Vaper’s tounge

 

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So you may have read my blog about how I got into vaping. It was so amazing, like driving a car for the first time, a whole new world to explore. But then one day everything ground to a halt. I had been vaping away on two new eliquids; mothers milk and pink lemonade by Elemental. Suddenly over maybe a 20 min period the flavours became less intense exponentially until nothing. Perhaps worse than nothing, they tasted like stale breath.

In my online quest to discover what went wrong I was looking in all the wrong places, blaming the eliquids or rather the environment, (it would have been foolish to blame the eliquids as for both to become tainted at exactly the same time would have been too unlikely without an external factor). I suspected the cause was water from my shower I have joined to my room via the steam.

after some time I realised that it was me, I had initially dismissed the idea of VT (vapers tounge) because the things people were saying didn’t stack up which I will come to in a moment. When trying to find a solution there seemed to be template with completely fallacious information being regurgitated around the internet being treated as some kind of gospel, something like this;

 

The followings are 5 causes of vaper’s tongue.

1. Quit smoking – new e smokers who quit smoking recently may notice that your sense of taste is not returning. This will happen as you switch to nonsmokers.
Solution: If your sense taste can not return for several weeks, please see the doctor.

2. Dehydration – if moisture in your mouth is drawn out by e cigarette vapor, it will cause your mouse dry out and block the taste of flavors.
Solution: Drink more water before vaping.

3. The same flavor – if you have a favorite flavor and vape it every day, it will desensitize your taste and the flavor is getting weaker.
Solution: Try to switch to new flavor or flavor rotation.

4. Sick – if you catch cold or feel sick, you will lost your sense of smell and taste.
Solution: Got to hospital and take pills.

5. Random reasons – Your vaper’s tongue happens for none of reasons in the above.
Solution: Go to hospital for remedies.

 

I think I had found it was originally posted by some random little store in America. I feel that this is consistent with one of my pet peeves, people speculate about something, post it as fact, someone reads is with no critical thinking and then suddenly feel they are an expert on the subject. But let’s dissect this for a moment;

1 – Quit smoking, well this is clearly wrong. I gave up smoking a year ago, and why would taste buds get worse? This isn’t even a list filler as it has no plausibility at all.

2 – Dehydration, again this doesn’t stack up. Dehydration is variable throughout the day and if this were the case every time you got thirsty you would stop tasting things, then if you had some lucozade your taste would come back as rapidly as your cells could absorb the water. Also wouldn’t you stop being able to taste everything while you were thirsty?

3 – same flavour, if it was as easy as swapping to another flavour I’m sure people wouldn’t be asking about this all over the Internet, I can personally verify swapping flavours doesn’t work.

4 – sick, most people are bright enough to make the link between a stuffy nose and dificulty tasting. It’s safe to assume the majority of people who complain about vt would have made the connection.

5 – I don’t know if this is meant to be a joke or what, no useful information and hospitals are meant to be for emergencies? I’m assuming it was meant to be tounge in cheek.

there was also a list that included coffee beans as a solution, coffee has now been disproven as a means to reset olficatory receptors.

So you might say ‘well at least they are trying to figure it out, what have you done?’ I don’t mind people trying to figure out problems I think it is great, I think it just annoys me that some people blindly accept things as being true despite obvious logical pitfalls and then keep passing them on, like old wives tails.

So what is my theory? Well I noticed that using higher VG eliquids seems to bring about a more rapid onset of vt. I noticed that using a tounge scraper there is a white substance on my tounge which I suspect may be glycerine residue. Rinsing my mouth with mouthwash, scraping my tounge and squirting saline into my sinuses seems to bring some relief. However I would emphasise that the residue theory is just a theory and there are unanswered questions even with this. For example; why is smell and taste only diminished for eliquids? However my theory is not defeated by this question because one could speculate that the VG only settles in an area of the nasal passage that it comes into contact with most heavily and most used to communicate the flavour to the brain, or perhaps that different olficatory stimuli are a different consistency like how cooking oil will mix with coconut oil but not water.

Oh and one more thing, Tongue maps? All wrong and disproven. Tongue maps were a misunderstanding from that get go, I think maybe a misinterpretation of a digagram written by the pioneer of a theory on how many types of flavour our tongue could interpret. It would be kinda weird if only one section of your tongue could taste sweet, you’d have to make sure you ate a mars bar on that side of your mouth!

In any case I’d love to hear your thoughts, am I being unreasonable in shooting down these arguments and do they have any merit, or perhaps you have theories of your own?

 

© Ed Briscombe. daedalusblog and the contents therein, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ed Briscombe and daedalusblog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Vaper’s tounge

ADHD-PI coping mechanisms and personality traits.

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I’d like to start by saying that I am a predominantly inattentive subtype of ADHD and therefore do not and have never really demonstrated the classic signs of ADHD e.g. having tantrums, butting in or being disruptive. I’d love to see someone with classic ADHD make a blog like this so I can gain a better understanding.

The purpose of this blog is to discuss behavioural traits I poses which I believe stem from having ADHD-pi so others can ‘swap notes’ it may help somebody to understand themselves better as I have begun to which is a useful tool in personal development.

I would also like to discuss coping strategies I have adopted and invite you to suggest anything else which I may have missed.

So here are my symptoms that I think are most pronounced;

  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to keep track of time leading to tardiness
  • Error making and not spotting the error after making it
  • making successive errors due to still not identifying the original error
  • Speaking at a slower pace than average
  • Losing things
  • Difficulty planning things
  • Difficulty multi tasking
  • Daydreaming

Here are some behaviours or personality traits I believe are likely to have developed as a result of the above symptoms.

  • Insecurity about error making. – this one is for obvious reasons
  • Becoming very defensive when anybody mentions an error and when it is not mentioned but has to be acknowledged being overly apologetic. – A habitual response to attempt to control the consequences of an error.
  • A natural dislike for people in authority, feeling uncomfortable around them – I believe this may stem from a lifetime of teachers, parents, bosses from telling me off and humiliating me.
  • Messiness/untidiness – This one is somewhat problematic as no one likes having an untidy house, I think this is a combination of inattentiveness (putting clothes on the floor without thinking) and difficulty planning a complex task (it can take me several hours to tidy a room, trying to coordinate where things go, getting distracted etc)
  • A natural desire for stimulants – I had this one even before I was diagnosed, a subconscious need to activate my mind somehow, coffee for example was always a must.
  • Anxiety – Always worrying about things, will I get into trouble, will I be humiliated, have I left something on and going to burn the house down, am I going to turn up an hour early or late because I misread the alarm clock etc
  • An avoidance for promotion or taking on any responsibility – this is a combination of learned helplessness i.e. poor confidence in my own abilities and an actual acknowledgement of my severe limitations.
  • Poor grades at school in classes I did not enjoy and overall poor average grades. – Because of pretty much all of the above.

Before I discuss the next section I’d just like to say that this blog is not a poor me blog or a cry for sympathy/attention, I actually very much dislike sympathy and attention (except for my own ability to sustain my own attention) This is purely meant to be to help others and help myself.

Coping mechanisms/solutions and their effectiveness;

  • Meditation – This did not really seem to work for me, I have a hard time keeping it up despite multiple attempts, I won’t disregard it though because I believe it should work and may just need more time. I would personally recommend Headspace, it seems to be a safe pair of hands and has a really great app making it more fun. meditation is supposed to enable you to have greater control over your own thoughts leading to better attention.
  • Nootropics – This is a rather broad category so I will break it down further;
  1. Noopept – seems to work very well. I like to think of it as passive in that some medications you can really feel them kicking in and awakening your mind, for me this does not. However that does not make it less effective, if anything it is more effective, just that it seems to run silently in the background passively increasing all the various metrics of your cognitive ability including those related to ADHD.
  2. Cerebrolysin – this one is quite a big deal but I haven’t actually tried it yet, I am receiving a supply imminently and have read great things about it. I try not to get my hopes up too much as I am regularly disappointed however there are clues that this may induce acute and chronic improvements that are more profound than anything else. The cheapest I have found is on Ruspharma and they are great at responding via email.
  3. Berroca – Seems to help somewhat but can be pricey for the benefit.
  4. Curcumin – Hard to really tell if it benefits but the science is there.
  5. Coffee – This is a quick accessible and easy fix which helps reduce symptoms for me.
  • Medication
  1. Straterra – I did not like this one bit, it increases noradrenalin which should increase focus, I found it made me anxious and made it very hard to have a normal conversation with anyone
  2. Ritalin – This one is my medicine of choice, not a bulletproof solution but certainly seems to increase my motivation and concentration. I do however find that I have to take periodic breaks or I start to develop unpleasant side effects including tension headache and confusion.
  • Apps – there are lots of apps that help you remember things, google does one which I cannot remember right now. There are lots of different ones so I would recommend you trying a few to see which you find works best for you.
  • Alarms – Alarms to remind you of regular events are essential, but also having multiple alarms for a single event is amazing. For example I have an alarm to wake me up, an alarm to let me know I have to leave for work in 15 mins, then an alarm for when I have to be out of the door. This really helps me get to work on time.
  • Calendars – On your phone, make sure any long term event is put in your calander to remind you the day before from doctors to paying vehicle Tax.
  • Pomodro Technique – I put this one In bold as I have found it really helpful. The basic premise is that you use an alarm (or even better a pomodro app). Write out a list of jobs for the day e.g. on a Saturday to tidy your room, post your letters, wash your car, do food shopping. Each task is allocated 25 minutes and is called a pomodro. There is a timer which counts down and you should attempt to complete the task in that time otherwise you have to create a new pomodro which is undesirable. Setting this time limit on everything helps you to focus on the task rather than spending hours washing the dishes. I find it fantastic.

So I will probably add to all this from time to time, I’d love to hear your suggestions/techniques so please message me or post in the comments.

 

© Ed Briscombe. daedalusblog and the contents therein, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ed Briscombe and daedalusblog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

ADHD-PI coping mechanisms and personality traits.

Is ADHD a real condition? Or just an excuse for proud parents.

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I remember back when I was 18 sitting in a pub with some friends and a discussion around mental health came up. It always stayed with me for some reason, perhaps as I’d heard this particular perception repeated by various people including by Ricky Gervais in one of his pod casts. Although I can’t remember all the ins and outs of what was discussed eventually it boiled down to a statement, ‘there seem to be a lot more conditions now than there were before, it seems like they just slap a label on everything’. Ironically I remember that I was not in disagreement with this statement, I think that I may have even been one of those people who thought that depression was just a case of feeling sad all the time and they just needed cheering up.

When I was in school I was constantly being criticised for daydreaming, sometimes I would encounter a moment of terror when I was asked a question and had no idea what had been discussed for the past 45 minutes as I had been thinking about something else entirely. It became a huge source of insecurity and I was picked on badly for it by staff and other pupils. Sometimes I’d forget which classroom I was in and turn up late, too ashamed to tell the truth so I’d lie and just say I got held up and get told off. I’d rarely remember my P.E. kit, books and was often in detention for this reason. I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that this was just a personality defect and I was just an incompetent person, nothing more. When you have grown up with something you tend not to question it, it just feels innate, the way of things.

It’s hard to really explain to someone the difficulties associated with ADHD-pi, every day is a battle. What important thing will I leave at home, will my boss yell at me, will I make a fool of myself by having toothpaste on my mouth, walking out of the room with my headset still on my head, even wearing mismatching shoes. It is no wonder that this condition can lead to anxiety, self esteem issues and depression if untreated. In the last year alone I lost three smartphones, incurred massive fines by mismanagement of my finance, lost additional property of great value, and been pushed out of my job.

Can’t you just pay more attention? People often ask. Because I am a man who loves to use analogies to illustrate my point I will attempt to use one now. Imagine you are as you are now, but you teleported to a parallel universe where people are able to work 50% more quickly and virtually 0% rate of error. Do you think you would be able to keep up in a way which is sustainable? You would probably find yourself working harder than you do now but still fall short of the standards by which people would judge you. And on a bad day where you become overwhelmed and you drop all the balls at once, you can imagine what the ramifications can be.

I consider myself to be fairly intelligent but by no means a genius. Although I have not had an official Mensa IQ test, every accredited online test always reveals an IQ of 116 with a standard deviation of about 2. One might think this would make things easier however it does not. People when meeting me start off thinking that I come across as knowledgeable and well spoken with good critical thinking, hallmarks of intelligence. This only serves to create higher expectations and contempt when I fail to meet them.

So you might be thinking ‘this does not mean it is a medical condition, it just sounds like you are a bit ditzy’. To this I would respond with the following; firstly, does it matter? regardless of what criteria you would prefer for something to be decided to be a medical condition, surely the fundamental issue whether you are deaf, blind, depressed or have adhd should be 1, How much control do you have over the issue? 2, does it have an adverse impact on your life? and from this perspective it is not unlike other conditions. Some people may get annoyed by this statement saying ‘how can you compare adhd to being blind? to which I would reply, I feel someone who is totally blind is far worse off than me, but someone with reduced ability to see is not. I am trying to demonstrate that things outside of your control which adversely impact your life all come under a category of adverse conditions and any adverse condition may yield different degrees of hardship and adversity.

This may not be sufficient for some people with a personal need to be able to see visual evidence like a missing leg or a healing aid in order to be satisfied, and that anything to do with cognition is behavioural is within the control of the sufferer. I’d like to refute this by using a bit of basic biology. Everyone knows what we use our eyes, hands and ears for and can see if it is dysfunctional. Most people are aware also that our brains contain hundreds of different categories of receptors and neuro transmitters. If I took a recently made millionaire and gave him a Serotonin blocker do you honestly think he would still be as chirpy? Or if I have an ambitious young senator a dopamine blocker would he retain his ambition? in fact there are hundreds of these neurochemicals we could mess about with. opioid receptors, cannabinoid receptors, each with their own subcategories. Often abuse these receptors with well known drugs; Heroin – opioid receptors, ecstasy – serotonin, cocaine – dopamine etc.

So if people are aware of this then one can surely infer that as we are all born unique, then we are all born with different base levels of these receptors and transmitters. These account for a significant percentage of our behaviours with a significant percentage coming from core beliefs. So if someone was born with a significant imbalance, it would stand to reason that this could have profound implications for the sufferer.

adhd_neuroscience

Now this does not mean that I don’t think we are overmedicated as a society, sometimes people may take medication for something which may have passed naturally overtime with no intervention. It is quite possible that some parents to use a condition to justify their child’s behaviour or simply adults trying to gain sympathy. However to dismiss it in its entirety without having all the information is a fairly ignorant mentality, I used to possess this ignorance myself until I was formally diagnosed after blurting it all out to my doctor who referred my for long and comprehensive testing.

I think that for people like myself, increased understanding and knowledge of all mental health conditions would be of great benefit to everybody, if people were able to open their minds and try to understand them it would mitigate their frustration in dealing with people with ADHD or things like depression, and it would also be a tremendous help to the sufferers.

What do you think about ADHD? Do you think it is all made up and sufferers need a good kick up the arse, or do you think that it is often overlooked/misunderstood? Please leave a comment below as I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

© Ed Briscombe. daedalusblog and the contents therein, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ed Briscombe and daedalusblog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Is ADHD a real condition? Or just an excuse for proud parents.

Entry into the world of vaping.

imageThe story of my introduction to vaping is the sequel to my decade long entanglement with smoking. I was 16 when I had my first cigarette. Initially I was horrified when I found out my brother had started, It wasn’t long before I jumped on the bandwagon keen to gain favour with him (it was at a time when we were transitioning from squabbling siblings to adults with mutual respect, and I was keen to catalyse the process).

Nicotine addiction is not something which happens overnight, contrary to what at school they may not have told us but certainly didn’t mind us assuming. Addiction happens over many months, once entrenched it can be very difficult to break as those reading this may well know. To a never smoker the analogy I like to use is that it can be comparable in difficulty to an overweight person slimming down to their biologically ideal BMI, further aggravated by the fact that one slip up seems to take you back to point A, more so than dieting.

It was only after 11 years my desire to smoke spontaneously ended, after years of trying to quit I suddenly lost my desire. My co workers assured me that this was a good thing, I on the other hand had managed to convince myself that there must be some underlying medical reason. Nearly a year went by and I hadn’t grown ill from some peculiar disease so I figure it was just one of those things that cannot be explained.

As the title suggests and as you may have gathered I entered the world of vaping despite being cigarette free for over a year. Telling people this led to people suggesting I had exercised poor judgement and likely thinking of me as some kind of an idiot, however it was a deliberate decision I made for the following reasons;

I did enjoy smoking especially the social aspect, I had even met my last girlfriend by asking her for a lighter. In addition as an ADHD-pi sufferer I use every weapon in my arsenal to mitigate the symptoms, nicotine being a mild stimulant does help especially with a coffee in the morning. Many of you may be echoing the original sentiment towards my choice asking if i can justify becoming addicted to offer marginal improvement for a condition that you might not even believe is real or all that severe. I agree with that in isolation it would not be a wise choice but combined with my other reasons I still maintain my decision was justified.

I never believed that vaping was particularly harmful, people loved to pontificate about how vaping was not proven to be any safer than smoking. Of course this does not mean that vaping is as bad as smoking because absence of evidence is not evidence in itself. An example of this would be me stating that an F-15 fighter has not been proven to be capable of destroying a spitfire in combat. It will probably never be proven but you can use common sense to infer what the likely outcome would be in that example. The ingredients in vape fluid are nicotine, flavourings, vegetable glycerine and/or propelene glycol (stuff used in smoke machines). These ingredients do not leave a residue unlike smoking whereby most people have whitnessed a smoking simulator in their science class where the tar left behind in the tube is significant. Nicotine is the only active ingredient which affects out bodies and it is worth reading What examine has to say about nicotine.

Additionally it is fun, there are thousands of flavours to try from doughnut to marmite, and the tech aspects appeal to my nerdy side. They can be as involved as you like, you can buy a kit which is simple and has everything you need to get going or if you develop an enthusiasm for it you can end up building your own coils, mixing parts, and learning about volts, watts and ohm’s law of resistance along the way. You can get skins to wrap over your device to customise it. It has a community and people even compete in various ways such as producing huge clouds (cloud chasing) or different tricks.

When you go into a vape shop there is always a great atmosphere, a wonderful blend of aromas hanging in the air like an aromatic nebula, full of intrigue. The enthusiastic buzzing of conversation as those indulging their deep passion cross paths. The store becomes carnival of stimuli meshed in a facility which stimulates each and every one of your senses.

So for me, enjoying this new world was not a hard choice. It was not a compromise between the safety of not smoking and the harmfulness of smoking. It transcended the pleasure I received from smoking and forged a new hobby and brought about a new enjoyment into my life. Please note that despite my own views I do not encourage any non smokers to take this up unless you are religiously choosing nicotine free e-liquid. I made my decision on a cost to benefit/ risk to reward basis.

 

© Ed Briscombe. daedalusblog and the contents therein, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ed Briscombe and daedalusblog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Entry into the world of vaping.