Friday, September 28th, Day Twenty-Four, Sleep
Today I got so caught up with blog entries from the past, I have ignored the present. That is what we do with our lives some times. In Alcoholics Anonymous, the program advised us to stay in the present.
Currently, my husband is here in the living room in his rocker. When he is there, it is easier for us to converse than when he is in the bedroom.
I am eating a breakfast with Orgain chocolate fudge whey protein. I like the taste and texture of the vegetable protein better, but whey is okay for a change. I also used pecans instead of walnuts, for a change. Pecans have a much higher ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 than walnuts. I can fix that ratio with a fish oil supplement however.
You may want to know my opinion about chocolate. I read a book years ago titled, Why Women Need Chocolate by Debra Waterhouse. I had to agree with her that as a woman, life without chocolate would be rather bleak. At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, we studied the health benefits of cacao or raw chocolate. Chocolate contains magnesium. The body can crave chocolate for the magnesium. Theobromine and caffeine in chocolate make it addictive, but they can make you feel good, and the amounts in typical consumption are non-toxic. You can buy cacao powder and add it to just about anything. I have even added it to chocolate fudge Orgain to make it taste even more like chocolate. Chocolate is very bitter without a sweetener, which presents a challenge.
Sweeteners less dangerous than table sugar are available. Orgain uses a number of natural sweeteners in their products. Some people object to them, but they seem okay for me.
I think the test of a sweetener is whether it causes you to eat uncontrollably. If you can control the amount you eat, a sweetener is okay. Diabetics can test sweeteners against their blood sugar to be sure it does not raise it too much. Weight watchers can test sweeteners against the scale to be sure it does not cause them to gain weight.
Avoid artificial sweeteners. They have been linked to many health problems, and they will not help you lose weight.
Table sugar is one-half fructose by weight. Other sweeteners are even higher. Though fructose can be a poison in the body, there is a threshold. Eat more than that threshold, and fructose is harmful to your heath. Eat less than the threshold, and it is harmless. More than fifty grams of fructose daily has been found to be harmful. You can track the amount of fructose in your diet with Cronometer. Cronometer shows me that for the last three weeks, my average daily intake of fructose is 17.2 grams.
I just realized I missed an appointment to get the jeep lubed. So much has happened the past few days, I spaced it out. I just re-scheduled for Monday at 9:30 AM. I now have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday of next week all scheduled with something.
I just posted Tuesday, September 11th, which was a huge entry. I wrote about my concerns about my mood and my husband’s addiction. I think one reason my mother was concerned about me marrying my husband is that she was afraid his alcoholism would depress me. What she may not realize is that I do not need a specific reason to get depressed. I can get depressed over anything or nothing. I have a depressive disorder, and I need to learn to manage it. It is very challenging. September eleventh, I started out in a very good mood, and it eroded by evening.
My hope is that you, my reader, will see some of the tools and techniques I use to manage my disorder because I believe they could be helpful to you or a loved one.
Emotional Guidance Scale
I want to share a very helpful technique I learned from Jerry and Esther Hicks in Ask and It is Given. Process twenty-two from their book can be helpful whether you are on top of the world or about to blow your brains out. The process is using the graduated emotional guidance scale. Roughly the scale looks like this.
- Insecure/guilty/ unworthy
- Fearful, grieving/depressed/despairing/powerless
I determine where on the scale I am right now. Right now I am enthusiastic/eager/passionate. I am excited about my blog and excited about my computer being fixed. However, there is a touch of being worried. My husband is having a hard time. We have a lot of unfinished business. I have not fully moved in. So I can start with number 13 and write a statement that explains how I feel and work up the scale:
I sometimes doubt anyone will read my blog.
I am disappointed that my husband’s condition is worse than what I thought.
I am overwhelmed by my husband’s falls and injuries.
I am impatient and frustrated with my husband sometimes, even though I pretend that I am not.
I do not think I will ever get access to all my things in Utah again.
I get bored when my husband tells me to just sit in place and does not want me to talk or write.
When he does that though, I can pray in my mind, and I am content
His immense gratitude, love, and admiration for me, however, give me hope for our relationship, and I am determined to be faithful.
I am optimistic about the success of our marriage. We have been together for a long time, and we are making it work. We have many positive moments together. The service I am doing is bonding me to him. His financial support for me is bonding him to me.
Being away from most of my things has given me the focus to industriously write like never before. My goal of being a writer is front and center.
I am very passionate about what I am writing about and am eager to enthusiastically express myself.
I am expressing joy and gratitude in my writing, often feeling vibrant, and being creative. My husband has noticed my happiness, and that is strengthening our loving relationship.
I have been through this exercise numerous times, usually starting from depression at the very bottom. Going from depressed to joyful does not happen in a single step. The process can be hastened by following a graduated, stair-stepping path like the one outlined above.
Cronometer Log Number Two
My husband asked for potato chips for lunch. I tried to interest him in something more nutritious, but to no avail. Then I pressed him to take some vitamin pills. The process of taking his pills is very slow, but he took a few.
I have thought of maybe doing a Cronometer log for him. That would be Cronometer log number two. I would feel compelled to fix every little imbalance. That may be putting more on myself than I want to take on, but I will think about it. I want to see him recover, and nutrition is a big part of the answer. He needs to be committed as well, however.
Today I got a doctor’s appointment for him. At last! Now the challenge will be getting him there. A social worker said that security was on hand to help him get to the medical center, if necessary. I also called the Loan Closet to see if we can get an extension on his transport chair. We have not used it a lot, but when we needed it, it was essential. [They called me back later today, and extended our loan for a month. They also offered to sell the chair for $100.]
I took my blood pressure just a few minutes ago, and it was 120/82–without my blood pressure medication. Again, I think that potassium supplement is making all the difference. Cronometer helps too because it tells me how much potassium I am consuming and gives me my potassium/sodium ratio.
I am starting to feel very hungry. I have been trying to skip my afternoon snack. Now I do not even know if I can make it until my afternoon snack. I have consumed only 842 calories today so far. I have usually consumed about 1,000 calories by now. A small snack to make up that difference may be just the thing. (It might not be too.) There. I am having a snack to get my calories up to 999. Can you believe that? Now, I may be able to skip my afternoon snack after all.
Cronometer tends to underestimate the number of calories I need. That means I can set it to “maintain weight”, and I will actually lose slightly, if I meet the requirements. A slight loss is all I need. When I diet, it is a tortoise race. I intend to get to the finish line no matter how slowly I go. You may be more interested in quick weight loss. You may have noticed that my first week was a quick loss, especially the first day. Then my progress really slowed down. That is not unusual or a problem. That is how the body works. The first few pounds of weight loss is generally not all fat.
If you are wondering how long I plan to continue writing these blogs, the answer is, “I do not know.” I plan to continue at least until I reach my target weight. I may want to continue writing beyond that and talk about maintenance or even lose a little more. Maintenance is very similar to weight loss. The calorie difference is very slight. It is still a good idea to track my food. It may not be quite as critical, but if I go too long being too lax about it, the pounds will start to come back on.
That is something I want to teach you how to avoid. You may already know what to do, but I want to offer some inspiration and an example.
Speaking of inspiration, my husband can do more than he thinks he can, but when I cheer him on, he is much stronger and steadier. As a health coach, I know that knowledge alone does not effect lasting change with your diet. You also need a coach. If my health coaching is not enough, I implore you to find someone.
I have a friend in Utah who weighed over 400 pounds. He recently told me he had lost over 200 pounds. I found out that a health coach had approached him in a restaurant and offered her services. Together they effected a massive change. Health coaching can really work.
My sister who lives in Southern Utah is also a health coach for a company that sells powdered fruits and vegetables. The key to the success of the company is the health coaching they include with the products.
Health coaching is a relatively new profession. Doctors and patients are starting to recognize it though because health coaches generally practice what they preach. Many health coaches have overcome enormous health conditions of their own and have become experts at those health challenges. Certainly heath coaches do not replace doctors, but they work alongside them for the betterment of their clients and patients.
For the coming week, our schedule is really filling up. We have a delivery tomorrow, Monday I am getting the jeep lubed, and Tuesday morning I am getting it sprayed for rodents. Tuesday afternoon is my husband’s first appointment at the medical center. Wednesday we are meeting with the management. Thursday I have a counseling appointment, and Saturday my niece is bringing in my Cadillac from Utah. Maybe that sounds easy to you, but I am feeling a tad overwhelmed. How can I overcome that feeling? I could work up from my emotional guidance scale. There may be another tool to use.
Since it has been difficult to get my husband anywhere, I think his appointment at the medical center is one of the first things to tackle. I am not sure the pharmacy we listed for him will carry his drugs. I need to call the pharmacy and ask them about that Monday. If they will not, I need to specify another pharmacy, so I need to inform the medical center about that, so they can list it in his welcome kit. If I choose a local pharmacy, it will involve more driving for me. I would rather use mail order if possible.
Now, what should I do about moving him? He may allow me to wheel him down to the medical center in the transport chair. If I do that, it will be the first time. He may see the critical nature of his medical appointment and allow me to do that. Can I trust that? If not, security is a backup. I can call the info number and arrange for security to wheel him down. If he is reluctant, security will use their persuasion to get him moved.
Let me pray about this concern:
I am so happy to have my computer working again.
My husband and I are getting along well.
We have finally secured an appointment for him at the medical center. It is critically important because he is out of medicine, which he needs for sleep and anxiety. I am feeling some anxiety myself over the logistics of getting him to the medical center. It is two buildings over, and it is connected to ours by two bridges. There are two elevators rides each way.
I think I have a solution for getting him there. I am just anxious that there is going to be a glitch, which could prevent my husband from getting the medical care he needs. So what I am really asking for is first, is there anything I can do to improve my plan? If not, will you give me peace of mind that everything is going to be okay?
I am wondering if I should find out more about getting help from security before I absolutely need it on Tuesday. I am keeping that as a backup plan, but backup plans need to be as well planned as Plan A.
There, in Google Contacts I have entered the phone number for Dispatch. They have been alerted that I may be calling. Is there anything else, Lord?
What would it be? Perhaps I need to do my meditation today. I started it earlier but was interrupted by a phone call. Do you recommend Mindfulness for Releasing Anxiety?
I meditated, got a bathroom break, and got two drinks of water. I am more at peace now. A wave of joy just went through my body. There is hope for me this coming week. There is hope for my husband as well.
Late Night Eating
My husband woke up. He asked me to cook him some grass-fed ground beef patties I had in the refrigerator. I have them on now. I am fixing them with sea salt, black pepper, and turmeric. My husband gets very hungry at night. He gets about as hungry at 9:00 PM as I am at 3:00 PM. Since our appetites are on such different schedules, we rarely eat at the same time. Maybe that will change over the course of our marriage.
I spent some time with my husband while he ate and afterwards. Now he is in the living room with me. Together we told the story of our relationship. We reminisced over our travels, the many times we ate out together, the times we watched the sunset together, and the time we watched a huge herd of sheep come down off the mountain at the end of the season.
I attempted to sleep just now, but my husband’s stomach needed attention. He woke me up, and I addressed his needs. I decided to write my book until he falls asleep, so I am not awakened just as I am dropping off to sleep. I got him some food and drink, and now I am writing. I do not want to get upset over this. I just want to adapt.
It is still before 10:00 PM. Let me reflect on how my day went. I did my Big Four (Cronometer, JV Life Tracker, meditation, and journal). That is a big accomplishment. I kept myself and my husband fed, though I did not do anything particularly creative in the kitchen. I did say to my husband this evening, “We have our own restaurant. What shall we call it? Shall we call it KaeLyn’s Korner Kitchen?” He thought that was a good idea. So now that I am the chef at KaeLyn’s Korner Kitchen, I need to think of more creative ideas for it.
I also contacted my niece to tell her the address of this place and how to get through security. I got a medical appointment for my husband. I went over the schedule for the week and taped post-it notes for each of our appointments to the freezer. I posted three entries to my blog, one for yesterday, one for the tenth, and one for the eleventh of September.
Battle Over Getting To Sleep
My husband begged me to come back to bed, so I did. Just as I was dropping off to sleep again, he woke me up a second time. I had put the item he wanted on the bedside table. He just wanted me to hand it to him! So, I guess you can tell my anger is aroused. I reminded him again that if he did not respect my sleep that I would flip out, end up in the hospital, and then he would not have me. It was probably a bad idea to use threats, but I was getting scared.
The bedside table used to be across the room from the bed. For a time shortly after our marriage, my husband would wake me up at intervals throughout the night to get him stuff. I asked maintenance to help us move a heavy chest, so we could move the table near the bed, so he could reach his things. I hoped this would help me sleep through the night.
That actually worked. So what is happening now? I have been able to sleep through the night for weeks.
I think part of the problem is that he has run out of sleeping pills.
I was going to wait until he fell asleep to go to bed, but that will not work because he is not likely to fall asleep any time soon. Let me go in the bedroom and see if I can lovingly work something out.
I started to go back to sleep, but my husband woke me a third time. This time I could not drop back to sleep on my own, so I called the crisis line for support. She suggested taking my sleeping meds. She said to call again if I needed it.
I took my sleeping meds and dropped off to sleep, but my husband woke me for the fourth time. I could hardly be aroused because I was under the influence of the sleeping meds. He kept clamoring for me to wake up, and I finally did. After getting him what he wanted, I finally did get to sleep and slept until about six.
Morning on Saturday
I am hoping the sleep battle goes away when my husband gets his sleeping meds on Tuesday. That may answer the question of what to do about his pharmacy. I need to use a local pharmacy so I can get his medicine right away rather than waiting for it in the mail. Later on, maybe I can change that for convenience. Even a two-day wait right now could be intolerable.
I ate some soup last night while I was battling the wake-up calls, so my weight went back up to 118.9 pounds this morning. Sleep trouble is associated with obesity, so it is very important to resolve issues. Not only that, sleep is very important to mental health. The lady at the crisis center acknowledged that. Fortunately the awakenings stopped in time for me to get five or six hours of uninterrupted sleep.