Health Jeremy

A New Year, A New Me

I’m really not even sure where to start writing here as the last six months have been something of a blur and I really couldn’t tell you much of what happened beyond highlights. So I shall skip those six months and start at today’s beginning, because the beginning is wherever we want it to be, no?

For those who may not be aware of my situation, about a year ago, I suffered a cardiac arrest and had a close brush with death. Tomorrow, I’ll be having surgery to have an S-ICD (a type of implantable defibrillator) implanted. It’s taken quite a while to get to this point, and while I’m relieved that it’s finally happening, I must admit that I’m a bit frustrated by the delay. I had a lot of plans that I had to put on hold until this surgery could be scheduled, and I’m eager to get back on track.

Now that it is (finally) happening I am able to move forward in finding a good use for my precious days, and believe I am fully on track to meet the deadline I set for myself, even if I don’t truly know what that entails. Winging it has always worked out well for me thankfully.

It’s almost like I am at a transition point between a life I used to live, and the life that is right in front of me. This really isn’t a bad place to be.

Health Jeremy

Day 11 – Gratitude

Pins on my laptop bag.

I didn’t used to understand gratitude. What little time I spent thinking of it was generally followed by a brief moment of confusion before moving on to something else. I had no idea what I should be grateful for, nor who/what I was supposed to be grateful to.

Now I have a reminder every day at 9pm to pause for a moment of gratitude. I now realize I don’t need to express gratitude for any particular thing, or to any particular person/thing. For me, expressing a moment of gratitude is more of a pause in the everyday life where I force myself to contemplate my existence for a few moments, which inevitably ends up making me a bit happier. I guess you could say I experience a moment of grace.

I wish I had known previously how powerful this simple action could be. I would have started quite a bit sooner. It’s easy too. As this article tells us, it’s a simple three step process: Stop. Look. Appreciate.

Yes, the world is full of bad things. It’s also full of good things though. Thinking of one does not mean ignoring the other. So I would implore you to add this 30 seconds a day to your routine. You just might like the outcome.


Day 3 – Body KPIs

Most of my day job revolves around metrics, which is really just monitoring Key Performance Indicators – KPIs – to see where systems are going sideways. Since I now have a deep desire to understand my body more, I decided I wanted to monitor some KPIs for my body. While I end up gathering tons of datapoints, I mainly focus on HRV, resting heart rate, and respiratory rate overnight as these seem to be the most impactful to my overall wellness.

I use a few different wearables (and one app) to gather all these datapoints:

Whoop – An interesting, if somewhat expensive, concept. It’s a wrist band worn 24/7 that monitors a number of different KPIs but then breaks them down into Strain and Recovery. The key metric I watch with the Whoop band is my Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which is a surprisingly accurate summation of how I’m feeling, and it also measures my respiratory rate when sleeping.

The band also functions as a BLE heart rate monitor, but it is not the most reliable for that.

You can get a free Whoop band and the first month of service free here.

Oura Ring – I really like the Oura ring. The battery life is pretty tremendous for a ring (I get 4-6 days at a charge) and it does a fantastic job at monitoring my sleep. I will say though that, months into wearing it, I still notice it. It would be nice if the ring were a bit slimmer as the profile is juuuuust thick enough that I frequently notice it when typing.

Garmin Instinct Solar – I only really use this for two things: telling the time and measuring my heart rate, with the super nice feature of heart rate alarms. If my heart rate gets too high or too low, based on thresholds I’ve set, then a rather annoying alarm goes off. Considering my heart isn’t the healthiest in the world, this is a super nice feature that Holly really appreciates.

Oh, and the battery life is almost two weeks, which is absolutely phenomenal for a smartwatch.

Welltory – I really, really like this app. It basically measures your HRV in detail and then presents a very accurate graphical representation of how you are feeling.

I’d really love to get this consistently working with my Whoop band via BLE, but in the meantime I perform the measurements with the camera on my finger tip without issue.

In the end, I spend a lot of money on these things monthly, and once my Whoop band commitment is up (you commit to 6 months to get the “free” band), I’m going to have to decide whether to keep the Whoop or Oura. I’m not sure which will win out just yet…


Day 2 – Pills & Supplements

I take a lot of pills and supplements every morning now. Eighteen pills to start; six prescription and twelve over the counter supplements, all of which the pharmacist (from my nice large team of doctors) agrees with. It’s nice when my research lines up with actual professional opinions.

Then six grams of D-Ribose powder dissolved in my morning smoothie, and another prescription medicine every evening in addition to the morning pills.

I also recently started using full spectrum CBD oil every morning, and have noticed a positive measurable difference in my body’s KPIs since then. My mood has improved quite a bit since then as well, so something there is working.

When I type it all out it seems like a lot, but it helps when I continually remind myself that I’m a big fan of Better Living Through Chemistry and they’ll all help me live longer – some of them much longer – so I’m not really complaining.

Alright, maybe I’m just telling myself I’m not complaining, because I’m not sure I would know if I’m complaining really. I do like complaining at times though. It’s evidently a hobby of mine.