Note to my younger self

Note to my younger self: Eat better.

There won't be any programming content here, so you may choose to ignore this post,
though you may regret it in a decade or two. Don't say I didn't warn you.

A few weeks before PDC, I started have a problem of a very personal nature. That's
right, I had an outbreak (incident? flare up? episode?) of hemorrhoids. It's not something
you generally want to publicize, and in fact, I didn't talk about it. I've decided
to blog about it, for a simple reason:

If somebody had told me what I'm going to tell you when I was in my 20s, I would have
had the opportunity to change my habits.

Most Americans eat less than half the fiber they should, which also means they're
probably eating fewer vegetables than they should be. Trust me when I tell you that
you don't want this condition. And since over 50% of Americans have it at one time
or another, the odds aren't good. A decent diet can make it unlikely you will ever
have to deal with it. Not to mention the other benefits.

After my first "encounter" about a decade ago, I changed my diet a fair bit and got
better, but after the recent episode - and a fairly miserable few weeks, including
a unhappy week at PDC, I decided to see a specialist, who last Tuesday did a
small bit of surgery. After which I found out an interesting pharmaceutical fact.

Well, perhaps "found out" isn't really the right term. Something like, "had beat into
me over five increasingly miserable days".

My doctor had written me a prescription for Vicodin, the trade name for Hydrocodone,
an opiate that's more potent than morphine, to help control the pain. It is wonderful
against pain. But it is not without side effects.

If you go to a drug website, you'll find a list of side
. There are a lot of fun "mind altering effects", which I like to call
"crazy thinkin'", but the most important one is the second one. Apparently opiates
are well known to utterly and completely shut down the later stages of digestion.
For me, two vicodin did me in. Saturday night found me in the emergency room
treating that condition, and today I'm feeling better than I have in the last 6 months.

The choice is yours.



Comments (8)

  1. Jeroen says:

    Also don’t forget to stand up from your desk every now and then and walk around a bit. But the fiber is basically the main thing yes, which is really not that hard to come by in your diet once you start remembering it’s important.

  2. John Cavnar-Johnson says:

    Poor eating habits and lack of exercise are occupational hazards in our line of work. Younger programmers (I’m 43) are doing better on the exercise part than we did 10 years ago, but the stereotypical pizza and caffeine-laced coding session still rule.

    By the way, I want to compliment Microsoft on the snacks and food for the PDC. There was a lot of junk, but they also had a good variety of healthy alternatives available. Personally, I would like to see more nuts and other lower carb foods available at the next PDC (I’m border-line diabetic and try to avoid grains and sugar).

  3. Taylor says:

    I tend to sit for enormous lengths of time which I know is quite bad. I try to make up for it by working out daily and eating extreemly well. I’ve signed up for Dr. Weil’s free daily email service indicating proper eating habits. Occasionally I find something very useful:

    I’m pleased to hear about someone willing to talk about somewhat embarassing issues. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jonathan says:

    You have basically told my story.
    I too am over it now (I believe and hope)
    Maybe we could exchange notes 🙂

    Good luck

  5. Rovshan says:

    I think doing sport 2-3 hours a day solves all the problems with health, including any problems with food etc. (I’m 21)

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