Expectable Declines


I thought I'd keep some notes as I age, to help others guess what might happen to them. Here you go:

Sports lost:

  • Football 1979 HS, the All Star game was the end for me.
  • Discus 1979 at Golden League Finals, done.
  • Wrestling 1980 at Stanford in the gym with Dave Schultz, got destroyed and went away.
  • Skiing stopped after 1983, after torn ACL 1977.
  • Ballet 1981 Stanford class ended my career
  • Tennis 1981 Stanford class ended my career
  • Basketball 1988 before ACL reconstruction surgery at Penn.
  • Whitewater Kayaking 1982-1998 upon move to Seattle disconnected me from the Stanford Kayak Club where I taught rolling, but mainly because of subscapular bursitis. You can't just overdo stuff forever.
  • Table Tennis 2016 with torn distal bicep, returned 2019 briefly, then the coronavirus pause. (But! I'm back now.)

Time continuity

I've noticed my experience of watching the second hand on an analog clock has changed a lot since youth. I recall the experience that the movement was continuous, that is, experienced as continuous. Then I started noticing intermittent discontinuities. I used to say, my mind went from continuous time to discrete time, but it's more complicated. Now I feel there is a hierarchy of sub-perceivers where, perhaps, some are keeping up to date in the continuity of change but lacking memory of the sweep, and other(s) are watching at a longer time scale but lose the sense of continuity, and my attention such as it is can sometimes pay more attention to one, sometimes more to the other. At 60, discrete time has become intermittent time.

um

I'm not really sure why I haven't heard what old people went through as they got older. But only a few things came through, spoken or noticed.

Uncle Onol said he had to suddenly stretch his face in order to shave it, and that was a little weird to him.

Dad, when standing at the beach step to the sand, just jumped down, about 3 feet. Okay he was a little demented maybe, but he carried the expectation in himself that of course he could jump down and still handle the balance and trajectories. Why not?! Well he fell over and I had to pick him up, but god bless him he was game!

Eyesight

Continuing this essay in the evocative year 2020, eyesight is a big change for me. I have worn prescription glasses from age 10 because of the short-distance reading I did so much, but my eyesight has been really excellent once corrected. I remember getting new glasses every couple years and looking at the trees in the distance and seeing snap into stereoscopic clarity every detail, leaf, and branch a hundred yards away. Recently I got new glasses at CostCo and a quite buxom optician put them over my ears whereupon I discovered myself staring no longer blindly at, truly, a vision of cleavage, face turning quite red I looked away to pretend to focus in the distance. Well, yes.

As my eyes get gradually worse, they become more farsighted, through my 50's the point of transition from glasses to no-glasses has moved a bit away, from here to bicep to elbow to wrist. Now I am part-time typing on the laptop without glasses, because it's clearer.

The point is that I grew up and long lived with a certain sense of reality based on a reliable and trustworthy visual capture of the space around me and everything in it. Like, I'm part of this world, and I know it, because I see it. Well, that's a very uncertain sense at this point. I'm adjusting here, raising my head there, to bring the bifocals into focus, deciding that's not very good, half the time nothing is very good, and the two eyes are not the same at all, though at different distances one will be better than the other. It's weird to be forced into a subjectivist, you might say, weak, experience of reality, after being so confident of my connection with it for about 45 or 50 years.

Diet

Phase I. I was a freakishly gross, rotten vegetable and fruit fed baby; Mom had no sense of smell, and felt moral success by using free or recycled fruits and vegetables. Thank god I don't remember, I can only imagine. Anyhow my sister and I both have weird paranoid disgust reactions to any kind of translucent vegetables. Imagine a half-rotten peach: half translucent. Not for me. So no, I still have never eaten a kiwi; find all melons disgusting; took until my middle 20's to tolerate tomatoes outside of ketchup.

Phase II. Thai rice and nam-pla (fish sauce) gobbling toddler and preschooler. In Bangkok, raised to be a Thai gentleman by Som Rue and Su Ni and Boom. I'd say, I want rice! in my high chair, and they brought me rice right away. Mmm.

Phase III. American military brat food. Ketchup, white bread, peanut butter with sugar. The trustworthiness of Pop-Tarts. Meat, white foods, yes; no vegetables. Ugh.

Phase IV, In college, stretching to eat barely eat some Tomatoes. I became a vegeterian, a really bad one. You can eat vegetarian at McDonalds with Milk Shakes and French Fries. 10 years through grad school.

Phase V. Corporate chicken diet. No beef, no mammals. Maybe starting to touch broccoli. Around this time I decided I could cut fat or sugar but not both, so I'd cut fat. No more cheese. Lots of carbs. Carbs heaven. The pinnacle of this? A liter of pepsi for lunch. Cheapest alternative!!

Phase VI. I heard that the Harvard recommendation was corrupt, saying sugar > fat, was paid for by the sugar industry. So I went the other way, low-carb, no-carb, unrestricted fat and protein. Bacon and cheese but no half and half because that has lactose. After a year, Total Cholesterol 289.

Phase VII. Keto Vegan. One month later, Total Cholesterol 153, with 5mg/day of Lipitor/Atorvastatin. I hate Lipitor. Three months later on 0mg/day Lipitor: 225. Then 9 months of 5mg/day Lipitor and Keto Vegan and total cholesterol was still 155-ish when they put me on the treadmill, watched my face turn gray, pulled me off to ultrasound me and send me over to the Cath Lab for a stent. See the photo, 95% occluded. Well that was genetic not dietary, Dad had the same, Andrea has the same, it's where the artery goes through one of the membranes around the heart, which in our case is a thicker stronger tougher membrane while the artery gets to be a softer weaker older artery, and gets the squeeze. Very different from cholesterol plaques plugging it all up everywhere. So I understand.

Phase VIII. Vegan + Anchovies - SimpleCarbs. They forced a statin full dose on me because of the stent, despite my just having proven it's not needed, but I made them switch from Lipitor/Atorvastatin to Rosuvastatin which I tolerate, even hardly notice. Anchovies because the nutritionist said low-end fish for the fish oils, and No Simple Carbs because of the nightmares and nighttime headaches, which are tightly correlated with even small amounts of sugars.


Hi Steven,
My health/diet trajectory turned left at different times of life.
  • Anti translucent vegetables, under influences before age 4.
  • Anti meat at age 20 under Hindu influence.
  • Anti fats/cheese under corrupt Harvard pro-sugar influence around age 25.
  • Re-acceptance of chicken & fish (non-mammals) at work in sales, age 32.
  • Prazosin prescribed for PTSD and nightmares to allow going to sleep age ~54.
  • Heart palpitations at night started, found related to carb intake. Age ~55.
  • Low-carb/no-carb discovered to solve nighttime headaches age 55; bacon/cream/meats Keto/Paleo started with Liz age 56.
  • Vegan keto after cholesterol measured 290, started age 57.
Your thoughts?
  
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