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So it has come to this...

Iceland is not made for humans to live on. One would think that by being a barren island in the middle of the Atlantic, with weather ranging from wind with a lot of rain to rain with a lot of wind Iceland made it pretty clear that it would like to stay unpopulated.

But the crazies (including me) came anyway and we found ingenious ways to survive the local conditions, especially the long dark winter months. We knit lopapeysurs to keep us warm. We struggle with a ridiculously complicated language to keep us occupied. And we drink fish oil to make up for the fact that sometimes we cannot even remember when we last saw the sun.

It is called Lysi and made out of cod liver. It either tastes as fishy as one would expect or like dish washing liquid (as they cover the fish taste with lemon flavour for the weak like me). It is the most used food supplement in Iceland. My guess is that more than 90% of Icelandic people take it. For a long time I did not want to because I do not like taking supplements (I do not trust the supplement industry) and it is effing fish oil. 2 teaspoons a day!

This winter I felt tired, suffered from fatigue, had spouts of insomnia, had an episode of backpain, was sick several times and my acne was worse than ever. I also repeatedly got told, by every single motherly figure in my life, that I have to do something about my vitamin levels. So I finally gave in and bought the lemon version of fish oil.

Of course it is not enough for me to just take fish oil, I have to make a project out of it. So I made a little index (see below) to keep track of my general well being. I will assess myself every week and see whether something changes in the next 3 months. This is obviously a very weak research. The index has not been tested for validity or reliability. Also some questions have more weight than others (being sick) and there is a Lickert scale in there, while all the others are analog scales. Most of the questions have been taken from indexes for the listed conditions, namely the Fatigue Severity index, Acne severity scales and the visual analog scale. Others (such as number of nights with insomnia) are straight forward. However, even when in three months I turn out to have become a well rested, energetic strong individual with shiny hair and smooth skin this might be due to the sun coming back, it getting warmer or any other factor I'm not controlling for.

It also has to be said that I came back to Iceland from living in South America. Which means that I exchanged lying in the sun drinking cheap, delicious rum (Flor del Cana is not available in Iceland) for sitting in the cold and dark drinking expensive (everything in Iceland is) fish oil. Voluntarily. Low vitamin levels might not be the only thing wrong with me

Current state = 21 / (7-42)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
How fatigued was I this week? (full of energy to exhausted) x
Fatigue interferred with my work, school or social life (Disagree - Agree ) −3 −2 −1 0 1 2 3
Nights with insomnia x
Severity of Acne outbreaks <3 lesions <3 lesion and whiteheads connected lesions connected lesions and whiteheads 10%-25% 10%-25% and whiteheads >25%
Backpain this week (none to excrutiating) x
Sick? no yes

Posted on - Categories: Iceland

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