Day 252, Thinking of My Family
Early this week, I have taken time to reflect on my family of origin.
My mood, energy, and general feeling of well-being are much better than they were last month. I am sleeping better too, about seven hours per night. I made five changes:
- I started taking 600 mg of SAMe each morning.
- I increased my nightly l-tryptophan from 500 to 1,000 mg.
- I decreased my nightly antipsychotic medication from 1.5 mg to 1.0 mg.
- I moved my dose of 5,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 from bedtime to before breakfast so it would not disturb my sleep.
- I started using a night-guard to protect me from my TMJ.
I decided not to suppress my inner voice as it is a great companion. However, now I call it “friend” and do not trust it any more than I would a friend. I do not fully understand the human brain. Apparently, the potential lies in all of us to venture into psychosis. There may not even be anything genetically wrong with me, as I supposed for so long. For now, I just need to ensure that I do not give control of my life to my inner voice.
I made a green drink this morning that tasted very good. My husband liked it too.
This morning, I watched an FMTV movie from the Transcendence Master Class about fulfillment. I feel fulfilled when I work on my blog. I also have a fulfilling marriage. I almost buried alive my dream of marrying my husband. Yesterday, Joel Osteen spoke on the topic of “Buried Alive.” He wanted us to take a dream we have given up, get it back out of the grave, and work on it because it is probably still alive. One of my dreams is doing something with nutrition, and it is still alive. When I applied for college at the age of sixteen, I declared my major as food science. I went on to major in computer science, temporarily burying the dream of doing something with food, but the dream never died entirely.
This morning I ate some nuts we bought through Instacart. Unfortunately, they were badly roasted, inferior nuts rather than the raw nuts I expected and ordered. I talked to my husband about it, and he re-affirmed that I knew where to get the good stuff. Later in the day, I ordered from nuts.com, which always has the best quality of nuts and the most enjoyable service. I got rid of the bad nuts.
Getting quality food is a challenge. Sometimes it costs more. V8 is not the highest quality food. However, it is not a bad choice for me. It is kind of a trade off. Better than not eating vegetables, it is convenient, tasty, and not terribly expensive. With the help of mixing two kinds of V8, I have been able to normalize my blood pressure and no longer need to take blood pressure medication. I was relying heavily on km Mineral Supplement for potassium, but now I use very little of it. That is good because besides being expensive, km Mineral Supplement has some drawbacks.
This graph shows my weight changes since June 28, 2017. I started losing weight when I first used Cronometer and maintained it for a while. Then, around the beginning of 2018, I had a prolonged depressive episode, which was probably caused by loneliness and losing sight of my dreams. I gained some weight. I had blocked my long-time boyfriend’s telephone number on my phone. I did not think he would ever marry me. Little did I know. Then to my surprise, we ended up moving to Colorado and getting married in 2018.
Except for a brief period of reduction when I started this blog, I gained more weight due to stress and the lifestyle we had at the retirement complex. The food there tasted great, but I started to put on pounds. Since the beginning of 2019, after we moved to our condo, my weight has slowly come down, with spikes along the way. It gets discouraging it is so slow. However, I am going to throw off the discouragement and stay in the game.
The game I am playing is Cronometer. Cronometer is a tool to lose weight but just as important is its role in ensuring complete and balanced nutrition. I believe doing this has helped maintain my mental health. In 2016, when I had my last manic episode, I did not have Cronometer.
One way to get unbalanced nutritionally is to have too much copper in the diet compared to zinc. Cronometer helps track this to keep the two in ideal balance. Too much copper can cause severe mental health symptoms. When I was eating a diet of almost straight green drinks and lots of nuts with almost no meat, I had too much copper in my diet and probably suffered some symptoms as a result. Now that situation is very unlikely to occur.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for mental health. Cronometer helps track the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation. Inflammation can lead to depression, and reducing it can improve your mood as well as your general health.
Ratio of Macronutrients
I do not know the ideal ratio of fats, proteins, and carbs, and perhaps there is no one ideal ratio. Currently, I am aiming for 60% fat, 23% carb, and 17% protein. That makes food taste good for one thing. If I eat much more fat, my diet does not work for me. I have tried the ketogenic diet. I agree with many of its principles, but I have backed off on trying to reach ketosis. However, you may want to try it. If you do, I recommend reading Fat For Fuel by Dr. Joseph Mercola. You may want to also pay attention to the possible drawbacks of the ketogenic diet, and one is that you can lose muscle mass. Dr. Mercola mentions this in his book.
Death and Dying
I just checked my email and learned that my sister is near death’s door. She is not expected to survive until tomorrow. I would write more about her, but she needs her privacy. She has not been well for some time. The state of North Carolina asked me if I would be her guardian, but I was not able to take her. Her situation is very sad.
I am still waiting to hear from my mother about her final situation. I know my mother has already been thinking about what to do.
I took a two-mile walk in the hallway this morning. I had a friendly conversation in my head with my inner voice. Since I have been writing today though, that second voice has been silent. Freud talked about the ego, superego, and id parts of the personality. I think sometimes I have mistaken the id for the superego. To explain everything I have done during a manic episode would be embarrassing, but let me say that my case is typical of people who have bipolar. The pre-frontal cortex of the brain is responsible for judgment. It appears that during mania, this part of the brain stops working correctly, and judgment is impaired. The id takes over. But what causes that? How can it be prevented? Medication can help, but it is not a sure thing.
I still have not heard word about my sister. I am praying that if there is a chance of recovery, she will recover. However, she has not been well for years.
I cut my husband’s hair tonight. He thought it was better than the first time. I was not entirely happy with it, but if he is okay with it, I will not worry about it. I also found out that our toilets have to be serviced and inspected so they will not waste so much water. That has to be done soon.
Family Home Evening
With the job of getting the toilets done and anxiously awaiting word about my sister, I am just a bit glum. I asked my husband if he would like a family home evening. Family home evening is a tradition from the faith of my birth that involves getting the family together on Monday night for a lesson, singing, games, and treats. With my family of origin of fourteen, it was quite an undertaking just to get together, but my parents usually managed it.
For my husband and me, we could do just about anything. I asked my husband if I should plan something, but he said no.
Instead of doing that, I have returned to my blog, still in a glum mood. Singing and treats might be just the thing right now, if I could think of something to sing. I can usually sing spontaneously about just about anything. There is no song in my heart tonight however.
However, I just sang a song about birds to my husband. He said it reminded him of a place he used to live in Utah that had many kinds of birds in his backyard. They would get up early in the morning and sing. He had robins, mourning doves, pheasant, magpies, and perhaps others we never identified. They put on a symphony. He said he could hear peacocks and peahens even though they were outside of his yard.
Maybe the next thing is treats. I have a few calories left in my budget. I think I will eat a few blueberries.
I cleaned the kitchen for a while. My husband went to bed early. I have still not heard from my mother again. People do not observe working hours when they pass, so it could happen in the middle of the night. Maybe I will call my mother.
I am not surprised that I could not get her. She could be on the phone with a family member or with the staff attending my sister. I will just have to wait to hear further word.
Unable To Sleep
Mom called me back, but she had not heard anything yet about my sister. She said she has been on pins and needles all day. I dropped off to sleep before getting ready for bed. Later I woke up. I got ready for bed, but then I could not sleep. I got up again, turned on the air-conditioner, got a drink of water, and read the Bible.
Mom said my sister may pass in the middle of the night, but she is not waiting up for it, so I assume she went to sleep. I wish I could do that. My sister who is three years younger than I had a hard time adjusting to being adopted into our family.
Some years ago, I searched God and my own soul, praying for the eternal welfare of everyone in our family, including this sister. I obtained a feeling of peace, especially about her. She certainly had a good heart. Life continued to be very hard for her, but at least I feel okay about her soul. Right now, she may already be gone. My heart is drawn out for her. My mother said she was not responding, and her vital signs were all but gone.
Now that the condo is cooler, I think I will re-attempt a night’s sleep. It is already past 2:00 AM.
Mom emailed me saying that my sister hung on for the night, even though no one can get a blood pressure reading from her. We do not know what will happen next. I still have hopes that she will recover.
My day is going well enough even though I am tired from my lack of sleep last night. My husband is happy and that helps keep me happy. I walked in the hallway and noticed I was getting a headache, probably from the chemicals just used to clean the carpets. I came back into the condo to get out of that.
I made a strawberry chocolate spinach shake for breakfast and a V8 broccoli shake for lunch. The V8 broccoli shake did not turn out that well, but the strawberry shake was delicious. I had some macadamias and a small apple for my afternoon snack.
I put on a pair of jeans I have not worn for a while because they were too tight. They are still a bit tight but okay. They remind me that I want to lose a few more pounds.
I heard somewhere lately any diet is a bad diet if it has an end date. When people go on and off their diets and resume their old habits, they have problems. I believe it is okay to change your diet, but it is important to always have some kind of an eating plan. I do not plan to ever give up on what I am doing, even though the progress is very slow.
Eliminating Blocks to Weight Loss
My husband is not alarmed by my weight loss because it has been very slow. I may be able to lose as much as I want and not alarm him, as long as I do it very slowly. I was worried we were going to get into a conflict over weight loss, but it looks like we are going to be okay. If I remove that worry, that will eliminate one of the blocks I have to weight loss.
Today, I studied the hormones produced by the anterior and posterior pituitary in the brain. I caught an error in the Web page I was studying however, so I do not think I will quote it. I learned from another page that Risperdal can cause pituitary tumors, which can possibly endanger vision, even completely. This is troubling. I started learning more about pituitary tumors and hormones. The pituitary is very close to the optic nerve.
As mentioned above, I have reduced the amount of antipsychotic I take. It would be wonderful if I could eventually get off of it. In the book Recovering Sanity by Edward Podvoll, he worked to get patients off their antipsychotic medicines.
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.