Monday, September 17th, Day Thirteen, Medicine
Wow! I lost 1.3 pounds yesterday. I am now at my lowest point since starting this journey. Just getting to 118.9 pounds is good psychologically. It seems so much lower than 119, even though it is not.
I am taking my thyroid medication first thing this morning, along with some tyrosine and gabapentin (prescription only). My husband fell in the bathroom again last night. He was not seriously hurt. Other than that, he had a much better than average day yesterday. The executive functions of his brain were more active. He was more alert. He spent more time out of bed. I pray this trend will continue.
Let me say a prayer of gratitude:
I am so grateful for this morning. My husband is showing improvement. I am so grateful I shed over a pound last night and progressed along this journey with my online friends.
As you know, it is a challenge for me to drive. Help me to enjoy it today and derive satisfaction from the sense of freedom it sometimes gives me. Help me not to be exhausted after I return that I may have a successful day of writing and taking care of my husband, residence, car, and myself.
Bless my readers. Some may have come with me through this entire journey so far. It is my belief, since it is so easy in our world to gain a few pounds or even more, that virtually everyone needs to learn the skill of shedding a few pounds, at least now and then.
Even though I have been successful at dieting in the past, the way I responded to challenges in my life resulted in my gaining a few pounds, which I want to take off again. Now I see that as an opportunity–an opportunity to marshal the knowledge I have acquired in the past, apply it, and help others along their journey. Not only is my past knowledge necessary, but I need new knowledge and wisdom, which I can obtain through your guidance. With your help and blessing, Father, we can all be successful.
I finished off the rice pudding from last night. I was just looking over its nutritional profile. It is very nutritious as well as being economical.
It does need help from fish oil though, so I will have some of that.
Even though omega-3 from plant sources is great, I agree with Dr. Barry Sears in recommending fish oil with its EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. ALA from plant sources is converted to DHA and EPA, but very slowly. Cronometer does not distinguish between different types of omega-3 fatty acids. That would be a great enhancement. I use fish oil and plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
You already know that I have considered and tried veganism. In all deference to its adherents, I think that for myself, with my mental health challenges, I need the support of the animal kingdom as well as the plant kingdom for my sustenance. If you are vegan or even vegetarian and struggle with mental health issues, you may want to be open to eventually reconsidering your decision. You can supplement much of what you need, but I believe you will inadvertently omit nutrients that are only in animal products. Do your best for yourself, and consider all your needs. You have my blessings, whatever your decision is.
If you are overweight and considering bariatric surgery, please follow me through this travel log and seek other options first. Surgery severely limits what you can eat and puts you at risk of dehydration. It can help you lose weight, but there are less invasive alternatives. If you want to go ahead with surgery, that is your choice. I give you my blessing whatever you do.
Now, on to victory with my day.
Again, I listened to Stuart Kaplan’s Finding Your Purpose in Insight Timer. That guided meditation resonates with me. “The light and power of God is guiding me in everything I do,” he says. I pray that I am guided in what I say and do.
I have had a little diarrhea this morning, so I may have overdosed on magnesium last night. It is usually not a serious problem, but it may leave me a little weak. There is a tiny window between too much and too little magnesium. You may need to experiment to get that right yourself.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D. is an expert on magnesium. Though I have not read her books, I read her newsletter for a time and watched her on YouTube. She explains how to get enough magnesium without triggering the laxative effect. I generally need the laxative effect myself.
Magnesium is a very important mineral that most people could use more of.
- alleviates depression and anxiety
- permits an easier bowel movement
- permits relaxation of the muscles
- improves sleep
- is an antidote to stress
- reduces LDL cholesterol
- can prevent a heart attack or stroke
- is needed for bone health
- aids in cell reproduction
- is needed for the replication and efficiency of mitochondria, the energy organelles of every cell in the body
- is essential for glutathione production
- activates enzymes needed for repairing DNA
- aids protein synthesis in ribosomes
- activates enzymes involved in the production of energy
- may reduce high blood pressure
- helps regulate body temperature
- helps retain healthy potassium levels in the body
- helps lubricate eyes
Magnesium has an impressive resume. I have long paid attention to magnesium. Often I do not get enough without supplementation.
It is just about time for my medical appointment. Last week it did not work out, so I am going this morning. My blood pressure was high this morning, so I took some medication. I wonder if it is high over my nervousness about seeing a new doctor.
Though I respect the medical profession for what I cannot do through nutrition and lifestyle alone, I also realize they are only part of the answer to my overall health. I know a medical doctor who does not believe in alternative health at all. I think that is a myopic point of view. I believe in an integrative approach. Other people who are into alternative health in a big way discount the medical profession. I believe that is myopia also.
When it comes to our health, we need to explore as many options as possible. I believe in going for the cost-effective solutions. Cost is not the only consideration. Some procedures and medicines are damaging to the body and should be avoided or only used as a last resort.
What I do not care for is having medical care forced on me, which has happened a number of times. I have tried to be forgiving toward the people involved, but I believe we should have a say in determining what medical care we are going to receive.
As usual, I got exhausted after driving. I have been very tired all afternoon. I felt some serious crusting on my scalp. My sister had that symptom, and doctors diagnosed lupus. I should get my situation looked at. I hope it is not that, but if it is, I need to deal with it.
I ate too much snack today and left almost no calories in the budget for dinner. I feel too tired to fix anything, but my husband is expecting something. He said we can get delivery food. Maybe I can order something and just put it in the refrigerator for later. That way there would be enough for him, and I would not have to cook.
I checked DoorDash. Delivery fees are higher right now. Maybe I can think of something to cook. My husband usually does not consume that many calories. I hate to spend all that money on delivery food when we have a refrigerator stuffed from two Instacart deliveries this afternoon. I fixed my husband some veggie fries earlier today, so I have already done some baking. I have 49 calories in my budget for myself.
I am feeling a bit glum. My medical condition could be serious. I cannot assume it is anything until I know for sure though.
It is now 8:42 PM. I am feeling much better. I have had a recovery; I rested, read, and spent time with my husband. I listened to a Joel Osteen message. He is always very uplifting. He reminded me to have a good “recording” in my mind about who I am. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” “I am beautiful.” “I am talented.” Hey, I have already lost six pounds in 12 days. I am off to a great start. I will be successful. I am already successful.
I cleaned up the kitchen! I did not think I would do that tonight I was so tired. I am getting my second wind. I had a snack of two large mushrooms. I went over my calorie budget slightly, but there is still a good chance I will lose by tomorrow.
I did not do JV Life Tracker today. I had to leave fairly early this morning, and by the time I got back, I was exhausted. Maybe I can skip it today. Bedtime is probably more important.
I may want to look into what I can do about the exhaustion I always feel from driving. It could be an allergy to petrochemicals. Whether there is anything I can do to fix it, I do not know. I need to find a primary care physician soon. I can discuss that with him or her. The exhaustion is so severe, it is disabling.
Maybe my driving anxiety is just exhaustion. I do not have panic attacks. Perhaps I am afraid to drive to Grand Junction out of fear of getting too exhausted, especially with the rigors of taking care of a disabled husband.
My husband says we can stop mid-way in Glenwood Springs. That would help, but I am still too afraid to do it. If my husband will sober up, and he has done so many times, he can drive himself. If he wants us to go to Grand Junction, perhaps he can drive us there himself. If I try to do it, we risk having me fall asleep at the wheel.
To top it off, my medication, Risperdal, slows down my reaction time and makes me sleepy, which puts me at risk. Am I making excuses for myself, or am I just being wise? I am not supposed to drive while taking my medicines until I know how they affect me. I know what they do. I have to be cautious.
I have shared in this book some of the side effects of my medication. You too may be dealing with side effects from what you take. Sometimes the treatment seems to be more disabling than the disease itself. I kept hoping for years that I would find some way to stay stable without having to take my medication. That hope so far has not been realized.
In 2016, I experienced my most recent manic episode. In some ways, it was more severe than any I had previously. I was in the hospital for 24 days. After I came home, I decided to commit to my medication, no matter how much I hated it. I had been writing Joyful Vibrance, Volume I, and I had to re-write some things. I thought alternative medicine was going to work alone, but it did not. I have never returned to the highly elevated moods I had before my episode.
It is bedtime and my husband is calling me.