Sunday, September 23, 2018, Day Nineteen, Potassium
It is 5:47 AM. I am up early again today, despite taking more medicine last night. I am a bit tired but fairly alert. I just posted yesterday’s entry. Maybe it will be best to always post first thing in the morning, when I am relatively fresh.
I may not get a good reading on my weight this morning. Yesterday, I consumed 1615 calories of 1700 in my budget. Generally, that means I will lose weight.
We will see how it goes this morning.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, a positive psychology researcher, determined twelve activities that increase well-being and happiness in the How of Happiness. My counselor in Utah recommended her book. These activities are:
1. Express gratitude
2. Cultivate optimism
3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison
4. Practice acts of kindness
5. Nurture social relationships
6. Develop strategies for coping
7. Learn to forgive
8. Increase flow experiences
9. Savor life’s joys
10. Commit to your goals
11. Practice religion and spirituality
12. Take care of your body
Number one is to express gratitude, not just to feel it, but to get it out somehow. I am grateful this morning that I have the use of this computer and the Internet. This has allowed me to carry on with this writing. The Internet has changed most of our lives to a great extent. The change can be overwhelming, but it is also freeing. I love the availability of information. Now, if I have a question about anything, usually somebody on the Internet has addressed it.
I am grateful we have this residence. My husband said there is a 50/50 chance we will be here through the winter. I think our chances are greater than that. [Update: Later today he said our chances of staying here are as high as 70%.] I loved my place in Utah, but it was never my dream to always live with my parents. When my health fell apart at the turn of the millenium, my parents sold my house and used the money for my apartment in their new home. That worked, and I was grateful to have a nice place, but I felt stuck. They legally tied up the money, so I could not sell my place, even to them. I love my parents, but I am glad to finally be away.
I am grateful that I have already eaten breakfast and no nausea. Can I dispatch a symptom by prayer, meditation, and thought alone? Belief is a powerful thing. I believe you can affect reality through belief. Beliefs immediately affect the way you perceive reality. I can use essential oils for nausea as well. Thanks to the Internet, I have instructions on which to use and how.
I just did a song and dance for my husband. I am grateful I can do that. I must be feeling even better today.
For breakfast I ate:
10 grams unsweetened dried coconut
20 grams creamy chocolate fudge Orgain whey protein powder
12 grams walnuts
1 small Brazil nut
2.5 grams lecithin granules
51.5 grams cooked brown rice
28 grams heavy whipping cream
.5 gram TMG (trimethylglycine), removed from the capsule
.2 gram sea salt
400 tasty calories
Mix everything and add a little filtered water for desired consistency.
This meal is Zone balanced. According to Cronometer, the net carb grams are just slightly greater than the protein grams. It is 64% fat. It is lacking in vitamins C, A, and K, which I could get from Amazing Grass or fresh spinach.
I am having 57 grams (2 ounces) of raw, fresh spinach.
I described what lecithin and TMG can do on Thursday
, September 6th.
I am now feeling happy and optimistic.
Optimism vs. Pessimism
In college, I was not known for being optimistic. Pessimism was my style. Studies
have shown that optimists live longer and are happier than pessimists. So, what happens if you get less than what you expect? Does the “let down” reprimand you for being optimistic? Of course, an optimist can always tell himself, “Not yet. Next time it will work.” ‘Yet’ can be a very powerful word.
There is another way to look at optimism. If a “disaster” happens, you can always tell yourself that you are grateful it was not worse. You can even tell yourself it was not a disaster. It was just a minor glitch.
You can call your disease a challenge. One thing I never say to others about myself is, “I am bipolar.” I say, “I have bipolar.” If I have something, I can always lose it. That is optimistic thinking when it comes to a disease!
During my manic phases, I believed I would never die. That is optimistic. Jesus said, “and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:26 NIV) What did He mean by that? He apparently did not use the word ‘die’ to mean the same thing we do. Could it be that He was right? My current understanding is that our soul will live forever, but there could be other meanings. If we believe Jesus, we have reason for optimism.
Seeing that I have no nausea symptoms this morning, after suffering it much of the day yesterday, I have reason for optimism. Perhaps I can squash the other symptoms as well.
Seeing that I lost seven pounds so far, I am optimistic I can lose more. Getting off to a great start is encouraging, but what if the loss slows down the second and third week? Then what? Sometimes we must summon our faith that things are going to work out.
The famous genius Albert Einstein is credited
(perhaps erroneously) for saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” I beg to differ with this. You may have heard the story of the stonecutter who hammers at a rock over and over with no apparent results, and then at last it breaks.
Sometimes it is necessary to do something repeatedly, without apparent results, to get the result we want. We can eat the same thing day after day, and the scales may not budge. Then one day, we suddenly lose–a lot.
When we repeat an action a second time, the results of the first time feed into the initial conditions, which are different than the initial conditions the first time. The compounding of this effect over repeated attempts can be enormous.
The starting points of each attempt are certainly at different times, which changes everything. The results may look the same each time, but appearances can deceive. With repeated effort, desired results can happen. They will not necessarily, but it is certainly possible. I can think of better definitions for insanity.
I believe you are going to be here, reading this. Is that optimism or what? What other optimistic things can I think of? There must be ways to practice
optimism. I believe I am going to be fine. I will reach my goals. That is not to say my goals never change though I often dig out and reach old goals. That is one reason I like to read my old journals. JV Life Tracker
reminds me of my daily goals, so I do not forget them.
I believe I will like myself. When I get depressed, I probably will not
like myself. However, I know I will always get undepressed. When I do, I will be even stronger than I was. I am currently working on a project to get undepressed at a faster rate. I am optimistic that I will make progress at that. I may even make a solid breakthrough I can share with others. I have shared my JV Life Tracker
app, which always has and will help me.
Though I felt depressed earlier this year, I never lost the belief that I would recover. This bit of optimism got me through my dark days and even helped me survive. Because I always had that belief, in a sense I was not really depressed. I had not lost all hope.
I am optimistic that my marriage will be a success. Statistics are pessimistic, but I do not have to believe them. My husband and I have the advantage of 153 months of knowing each other. I have come to an acceptance of my husband’s challenges. I am optimistic that I am up to them.
Computer and Cadillac
I am optimistic that my computer will either be fixed, or I will get a better one. My data is either secure, or I will not need it. I believe I will need my data. I put it in a secure place, so I am optimistic it is okay.
We will either stay here or move, whichever situation furthers our goals. I am optimistic that if moving would be too much stress for us that I can convince my husband to stay here, at least for a time. My niece will get my Cadillac here safely. If she does not, perhaps I will not need the Cadillac. Perhaps I will get a large sum of money instead.
I am optimistic that my mother’s eyes will work better than they did before her cataract surgery. I believe that my eyes will work the rest of my life, though I believe I must care for my eyes, so I will.
I have never practiced optimism like this before. What an exercise! Sonja Lyubomirsky listed “cultivating optimism” as the second activity that engenders happiness. ‘Cultivating’ to me implies getting the weeds out. Pessimistic thoughts are like weeds. In cultivating optimism, we get pessimism out by the roots.
People probably worry more about the loss of their eyesight than any other function. As a young adult, I had some serious nightmares about losing my sight. When I was 21, I started writing a story about a beautiful 21-year old girl, Lisa. Criminals shot her while she was driving, and she lost both eyes. She returned from where she was modeling bathing suits in Los Angeles to Boulder, Colorado, where her parents lived.
With the encouragement of my first husband, I later fleshed the story into a novel. I have yet to publish it. Why? I have had a hard time dealing with my obsession about blindness. I was even afraid for a time that it would jinx me into losing my sight myself.
I published the sequel called Scarlet Night on
Amazon.com under KaeLyn Morrill. The heroine of Scarlet Night
is more like me. Katella is an engineer. She designs a computer device that helps her blind friends ‘see’ things on the computer with their fingers. She falls in love with a blind musician. But, and this is no surprise to most of my readers, she has bipolar disorder. Her dilemma in the story parallels my own. I wrote the novel in the 1990’s and have yet to solve the dilemma, though I gave it a great deal of thought.
Did writing all of this help me deal with my fear of blindness? I thought it did, but in 2011, my ophthalmologist gave me a battery of tests for glaucoma, which is a leading cause of blindness. Through the tests, which lasted about a month, I was extremely worried. I tried to imagine a good future for myself, even if I went blind, but it was very difficult.
Fortunately, my eyes are doing okay. The doctor found a lot of pressure in my eyes, but said that because my corneas were thick, I did not have glaucoma.
Still, we all depend on the grace of the Almighty for the sight of our delicate eyes.
For distance, I can see okay without glasses. For close work, I use reading glasses.
My eye doctor recommended OcuviteÒ vitamins as an eye supplement. I took that for a while then decided to take something stronger. I take:
1. 4 mg astaxanthin
2. 4 mg zeaxanthin
3. 40 mg lutein
These can be taken in a single pill, though I take them as three separate pills; it is cheaper. So far, my right eye is stronger in 2018 than it was in 2011.
My left eye is weaker though and occasionally has clouds. It has been sore a lot, so I worry about it.
I also take P5P (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate), the activated form of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps the body absorb magnesium, which is needed for eye lubrication. Omega 3 oils also improve eye lubrication.
Kale, spinach, and eggs are natural sources of zeaxanthin and lutein. Vitamins A, C, and E are also important for the eyes.
Six key things seem to help my eyes:
1. Supplements and nutritious food (mentioned above)
2. Shampooing my eyes with baby shampoo to reduce my blepharitis infection
3. Hot packing the eyes to revive the Meibomian glands in the eyelids
4. Lubricating the eyes with long-lasting eye drops
5. Wearing sunglasses while driving
6. Cleaning and otherwise maintaining my reading glasses
If you think that is a great deal to keep up with, you are right, but what are eyes worth? They are irreplaceable and of infinite worth. I can get a new computer. I can get a new car. However, new eyes would not work.
It is time for me to commit more fully to a consistent self-care regimen. I will make a filter called “Eye Care” in JV Life Tracker
and track these six activities.
I just took my km Mineral Supplement
with 14 different herbs
to get closer to my potassium needs for the day. Meeting the RDA (recommended daily allowance) is probably the hardest for the mineral potassium. The RDA is 4700 mg/day, which seems almost unapproachable. I have
reached or exceeded it a few times lately, however, with the help of my potassium supplement. Vegetables and fruits are just about the only adequate organic sources of potassium, which is probably one of the reasons they are so important to good health. One serving alone is not enough.
My paternal grandmother suffered from high blood pressure. Her doctor told her to eat more potassium. I remember a picture with rows of high-potassium foods tacked up on her kitchen cupboard. Now that I am about the age she was when I was a child, I am challenged by high blood pressure myself. Getting enough potassium is something I think about every day.
My medication lithium makes the situation even more dire. Lithium replaces potassium in the body, causing the potassium to be lost. Animal studies
have shown that potassium can prevent the damage lithium does to the kidneys. This was hopeful for me to learn. My blood pressure is much easier to control without medication when I get enough potassium. My nurse practitioner even told me to stop taking my blood pressure medication. That saves me from the damage caused by my high blood pressure medication.
Besides showing potassium consumption, Cronometer
offers a nutrient balance chart that shows potassium/sodium balance. These values can help me control my blood pressure.
My grandmother died of a stroke/heart attack/stroke series. Whether she had enough potassium in her body at the time I do not know. I just know that getting enough is a challenge for me. It must have been even more difficult for her, not having the tools I enjoy today.
I was concerned about the km Mineral Supplement not being perfect. It is also a bit expensive. I was about to abandon the idea of ordering it again. Then My Higher Power figuratively took me in His arms and urged me to reconsider.
I found a Web site where I could order the supplement by the case and buy it wholesale. It was a lot less expensive than buying it from Univera itself. I talked to Jon Ragonese
himself on the phone and found him to be very personable and energetic. I felt he was an answer to prayer. The supplement still is not perfect. It has preservatives, and it has too much iron to be useful to some people. It seems however, to be increasing my energy and keeping my blood pressure normal.
I made and enjoyed some gingered lemonade
. My nausea never bothered me today, but I enjoyed the refreshment anyway.
Lemons contain the antioxidants:
1. ascorbic-acid – vitamin C
2. beta-carotene – a form of vitamin A
My goal is to research each antioxidant. However, what I cannot accomplish doing that is understanding the synergistic effect of all the antioxidants working together. In the body, one antioxidant gets oxidized to reduce another antioxidant, which gets oxidized to reduce something else, and so on in a chain. I confess I do not know where in the chain all these antioxidants operate.
Let me begin to shed a little understanding, at least for myself, about each one of these. I will not get them all done today, but I can get started.
32. Let me start with thymol
, at the end of the list . Thymol is found in the spice thyme. It is an antifungal, antibacterial, insecticide agent. When isolated, it can be toxic, but poisoning cases are rare. It has been sold in mouthwash with chlorahexadine to prevent gingivitis and plaque.
is a terpene found in cannabis as well as tea tree, conifers, apple, cumin, sage, rosemary, and lilac. Terpinolene is also antibacterial and antifungal. Studied as an extract with other active compounds, it serves as an antioxidant, which can prevent LDL oxidation and inhibit cancer cell growth. It has sedative properties and has a mild depressant effect on the nervous system. Moral: for it to do its work, eat it with its neighbors.