Tuesday, October 23rd, Day Forty-Nine, From Low Sodium To Semi-Formal Dinner
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, start with Day One.
The morning light is peeking into our windows. I got up while it was still dark, but it is getting light now. My weight went down to 119.8 again. I had some breakfast.
Hopefully, I addressed all my worries so far this morning and am ready to live in a state of gratitude. I am grateful for the new day. I am grateful for my new family. My husband is getting the therapy he needs.
I want to spend time with my husband today. The question is how am I going to get to the rehab center? Should I drive or take Lyft? My plan is to take Lyft. That way I would get to the rehab center refreshed rather than ready to drop. I am just a bit worried that my step-son will disapprove and may even try to block me. If he only understood what driving does to me! It is not like I am taking Lyft every day. I have only done it twice so far.
My friend from Utah reminded me that God is in control, not my step-son.
I got a shower.
Let me say a morning prayer.
Morning Prayer for Help with Nausea
I want to rest all my worries in you. If there is anything I can do about any of my concerns, let me know. Otherwise, let me take the Serenity Prayer to heart and not even consider the things I cannot change.
Cause of Nausea?
I am feeling nausea. Hopefully, it will soon pass. It has been my experience though that it may last most of the morning.
What is causing that nausea, Lord? It is not pregnancy. Is it the way I am eating? I have experimented with different diets, and I seem to get nauseous in the morning no matter what I eat. I have suspected lupus. I still have not ruled that out. Perhaps it is the altitude. I hear that can be a cause.
A nurse told me to drink lots of water to cure altitude sickness. Dehydration can cause nausea. Certainly my body is always in danger of dehydration due to my medication.
I drank quite a bit. The nausea has not gone away.
It could also be low sodium, which is not going to get better by drinking lots of water. Let me check that out. No, I had sauerkraut this morning, which gave me ample sodium. Nevertheless, I am craving those potato chips on my kitchen counter. Could it be that I just need the sodium they contain?
I have been saving them for my husband as he loves potato chips. I ate some a number of days ago. If I eat them, I can say good-bye to weight loss today. I should put them out-of-sight, so they do not tempt me. I think I will.
Fortunately, I have gone days without touching them, even though they have been right there. I put them in the cupboard above the refrigerator where I can hardly reach them.
However, it is possible that I may still be low in sodium, despite the numbers in Cronometer. My mind is saying, “Eat potato chips.” My body loses a lot of sodium due to my lithium intake, and I may have a deficit. If I drink a lot of water, which I do and have to do, I may develop low sodium.
Let me see where my blood pressure is. That will give me some clue as to how my electrolytes are doing.
119/68. That is a little low. I did not take high blood pressure medicine to get that number, even though I am prone to high blood pressure. It is just doing that naturally.
Enough Sodium But Not Too Much
How can I get enough sodium without getting too much? Without eating potato chips, which will sabotage my diet? My breakfast was very low in sodium. I could eat some more sauerkraut. My body needs the probiotics it contains. It will also be good for my stomach. I have plenty on hand. According to the Internet, low sodium and low blood pressure can cause nausea also.
After eating more sauerkraut, my nausea is starting to dissipate. Low sodium could be the cause of my nausea. I typically eat a very low-sodium breakfast.
Thank You, Lord
Thank you, Lord for guiding me through that. One symptom can have so many causes, it is difficult to figure it out. I did not suspect low sodium, but that is very likely what the problem is. Thank you for the Internet, which provides so much information.
Celebration with an Extra Dose of Sodium
Now I am feeling more normal and have enough insight to possibly prevent this symptom in the future. At least I know how to fix it, if it does occur. If the problem is simply low sodium, I may not have lupus after all. That would be awesome! The implications of what I have discovered in this exploration are wonderful. Low sodium is very easy to fix. It is very easy to overdo the fix too, so I want to be cautious. It is time for celebration!
Now, I can move on with my life.
My hair is still wet, so I do not want to go out yet. I do not have a hair dryer; I left my hair dryer in Utah. I could call Mom and tell her I think I figured out the nausea symptom I have been having so often. She would be very glad to hear that.
I left her a voice message.
Now if I can just figure out the “hot brain” symptom, life would be practically perfect. Fortunately, I rarely have that in the mornings. That happens in the evening. Maybe I can say another prayer of exploration tonight. Could it be that my “hot brain” is also caused by low sodium? I just learned that hyponatremia (low sodium) can cause swelling in the brain. Can swelling cause a burning sensation? I have not verified that.
I went ahead and ate some potato chips as part of my celebration. Watch out for celebrations! They can be hard on your waist line. Do celebrate though. Celebration is part of what makes life worthwhile. Keeping all of our values in balance is the dance of life.
Visiting My Husband (or not)
Now, I need to visit my husband. I guess I could drive. I am feeling pretty good. I need to get gasoline somewhere along the path to the rehab center. Google Maps needs to have an option to show all the places to gas up along your path. Let me see if they have programmed the app that way. No, but I found a way to find gas stations. There is one slightly off my path that is rated higher than most gas stations and is only 3.3 miles away. I most likely have enough gas to get that far.
I am getting tired just thinking about driving. Having to gas up does not make me feel better.
I could go with my original plan and take Lyft. What would I tell my best friend to do? My best friend likes to drive, so I would tell her to drive. If I were my best friend, what would I tell me to do?
Sorry, the option of bumming a ride is out. I have taken that option plenty of times, but it will not work now. The shuttle does not go to the rehab center, so that option is out. I suppose there is a bus. I could possibly take the shuttle to the bus station. Maybe I can figure that out some time. There might be light rail as well, though I doubt it goes this far south of Denver. The most stress-free way is to take a Lyft ride.
An hour or so ago, I had a severe attack of fatigue, slept a while, and dreamed. Thank goodness I slept. Fatigue can also be a symptom of low sodium, yet there are dozens of causes of fatigue. I woke up when Mom called. She admonished me to take care of myself and advised me to take the day off. I told her I was making all the accommodations for my situation I could think of. I called the nurses to leave a message for my husband that I will try to come tomorrow.
I should not have gotten stressed over using Lyft because I likely could have done it today, but let me not get stressed about getting stressed. I got a dinner invitation from my neighbor for this evening, which I have accepted. We have not talked yet, but I left her a message.
Sugar and Salt
I did not get rid of that sweetened almond milk I talked about the other day. I had some just now-maybe not such a healthy idea–that and the potato chips. Sugar and salt. It is advisable to keep sweet and salty foods in balance, yin and yang, but not such a good idea to eat pure sugar and salt. Eating salt and sugar is probably a sign that I am getting stressed. What can I do to de-stress?
I wanted to see my husband today, and now that I have missed two days in a row, I feel like a total failure. I have even had thoughts of suicide. Now I am catastrophizing. I still have reason to hope. If I get kicked out of this place, my step-son will arrange a place for me to live.
But what if my husband disowns me because I have not come to see him? I really do feel awful. I could still try to see my husband, but now I have given my neighbor my word on dinner. That is only two hours a way. I will not have time to visit my husband and get back by then. Actually it is possible, but my husband would never let me leave him after that short of a visit. That is an “always or never” statement–not usually true. Also notice the fortune telling and magnification. How do I know what my husband will do, something as dire as disowning?
I called my step-son and let him know that because of fatigue, I was not able to visit my husband today. He probably has no clue what it is like to have chronic fatigue. He probably thinks there is nothing to driving. You just do it. He does not realize I experience crushing enervation after every driving session. Now I am mind reading. Who knows what my step-son thinks?
Overcoming Cognitive Distortions
I have caught myself in some cognitive distortions. I am glad I did not go further with those thoughts.
Let me salvage my day. I could get another nap in before dinner. I had one last thought about visiting my husband, but let me save the Lyft ride for when I can visit with my husband for a while. I am doing some work on Google Contacts, updating it with the contact info of the staff at the rehab center.
I am going through the mail, finding good things rather than bad. There is hope. Dinner will be fun tonight. I have enough energy to get through it. It only involves a short walk and sitting at a table with three other people while eating. They will serve vegetables, which I need to eat.
What to Wear to a Semi-Formal Dinner
I have two dresses in my closet: a black all-purpose dress that looks best on me when I weigh about 113 pounds and a white single-purpose dress, an elegant wedding dress I would not wear to dinner. I would like to expand my wardrobe and have something to wear to dinner. The clubhouse is semi-formal, but the dining room has a formal look to it with draperies everywhere. The tablecloths are cloth, and so are the napkins; the glasses are glass; the dishes are china. I cannot wear a dress tonight, but let me think of what I may do for the future, if there is a future here. There may be though. I cannot give up hope.
If there comes a time when I must, I will already have hope in something other than living here. My hope in the Lord is constant. If I lose all hope in everything else, I can rest on Him.
As I was going to her residence, my neighbor came out with a two-piece top on a hanger. The under top is blue, pink, and black, which matches my black pants. The outer top is a long-sleeved aqua blue knit jacket top. It is absolutely stunning on me. I know she loves the outfit, but she said the Lord wanted her to give it to me, so she gave it to me. I feel humbled to take it.
Just now, I was surveying my closet for clothes for dinner. Like an answer to prayer, I have something beautiful to wear. I wish I had some jewelry for it, but I left almost all of my jewelry in Utah. I do have my wedding earrings though. I think I will put them on.
I did not have time to put on the ear rings. My neighbor was at the door ready for dinner.
Dinner was lovely again. I had a spinach salad with egg, roasted salmon with beet-and-cucumber salad and yogurt sauce, mixed vegetables, and no-sugar-added coconut cream pie. The Fireside Restaurant uses very little salt, so I salted my salmon for a little extra sodium.
We visited with a couple who used to run a mortuary in Illinois. They did not want to talk about the mortuary too much. They have an entirely new life now, with which they are very happy and love to talk about.
After so many years of hating beets, I loved them last night. I have changed my food preferences to like them.
I gained weight this morning, but not as much as I feared. I am at 120.3 pounds. If I am going to eat in the dining room, I need to save calories in my calorie budget throughout the day in readiness. I could have skipped dessert, but I have to admit, it was yummy. I could have skipped the potato chips earlier in the day, but I probably really did need that much extra sodium. From now on, I need to find ways of getting enough sodium without overdoing it.
This morning, I slept in until past 7:00 AM. I still feel rather tired. I am a little down too. I have missed two days of seeing my husband. He will think I am a stranger. I wish I could talk to him on the phone.