Monday, August 12, 2019

Underdose and Overdose

For decades, I've been fascinated with the idea that every substance has an ideal dosage for each of us. It may be true that a single molecule of some substance will kill me, but I doubt it. 

My body makes platelets, just like everyone's does, but mine makes more than average. A higher platelet count is associated with an increase of risk for strokes. A lower platelet count is associated with increased risk for other problems. Except risk is not a symptom, it's a statistic. I think there is great wisdom in not fixing something unless it's broken. A higher platelet count has some symptoms, and I watch for them.  The medical industry recommends that I take a mild poison (Hydroxyurea) in order to suppress activity in my bone marrow where platelets are made.  The recommendation is a prophylactic against me having a stroke.  One side effect of this medicine is the possibility that the person taking it will develop leukemia.  By suppressing bone marrow activity, it also diminishes the power of the immune system.

Platelets are the main ingredient in the human body's recipe for healing.  I heal faster than average because my body makes more platelets.  I do like that, but I don't want to have a stroke.  There is both "too many" and "too few" and I try to stay between them.

Everything has side effects.  "Too much of a good thing" is certainly possible, although we wouldn't call it a good thing if we got too much of it. Looking for the negative side effects in a good thing makes for pessimism.  I'm an optimist, but I also recognize that, for everything (not just substances), there is both "too much" and "too little."  "Too much" optimism, for example, suggests to me ignoring the negative effects of something, whether it's considered "good" or "bad." There's always a sweet spot, and for me, finding that sweet spot is part of the fun in this game of life.

If you'd like to practice my "underdose / overdose" analysis, re-read the previous paragraph but translate for "Too much of a bad thing," and use pessimism as the "bad thing."  It reminds me of a quote displayed at

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