Brief Update (Health and Otherwise)

As many of you will know, my health in the last few years has been… not great. I’ve had mental health problems to deal with, as well as physical ones, and between them they’ve made me completely non-functional.

But those of you who care will be happy to hear that I’ve made some lifestyle changes recently which seem (seem!) to be causing an improvement. I’ve cut out all carbohydrates completely, rather than just trying to have a “low-carb” diet, I’ve started taking vitamin B supplements more regularly than I was, I’ve stopped taking milk in my coffee, and I’ve taken to walking a couple of miles a day (with my walking stick, sitting whenever I need to, but doing it). I’ve also deleted my Facebook account (possibly temporarily, possibly not) and cut down on other social media. One of these, or a combination of all of them, seems to have made a difference.

I’ve still got the mental health issues, sleep problems, and all the rest of the stuff that makes a day-job a non-possibility for me, but my arthritic fatigue seems almost completely gone and I’m noticing less joint pain. For the first time in years I’m feeling clear-headed.

Now, this could just be a coincidence — it’s only been a few days — but there’s a real qualitative change there that means you’ll probably be seeing a lot more posts from me, and a lot more productivity, in future (though I’m making no guarantees in the short term — there’s an ongoing health crisis with a family member that’s taking up most of the spare mental cycles I’ve freed up).

So I’m tentatively making plans to do more stuff. One thing I’m going to do is regularly review the books I finish. I went well over a month in December/January without finishing a book at all, as a combination of travel stress, Christmas stress, health problems and family health worries meant I couldn’t concentrate, but my normal level is to read a couple of books a week. I’m hoping to review them as I finish them on my Goodreads page, and then once a week aggregate them into a post here. I’m also going to restart the Batposts (the Lego Batman Movie post the other day is essentially the start of that), do the comics reviews regularly, and generally post more.

That might all fall apart if, as is entirely possible, I wake up with fuzzbrain again in a few days. But right now, I’m more mentally alert than I have been since… 2012 or so. I’m almost back to being clever again…

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15 Responses to Brief Update (Health and Otherwise)

  1. TAD says:

    Hope you feel better.
    Have you done any more work on the Monkees cover?

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Yeah, it just needs an acoustic guitar overdub and the lead vocals.

      • TAD says:

        Cool, looking forward to hearing it. Which song are you doing? What kind of instrumentation is used (if you don’t mind me asking)?

        • Andrew Hickey says:

          We’re doing (I Prithee) Do Not Ask For Love. Most of the arrangement’s keyboard parts, using very good sampled instruments — harpsichord, grand piano, moog bass, moog, bass clarinet, double basses, and violins. Most of these are doubling or tripling lines, and it’s actually a very sparse track, sounding a bit like a John Carpenter horror film score. I’ll be adding several layers of strummed acoustic guitar and maybe some nylon-string lead guitar. Tilt will be doing the final mix, and will probably be adding a lot of effects to it.

          • TAD says:

            I’m listening to the Monkees original on YouTube. That song will be a good fit for you guys. I can hear Tilt singing it, and doing a great job on it. Looking forward to hearing your final version.

            I’m helping Ste record a cover of “Salesman,” funnily enough. He was invited to provide a Monkees cover for some project, and I’m doing a lot of the backing. We’re just about finished with it. I think we’ve pushed the song into a less rocky, slightly more pyschedelic area. It’s been fun.

            • Andrew Hickey says:

              Heh. Almost certainly the same project, so that’ll be interesting…

              • TAD says:

                You know, I honestly didn’t even think about that. LOL It certainly would make sense though!

              • TAD says:

                You know, if you’re able to record a keyboard (electric piano-ish) overdub, we could add you to the mix. I was going to have my friend Chuck play it, but you could do it. Just a thought.

  2. andrewducker says:

    I know a fair number of people for whom “No carbs or milk” has helped.Glad it’s helping you too.

  3. David Summers says:

    Hi, Andrew, I just wanted to pass on my best wishes for your continuing recovery. I’m a lurker more than a regular on your blog, but I buy and cherish all your music books and occasionally bump into you at Zombies, BW and Trike Shop gigs. However tenuous the connection your health problems in recent times have worried me more than you can imagine. And it’s great to hear this piece of news. Best wishes, David

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Thanks. Always good to hear from you, and to see you when we do meet up. And don’t worry too much about me — I’ve got a lot of stuff that makes life difficult, but nothing that’s not survivable…

  4. This is great to hear! I hope the current effects stick, and that they maybe help towards an improvement in your mental health too.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Thanks. I’m hoping so too, but suspect the mental health problems have a different cause — but if the physical problems stay copeable-with, that will at least give me less to stress about.

  5. David Brown says:

    Hi Andrew. Glad to hear this news. I must say that I’ve never regretted getting off social media completely. It seems to free up so much head-space and reduce stress levels dramatically. I gave up reading newspapers at the same time as they seem to have an agenda of trying to anger people rather than just informing.

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