Seth Godin on Anxiety

Seth Godin had an interesting post on anxiety this morning. I'll just quote the whole thing here, because it's really short:

Anxiety is nothing…

but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance. What a waste.

Seth is right.

I'm living under a crushing anxiety right now. It's making my insides hurt. It's pretty bad. I'll be honest and say that I'm not far from calling the doctor. I don't know what he could actually do about it.

But Seth's blog post added some perspective. That's what I was going to write about today. I might post on that later. I haven't failed yet. Failure is coming, but it's not here yet. I'm experiencing it in advance over and over ever minute of the day.

I guess I should stop though. It's definitely not getting me anywhere. But how do you stop being anxious?

Water: A Simple Energy Pick-up

I'm currently on travel. When I got back to my hotel room this afternoon, I was wiped out. All I wanted to do was turn the air conditioning on and flop on the bed and just lay there. But that could not be the course of my night. I still needed to get dinner, I had some work to do, and I had tons of email and RSS feeds to catch up on. Since I'm starting vacation tomorrow, I know if I don't get these caught up now, I'll be buried when we get back. Yes, I'm taking my iPhone and netbook with me, but I am trying to keep my expectations realistic.

I had to get myself off that hotel bed and get moving again. I had an idea. I keep forgetting that being dehydrated can often affect my energy level. I also figured an extra dose of vitamins couldn't hurt at this point. I took my vitamins this morning, but OTC (Over the counter) vitamins can be taken at increased doses.

Turns out, that gave me enough energy to get m oving. Not enough to run a marathon or anything, but enough to get my laptop out of my bag and hooked up to the hotel's network. It also gave me enough motivation to call Applebee's for dinner, and walk over there to pick it up.

When your energy is too low, try water. Seriously, it does help in a lot of cases.

So, Like, Do I have ADD?

I’m not sure how best to put this. Several years ago, my wife suggested that I have myself checked for ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). I took an online test and ended up somehow subscribing from email updates from Statera. At the time, I was also going through my Kevin Trudeau phase and I was distrustful of the pharmaceutical industry. To a point, I still am, as far as I still wonder when I hear about something, does the financial interest of the person or industry that is trying to get me to buy into something outweigh my own interests in purchasing the product or service?

In any case, any time I have ever taken an ADD test, within a book or online, I always come out very high as having it. Not ADHD, I don’t find myself hyperactive, at least not at my current weight and level (or lack of) physical activity, but I definitely come out high on having ADD.

Many bloggers joke about ADD. I stopped doing it for many years. For some reason, personality types like me tend to gravitate toward careers in computers, engineering, or programming and such. We like new, shiny things, we enjoy being able to hyperfocus on some tasks, and switch what we do from time to time. I still can’t help but wonder what life would be like if I could actually stick to something long enough to to do a decent job on it.

For those of you geeks who think you might have ADD, did you get checked out? Have you taken any medication or supplements for it? Do they help, or do you just wish you’d left things alone? For those of you who know me, do you think I might benefit from a professional analysis for this condition? Or is my currently level of interest and distraction a good match for me?

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Weight Watchers Update

I figured I’d post an update on my Weight Watcher’s progress. From my original blog post, I joined on May 12. Since that time, I’ve taken a couple of trips, been through Memorial Day, spent a couple of weekends at my in-laws’ to save gas on the 14 mile drive back and forth, and have been through some other situations that led me to slip up. So, how am I doing?
Honestly, I’m doing better than I thought. I went on the Flex plan, which allows points for everything you eat. I haven’t been very good at bothering to calculate my points, but I have been trying to pay more attention to portion sizes and avoid snacks. Since my wife is on Weight Watcher’s Core plan, she does the cooking. For the most part, she’s been making some pretty interesting foods and I normally take my lunch from our leftovers, although she did buy a few frozen Weight Watcher’s dinners for those days when I have no leftover, which is the easiest time for me to slip.
I’ve lost about 8.5 pounds over the last month. That’s not bad considering that I haven’t been trying all that hard. I’ve slipped several times. I still enjoy treats like ice cream and cold beer occasionally. I’ve had burgers, pizza, and cheesesteaks. However, since I’ve started to see results, I’ve starting taking things much more seriously. There is nothing like a result to encourage you to work harder.

Weight Watchers, Day 2

I technically started Weight Watchers yesterday afternoon, but even by a 24 hour standard, I’m on my second day. I’m hungry. I know that I’ll be heading home soon, and my wife usually has dinner waiting when I get home. Since she recently started Weight Watchers, she’s not likely to want to eat out.   
This is always the hard part for me, being hungry. I also get sluggish sometimes, and tired. I’m a little fidgety. I was playing around with some of the tools on the Weight Watchers Online for Men site, and found that my ideal weight is somewhere between 135 and 162. I’m like 238 right now. That’s scary. The least I’ve been since I was about 15 is 175, and that was about the time I got out of the Navy when I was running 3-4 miles a day.   
I’ll keep posting. I’m just trying not to think about the vending machine. This isn’t quite as hard as quitting smoking, but it’s not far off the mark.

I Joined Weight Watchers

My wife started going to Weight Watchers meetings a couple of weeks ago. I gave it some thought, and my doctor has even recommended it a few times. I was poking around on the website today, and found that they have a new program: Weight Watchers Online for Men. It didn’t take much more to get me to sign up. I’ve been challenged by weight most of my adult life, and I have tried many different plans from deprivation to excessive working out to Atkins to restricted calories to inpatient treatment (Navy provided) with Overeaters Anonymous. I probably had my best short term gains under Atkins, but I could only stick with it for three weeks the first time. I tried many times to get back on. Weight Watchers Flex plan promises me that I can eat what I want (although obviously not the portions I want), so I figure I’ll give it a shot. The men’s site talks about beer and pizza and "man stuff", which I could get to enjoy. As I said in a previous entry, men and women are different and especially in areas of physiology, we are far from similar. I guess in the interest of accountability, I might post a few things here on my blog about past weight loss attempts. I’m going to shoot for a 10% loss, which will put my weight under what it was when we conceived Joshua, our first born.

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Darn It Jim: Attention to Detail in the Health Care Industry

A while back, I wrote a series of posts about how it took two years to get a single pediatrician’s bill settled with Aetna. I spent two years and many hours on the phone. I titled my series "Darn It Jim, I’m a Computer Geek, Not A Medical Billing Specialist". I based that, of course, on Dr. McCoy’s famous "I’m a doctor not a…" lines from the original Star Trek series.

When I was in boot camp (United States Naval Recruit Training), I was introduced to the phrase "attention to detail". I did a lot of push-ups over the concept of attention to detail, both for my failure to pay attention to detail and for other members of my company failing to pay attention. In the military, failing to pay attention to detail can cost lives.

What happens while lives aren’t exactly at stake? What about livelihoods that are at stake? What about a family budget? I’ve ranted before about my run-ins with health care. This is a very vital industry, yet it does cause a lot of hate and discontent in society.

Last week, my two year old decided to stick his hand in the car door as it was being closed. This resulted in an emergency room visit. Don’t worry, the ER did fine. He broke one of his little fingers. The ER put a splint on him, wrapped his hand, and referred him to a doctor. My wife went straight to the pediatrician, who has an office close to the hospital, to get a referral. She then called to set an appointment. When she called to set the appointment, the staff went through the typical questions including PATIENT’S DATE OF BIRTH.

My wife showed up for the appointment, and when the doctor came in, guess what the first thing out of his mouth was (as reported by my wife)?

"I don’t work on children this young."

Sure, AFTER his office collected a copay and billed our insurance for the visit, he lets my wife know that he doesn’t deal with two year olds. Anyone care to guess where the attention to detail broke down? At least he rewrapped the hand and referred my wife to another doctor who *might* work with two year olds (which he does).

I think doctors and their staffs should have to do push-ups for every attention to detail error that they commit.