constructive – like working out.

Or thinking things through and coming up with a workable solution to problems in front of me.

Last week, when I was getting ready to come home from vacation, I was loading my car, and somebody pulled up right behind me, almost blocking me in. I could swear they were looking for a fight, because when I asked them to just pull back six inches, they got all defensive and “explained” to me that they were trying to leave room in the back for someone else to park. Looking behind there car, there wasn’t even enough room for one of those little Fiats. Maybe a scooter. But no, they were adamant that they needed to park that way. And when I asked again, they said some sh*t that questioned my ability to drive, if I couldn’t pull out of that spot.

I was tired and hurried, because I had all of 10 minutes left before we had to be out of the condo unit, so I just told them to forget about it. They wanted to keep talking it through, but I didn’t have the time, so I dismissed them and just decided to take care of my own stuff, rather than waste precious time on an prolonged discussion with this lonely-hearts type person.

I f*cking hate people who start arguments just to get attention. I really do.

I could just barely open the back of my van for that last load, and then I was done. I grabbed the gate and pulled down hard…

You know those moments when you have a fleeting sense that something is amiss, but you can’t think what it is? For a split second, I had a feeling that something wasn’t right…

And then >clunk< – the corner of the descending gate caught me on the top front of my head.


It wasn’t so hard that it dazed me. I didn’t see stars. It didn’t feel like I got my bell rung. It just hurt like a motherf*cker, and it was at the worst possible time for something like this to happen. It’s also one in a series of bumps to my head that I’ve experienced over the past few months. I keep hitting my head on car doors… while getting in… while getting out… while packing for the trip home…

I stopped for a moment to feel my head to see if I’d drawn blood, but there was none. Not even a bump or a knot. It felt like I’d dented my skull, but my pate is pretty bumpy and knotty to begin with, so I couldn’t tell if this was a new or existing dent. The whole area around where I hit my head hurt, so I had a hard time telling where exactly I’d gotten clunked. (Interestingly, almost a week later, I can tell more clearly where I got hit. It still hurts. And it seems like there is a definite dent there.)

The thing that really got me was the cascade of muscle tightness in my head, jaw, neck, and shoulders. Everything started to tighten up and cramp. My jaw got really tight, and ever since then, I’ve found my jaw clenching more than usual. I need to do something about that. It’s not good for my teeth. Or my relaxation. I’ve noticed it’s really hard to relax, when my jaw is tight.

We got out of the condo unit in time, and then we headed for the beach. I couldn’t tell that anything was different with me. I did feel a bit more antsy than usual, but I chalked that up to leaving a beautiful vacation spot for my usual home…as well as the company of a friend who joined us for one last afternoon on the beach. We drove home late, got in late, and that was that.

Back to regular life.

Things have been going pretty well, overall, and aside from some residual tightness around my skull, I haven’t noticed many pronounced differences in how I feel on a regular basis.

One thing that does stand out, however, is that I’m having a harder time getting to sleep at night, and I don’t feel as rested when I wake up. I can’t seem to sleep like I had been before. I’ve been antsy and agitated, and I haven’t A) been able to really relax, or B) felt like relaxing. The thing that gets me is that it has a cumulative effect, so I need to not let it get ahead of me.

On the bright side, I’ve been very motivated to get things done. On the downside, I’ve been feeling really scattered and despite going-going-going, I feel like I’m getting less done, which is tiring on top of everything else. I can’t let myself get as tired as I used to. It’s no good for me. And I can get hurt again, if I’m not careful.

So, what to do? The main thing is to really get how this is affecting me, and do something about it.  I can’t leave myself in ragged shape. Gotta get moving and do something about it.

That includes making a point of getting good rest. Not staying up late and getting up early.

It includes eating right (which I have been) and getting good exercise (which I have been) and making sure I rest well and don’t just push myself like a crazy person, 24 hours a day.

It also includes finding a new doctor. I’m going to find an osteopath, rather than an M.D., who works with the whole body to adjust and align things. I’ve had it with M.D.s and the whole mainstream AMA medical establishment. They’re way too dysfunctional, and I need to find a provider who makes a point of understanding how the body is put together — not just what medicines will do what for which condition.

So, I’ve got steps.

The day is waiting. Onward.

Going to get my taurine… and probiotics… and exercise

Gotta get some new stuff to work with

Gotta get some new stuff to work with

So, I’ve been listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast with Dr. Rhonda Patrick, and it’s pretty amazing stuff. Google it or search on YouTube. I’m not going to give you the direct link, because you should find it yourself – and beautiful things can happen when you start searching.

You’ll probably find more info out there, than I can point you to, anyway. It’s all about initiative, focus, and follow-through. And if you’re like me, you’ll go off and start searching, find a bunch of stuff that is both more relevant and a total distraction… and then 30 minutes later, you’ll realize that you were really looking for that podcast, and you have to regroup and refocus.

Which is all good practice, anyway.

I’ve been listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast (Powerful JRE), and in between the talk about MMA and smoking pot (which I don’t, for personal reasons, as well as what I’ve seen long-term smoking do to friends), there are podcasts featuring really smart people who know a lot about how the human system gets damaged — and how to fix that damage.

Dr. Mark Gordon is one of those people. Dr. Rhonda Patrick is another one. And they’re all talking about head trauma, what it does to you, and how you can mitigate the effects.

And in the process of learning more, I’m finding other information. Like how the amino acid taurine helps you grow new brain cells. Apparently, it does a lot of helpful things – and if you don’t have enough of it, it’s not great for you. That’s bad, in fact.

I’m also getting confirmation from scientists on the JRE podcast who really know how to explain things to the rest of us, that’s confirming what I’ve read and believe – in ways that really stoke my determination. Exercise has become even more important to me, thanks to their on-camera talks, and more specifically, interval training is taking center stage. I’ve been more active in the past six weeks than I have been in quite some time, thanks to the fitness centers and the pool at work, and I’d backed off on my morning workouts. But now I’m back to them, especially on weekends, pushing myself harder than I have in quite some time. Just really making myself work does wonders for my mood and alertness, over the course of each day.

I’m a little out of it this morning (workout notwithstanding). I had a long and busy week, and then I was up late last night, getting some must-do items out of the way. I also woke up early, and I’m groggy and foggy. I’m not a big fan of feeling this way, but by this afternoon, I will be on a beach, probably lying down under the umbrella, just chillin’. I’ve got a week ahead of me to balance out a little bit of work with some major chill-time, so that’s something to look forward to.

The main thing is, I stay aware of my surroundings, I take care of myself, I don’t rush, and I just be deliberate about every.little.thing.

I can’t afford to have an accident or get hurt, and I’m sufficiently depleted and spacey, that it’s a definite risk. I also can’t afford to not do the things I need to do. I’ve got errands to run and bags to pack and vehicles to clean out, before I go, so…

The main thing with me, these days, is to keep safe and get healthy and strong. There’s a tradeoff, of course, because it’s tough to get really healthy and really strong without some element of risk … or stressing your system. If you’re pushing the envelope regularly, you’re going to develop in certain ways, and those ways will probably also be accompanied by stress. It’s tough to push yourself past your limits without stress — and a bit of damage.

So, the task at hand is to not back off and avoid stress and risk and situations that test me, but to figure out how to recover better, build myself back, and develop strengths rather than weaknesses.

Some people come up against challenges, and when they fall short (or feel like they do), they interpret it as meaning they’re deficient. And as they face one challenge after another, they keep confirming their suspicions that they’re not up to the task – or any task at all. And they block themselves in, building a wall around themselves that keeps the world out and also keeps them out of the world. Eventually, it keeps them from doing anything and everything that matters to them and gives their lives meaning. They’ve done it to themselves, but they think the rest of the world is to blame.

When I fall short, I take it as a challenge and important information about where I need to improve, in order to reach my goals. If anything, I want those experiences to tear down the walls and give me more access to strengths and abilities I never knew I had before. Sometimes you have to really take a hit, before you can access hidden talents and gifts.

But you don’t want all the hits to tear the crap out of you, so…

You’ve got to build back up. Recover. Be smart about things – which can be difficult, if you’ve gotten hit in the head a bunch of times. I’m lucky, in that I know that I have executive function difficulties, so I can make some really bad decisions, especially under stressful situations or when I am tired. It gives me pause. A reality check.

Speaking of reality check, I’m getting my raw DNA data sequenced online. I uploaded my raw DNA data from to the website, paid $5, and now I’m waiting for the results. It takes about 20 minutes to do it, so I’ll go get my shower and get ready for the day, then check back in.

Fascinating stuff. Largely recreational… and who knows what I’ll find. Hopefully, I’ll get some more data that will show me where I’ve got vulnerabilities, so I can do something about them. Finding out if I’m generically predisposed to Alzheimer’s will change things for me, I’m sure. After all the TBIs I’ve had, I need to know if this could be a problem. It’s always in the back of my mind, but why not find out what the data says.

Anyway, time to get moving. This day won’t move itself.


Amazing podcast – Dr. Rhonda Patrick on the Joe Rogan Experience

This is my latest vice – podcasts with Dr. Rhonda Patrick on the JRE. Check it out. A wealth of knowledge about TBI, head trauma, Alheimer’s, MMA, and more. Watch (or listen) and learn. Crazy good.

Free Concussion eBook Available – download here

Concussion! Now What?

10 Things You Need to Know, Right Away

Concussion-Now-What-Cover-600Download it here

PDF Format  ~45 pages, large-ish print to spare your eyes

Also coming soon on iBookstore, Amazon Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other eBook outlets

According to the CDC, 1.7 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Mild TBIs (concussions) account for 75% of those brain injuries.

As awareness about concussion and TBI rises, and debate rages about the long-term impact of brain injury, policies are changing to prevent the occurrence of concussion wherever possible.

But what if you can’t prevent concussion?

Immediately after you’re injured, what do you do? Where do you turn for help? How do you make sense of what’s happening? What can you expect? The actions you take and the choices you make, immediately after a brain injury, can significantly impact your recovery.

Concussion survivors need help – right away, to prevent further harm. But they don’t always get it.

This guide provides information on the Top 10 things I wish I had known, when I went through my own concussions.

With the right information and proper care, it is possible to make good choices, recover from concussion and get on with your life.

TBI Treatment Coverage Should NOT Be “Optional”

Lt. Cdr. Scott Mitchell, officer-in-charge of the Carl R. Darnall Traumatic Brain Injury clinic at Fort Hood, Texas, helps a patient practice with a balance board at the clinic’s Functional Rehabilitation Center

Unless people are living under a rock – which I guess a lot of people are – the question of whether or not TBI treatment should be accessible to all should NOT be optional.

Neither should it be at the discretion of insurance companies.

I know that we’re “still learning” about effective treatments, and the science is still out on some of them, but there are enough approaches out there that have shown great results, that it should NOT a question of whether or not to treat TBI — rather how best to treat TBI.

Of course, no insurance company is going to go for this, right now. But at the same time, I would think that some private foundation or non-profit would realize how important it is to pony up the funds to treat this very treatable condition. Yes, it can be chronic and long-term. Yes, there will likely be ongoing needs and maintenance activities. But it is manageable with the right approach(es), and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t simply be done.

Let’s do the math around this.

Say you’ve got a qualified, productive worker who holds down a job that makes them $50,000 a year. They participate in life, with their income flowing back into the economy, and their presence contributing to society’s overall health. Say they have a family — a spouse and a couple of kids, a mortgage, a college savings / retirement fund, and a couple of cars in the garage. Their spouse has a job that earns the same $50,000.

All in all, their total “dollar value” to society is around $100K – plus the interest from their credit cards and the long-term value of their college expenditures. And that’s not including the intangible value they bring to their community. They contribute to the well-being of their employer, and they make their company’s ongoing success possible.

Now, let’s throw TBI into the mix.

Long story short, they lose their job in the six months after their injury. The employer is in it for $100,000 (which is the cost to replace a seasoned worker), and they’ve also lost a top performer who contributed a lot to their ongoing success.

The spouse is now carrying the whole financial burden for the family, as well as everyday logistics, which puts a strain on them and makes it practically impossible for them to function at their customary level at work. The spouse’s employer has now also lost a valuable member of their workforce, and between the time lost to caring for the now-disabled spouse and their reduced productivity, the employer has taken a hit.

Our TBI survivor goes on disability, which costs the government x-number of dollars, and their behavioral, cognitive, and other related problems at home cause their kids a ton of problems, so they end up acting out at school, which puts another drain on the overall system. The kids need counseling, which puts another strain on the system, and given the hell that goes on at home, it’s anybody’s guess whether it’s actually going to work.

Eventually, the TBI survivor does something really “brain-injured” in the presence of the wrong person, and they end up in jail. They go into the legal system, and eventually they end up in prison. That’s another $100K per year society needs to spot them for. And that’s not even accounting for further problems with the kids.

Any number of wretched scenarios can come out of this. And it happens everyday. With people of all walks — and especially veterans (why, by the way, sacrificed so my for US, so that WE can live in peace and prosperity).

All this happens because TBI treatment is in the dark ages… and the techniques that have been shown to work — or at least show promise — have been marginalized as “fringe” so that self-respecting doctors everywhere shy away from them.

As a society, we get what we deserve when we allow this to persist.

But the TBI survivors and their loved-ones? What exactly did they do to deserve it?

The idea that treatment is “unavailable” and inaccessible because of cost is unconscionable.  Yes, some of the treatments are expensive. But people pay far more for things like cars and bottles of wine, than TBI recovery for one person would ever cost. The money is there. And the opportunity for a real “return on our investment” is there, as well.

It just needs to be a priority.

Joe Rogan Experience #574 – Dr. Mark Gordon, Matthew Gosney & Jason Hall

Talking about the work Dr. Mark Gordon is doing with vets