2011-0824 Wednesday

SUMMARY: A day of experimentation with sugar, and logging the sensations surrounding it, in an attempt to see if there are any discernible patterns.

I couldn’t sleep after waking up at 330AM, feet feeling uncomfortably warm. I finally got out of bed and tried dowsing them with cold water and letting them dry off in a fan, which helped, but I decided to just get up. My stomach was feeling queasy anyway from the fried chicken I had (never again! until next time I cave in to this vice).

0330 to 0415: shower, go downstairs, answer a text on my cell phone, close-out yesterday’s SOC post. I am actually now feeling sleepy, so maybe I will go back to bed after having some water.

0415 to 0830: SLEPT

0830: Awake! I hit the snooze button a bunch of times, too. It was difficult getting out of bed. I ran through the list of reasons why this might be:

  • Low blood sugar? Possible. My stomach felt empty, which meant that anything in my bloodstream was probably stored or possibly depleted, so stored energy might be being used.
  • Mental weariness? Possible…my head felt a little dizzy and fuzzy.
  • Body tensions? My back felt OK, if not great. Shoulders felt tense. Overall, muscles felt like they could use some exercise. Going to the gym for a 45 minute cardio session would help wring out that feeling.
  • Lack of excitement? I wasn’t exactly excited about doing work, and that probably was the main contributor.
  • Dehydration? Likely, based on my monitoring.

I stood up, and felt a little woozy and dizzy. I wandered over to the guest room and flopped down on the bed there. Which I noted was kind of dusty, so after a few minutes I got up and doused my head in the shower. That helped. Went downstairs and ate something. Felt a bit better.

Thinking about yesterday’s exploration of sugar and the brain, I wondered if this is just the way my brain feels when it’s not adequately supplied with glucose. The problem: I’m probably diabetic (need to get to doctor) and sugar spikes + insulin response works against having alot of sugar in the system. For the first time, I realized that my body literally needs to get in shape to maintain peak mental performance. Before, I assumed the body was tied into the brain just by being an alternative part of my body that could also feel good. But knowing that the systems are tied together is pushing me toward exercise and better diet now.

1015 to 1030: I had a meeting at 1030AM, so I got in the car and started the 10 minute drive. While in the car, I tried to start-up the rapid-fire thinking process I had experienced yesterday in the drive through Middleton. It had felt like my brain was running flat out at speeds I’d never pushed it to, and it had been kind of a rush. I’d noticed afterwards, though, that I couldn’t seem to rev the brain back up to those speeds. I tried drinking some sugar water, as if I were a fat hummingbird, to see if I could kickstart the brain back into high gear, but it didn’t work. I want to get that back! My brain may not be running on enough fuel, or the fuel system itself is incapable of delivering the optimum mix of nutrients because I’ve neglected my body. Harumph.

1030 to 1200: Meeting

1200 to 1500: Hang out at Sid’s Studio, catch up on the last couple of weeks. What to work on now? Oh, right…the website joomla conversion. But took a nap.

1545: Made it home, and am about to test some sugar reactions.

I haven’t eaten anything all day except breakfast at around 900AM, which was one egg, some corned beef hash w/ potatoes, two slices of toast with margarine. Didn’t have coffee except for a sip. I had a small bottle of water, maybe 12 oz. It’s been about six hours.

I’m about to have a cup of regular Coca Cola, one sugar cookie, and a roll of “Smarties”. The way I feel right now is slightly tired, and impulsive. I want to click on things and I don’t feel like working in particular. It’s hard to focus on the work, which is some tedious Joomla to WordPress conversion. I have no idea how Joomla works, so I’m just going to roll-up a WordPress theme very quickly from “view source” of the existing HTML. Whee! I am guessing it will take about 3-4 hours for me to do it, which is a wild guess. Physical sensations: tension in the upper back between the shoulder blades, and the shoulders. I’m sitting. Eyes: not tense. Eyelids feel a little droopy. Headache, slightly up on the left and right sides of my head, about 45 degrees up from the 0 axis, behind the eyes but in front of the ears. Some tension in the jaw, mouth around the back and front upper teeth. Body muscle state: slightly rubbery feeling, not shut down, but not filled with energy. Stomach: feels like it’s mostly empty, but has some acid in it. My whole head feels achy and tired when I close my eyes,…I feel like I’m wearing a mask of dullness around the eyes, and temples, like there is some kind of pressu being asserted. Maybe 3-4 pounds worth? But it’s not localized to a point. Where the sensation is not: back of head. Top of head. It’s primary around the front and upper sides of my head. Maybe something right in the center, but it’s hard to say with certainty.

I’m slightly sleepy, in other words, and am finding it difficult to think about work.

OK…LET’S EAT THE COOKIE! Starting Timer at exactly 4PM.

I really anticipated it. It’s a sugar cookie with white frosting and sprinkles. Soft. Kind of dry. Pretty uncomplicated. A hint of vanilla? Hit the spot. I feel like eating another one, so I will. And now I’m washing the cookie down with two measured cups of Coca Cola with ice. I then got up and went to the bathroom (judging myself slightly dehydrated). Also brushed my teeth so they don’t rot from the sugar.

  • 5:00 The headache has changed. Stomach is actively asserting the “I’m hungry!” signal. I was going to chase the coke with a roll of “Smarties”, but the idea is disgusting to me at the moment. My tongue, though, just salivated at the thought. I’m now aware of a sensation at the very TOP of my head. It’s a different kind of pressure. The side of the head pressure is still kind of there, but the pressure a the top of the head, which feels more localized and insistent, is present. I’m still sitting, having just come back from the bathroom.

  • 8:00 The side headache is still present, and I feel a tightness in my upper rear molars. The sharp sensation at the top of my head is still there. I am also hungry, or rather my stomach is rumbling slightly.

  • 9:00 Not really much change. I’m going to try to get back to my Joomla conversion. To help me start, I’m writing down the steps on a post-it pad.

  • 9:45 A sudden impulse of “I’m sleepy”. My eyes briefly closed. The impulse was like a sudden weakening of my consciousness, and it lasted for a beat. Less than a second, like WaaAAAAaahhh.

  • 11:00 I feel my desire to work slipping away, but this might not be the sugar response. I have also suddenly become aware of warmth in my feet. Still sitting, so I moved toward the light to see if they had changed color or anything.

  • 12:00 An overall cloudy feeling is descending over my head. There’s some tension in the back of my neck. It feels like, when I close my eyes (which feels good) that the pressure at the top of the head and side of the head have blurreed together and spread.

  • 13:00 Eyes still closed, sitting at keyboard. A kind of slow ebbing and rising of senssations. THe sides of my head are “pulsing” with the sensation. It’s almost like NEGATIVE pressure. I’m also very aware now of a new sensatio that I’m having trouble localizing.

  • 14:00 The new pressure is more localized, and it’s above my eyes and also behind them. The sensation of tiredness has spread into a kind of helmet if pressure. The top of the head feeling is still present, but not as noticeable. The front temple pressure is difficult to detect. The rear pressure is more noticeable. It’s just behind my ear by an inch, and maybe an inch upward. It feels like a light vise pressure.

  • 16:30 When I opened my eyes nad have started to look around, I noticed that focusing my eyes was a little more difficult. I just had another “urge to close my eyes and lie down”. There is also a pressure in my chest. It might be gas.

  • 16:30 Another thought of “sleeeeep” came to mind. Go, cookie, go! The sharp “rear of ear” pressure has started to dull and spread. I’m aware of pressure on the right front at the top of my head.

  • 18:30 The pressure, for the first time, is not feeling symmetrical. It’s lower-mid on the left side, and higher frontal on the right side.

  • 19:30 The sensation seems to be diminishing. Arms are feeling a little rubbery. I am starting to feel kind of impatient. Still thoughts of taking a nap are coming over me. I am wondering now if this writing is distracting my brain from actually working. I have to write down the post it note for action.

  • 20:00 Thought started to wander away, but I caught it. The writing down of these sensations seems to be holding my focus.

  • 21:00 the thought that I should breathe deeply occurred, so I did. Head ache is kind of moving around my head. The left side is now feeling pressure near my upper front teeth, the upper left, and the lower right molars. Assymetrical!

  • 22:00 ok let’s do the post it pad. Took two minutes to write three things, before the cat attacked with a love and attention thing.

  • 24:00 left leg feels jumpy and jittery. Feel urge to jump around, but also am feeling tired. Cat is burring against my face. Feeling of well-being. Eyes are closed, though. The pressure in my head, though, is GONE. Still feeling sleepy. Maybe now is the time to PUSH ON THE WORK. But first, giving the cat a great big hug. And thought about cooking some meat for dinner. Still hungry.

  • 25:00 I’m feeling a little more energetic. Some pangs of pressure in the head, back at the top. But I’m feeling clear headed. A little restless, even. I feel the urge to type REALLY FAST.

  • 26:00 Still feeling like I want to sleep, and also feeling restless. Hugged that cat for 2 minutes. Felt like having coffee. And am starting to feel sorta impatient. I want to DO something.

  • 27:00 Took the cat for a walk around the living room. Feeling warm. Opening patio door. Still feeling kind twitchy. Procrastinating now…should start the work. Focus seems to have improved.

  • 30:00 Initiated iTunes, playing familiar songs that I like. Brain is automatically starting to track the bass line. May switch to electronica later. Sudden surge of sleepiness, but ignored it.

  • 31:00 copied an old theme, making a new theme from it. Fought urge to check email…procastination! Feeling urge to move body. I’m stretching a lot.

  • 35:00 More chest pangs. Not pain. More like pokes. Hm. Started singing along to the music. It’s helping keep the brain from freezing up I think…music is setting some kind of pace. It’s contemporary Gospel music, recorded live at South Africa.

  • 40:00 I think I can say that the sugar rush has been withstood, for two cookies and about 12 oz of Coca Cola. The fuzzy-headedness that I had before eating the cookies has subsided somewhat. Still kind of mentally tired, but I feel like I’m in a slightly better place. But not sure how MUCH better.

  • 42:00 Still experiencing the occasional “YOU MUST SLEEP” message. And truth be told, I would love to take a nap. I think though that this is resistance to doing the work I have to do…so I will try ignoring it and will focus on just executing a clean template as quickly as I can.

  • 1:05:00 I seem to have weathered the storm, and have transitioned into coding…

  • 1:19:00 I am feeling remarkably clear-headed. In flow? The groove?

  • 1:50:00 I am starting to feel a little sleepy again. It might be because I’ve hit a snag in the coding, trying to figure out how best to do this conversion. It’s annoying. Mostly it’s a sense of tiredness. This might not be a bad place to stop.

  • 2:00:00 My head is feeling pretty clear…the sleepiness passed once I found a thread of code exploration to investigate. When I have a clear idea of what to do next, and am motivated enough to explore it, I seem to maintain focus and interest. I also have decided to have a cold fried chicken breast (Banquet frozen chicken I warmed in the oven yesterday). Nibbling at it.

  • 2:05:00 I wonder if I am unconsciously squinting at the screen. Is this causing the eyestrain and headache? The chicken tastes really good. I’m drinking some leftover coffee from the morning too, which is probably a bad idea, but it has been in the fridge and is nicely chilled. It’s non-dairy creamer and splenda.

  • 3:25:00 Feeling sleepy again, and I am going to let myself stay sleepy.

1925PM to 2000. Relaxing a bit. I’m starting to feel sleepy, and the sensation is an overall tiredness. It’s not centered in one place. The head, in fact, doesn’t have any headache or anything. Maybe a kind of sluggishness overall. The face feels like it wants to droop. The eyes want to say closed. But it isn’t a battle to stay clear-headed. At 8:15PM I ate two turkey sandwiches (two slices of oatmeal bread apiece, with about 2oz of turkey) AND two more sugar cookies. Wondering what’s going to happen. Restarting the timer. (reads 4:24:00 right now).

  • 0:01:15 – instant acid stomach! Doesn’t feel good.

  • 0:03:00 – beginning of side front headache, very dull. Feels like pressure. I’m just playing STO. Drank some water.

  • 0:06:00 – Stomach feeds acidic. Not a pleasant feeling.

  • 0:33:00 – I am feeling relatively ok, despite residual acid-feeling in stomach. I’ve been playing some STO, doing one of the most in-depth missions. The pattern, so far, seems to be 30 minutes of initial surge, but then if I can outlast it by keeping mentally active in some way, I’m OK. If the pattern holds, the next 30 to 90 minutes could be productive. I probably should not have eaten this late.

  • 1:14:00 – Wow, time flies. I’m getting sleepy. But what IS sleepiness? A low energy state? An overall mental weariness. It feels like the brain has slowed down a bit. The eyes aren’t tracking what it sees as easily as it did earlier on. It’s like I’m no longer really paying attention to the world around me. If I wasn’t playing this game, my attention would be reduced. Must go into the mirror universe and save the day! In the next 15 minutes!

  • 1:50:00 – Well, that mission took 30 minutes. Time to sleep now.

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p>It’s now 2215, past my 10PM bedtime. I am mindlessly clicking on things on the Internet, because my brain doesn’t want to STOP. Let me describe the sensation…

  • Well, it just is that I don’t wnat to go to sleep. I feel like I am still full of some kind of energy that makes me want to zombie-like press buttons. Maybe it’s a low blood sugar state, or a mental exhaustion state. But for some reason, sleep isn’t being triggered, though my brain is tired. Perhaps it’s an unbalance with the body.
  • It does feel like there’s energy in the body that hasn’t been used up. Maybe I need to just sit in the dark for a while. I’ll try taking some melatonin too tonight and see if that helps. These computer screens are AWFULLY bright.
  • There may be some kind of mental relaxing exercise or ritual I can do. Maybe it’s reading something aloud? Or maybe it’s washing dishes? Maybe if I wash out the cat dishes, I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something that’s nagging me and can go to sleep.
  • Actually, the sense that there is unfinished business might be what’s keeping me from wanting to go to sleep. Sleep is like prison, or something I wish I didn’t have to do. But yet, my body really needs it.

Oh well. It’s 2225 now. I’ll wash the cat dishes and see how that goes. Shutting off the machine.