The Size of My Blood

Time dilation. When we consider time dilation, we have to bear in mind the importance of the observer.

Does 2022 appear dilated in the eyes of 2022? No. 2022 only appears dilated from the perspective of the past.

My mother has Alzheimer’s, as did both her parents. Some researchers—in particular, Dr. Lisa Mosconi—have been exploring possible links between Alzheimer’s and the way the brain changes during menopause.

24 months into menopause, I began to feel a decline in my cognitive processing speed. The feeling I had, the thought that came to mind, was very precise: My brain is not getting enough oxygen. I noticed the veins on the backs of my hands were bulging. My blood, I thought. It’s too big. It’s not getting into the smallest capillaries. When we lived in Boston, my mother and I both used to suffer from Reynaud’s.

There is an interesting difference between male and female fertility. I was born, in 1969, with all of my eggs intact. A man makes several million sperm per day—about 1,500 per second. My eggs, in a sense, are more like hardware—relatively fixed or immutable over time. Sperm are more like software—constantly being revised and rewritten, re-made. Together, two views of time are more robust than one. We can measure the speed of the ship; and we know its port of origin.

My brain is more like an ovary and my blood is more like sperm. My brain is not being replaced every 120 days. My blood is.

My blood is newer than the rest of me. My body makes 2 million new red cells every second. Am I making new red blood cells that are “too large” for my brain? My blood is being manufactured according to the scale of 2023 (recall this is an expanding universe). But my brain, my hardware, is less versatile.

Conversely, am I making new red blood cells that are too small, therefore requiring me to make too many of them in order to maintain adequate blood volume?

In the past, I have had a lot of problems with oxalates. I can feel unwell during gluconeogenesis (“making new sugar,” which fires up the oxalate pathway). I was diagnosed with Pyroluria at one point—a defect in heme synthesis—a problem with making new blood.

When I make new things (blood, sugar, oxalate), am I doing so with a correct understanding of the scale of the universe—the degree of time dilation? Today does not appear dilated in the eyes of today. Today only appears dilated in the eyes of yesterday. And in the eyes of tomorrow, today appears the opposite of dilated—it appears contracted.

Does time (scale, time dilation) play more of a role in our illnesses than we realize?

Abnormalities in the size of red blood cells has been shown to be a chief feature of Long COVID.

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