Day 111, Will Abilify Save My Sight?

“The human eye has to be one of the cruelest tricks nature ever pulled. We can see a tiny, cone-shaped area of light right in front of our faces, restricted to a very narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum. We can’t see around walls, we can’t see heat or cold, we can’t see electricity or radio signals, we can’t see at a distance. It is a sense so limited that we might as well not have it, yet we have evolved to depend so heavily on it as a species that all other perception has atrophied.”
 
“We have wound up with the utterly mad and often fatal delusion that if we can’t see something, it doesn’t exist. Virtually all of civilization’s failures can be traced back to that one ominous sentence: ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ We can’t even convince the public that global warming is dangerous. Why? Because carbon dioxide happens to be invisible.”
 
 
110 days since Day One, I am happy.  I am maintaining my weight loss.   Here are reminders for today.
 
 
If you are still losing weight, reduce the number of calories by 500 calories or so.
 
Today’s high will be in the mid-40s.  I can get outside at 2 PM to take out the trash and walk to the library and park.
 
Are these Madonna lilies not beautiful?  The above photo is our Christmas bouquet.  My husband suggested New Year’s flowers, too.  However, I plan to buy some for Valentine’s Day, which will be in a few weeks.
 
Most significantly, I am happy.  There is a pot of gold on the other side of weight loss.  Persistence is the key.  Fortunately, I did not have to lose a lot.  However, over the past three decades, I have lost more than 40 pounds and kept most of it off.
 
What next?  What will the New Year look like?  My New Year’s resolution is to continue with what I am doing.  I want to re-publish my Vibrancy app on Google Play, get my ebook on Amazon, and convert my cookbook to Kindle.  I want to continue my blog and promote Joyful Vibrance Net, which I have re-opened.  It makes me happy to share myself this way.  Writing is my thing.
 
What is right for you?  Have you found the magic project that keeps you going and lifts your spirits?
 
The pandemic has been a challenge for us all.  One of its most insidious effects is that it can trigger depression.  Fortunately, I found a way to combat that, but not before I spent four days at Santa Fe House.   My therapist later recommended The Happiness Trap, a book for you if you struggle with not feeling like doing anything.  Getting yourself going again is a fantastic achievement if you are down.  It can lift you out of depression.  How can you reliably get out of lethargy and stay out?  Study this book.
 
The book introduces the ACT program:  1) accept your feelings, 2) connect with your values, and 3) take action.  To fully implement this, determine your values.  I had already done that, but I did it again.  Here is my current list:
 
 
Afterward, I started keeping a diary called Vibractivity, a second copy of Cronometer.  The activities I log are linked to one or more of these values, so each day, I can see whether I have emphasized supportive action.  Now I get important things done, stay in balance with my principles, becoming vibrantly joyous in the process.
 

Evening

 
2021 so far has been pleasant.  I got out to dump the trash and pick up the mail before dark.  Now, I am finishing up my day’s projects.  My husband is in the living room watching T.V.  I finished with his back, for now.   Since I have been keeping my log, I have scratched or rubbed him 29.5 minutes per day on average–every day.  He has an insatiable appetite for it.

 

Risperdal Threatens Sight

 
I walked a while indoors tonight, thinking about the next three days.  I will be getting labs to test my prolactin levels and starting a new medicine, Abilify.  My doctor wants to know the before and after levels.  He said Abilify reduces prolactin levels.  We will see if it works.  Hopefully, that will shrink the possible pituitary tumor and save my optic nerve from further destruction.  Whether I will gain back my lost sight is doubtful.  However, I can hope.  If I can keep it from getting worse, that may be satisfactory.
 
Tomorrow, I plan to start the jeep and make sure the battery is okay.  I rarely use our car, so it could be dead.  If everything works, I am set to get the labs done on Monday.  Those of you who believe in prayer, I hope, will pray for me.  For years, I have suspected my medication was hurting my sight.  However, several eye doctors did not uncover the connection, even after extensive testing.  A psychiatrist did not think there was a link either.  My current psychiatrist says he has never seen the problem, but he did not deny that it could happen.  He is willing to help me, so I am encouraged.
 
Abilify is already on the pharmacy shelves.  Let me see if I can get it delivered.  There, I used the pharmacy’s app.  It will be here Tuesday, in time to start taking it after my labs.
 

Acceptance is Hard

 
If you know me, you know that I resisted my medication for decades.  However, I paid for that with multiple hospitalizations that I probably could have avoided.  Whenever I reach acceptance of my bipolar, something else happens to convince me of its seriousness.  I have never answered the question of why I have it.  Perhaps, that is something God will tell me eventually.
 
My quest is to handle it as gracefully as possible.  If you or a loved one has bipolar, I feel for your situation.  Once you accept your medications, you still have to deal with their side effects.  They are often overwhelming.  I have never gotten used to the “cotton” mouth and persistent thirst that accompanies my regimen.  Now that Risperdal is threatening my vision, I feel all the more inundated.
 
However, I was in a pleasant mood for most of the day.  Let me return to my hopeful thoughts.  I believe that things will be okay.  This is another lesson in the curriculum God has for me.  Right now, I am enjoying incredible harmony with my husband.  My actions are in-line with my values.  Things are okay.
 

Prayer

 
 
EVENING PRAYER
 
Dear Lord,
 
My mood started to drop this evening, but I steered away from answering the question, “why am I down?”  If my brain has a reason for a low mood, it will dive into it.  Instead, I will look for reasons why I am happy.
 
I am finally doing something about my vision loss.  It has gradually gotten worse for years.  It is not the effect of aging.  Something else is going on.  At last, I may be able to reverse it.  Abilify may be the answer.  That is a reason to rejoice.
 
I opened the Joyful Vibrance Net website.  There are not many members yet.  However, if people join with their friends, they can enjoy its social aspects.  I plan to coach those who are interested.
 
I am logging my chiropractic exercises.   My goal is to do the short workout four times weekly for five weeks.  This week I did it three times and the previous two weeks four times.  I have two more weeks to go; then, I will set a new aim.
 
My neighbor loves to work out at the recreation center.  However, the pandemic limits the number of people that can be there at a time.  He has had difficulty finding an open time slot.  Then he obtained three reservations in one week, so he was elated.
 
Lord, help me get through the coming week.  Please, help me to enjoy my exercise more.
 
Amen.
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.  If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below.  Please continue this journey with me by clicking on the arrows at the right of the page.
 
 
 
 
 
 
This article, with its diet diary, shows what worked for me.  I do not claim that it will work for you.  Consult a licensed medical provider to determine your diet and medical care.  These blog entries do not diagnose or treat any disease.  If I provide any clues for you or your provider, I will be happy.
 
 

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