Friday, January 30, 2015

Exercise, Competition, and Peripheral Nerve Neurological Disorders (Part III)

I have qualified for the National Senior Games in Minnesota in 2015 in cycling and a few track and field events. I am not sure if I will enter, but if I do I will do so in cycling. Track and field is much too difficult on the legs. I tried some shorter running and field events where running distances would be shorter. Still, the pain and subsequent recovery time from these events was too great.

I do not care if I finish last, which may very well be the case since I am at such a huge disadvantage. My bike and gear cost me about $1000 dollars (however, I am planning on upgrading this winter). Others will be competing with about 10 to 20 thousand dollars in state of the art cycling equipment to minimize drag. That being said, I would like to be competitive and I am afraid my disorder will get the best of me. I do not want to go to Minnesota only to withdraw because my body is going bonkers since I cannot sleep or rest. I need to figure out how to overcome the combination of CFS and competition. Part of my plan to overcome this issue was to enter several events in the second half of 2014 to see if my body can get used to travel and competition.

I believe there is one reason to account for the fact that my transition back into competition has not been smooth: Personality types. During my research of CFS and BFS I have noticed patients are more than likely Type A personalities. Type A personalities are more likely to get stressed out over little issues and are driven to succeed. Competition is a change to my daily routine and it stresses me out. I continually worry about miniscule things such as did I pack a toothbrush or did I check the derailleur on my bike when I should be sleeping.

Many people do not believe me when I tell them I have a neurological condition. They tell me that I look fine. But I try to explain to them that outward looks can be deceiving and hide what is going on internally within my body. It is impossible for anyone to understand how I feel unless they too have similar symptoms. And it is certainly impossible for anyone to understand how my condition affects my performance. For instance, in a short 5K cycling time trial I may have to adjust my position several times to overcome tightening muscles, burning muscles, and stiff and numb muscles. To make matters worse, I start to feel like I am chocking to death when I push to maximum output wattage – part of the globus sensation in the throat. Obviously, it is not ideal to move around on a bike – it is best to stay in one aerodynamic position. However, this is nearly impossible for me.

My biggest fear is that eventually my exercise intolerance will span all exercise activities making it impossible for me to not only compete, but to exercise period. Unfortunately, I believe that day is coming, but hopefully that will be a few decades down the road, and not a few years. I say this because my symptoms are worsening over time.

I do not tell my story looking for any sympathy or to brag because I can exercise and compete with a neurological disorder (If you look at my results below they are not top tier by any means. Besides, I cannot say for certain how much the disorder hurts my results since I have never been a great natural athlete to start with). I tell my story because I have been on a mission to bring more exposure to CFS and BFS. I would also like to help motivate people to exercise, compete, and live healthy lives – even if they have a disorder. We are only on this earth for a short period time and we have to make the most of it!

Here are some of my results this past year (* indicates the event result qualified me for the 2015 national senior games in Minnesota):

Old Timers Wrestling Tournament: 2nd

Washington State Peninsula Senior Games:

20 mile time trial: 1:03:00 (1st in my group – on a rental bike, 4th overall)

South Dakota Senior Games:


20K: 34:48 (2nd)*

10K: 17:09 (2nd)*

5K: 7:47 (2nd)*

Track and Field:

High Jump: 4’2” (2nd)*

400M: 1:22 (3rd)*

Long Jump: 12’0.5” (3rd)*

Standing Long Jump: 7’0.5” (3rd)*

Nevada Senior Games:


5KTT: 9:19 (4th missed 3rd by less than 0.3 seconds – was uphill 250 feet)*

10KTT:16:42 (3rd)*

20KRR:32:08 (3rd)*

40KRR: 1:08:12 (5th)

Utah Senior (Huntsman) Games:

Cycling (Class 3):

5KTT (1000 foot climb): 15:33 (1st in group, 9th overall out of nearly 300 riders)*

37KRR: 1:05:06 (1st in group and overall at this distance)*

Mountain Biking (Beginners Class):

1.5MTT (500 foot climb): 10:03 (1st overall in beginners)

2MTT (700 foot descent): 9:06 (1st in group, but pretty slow overall)

4MCC: 20:03 (1st in group, 2nd in beginners)

K – Kilometers, M – Miles, TT – Time Trial, RR – Road Race, CC – Cross Country

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Exercise, Competition, and Peripheral Nerve Neurological Disorders (Part II)

· Acclimation to a disorder may be the most important item in dealing with any disorder. Unfortunately, most people do not have this advantage – the disorder just hits them hard over night. Whereas, I was suffering from BFS and or CFS at a young age (I just did not know at the time). My symptoms have slowly progressed over my lifetime. This has helped me acclimate to the disorder.

· Pain tolerance can play a role in overcoming exercise intolerance. Pain is relative and I am not saying others with CFS have less pain and I have more pain. However, the fact I was physically abused as a child may have provided me with more pain tolerance as an adult. For instance, as child I had to live with broken bones that were not treated.

· Overachieving is paramount. I do not necessarily compete against others, but myself. I work each day to improve my times. Besides, I am always out to prove people wrong. Every time someone like a teacher or parent suggests you should not go to college or a doctor says you cannot exercise with intensity anymore – I want to show them they are wrong. After all, nobody likes being told what to do. When I put my mind to something, I am driven and will get it done. I have always been stubborn and an overachiever.

· Exercise redundancy is key to training the body and mind. I was an extreme athlete and have exercised my entire life. Intense workouts were common for me throughout my life. I also find it helpful to work out every day. In other words, it is important to train our brains and bodies that we need exercise and to feel bad if they do not get it.

· Adaptation is important – it is okay to change goals. Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest applies to all living things including humans. Hence, humans must also learn to adapt when they are hit with life altering adversity. The mistake many people make with CFS is to try to do the same types of exercise they did in the past. But this may not work. I was an avid runner and my body no longer likes this type of workout. I went from running 5K in 20 to 22 minutes 6 to 7 years ago to nearly double those times today. And what’s worse, my recovery time is several days if not weeks if I have bad cramps and pulled muscles. I have adapted and now hike and bike which seems more bearable for my body. If we do not adapt our exercise program than we will perish from heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.

· Acceptance of any disorder is key to moving on with life. Many people with BFS or CFS continually fear they have a worse ailment such as ALS or MS. After all, many BFS and CFS symptoms are onset symptoms to these deadly disorders. What’s worse, it is hard for educated people to accept what they have is benign especially if doctors cannot explain what causes BFS and CFS. Since there is limited research on BFS and CFS doctors know little about the disorder and cannot answer simple patient questions. In fact, I have seen 5 different neurologists looking for answers. Thus, it is hard for people to accept what they have and finally move on with their lives. But not being able to accept and move on causes a great deal of stress and exasperates symptoms.

· Managing stress may be the most pivotal thing we can do for a healthy lifestyle. Stress can wreak havoc on our lives and it can exasperate symptoms in BFS and CFS patients ten-fold. For the most part, I am doing a better job managing my daily stress factors. One thing that has helped me on this front is, for example, having a set daily routine.

· Draw inspiration from others. My climbing partner has Parkinson’s disease and my doctor has one leg. Both are great athletes and inspire me to fight through my disorder.

· Put your disorder into context. I have said it before and I believe it: “I am lucky”. There are people coming home from war with no limbs so where do I get the audacity to complain about a benign disorder (although I do not actually believe CFS is a benign disorder as doctors’ claim). There are literally hundreds of neurological disorders and BFS and CFS are probably two of the best you can get. Most are crippling and deadly. I always tell myself: “It can always be worse”. This puts you in the right mindset to move forward.

Finally, I was always taught not to complain unless I can do something about the problem or issue. I am using my engineering and data analysis background to do a statistical analysis on these disorders. Still, I am trying not to complain too much (it is hard).

Friday, January 23, 2015

Exercise, Competition, and Peripheral Nerve Neurological Disorders (Part I)

I am not complaining, in fact I am lucky. Many people have more serious diseases and or ailments. I was diagnosed with Benign Fasciculation Syndrome (BFS) about 6 years ago. However, that diagnosis was incorrect and my diagnosis was changed to Cramp Fasciculation Syndrome (CFS) about 1 year ago. Both BFS and CFS are a type of Peripheral Nerve Hyperexcitation (PNH) disorder. More extreme types of PNH include Isaac Syndrome (many of my symptoms overlap with this syndrome) and Morvan Syndrome.

I have studied and written several blogs / articles on this subject over the past several years. You can find this material on my website:

I have the following symptoms 24/7/365: muscle cramping, muscle stiffness, muscle pain and fatigue, muscle fasciculations, muscle vibration sensation, muscle burning sensation, muscle pain, globus sensation and paresthesia (pain, coldness, stiffness, numbness, tingling, and pins and needles in the hands and feet). Most muscle symptoms occur in the legs but can occur anywhere on the body. These symptoms lead to some secondary symptoms such as lack of sleep, mental anguish, and exercise intolerance. People with CFS do not want to exercise, especially with any intensity which is needed to be competitive.

PNH is believed to be a disorder caused by a chemical imbalance of the potassium channel at the nerve endings. This imbalance causes muscles to fire involuntarily resulting in muscle fasciculations or twitches. Every human being gets fasciculations from time to time. However, when the condition becomes chronic major issues result because many muscle groups never rest or relax.

My muscles have an additional symptom not seen in PNH patients – they have a contraction issue as well. This is thought to be caused by an imbalance of the calcium channel at the nerve endings. My muscles, especially in the quads, look more like a sponge than liquid when contracting. About a half dozen ailments that can cause this issue came back negative. Hence, the causes for both the PNH and contracting issues remain a mystery and unexplained.

I take the maximum dosage of Carbamazepine daily. It helps to slightly reduce (not eliminate) some symptoms.

My exercise regimen lacked intensity for 5 years after my initial diagnosis. I was satisfied with going through motions. It was all I could handle. It was tough on me because I was an avid mountaineer and I could no longer do this activity without my body giving out.

The last few years I changed my goals from long mountaineering trips to short rock climbs. I also quit running and now only walk or do some short strenuous hikes. I discovered that biking is much easier on my legs. And I also surmised that I can increase intensity but for only several minutes to maybe an hour. I pay dearly for intense workouts later it the day, but I explain to people it is better than just sitting around feeling sorry for myself and wasting away. This change in my exercise program has gotten me to compete again on a bike. I even wrestled competitively again at age 50. My competition days for running are long over – my legs take several days to recover from short jogs and I even have to run “flat footed” (not pushing off the toes) to escape muscle cramps in the calves.

I do not feel like exercising, but I force myself to do something every day even if it is a mild walk. Competition is harder than daily exercise because the excitement, nervousness, and adrenalin work to exasperate symptoms ten-fold. I still have not completely figured out how to deal with CFS and competition. In fact, lack of sleep and muscle issues were so bad it forced me to withdraw from a few competitions.

I am not too sure why I can still exercise while others with the same disorder cannot, but I have a few theories:

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Fairness Inequality (Part III)

Narcissism and political correctness are working to destroy America. Our sense of fairness has gotten more personal and individualized. So much so we are willing to see other people treated unfairly at our own expense. A society that is selfish and can no longer communicate is the worst type of imbalance that can be created in society. Obama’s unilateralism is one example given earlier. But it is impossible for 8 billion completely unique personalities to be treated fairly in their view. Our unwillingness to be compassionate and self-aware simply because we can no longer communicate is creating the biggest imbalance on this planet – me against the world. We are no longer willing to accept a friend’s happiness without being jealous and revolting against them. We can no longer put ourselves in someone else’s shoes to understand their fear, pain, and trouble. We can no longer comprehend commonsense methods. We can no longer debate rationally because we have been biased by TV and media propaganda. We can no longer be respectful towards others even if they have differing viewpoints and philosophies. We blame others for our short comings and have no sense of responsibility and accountability. What’s worse we treat others with different philosophies with hate and distain. In essence, we have become a country of self-centered problem creators instead of problem solvers. In a narcissistic society everyone thinks they are correct 100% of the time and everyone else is wrong 100% of the time. Hence, the belief we are being treated unfairly a large portion of the time.

In the name of political correctness and narcissism even when it seems we are doing something good (fair) it is usually unfair. For instance, we have hundreds of charities and government agencies for cancer, diabetes, arthritis, anti-poverty programs, and so forth. This sounds fantastic, but dozens of programs and charities overlap. Instead of pooling resources together to avoid redundancy and to avoid waste and inefficiencies that is not done. Why? Because there is money to be made in charities and government agencies. Besides, there is more power and control for the people running these programs and charities. For instance, there is very little reason to have juvenile arthritis charities as well as arthritis charities but it is done mostly for being political correct and narcissism. Researchers do not want to pool funding, ideas, and research because it is about being the person who finds that invention or hopefully a cure. What is truly unfair is the millions of people dying each day because a cure could have been discovered if we worked together and did not waste money.

We have to get over ourselves and start looking at the big picture. Everything should not be perceived as being a conspiracy to be unfair to individuals, groups, organizations, businesses, and corporations. What can be done to reverse this trend? Several things. First, make lobbying illegal. Second, unify laws over jurisdictions. Third, limit time that can be spent on phones and computers. Fourth, fine media outlets for failing to offer solutions to controversial issues they cover. Fifth, cap campaign spending and use the rest of the monies raised to pay off the national debt. Sixth, think in terms of equal and not in terms of fair. Seventh, eliminate charity and government agency redundancy. Eighth, spend an equal share of money on school gifted programs and underperforming programs. Ninth, stop standardized testing and restart vocational schools. Tenth, train people to do good deeds on a daily basis. Eleventh, bring back values that include family, community, faith, and an understanding of the Constitution. Twelve, balance life between volunteering and contributions. Thirteen, boycott opinion TV and media outlets. There are dozens of more things that can be done. Many of these solutions are theoretically attainable, but unfortunately they will not even be attempted.

I could go on and on about these fairness issues. They are evident every day. It is unfortunate, but these fairness solutions are the start of the American downfall.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Fairness Inequality (Part II)

Obama has moved unilaterally to create fairness. First, one man’s opinion is hardly a consensus when we know a better decision can be made by many debating an issue. In fact, Executive action moves more power to the Presidency and works to create an imbalance in national power which is the opposite of what our founding fathers wanted. Secondly, Obama’s fairness of granting amnesty to millions of Hispanics is hardly fair to people who legally went through the immigration process; it is not fair to the people who will have to pay higher taxes to support the larger population; it is not fair to the border states that have to contain the increased flow of illegal immigrants; and it is not fair to the millions of immigrants who will be turned away to make room for the illegal immigrants.

Fairness is not equality. Justice is not fair as sentences rarely match the crime. Revenge and retribution for perceived inequality are not fair and are often too extreme. A good example of this is the killing of two NY police officers for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. In Ferguson Missouri dozens of businesses and the livelihood of hundreds of innocent citizens were destroyed by violence. In other words, perceived unfairness in society are generally countered with harsh measures creating chaos and an imbalance in society.

Radical extremists believe fairness is a world of only Muslims created by exterminating Jews and Christians.

Unfortunately, it takes a true injustice and unfair situation for people to realize their earlier actions in life were trivial and wrong. For example, once I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder, I began to realize earlier perceived unfair treatment in life were trivial and for the most part within my control. And unfortunately, my solutions to the unfair treatment were wrong and too extreme. For this reason, I believe we are a nation of problem creators instead of problem solvers. Over the past decade, I have observed this behavior in many people and this is destroying our nation and ripping apart relationships and families as well as polarizing our country. I’ve seen the same transformation in Glenn Beck. This behavior change can be seen in the Gardner and Brown incidents. Both families of the victims have said these are not race related incidents and asked for peaceful protests. No trivial perceived unfairness can compare to their loss of life. It is only those people who have an axe to grind that see this an unfair situation affecting their situation in life. And of course it does not help that the media and liberals alike see these situations as an unfair treatment towards minorities and basically poured gas on a burning fire. Our President and Attorney General were also guilty of igniting these unfortunate deaths into a racial uproar. The fact is if we have to talk about race and gender and create fairness laws such as diversity and affirmative action, then we are basically saying women and minorities are not equal to white men. And we know that is not true.

The only way to have true fairness and equality in society is treat all people, groups, corporations, businesses, and organizations exactly the same. It seems simple, but we really do not understand this concept, especially politicians. If you fine one businesses CO2 output then you must do the same to every other person, group, organization, and business. Truly fair people would not want to be treated differently because of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or a disability.

Many aspects of life seem unfair. Profiling is one of those perceived unfair aspects of life. The DOJ recently wrote new profiling laws (which incidentally are not written fairly because the new laws do not cover TSA, Border Security, or local and state police). But is profiling unfair or a perceived unfair process? First, profiling is based on data which is more than likely a balanced and symmetrical Gaussian curve. Secondly, profiling is more than likely a perceived unfairness. For instance, profiling may occur to more African-Americans in highly populated areas with a higher percentage of African-American citizens in a high crime area. And profiling is more than likely going to happen to individuals that put themselves in a difficult situation such as being out late or being intoxicated. Hence, profiling is within the control of individuals – they can improve their situation and move, follow the law, and stay away from difficult situations. For instance, profiling of Hispanics only occurs after they break a law and put themselves in that situation. So profiling is not as “unfair” as many claim. If you do not want to be profiled do not do stupid and suspicious things and your chances will go down. Profiling is fair because it is all about commonsense for all parties involved – those that are doing the profiling and those that are being profiled. It is only when the profilers lose a sense of commonsense when it becomes unfair. What is truly unfair are innocent people dying because we are using random processes (chaos) to fight terrorism and crime because we want to be politically correct.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Fairness Inequality (Part I)


One major difference between liberals and conservatives is the difference between fairness and equality. Liberals believe in fairness whereas conservatives believe in equality. Equality is a stable, symmetrical, and balanced state in society. Fairness, on the other hand, leads to chaotic, asymmetry, and or an unbalanced state in society.

How does fairness result in chaos and or an unbalanced state? Let’s examine the liberal Fairness Doctrine. Liberals like this doctrine because it would create balance for political ideology over the radio airwaves which incidentally are dominated by conservatives. However, the Fairness doctrine does not include balance of political ideology over other types of communication mediums dominated by liberals such as TV. Hence, in actuality, the Fairness doctrine is not fair and creates a state of imbalance between liberalism and conservativism because it solely discriminates against conservatives.

ObamaCare is supposed to be fair because it provides poor people the opportunity to obtain healthcare. But the law does not treat Americans equally. In an attempt to be fair the law does stupid things such as force 60 year olds to buy maternity and child care insurance. The law forces some people to change providers, doctors, and hospitals. ObamaCare costs depend on location of enrollees and if participants belong to a union. In fact, the 2000 page law carves out thousands of exceptions treating every participant differently such as government workers and politicians being exempt from using ObamaCare. Is this really fair and equal?

Obama believes ObamaCare and any transfer of wealth is fairness. But in reality this does not work. Despite spending over a trillion dollars a year on anti-poverty programs there are still as many people living in poverty as 50 years ago. However, these actions strip wealth from other Americans skewing the wealth curve towards poverty – it is not balanced or stable.

Everyone believes they have been treated unfairly at some point in their lives. In fact, people are more apt to believe they have been treated unfairly or unequally than vice versa a higher percentage of the time. Hence, our government is constantly trying to develop laws to even the playing field and create fairness and perceived equality. For instance, diversity and affirmative action laws usually try to create fairness by discriminating against another race or gender. Is that really fair and equal? Instead of solving a problem to create equality our government intervenes to create “fairness” rules to expedite an unfair solution. In fact, our government will pour billions of dollars to bring up the performance academically challenged students, but zero dollars to help advanced students to maximize their learning experience. Hence, the end result of standardized testing is a “dumbing down” of our population. Is this fair and equal?

The EPA has created mandates and rules that punishes certain businesses who generate too many CO2 emissions. However, these rules do not apply to all businesses and they do not apply to the general population of people who generated high CO2 emissions. The administration has continually picked winners and losers in industry – in particular in the green industry. The DOJ has decided to enforce certain federal laws such as immigration but not others federal laws such as marijuana. People who work hard are penalized with higher taxes while lazy Americans are rewarded with subsidies. This is our fair society.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Educational Equilibrium

A big problem with America these days is the move away from competition for our children. Competition is what makes a nation strong. However, competition is almost non-existent for young kids growing up. Kids today have more pass / fail type classes; awards for participating and losing; less recess time and government regulations that restrict the type of competition games kids can play; and games where the score is not kept. This makes no sense, just like political correctness, we are so afraid of hurting a child’s feelings if they lose. This is nonsense. Life is a competition and there is nothing easy about life and learning to deal with adversity is a key component to shaping a good personality. And learning how to lose is one way we must learn how to deal with adversity. If you do not like losing then you need to work harder. That is the goal of competition – to force everyone to be better.

The government thinks they are improving education by setting a minimum set of standards for kids to pass. And the government pours billions into programs to help underachieving students meet these standards. Unfortunately, this form of education neglects other important aspects such as subjects other than reading, writing, science, and math. And most importantly, the educational system neglects advanced and or gifted students. The government spends no money to maximize the educational experience for advanced students. Hence, we have a bunch of average students who pass the minimum set of requirements and still a large percentage who still fail to meet these guidelines.

It is a harsh statement, but in my theory of the universe and the economy I believe that symmetry is the key to equilibrium. I believe this is the same for education – there are about the same number of advanced children as there are underachieving students. Unfortunately, our educational system fails to bring underachieving students up to passing levels and it fails to enhance the educational experience for advanced kids leaving them in mediocrity. The effect of this is that it skews our educational system Gaussian curve towards underachieving. One way to alleviate this is to spend more money on advanced kids and to increase competition within the school system. Competition is what forces children to excel. And educators will learn that gains in knowledge will be much easier in advanced children than with underachieving children.

Until we make some drastic changes in our educational system it will continue to fail not only underachieving students, but gifted ones as well. I am willing to bet that over half of all gifted students go through K-12 without ever being challenged or identified as gifted. This is why America is almost completely unable to produce anymore scientists or engineers and we have to rely on foreign born students to fill these voids. If we continue to let government bureaucrats run our school systems, the downward spiral will continue.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Economic Stability

To think about economic stability maybe one should ponder what makes the universe stable. Our universe is expanding at a very rapid rate due to dark energy. As the universe expands there is more dark matter and therefore more dark energy is making the universe expand faster and faster. This sounds like a very unstable condition for our universe, so what makes it stable? Many physicists initially theorized a rapidly expanding universe would pull the earth and all matter apart. But that is obviously not what is happening. One theory the universe remains stable is because of symmetry. Some physicists believe there is an exact replica of our universe located within dark matter that is invisible to the eye. The hidden universe within the dark matter is not only an exact replica of our universe, but the spin and polarity of all matter are opposite and that is what keeps our universe stable and keeps our laws of physics from breaking down. I have written in the past about the strength of symmetrical objects and our constant universe. Now, I would like to expand that conversation to our economic system.

It sounds harsh, but a stable economy should have as many wealthy citizens as poor ones – this is what creates a symmetrical Gaussian curve (of course there should be a much larger population of middle class). The liberal, socialist, or communist model for a stable economy is everyone having the same amount of wealth or income. This would create a very unstable impulse curve teetering to the right and left and ready to implode on itself.

Why would this liberal utopian economic model be so unstable for the economy? Let’s think about it; if every family in the United States made a median income of 60 thousand dollars annually that would force the government to levy huge taxes on the wealthy. However, this would eliminate all wealth for businesses to expand and therefore no jobs would be created. In fact, millions of jobs will be lost because the government taxed all monies used to pay employees. GDP and consumer purchasing power will all but collapse. And of course no individual, family, or business will continue to work hard if they can only keep 60,000 dollars annually. Hence, this would finally lead to the elimination of all tax money for the government to exist. The end result is that the economy will collapse.

The U.S. spends over 1 trillion dollars annually to wipe out poverty. This should be enough money to give 16 million families of 3 persons 60,000 dollars annually, but that has not happened. Instead, poverty is increasing, the number of wealthy are decreasing, and the disparity between the rich and poor is getting worse. This is the result of the government trying to force the economy into an unstable state (our economic income model is becoming more and more skewed towards poverty). Our economy fights to remain in a stable state despite the ignorant interference of the government, but if our government succeeds in continuing to skew our economic income model towards poverty then our economy will collapse, similar to the Greek economy. Even an economic income model skewed towards the wealthy is very dangerous. This situation creates massive inflation and economic bubbles that will collapse as the economy searches for stability.

This is not rocket science, but commonsense. Symmetry is what keeps our universe stable, it should come as no surprise that symmetry is what keeps our economy stable.