Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Upcoming Tests, Predictions and Treatments

Next week, I will shell out some major cash in another effort to try to find the smoking gun:

-Vitamin D (2 tests).  I predict there will NOT be a deficiency but there is a possibility of an issue with bio-availability.  In any event, Vitamin-D in supplement form is a NO.  Cod liver oil is my only chance here.  I'll take a few teaspoons in liquid form.

-Vitamin C- I've been taking this stuff pretty steady in recent weeks so I think it's a good bet that it has at least edged into the normal range.  If it remains low, do I take ascorbic acid or Whole Food C?  Whole Food C is the recommendation but I'll go with the most effective option, which remains to be seen.

-Ferritin- I expect to see continued improvement here.  The question is how far am I away from the optimal range? In theory, the Cal citrate should be helping and so should cutting out all lactoferrin. If I remain stubbornly high, my options are a liver flush first then blood donation.

-Hepatic Liver- This is a liver enzyme test.  There is one in particular (ALP) that may very well be high.  If that's so, a liver flush may help and GB-3 may help as well.  I've already ordered the GB-3.

That's all for now.  In the near future, I will be interested in Genova Comprehensive Profile, which is the only one that I know of that tests sulfates in writing.  If it is indeed high, it's probably a wasting issue rather than an excess.  I'll have to investigate what to do about it.  The only things suggested were a zinc deficiency, which seems unlikely and a Vitamin D issue.  I'll know more about that after this test and the treatment will be Cod Liver Oil, not D-3.

Liver flush- We'll see what the ferritin says.  If it's high, the theory is that the ferritin will be dumped out and fall significantly but the Iron and Copper will likely rise.  Fortunately, I know what to do about that.  It may impact my Vitamin C tolerance at least temporarily.  I hope I don't have to do it but if all else fails, it's viable.  The first 2 detoxes were very effective.  The last few were not but that was 2 years ago.  I could be due for another one.

Still have options left but if everything comes back normal, my path to recovery will look bleak.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Training 12/5-12/11

12/5- Went with all ascorbic acid today.  Finished 4 miles at Gold's in 30:37 (7:39 pace).  On 2 pills, I was doing an even 7:40 then finished with a 7:37 after popping a 3rd pill.  That's not a significant difference so I'm going to stay with 2.  It is possible but unlikely that I can handle B-vitamins again if I cut it back to 1.  We'll see.  Also, I tried Thym-Adren (adrenal suppressant) last night and my energy was definitely knocked down a notch but it wasn't an instant disaster.  I'm curious about how I'd do on an adrenal stimulant.  The modulator doesn't hurt me but it's ineffective.
-Next round of tests will be early next week.

12/6- Same workout as yesterday but this time, the wild card was the adrenal glandular.  Came through 3 miles in 23:55 (7:58 pace).  Very stiff and significantly worse than yesterday.  Had to fight hard just to come in under the Mendoza line.  Popped the adrenal glandular and was considerably WORSE.  At least I know it's not the answer now.  Slipped to the 9:00 range and could not even hold that.  I cut off the watch after a half mile and treated the rest as a cool down.  May need to cut out the ascorbic acid.

12/7- Unplanned rest day.  Legs feel like steel beams.  It's either the ascorbic acid or the caffeine or both.  I can handle some caffeine occasionally but if I go 3-4 days on it, it's trouble.

12/8- Took just 1 ascorbic acid and immediately felt much worse.  Most likely, that does it.  I'm going with the Whole Food C at lowered doses.  I'll try again on Sunday with just a trace.  Massive headache after just 1 day off caffeine but stuck it out.  2 miles in 19:40 (9:50 pace).  Should be better tomorrow.  In other news, I got into the NYC half so I've got 3 months to get well.

12/9- AM- 2 miles back on Whole Food C just looking for modest improvement and got it with a time of 16:55 (8:28 pace).  MINUS 82.
 PM- Began feeling different by the afternoon and improved to 23:53 for 3 miles (7:58 pace).  Again, I had to fight pretty hard just to get under the Mendoza line.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Rant: Race Relations Part 2

There are some on the Left who believe that whites are irredeemable because we have racism in our DNA.  I vehemently reject that bigoted point of view.  Nobody is born racist.  You have to learn that nonsense down the road but you can unlearn it too.  Nelson Mandela agreed with my views and said the following prior to his death in 2013: "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

How does one learn racism?
IMHO, it is a two-fold cause.  First, it can be taught by parents or peers.  Second, it can be learned through negative experiences with a particular group.  While we can debate whether or not "racist" is the appropriate term for those who posted such awful anti-white sentiments on the video that I shared in my last post, there can be no dispute that all races are capable of  hate and bigotry towards others.  Like I said, BOTH sides need to make changes.

Best ways to unlearn it?
While I believe that civil rights and racial equality certainly should be taught in school,by far the most important thing is positive experiences.

My background:
I grew up in a predominantly white middle class neighborhood but was raised by parents who believed strongly in racial equality and taught it to me from a young age.  I did have a few childhood friends who were racist and it turned out that their parents were as well.  Fortunately, I never bought into it.  I also believe that if you had a close friend who is black (which I did), you are less likely to grow up to be racist.

A couple experiences:
One day I was walking down the street on my way to the convenience store and said "Good morning" to a black teenager.  His response was "F--- you white bitch!"  I was HURT.  Let's say this sort of thing happened with regularity or I was a victim of the "Knockout Game" on multiple occasions.  I'll admit that I could fall prey to hatred.  Fortunately, I don't see that happening because the vast majority of blacks that I know are good people.

Another time, I exchanged smiles with an older black woman who worked in my building in Monty.  That's common in the South and I usually don't give it much thought,  This time the smiles got bigger and heartfelt as we got closer.  As I walked by, she said "Come here," then gave me a hug.  You can't help but like that type of person.  Now let's say that I was raised by racist parents or had some negative experiences.  It would be very hard to hold on to those views after meeting and getting to know someone like I just described.

Advice for Whites:
What I hear most on social media is to show more empathy and I agree with that assessment.  Being pro-police and having compassion for the shooting victim's families are NOT mutually exclusive.  You can say to simply comply with orders and you'll be okay and that's certainly true.  However, after the fact when emotions run high, those words can be hurtful especially if a person lost a close friend or family member to violence, which is common in the inner-city.  Regardless of a person's criminal history, it is tragic to see anyone killed at such a young age.  I met a man who was once a drug dealer but experienced a conversion to Christianity and is now a pastor.  Some people change.  I would also encourage participation in outreach projects in the inner city.  If there's anything I should add to this, let me know.

Advice for Blacks:
Here's where I could get in trouble.  Again, I have compassion for victims of police brutality but IMHO the biggest problems are absentee fathers and gang bangers.  You can say that police violence hurts more because they are paid to "serve and protect" and I understand your point.  However, some in BLM feel that it's reached epidemic proportions and that's simply not true.  The fact is that blacks are 90 times more likely to be killed by other blacks than police.  Also, when you factor in encounters with law enforcement, there is no real evidence that blacks are targeted.  Chants for dead cops, looting and throwing rocks at traffic are completely unacceptable regardless of difficult life experiences.  

Across all races, you are 8-9 times more likely to drop out of school or end up in prison if you grow up without a father.  The black illegitimacy rate is currently at 72%.  If it would drop below 50%, crime will fall dramatically and educational achievement would also improve with more parental involvement and discipline.  Profiling will also diminish with time.  As an aside, white crime has ticked up in recent years as the illegitimacy rate has increased.   There is a school of thought that negative behaviors such as bad language and horseplay during  class instruction should be acceptable as "part of their culture."  To me, this implies that we are to expect that certain people cannot behave in a respectful manner.  This is a racist point of view.  End the soft bigotry of low expectations. Do not tolerate negative behaviors in the name of cultural relativism.  No ethnic group is inherently superior or inferior to another.

Advice for all:
Make an extra effort to be kinder than necessary to people who are different from you.  Don't give anyone a reason to hate and seek to change the hearts and minds of those that have fallen prey to it.  What makes me sad is that there is an element within BLM that seeks to re-segregate and there are calls for separate housing on college campuses.  What would Martin Luther King say about that?  He had a dream that we could all sit down together as sisters and brothers.

Across all races, if you do the following, your odds of success increase dramatically for both yourself and your children:
1. Stay in school
2. Secure stable employment
3. Don't have kids out of wedlock
4. Don't use drugs

Again, I welcome comments on this but keep it civil.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rant: Race Relations Part 1 of 2

This could be my most controversial post yet but I've got to get this off my chest:
  I am 36 years old and have never seen race relations this bad during my lifetime.  That includes during the LA riots and the OJ trial.  What really made me sad was the open hatred of white people that has exploded on social media since the election of Donald Trump.  Check out this video: (WARNING: VERY BAD LANGUAGE).  Ironically, Trump actually did marginally better than Romney among minority voters.  IMHO, BOTH SIDES need to make changes to work out these problems once and for all. More on that in Part 2.   Here are my thoughts:

Many on the Left tend to view everything through the prism of race and make false accusations of racism where it does not really exist.  That is divisive and needs to stop.  Here are some examples:
- Bush 43 was criticized for calling Obama "impressive and articulate." If he had added "for a black man," then yes it would be offensive.  As it is, I'd say that's a compliment to one individual.

-Michelle Obama went to a store incognito and was upset that a woman of short stature asked her to reach for item on the top shelf "as if she was a store employee" .  Could that be because she is nearly 6 feet tall?  Ridiculous!

-A FB friend (who has since been unfollowed) called Evangelical church services "gatherings of white supremacists" and I've been accused of racism just because I have a southern accent.  Assuming that an entire group of people hold racist views is in itself a bigoted viewpoint.

-Any criticism of a minority, even if it is fair and accurate is slammed as "racist"

While it is true that actual white supremacists voted overwhelmingly for Trump, the vast majority of his supporters cast their vote for other reasons as I explained on my last political post.  Ask the radical Islamists, rioters and gang bangers about their presidential preference.  Yes, some of Clinton supporters were deplorable as well but I would never say that it's half or even a significant percentage.  Has Clinton ever disavowed her unsavory supporters?

Now at the other end of the spectrum, many on the Right wish to ignore racial issues altogether which can come across as insensitive.
- I have little-no idea about life in a predominantly black community especially one that is a high crime neighborhood so I say we need to show more empathy for people who were born into these difficult circumstances.  Birmingham's largest church has teamed with Prayer Force United to perform outreach in those communities.

-Did police who shot the black suspects have a legitimate reason to fear for their lives?  I'll leave that for others to debate.  What is unquestionable is that any person whose life is cut short in his teens and 20s is a tragedy.  I express my condolences to the family of Michael Brown and the others.

-Profiling does exist and I acknowledge that the War on Drugs has disproportionately impacted the black community.  If any readers have been watched or harassed just for being black, I share your outrage and I am on your side.

Now let's shift gears.  I've watched several YouTube videos in which Trump supporters debate Black Lives Matter or similar groups.  Typically, the Trump supporters remain calm and civil while the other side reacts with anger and name calling.  Let's break it down.
First, I dislike the term "privileged" as it relates to skin color.  I've faced hard times and much of it was due to genetic defects and I really don't consider myself to be all that fortunate even though I grew up middle class with above average intelligence.  If you explain that, they will usually say that I am still "privileged" because the "system" is "set up" for me to succeed while minorities are "set up" to fail.  I strongly disagree with that assessment.  Let's look at 2 cases.  The first is real.

-A man who works in my office rose to the rank of Division Manager.  He and his wife, who also works in my building earn a combined salary of approximately $200K/year.  The couple lives in Helena with their young son.  Helena is located about 30 minutes south of Birmingham and was recently ranked among the 100 best places to live in America.  The community is virtually crime free and has a school system consistently ranked among the best in the state.  This is a black family.
FYI- Alabama has changed in the last 60 years.  In 2016, upper-middle class Southern whites are VERY RARELY racist.

-A child was born in the Heart of Appalachia.  His parents divorced when he was a toddler and earn a combined salary of only $40K/year.  The local economy is stagnant with a high poverty and unemployment rate and the school system is poor and underfunded.  This is a white family.

Which person would you say is privileged and "set up to succeed?"  Almost everyone would say the former.  If you bring that up. they will say that the latter case will likely have a good relationship with law enforcement and can loiter around in high end shops and rich neighborhoods.  I say that's not necessarily true.  If you walk into a high end clothing store dressed like a bum, you'll be watched because you appear out of place.  I have not had many encounters with law enforcement myself but have usually been treated with courtesy.  I did have to submit to a full body pat down and bag search when I set off a metal detector at the airport.  Of course, I didn't like it but complied with orders and was on my way in 5-10 minutes.  Up to this point in the discussion, it's still pretty civil.

What tends to set BLM off is being accused of racism themselves and the reminder that we have a black president and a black attorney general. Their point of view is that only whites can be racist because they have the power to systematically oppress minorities. Minorities can only be "prejudiced" and even that is only grudgingly admitted. Same difference if you ask me.  More on that in the next post.  I will NOT downplay the horrors of slavery and segregation and acknowledge that impacts are still felt today.  However, IMO in 2016, there is little to no unavoidable systematic oppression with the possible exception of police profiling.  Despite our past sins, Western culture today is by far the world's most tolerant place toward ethnic and religious minorities.  White racism still exists but it is not strong enough to preclude success in life.  What I would like to know is the following:  What laws need to be enacted today to help minority communities?  Tell me.  I am open minded and will consider supporting your proposals.  Here's what I do support:

-Ending abortion, which disproportionately affects black babies.
-School vouchers to improve education in the inner cities.
-Secure borders to reduce competition for jobs.
-Criminal justice reform including decriminalized marijuana.
-Cameras on police to investigate profiling and brutality.

I welcome your comments but anything abusive will be deleted.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Training 11/28-12/4

11/28- BAD!  Took extra whole food C last night but none this morning and it cost me.
2 miles in 16:58 in the morning.  Only 1 mile in 8:55 in the evening.  One piece of good news is the ADHS (adrenal modulator) had no real effect at all.  My pace was almost exactly the same without it as with it.  We'll see tomorrow.

11/29- Unplanned rest day.  Felt like death all day but did make an important discovery.  The B-6 and Vitamin C cannot be taken together.  It's possible that I can take one at low dose in the morning and the other in the evening but for now, I'm better off not messing with it.  One or the other and I'm going with the C

11/30- Another unplanned rest day.  If I did run, it would be 9 minute pace or worse for less than 3 miles.  All B-vitamins must be cut if I a to take C.  It's either one or the other.  Of course, I could try to reduce the dose of C while staying on the Bs.  For now, I'm going with the C because the test showed it was my most pressing need.

12/1- AM- Came through 1 Mile in 8:24 fading then popped a B12 and was immediately worse.  Slipped to the 9:15 range then quit after 1.5 miles.  No excuses tomorrow.  I'm going all in with the Whole Food C.

PM- 1.5 miles in 13:46 (9:11 pace).  No improvement over the morning session.  No more excuses tomorrow.  Due for the next round of testing in 2 weeks.

12/2- Woke up feeling like death but did get noticeably better after taking the Vitamin C.  Finished with 2 miles in 16:48 (8:24 pace).  That's enough improvement to stay on the current track.

12/3- Least favorite workout:  Trial and error at Gold's.  It appears that winter has arrived here with temps in the 40s- low 50s and rain in the forecast.
0 Vitamin C- 1 Mile in 9:24
500 mg of Whole Food C-8:32 (MINUS 52) with splits of 4:25-4:07.
500 mg of Ascorbic Acid- 7:13 (MINUS 79) with splits of 3:38-3:35.
While the ADHS (adrenal support) doesn't hurt me, it has become almost completely ineffective.  It's quite possible that I was deficient in C all along but the fast oxidation compensated for it.  Do I go with Whole Food C or the synthetic ascorbic acid?  Despite the greater effects from the latter, I'm going with the Whole Food C because it does not raise Iron or deplete ceruloplasmin.  Also, it appears that the Whole Food form takes longer to kick in as evidenced by the strong negative split.  If I had taken the ascorbic acid first followed by the Whole Food, the bulk of the improvement would come first but I still would have seen a significant improvement after the Whole Food dose.  In any event, I'm going with this until it stops working.

PM- 4 miles in 31:38 (7:55 pace).  Not half bad.  I beat the Mendoza line then tacked on another mile.  Relatively even pace (15:46-15:52).  MAYBE this is the key.

12/4-  Opened with all Whole Food C.  I was better than I would have been without it but somewhat disappointing.  On a full 2000 mg, I managed only 15:52 for 2 miles.   If I had done the same workout as the afternoon session yesterday, it would have been mid-32 so that's slightly worse. Then, I took the synthetic ascorbic acid and improved to 15:20 (MINUS 16/mile) despite tired legs.  A 2nd ascorbic acid pill led to a 7:14 mile.  Overall time was 38:26 for 5 miles (7:41 pace).
I'm going with ascorbic acid at least temporarily.  I'll need to take Curcumin every day to guard against Iron overload.  The next round of tests will be within about 10 days.

Distance=20 miles on the week

Monday, November 21, 2016

Training 11/21-11/27

11/21- No doubt now that Whole Food C was another false hope.
AM- 2 miles in 16:44 (8:22 pace) with even splits then got significantly worse after just a trace of C.
PM- Got some clearance and a modest improvement.  Rallied from 10 seconds down to come in under the Mendoza line.  3 miles in 23:52 (7:57 pace).  Not many options left.

11/22- Another trial and error at Gold's with Vitamin C:
0 pills- 8:06 Mile
1 pill- 7:12 Mile
2 pills- Over 9:00
I still need Vitamin C.  How much?  Will it ever stabilize?  If it does, something else will flare up?

11/23- Pathetic 9:40 mile at Gold's then left for home.

11/24- Down to 250 mg of Whole Food C and it appeared to be a good call.  Peter's 3 miler in 22:37 (7:32 pace).  Faded a bit in Mile 3 but was still under 7:45 pace at the end.  A small glass of OJ made me feel slightly worse so if I am to adjust it, the dose will be lowered.
-Considering another Liver flush but will likely wait until the ferritin is re-tested in 3 weeks.

11/25- Peter's 2 in 17-flat (8:30 pace).  In a sudden reversal, I need to RAISE not lower my Vitamin C dose.  That could be good news in the long run.  Took a little over half a pill as planned and was awful in the opening mile (9:15) but improved to 7:45 after popping just 1 more C pill.  This same dosage would have been a disaster just 1 day ago.  Nothing surprises me anymore.
Distance=2.0.  YTD: 1,197.  One more session should get me back into the 1200 mile club.

11/26- Peter's 3 in a moving time of 22:53 (7:38 pace).  My need for Vitamin C continues to increase.  Today, it was apparent even before I started that 2 pills would not be enough so I started with 3 and ran the first half in 11:44 then popped a 4th pill an improved to 11:09 on the back half.  That's a pace of 7:50 without vs 7:26 with the extra C.  That is significant but not a night and day difference.  I have hit 1200 miles on the year, which is more than I did all of last year.  I'd like to finish at 1350.

11/27- Went with 4 Whole Food C pills and finished 5 miles in 38:35 (7:43 pace).  Not too bad.  Still low energy.  Drank a smoothie loaded with C and felt no real difference one way or another.  Not sure if loading will have much impact.  It will just take time.  Again, Vitamin C was the only thing that was significantly out of range on my OAT test.

Distance= 22.0.  YTD= 1205.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Training 11/14-11/20

11/14- AM.  Spain Park Mile in 6:54 (3:30-3:24).  MASSIVE improvement over yesterday thanks to cutting out the D.

PM- Took some Cal and was noticeable worse.  Same old tired Gold's 3 in 24:58 (8:19 pace) and had to rally to get under 25.  I'm sticking with the Cal because eventually I will need it again but the dose will be no more than 500 mg.

11/15- 5 miles at Gold's in 40:45 (8:09 pace).  Decent improvement over yesterday.  Though the pace was just 10 seconds faster, I lasted 2 more miles and had something left at the end.  Yesterday, I was spent after 3.  I've said it a million times.  I'm fine with a slow climb out of this hole.  If I can avoid a relapse, I'll be competitive soon.

11/16- Gold's 5 in 37:57 (7:35 pace).  MINUS 34.  That's a huge improvement over yesterday and actually managed a slight negative split (19:02-18:55).  Still, my reaction is SO WHAT?  If you're a longtime reader, you know I've seen similar improvements from day to day.  I'm not celebrating anything until I am under 35 and can do it consistently.

11/17- Lakeshore 4 miler in 28:32 (7:08 pace).  Nice job.  I started strong and finished strong but even the middle 2 miles were in the 7:15 range.  I cut it a mile short because my hips have been aching all day long.  Not sure what the source of it is but it didn't hurt me in my workout tonight.  I believe I could have broken 36 or at least come close in a full 5 so I'm within striking distance of the goal.  Again, no celebrations until I can do it CONSISTENTLY!  Tacked on a half mile cool.

11/18- Step backward but not a relapse.  Gold's 3 in 23:51 (7:57 pace).  Took off at 7:15 for the first half mile then it was downhill from there.  I did manage to hold it in the 8:10 range over the last 2 miles and I did not need a rally at the end.  Tacked on a half mile cool.  I wasn't sure if Whole Food C was making a difference but after 1 day off it, I know I need it.

11/19- DISAPPOINTMENT!  I overshot the dose on Whole Food C.  It appears that the optimal dose is either 250 or 500mg (1 or 2 pills) or possibly 1.5 (oh goody, cut them in half).  I took 3 this morning and had nothing.  I HATE THESE NARROW WINDOWS!!  Just 1 mile at Spain Park in 7:51 (3:48/4:03).  Granted, it was very windy but even in calm conditions, I would not have been much better than 7:40.
 Afterwards, Vitamin D only made it worse but other sulfur containing pills such as Curcumin and Apple Cider Vinegar did not seem to hurt me.  I thought about jumping in the Magic City half tomorrow but that looks highly unlikely barring a miracle turnaround tomorrow.

PM- Added another junk mile at garbage pace.  Almost certainly out for Magic City tomorrow but I didn't sign up anyway.

11/20- Unplanned rest day.  Did not even try.  Cut it down to 500 mg. of Whole Food C and it still didn't work.  Just a trace of D made it worse.  I may try Cod Liver Oil or another brand of Whole Food C.  Not looking good.

PM- Did 1 junk mile on Wisteria and it sucked as expected.  I will likely go completely off the C rather than try a small dose tomorrow.

-25 miles on the week.  1,183 on the year.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Rant/Rave: Politics

Just a random observation, it seems that conservatives are far more likely to treat those with whom they disagree with respect and civility.  It was quite common this election cycle to be de-friended just for liking Trump’s page even if you never commented on it.  I shy away from politics on my Facebook page but do comment on other posts only if I agree.  Only once have I cut off a friendship because of an offensive view, which was an anti-Semite who honestly tried to tell me that the Holocaust didn’t happen.  I would also do the same if a person was an apologist for radical Islam while railing against Evangelicals and conservative Catholics.  I maintain my no de-friending policy but have unfollowed several people for excessive left-wing posts filled with profanity.  I still care about them and occasionally check to see how they are doing.

 Let’s go back to 2004.  Remember the “Jesus Land” and “United States of Canada” maps.  I heard a talk show host say that she wished Lincoln had allowed the Confederacy to secede so the present day U.S would be more “progressive.”  Forget the fact that most of the black race would have been enslaved for another generation or 2.  Other posters openly hoped for another 9/11 level attack only if it happened in a red state.  Both sentiments were VERY offensive to me.

This time around, it’s twice as bad.  It seems that the far left (not all liberals) have genuine disdain for people with opposing views as evidenced by Clinton’s basket of deplorables comment.  They preach tolerance for different lifestyles yet mock those who enjoy hunting, fishing and going to church.  We’ve got a 50/50 nation with a deep urban/rural divide.  For example, Maryland was a 25 point blowout for Clinton but she failed to win a single county outside the Beltway metro area.  18 of the 24 counties went for Trump.  If you look at New York and Illinois, the story is similar.   Somebody tweeted “Rural America= Stupid.”  Can you imagine if a conservative posted the same thing about the inner city?   

If you’ve watched the news, you’ve heard all the “F--- Donald Trump” and “Die Whites Die” chants and people being beaten just for wearing a Trump hat or T-shirt.  Some victims were young girls and senior citizens.  Several FB friends have posted that they are “terrified” of a Trump presidency including one person who posted a picture of a black man in a cotton field saying Vote For Hillary or else this will happen again.  There is a Twitter hashtag trending that says “Assassinate Trump.”  Sadly, in my experience, it is nearly impossible to have a rational and reasonable discussion with the far left so I expect the divisiveness will continue.  Go down to Cuba and see what happens when your ilk comes into power.  True, the right has said some pretty nasty things about Obama but nothing on that level.

As for me, I consider myself a moderate conservative.  On a scale of 0-100 with 100 being the most extreme right, I’m probably around a 75.  In other words, I’m well to right of center on most issues but usually pragmatic and willing to listen to well-reasoned opposing points of view.  For an Alabama resident, my views are pretty much in line with most of the population so if you are curious about what most Southern conservatives really believe, here it is:

Abortion- Life begins at conception and termination of a pregnancy is tantamount to murder.  The media would have you believe that it is usually not a black and white issue but here’s the truth: 3% of abortions are due to the life of the mother, 2-3% are due to a severe fetal abnormality that may result in a stillborn child, 1-2% are due to rape, 93% are for convenience.    It should be discouraged in all circumstances but forcing a woman who is beaten, raped and left to die to carry the rapist’s child is hard to defend.  Again, these cases are VERY RARE especially with the morning after pill.  The remaining 93% must be stopped. Partial birth abortion is barbaric and indefensible yet Democrats fought tooth and nail to keep it legal.  This may be counter-intuitive but I believe that if the option of abortion is off the table, we will see fewer unplanned pregnancies.

Civil Rights- Hire the best candidate for the job without regard to race or gender and prosecute organizations that practice discrimination.  Work to eliminate all forms of prejudice through positive interaction with those who are different from you.  When it comes to college admissions, I would allow some degree of preference but it should be based on economic disadvantage rather than race.  A minority who lives in the same neighborhood as their white middle class peers should be held to the same standard.  Marginal applicants from the inner city or poor areas of Appalachia may be given slight preference.

Death Penalty- In ordinary circumstances, I favor life in prison without parole for murder.  However, in particularly gruesome or hateful cases such as shooting up a black church, the ultimate punishment is appropriate.  It ought to be enforced surely and swiftly within 1-2 years of conviction with no doubt of guilt.  As a general rule, it ought to be used only for mass murderers and terrorists.

Immigration- Canada has been known to deny entry to tourists who had a recent DUI.  Any country can and should be able to decide who enters and who is likely to thrive if they stay permanently.  It ought to be based on merit and job skills that are in demand as well as shared values without regard to your home country.  In other words, I am not at all against immigration but it must be done LEGALLY.  The border must be secured in a manner that all future illegal immigration is stopped cold once and for all and future legal immigrants must be carefully screened.  As for the illegals already here, they must turn themselves in, pay a fine and submit to a background check or be subject to deportation.  If they can pass the tests, I am fully on board with a path to legal status.  However, I am firm on the only path to citizenship being going back home and going through the same legal process as everyone else. As for refugees, polls show that at least 1 in 8 Syrians have a favorable view of ISIS and a larger percentage do not accept basic rights for women, gays and other religions.  Yes, most are peaceful but it’s NOT just a TINY minority that are dangerous.  If you don’t believe me, look at the Pew Research polls and see for yourself. 

Taxes-Capitalism may be unfair but history has proven that it’s the best system we’ve got to lift people out of poverty.  I will not go as far as to support a flat tax and am strongly opposed to a regressive national sales tax but I do support making the income tax flatter and lower for all wage earners including the top 1%.  When it comes to the top 0.1%, which is largely composed of athletes, entertainers and CEOs, yes I would be open to them paying a little more especially if it increases revenue.  I support cutting corporate tax rates as well as capital gains taxes for ordinary investors but a hedge fund manager who makes millions per year should pay the same tax rate as the top bracket.  It’s counter-intuitive but throughout history, tax reduction has often led to an INCREASE in revenue for the government.

Trade- In theory, I do support free trade and open markets but multinational agreements such as NAFTA and TPP must be written in a manner that safeguards American interests and sovereignty as well as human rights around the world.

Foreign Policy- I support a strong defense but no more nation building or unprovoked regime change.  Spreading democracy in the Middle East is a noble idea but I just don’t think it can work in that culture.  I do strongly support Israel as a nation that largely shares our values.   Iran must not acquire nuclear weapons and ISIS must be defeated.  A secular dictatorship is preferable to an Islamic sharia state.

Health Care- No universal government run health care but I support vouchers for the poor and disabled.  I have no need for prescription drug coverage and doubt that I would take it if it were prescribed.  I would take coverage for catastrophic events.  If it were up to me, I would allow patients the right to choose coverage for either prescription drugs or naturopathic testing.  I’ve spent thousands on lab tests over the years and if I didn’t have a decent job or a supportive family, I would have been screwed.  Don’t worry about the costs to cover naturopathic testing.  We are highly motivated individuals who will generate far more tax revenue when healthy and able to return to work. 

Gun Control- I do not own a gun myself and can’t envision buying one given my issues.  I support reasonable background checks and waiting periods but for law abiding citizens, I do support the right to own a gun.  I have no problem with concealed carry but open carry makes me uncomfortable.  I also believe that a good guy with a gun can save lives in a mass shooting.

Education- Allow more state and local control and allow parents to choose schools via vouchers.  Private school tuition can be prohibitively expensive for lower income families, which is just not right.  Common core, especially when it comes to math is a joke.  Just memorize the addition, multiplication and division tables.  No need to draw pictures to show the work.  Encourage schools to take a hard line on bullying and I do believe that prayer can help combat that problem.

Criminal Justice/Drugs- Stay tough on serious crime but consider alternative sentencing for petty cases.  Imprison drug dealers but users should be given a shot at mandatory rehab for a first offense.  When it comes to marijuana, I do not favor legalization but do support decriminalization.  By that, I mean that if a college kid gets caught in possession, he or she will pay a fine and that’s it.  It will not affect the criminal record or job prospects down the road.

Religious Freedom- No establishment religion and no restrictions on free exercise.   Allow prayer groups to meet in school during free periods but no spoken prayer during class instruction time.  Businesses should have a right to refuse service for any reason unrelated to race or religion and customers have a right to boycott those whose policies they find objectionable.

Trump- There are aspects of his character and personality that I find distasteful and for that reason, I voted against him in the primary.  However, once he secured the nomination, I was fully on board especially against Hillary.  Could I ever vote for a Democrat?  If a candidate was nominated who is pro-life and strong on national and border security, yes I would consider it in spite of advocacy for big government. Truman is an example of Democrat that I probably would have liked. Such a candidate could be nominated at the state level today but don’t see it nationally. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Training 11/7-11/13

11/7- Went aggressive with the Vitamin D dose.  Got the expected result based on my research.  Legs were heavy and sore but my pulmonary function seemed to improve, which suggests better sulfate metabolism.  That's the reason for taking the D.   Did 3 miles at Gold's in 22:40 (7:33 pace) with very even splits.  Tacked on another mile as a cool down after popping another pill and was noticeably worse.  Tomorrow, I will cut the dose back from 4 pills to 3 and hope that I will eventually be able to cut it out entirely.
Other news:
I have ordered the probiotic supplement and I predict it will be helpful but not a game changer.  Vitamin D test will be done on Friday.  Listed as doubtful for the Magic City half on 11/20.

11/8- Gold's 3 in 23:29 (7:50 pace).  A step backward.  The Vitamin D is trending down.  I will stay on 3 for 1 more day.  Similar feel to yesterday.  Lungs were fine.  Legs were heavy and sore.

11/9- Naked 2 mile at Veteran's Park,  It is clear that Vitamin D needs to be cut.  Down to 2 pills tomorrow.  That's a positive development.

11/10- Cut it down to 2 pills and it was still too much.  It was a bad call to load on that stuff.  I should have been content with gradual gains from a low dose.  I'm going down to 1 pill tomorrow.  Gold's 3 in 23:53 (7:58 pace).  Relatively even pace that never went much above 8 but never felt strong.

11/11- Day off work for Veteran's Day so I ran a double.  Cut the D down to 1 pill and it was still too much and interestingly, I got worse on extra Cal.  I've learned that Accutane depletes D and so does Synthroid.  In fact, there is an inverse relationship between thyroid activity and Vitamin D.  Too much D suppresses thyroid function so that makes sense.

AM- Trak Shak 3 in 23:49 (7:56 pace).  Slightly faster than yesterday but felt no better overall if not worse.  I started off pretty well today but my legs went dead after a 7:33 opening mile and had to fight just to stay below the Mendoza line.

PM- Picked up a less potent D at the health food store and as expected, I got slightly worse after taking another small dose. Another 3 this time at Gold's in 25-flat (8:20 pace).  Tomorrow, I'm going with the less potent D, which is only 1000 IU vs 5000 of the old stuff.  I'll start at 3000 tomorrow.

11/12-Reduced the D as planned but it was still too much.  It appears that I am heading towards complete intolerance.  Morley, if you're reading this, I'm likely going off D completely or merely taking it once a week for maintenance.  Did not even try to do the group run today.  Instead, it was more interval testing at Gold's (ugh)

In Mile 1, I felt about the same as yesterday.  Came through in 7:46 and was likely headed towards another Mendoza level performance.  The moment of truth came later.
Mile 2, took some of the new probiotics and as I predicted, I felt marginal benefit but it seems unlikely to be a game changer.  Improved to 7:31 (MINUS 15).
Mile 3 was where it got interesting.  Took some taurine (sulfur containing) and was merely hoping to survive the next mile.  As recently as a few months ago, a small dose was an instant disaster.  Today, I actually got slightly better with a 7:21 (MINUS 10).  That means there is a very good chance that the sulfate metabolism problems have been solved.  If so, that is EXCELLENT NEWS!  Still, with the CBS mutation, I had best not mess with the taurine.

I decided not to test my D levels at the lab until my dosage stabilizes.  Instead, it will be tested with the ferritin after Thanksgiving.  Vitamin C as ascorbic acid remains a NO and I'm okay with that.

11/13- Another interesting day.  It was immediately clear that Vitamin D need to be eliminated NOW.  Dose was cut in half and did only 1 mile on Lakeshore in a pathetic 9:21 then got home and popped a Whole Food C.  This same pill caused instant disaster just 2 weeks ago.  Today, I not only tolerated it but actually got better.  Did another mile on Wisteria and improved to 8:43 (MINUS 38).  This tells me that while D most definitely caused damage to my thyroid and possibly my copper metabolism, the sulfate metabolism problems COULD BE GONE.  If so, that would be YUGE!  Not celebrating yet because it could come back with a vengeance when I stop the D.

Weekly summary:
It is entirely possible that the problems with iron, sufate, methylation and sensitivity are all under control.  I COULD BE IN THE CLEAR when the excess D is out of my system.  YUGE!
Distance= 23.0.   YTD: 1,158 miles.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Further reflection on OAT/Ferritin

After some additional consideration, I am disappointed in my results.  Still no real smoking gun.  I was VIRTUALLY CERTAIN that the oxalates would be WAY over the top but that was not the case.

As for the yeast and fungal infections, neither one was extreme high and I have every confidence that with stronger probiotics, they will come down.  It's possible that they were not always high.  I took probiotics more regularly in the past and it did NOT solve my the sulfur issues or the sensitivity.  As for the low serotonin, the 5-HTP failed but I am pretty confident that improved gut health will also boost my serotonin.  I'm not even getting my test interpreted by a "real doctor"

In other news, my ferritin blood test results came back today and my number is 171, which is down 77 points from my high of 248 just 5 weeks ago.  Ideal is 50 so I've got a long way to go.  I doubt this is the smoking gun either.  I've read about cases that were over 1000.  It's certainly a good thing to get it down and I will keep striving for that objective.  IP-6 is no longer tolerated but it seems like Calcium citrate is not only tolerated but necessary at pretty high doses.  I'm going with that until the first of December.  If I don't see another significant drop, I will go through with blood donation.  Why the hesitation?  I'm leery because it can deplete other minerals.

Worst symptom:
If I take a pill that I cannot tolerate, what happens?  My whole body tightens up and both my energy and mood are tanked for the rest of the day, perhaps into the next day.  The ill-effects kick in almost instantly.  I'm talking about less than 60 seconds after taking the pill.  Would a mildly elevated yeast/fungal marker cause something like that?  Hell no!  How about a mild-moderately elevated Iron or ferritin?  Highly unlikely.

Tests to be considered:
-Genova Organix Comprehensive- Tests many of the same stuff as the OAT but this one tests sulfates.  My urinary sulfates are off the scale on the test strips but I have nothing in writing.  Based on everything that is going on, the evidence suggests that I don't have an excess at all.  Rather, I am wasting the sulfates in my urine just as was the case with Lithium last year.

-Ferritin re-test-  I want to a drop down to at least 125 by early December.

-Vitamin D- I found several articles on Google that have said this is "critical for sulfate metabolism."  The Accutane that I took is a toxic dose of Vitamin A, which is stored in the liver.  What gets depleted when you have an excess of Vitamin A?  The answer is D.

-5HTP- FAIL.  See the description above.

Whole Food C- FAIL.  See above.

Syntol- Stronger probiotic will be ordered.

Vitamin C as Ascorbic acid- May be okay in small doses but I can't tolerate anything over 500 mg.  I will take it only if it makes me feel better.  If it's ineffective but not a FAIL, I won't mess with it.

Calcium Citrate- looking like a winner and my best hope short of blood donation to lower ferritin.

Blood donation- Again, a last resort.  It will almost certainly lower ferritin but will it solve the sensitivity or sulfate metabolism?  Highly unlikely.

Vitamin D3- Many health practitioners shoot this down and suggest Magnesium instead.  My Magnesium has consistently tested at 5 in the HTMA and in the upper 5s in the RBC.  That's just south of optimal and CERTAINLY NOT the smoking gun.  Upping Mag is still a good idea and will be necessary if I take more D.  Based on what I've read, D could be my best hope to solve the sulfate metabolism.  Of course, I will test it to see if I really am deficient.  I've been wrong before.

What about depleting ceruloplasmin?
  To be honest, I'm not worried about that at all.  I felt BETTER when it was low.  However, if I find that ascorbic acid doesn't help or my D tests normal, I won't mess with either.