The Pomodoro Recovery
diet and weight loss | productivity
In this talk, Mette Dyhrberg present “The Pomodoro Recovery”. Following the bouncing castle accident, Mette has been diagnosed with concussion and was recommended to rest and avoid using electronic devices in order to recover. She started tracking her symptoms, diet, and resting and working habits using Pomodoro method and Mymee app. The lack of progress has prompted her to look at her tracking data, after which she realized that she may have been misdiagnosed.
So I call my presentation the Pomodoro recovery, and I have to say I broke all the rules because that doesn’t really reflect my presentation anymore because it was what I set out to do. And as we all know when you have self-tracking projects you start out with this hypothesis and you end up in a completely different place and that’s what happened.
So it started out with a bouncing castle and we all know those, and six foot six and me collided; not so happy. Got a big shiner but it was fine. And I took a few days relaxing; New York style, that is at home in front of the computer and you know you feel that you’re relaxing. And then three days later I took a drive to New Jersey of all places. I don’t go there very often and in my case I shouldn't have gone there at all; I felt like, I don’t know what. Something I can’t say here.
When I got home and I realized okay, I’ve got a concussion. I thought the shiner was all I got out of this bouncing castle, but I got a little bit more. And you know the following day, the weekly massage made me realize that okay a concussion is one thing, but I can’t do anything like just getting there you know, actually relaxing for an hour was more than my body would have wanted. So I realized I had to do something very different.
This was then the uniform for a good three and a half weeks. I started out thinking I could stay off electronics. That is very hard, you know it’s honorable but almost impossible. So it ended up being in the end that I felt best in dark rooms and you know, my little SAS flight mask was very convenient.
And then the Pomodoro came in, thanks to a friend of mine the Pomodoro was a resolution to everything in this world and I thought if programmers can program all day in these 25 minute intervals then it’s the perfect way for me to see if I can track my way out of this concussion.
And I started out with you know a good 25 minutes and it didn’t work out, but I slowly did a little bit more. And then I turned to self-tracking and people who know me know that I track all sorts of things already, but I changed the scope when I was sick because I had to have my phone turned off.
As I mentioned earlier technology is very hard to resist. When my phone was on I would hourly or maybe even twice an hour check emails or Facebook or something like that and even the doctor said there’s absolutely no way with your condition you can do that.
So I turned my phone back on, left it far away from the bed so I had to go over and actually turn it on, and then when I got the data I was surprised because the data did not reflect what I thought. It was not really that much of a correlation between what was going on with my headaches and how much electronics I was using. I had imagined that I would come here and I actually told Steve I was going to do the presentation before I did the experiment because I wanted to be a good student. So I wanted to come with these nice graphs that said you know, two Pomodoro equals no and five Pomodoro’s equal five headaches.
But it wasn’t the way it was. It was numbness that was unexplained. It was all these different things that were unexplained. And in the process the doctors sent me for MRIs because maybe you have a little bit of internal bleeding. I don’t know what a little bit of internal bleeding does to you, but I cried panicky and called a friend that didn’t even recognize my voice but luckily that friend decided to come because it was that bad.
Looking at all this data I realized all of the things that you anticipate when you have a concussion; nausea, dizziness and so on were not really present. I noticed that my headaches had gone much worse after my weekly massages. I noticed different correlations I hadn’t anticipated, and came to the conclusion that what if everybody was looking at my data and me with a label across my head that said concussion. And because of that the only recommendation was go home and lay down. Darkness and quiet is all you need and you’re going to feel better.
Week by week, I don’t know if it was crawling on the walls, because you do get a little paranoia when you spend that much time in your bed. But in the end of the day I didn’t feel better I felt worse. So I came to the conclusion that maybe the main course is something completely different.
And in comes Doctor Kerr. So I called around a few friends and said if I need somebody to look at me as a whole, no diagnosis to see if there’s something that’s misaligned maybe my back, maybe my head, maybe somewhere else; who do I go to. He was what they recommended.
I went the next morning and within 15 minutes and a few x-rays he said your neck is off by I think four and a half degrees. And to me four and a half degrees was like, well that’s not the reason. He’s like, oh yes it is. He’s like blood circulation to the left side of the brain is lower. The numbness and the stuff you have on your right side is because your nerves are stuck and so on and so forth.
So two hours later, in a machine he kind of done a neck adjustment, and two hours later I walked out of there pretty much feeling normal. I still had a bit of a concussion and I still had a bit of a headache for another week or so, but I actually found a cause that was very different than what was anticipated.
And then people always ask, so did you find anything that was like unanticipated. And in my case it was I apparently just had a thing for breakfast. I had breakfast three times a day and I know that’s specific but I’m like yeah I had it for a while. And my cofounder this morning – he’s the geek that kind of looks at all the data and he calls me and he goes, you had breakfast three times a day from August 23 to September 15, what’s up with that?
The only explanation I could come up with is when you spend a lot of time in bed; apparently you wake up at all sorts of hours just wanting breakfast. So with that adieu, tracking – I stole this from somebody else because he goes it works but you have to do it. And in my opinion you have to have do it right; it works but you have to do it right.