Wednesday, October 10th, Day Thirty-Six
If you would like to join this journey from the beginning, go to September fifth, Day One.
I have decided to take a break today from visiting my husband at the rehab facility. I am getting run down from spending all day, every day in medical facilities. By creating a spa in my own home, I can use it as a retreat. There is no bathtub here, but there is a huge shower with handrails.
Unfortunately, the food menus in medical facilities cater to the palettes of sick people. I have always gained weight while being in the hospital, usually about seven pounds for the average stay. In 2016, I gained about ten pounds. It is partly the medication and partly the food. I usually walk endlessly when I am in the hospital, but I still gain weight, which goes to show that exercise can never fix a bad diet. I am having some of that “hospital effect” while visiting with my husband this past week.
What can I do about it? For a couple of days this past week, I got control of myself and lost some weight. But that effort was entirely erased yesterday when I went to the rehab center for the first time and ate off their menu, which is probably even more fattening than the hospital’s. There is a Kings Soopers right by the rehab center. I could possibly go there for food. However, my husband does not like me to leave him, even to eat. What can I do about it?
For today, I am staying home and making it a spa retreat. I will start with a shower. I could give myself a foot bath with Epsom salts and pamper myself.
Using online shopping, I just ordered a Volcom Shadow reddish parka and Burton Baker 2-in-1 gloves. They will arrive by Monday. I pray it does not get bitterly cold before then.
I showered, shampooed and rinsed my hair with Kevin Murphy Angel Wash and Rinse, and baby shampooed my eyes, as I always do when showering. I feel a bit drowsy from the heat of the shower. I love to shower in hot water, but it may not be the best thing for me. The Kevin Murphy set is a little pricey, but I have not found anything as color-safe, safe for the body, and effective for a lower price. I bought my last Kevin Murphy shampoo set on eBay to save a little money. A hair dresser who did my makeover in preparation for my video in 2013 recommended Kevin Murphy.
Now I may want to do the foot bath. I soaped my feet, but I did not use the pumice stone this morning. Let me set up a little spa, soak my feet in Epsom salts, and rub them with a pumice stone.
Before I do that though, I had better call the rehab center and let them know I will not be in today. My husband may be furious, but he always forgives me eventually. He was very compliant yesterday, a good sport about all the treatment. I think deep down he realizes he needs to be where he is, and he is just accepting it. He does lapse into thinking I can take care of his every need once in a while though, and I have to remind him of my limitations. Maybe instead of reminding him of my “limitations,” I should just remind him that I am human too with needs that must be taken care of.
Now the foot bath. That feels good. I put some warm but not too hot water in a large plastic file box container, added Epsom salts, and soaked my feet. The plastic file box is one of those you can put legal-sized folders in one way and regular file folders the other way. Now I am rubbing the soles of my feet with a pumice stone. I will soak a while longer, until the water is cold.
When I get my feet out, I will treat my toenails with oregano essential oil, in case they get fungus. I am just relaxing at present. The warm water feels comfortable on my feet. I need to pamper myself more frequently. I have been anxiously doing everything I can think of for my husband, sometimes ignoring my own needs. I understand that will not work over the long haul. Women who are doormats end up divorced and unhappy. They often have a martyr syndrome–victim-hood. That is not the way to live. I learned many years ago that it is important to be a little selfish.
I paid for my parka and gloves with my husband’s credit card. If I were not here for him, I would have a coat and gloves in Utah, but I have left almost everything to be with him. I do not want to over-emphasize my sacrifices, but I have made a few. Fortunately, my husband has been generous with me. He says, “If you want it, get it”.
The water is starting to cool off. We underestimate the importance of our feet. Our feet are our connection to the ground. They carry us everywhere. It is possible to live without feet, but who would want to? Especially if you have an illness that challenges your feet, take care of them. Personally, I was born with an extra toe on each foot. My podiatrist said I have syndactyl and polydactyl. As a baby I had surgery to partially correct that, but I still have scars and a fragment of the bone of the extra toes. I have not been able to run much in my life because my feet swell up like a balloon if I put that much pressure on them.
Oregano essential oil with almond oil as a carrier oil are great for rubbing the toenails to protect against fungus. I also clipped my toenails with a wide-jawed straight-edge toenail clipper I got from Sally’s Beauty Supply.
Now I could paint my toenails. Many women do. I once worked a job where I saw many women’s bare feet. Many were painted. I think I will leave my toenails bare however. What I like are French tips, but I do not know how to do them.
My feet are feeling pretty good. I still have a slight bit of numbness on the right foot, but that has mostly cleared up.
Now I need to work on the laundry. I have my husband’s bloody clothes that he was wearing when he fell on the bathroom tiles.
I got the blood out of his sweat top, but I cannot find his sweat pants. I wonder if they are at the rehab center. I will look for them when I go. The social worker there very kindly got some clothes for him to wear. Personally, I do not know which of the dozens of clothes in his closet fit him. He has mostly only been wearing his sweats. He has not gained weight lately though. In fact, he has lost since he was in Utah. Probably most of his clothes fit him. I will have to pick out some of my favorites. I think he would like sweaters this time of year.
I am feeling a bit nauseated. The blood could have made that worse. Let me take a break from the laundry.
Sleep, Food, or Water?
It is only 10:00 AM, but I feel very hungry, even though I ate 476 calories for breakfast. What would be the thing for me? It is possible that I am not really hungry but tired. I woke up early this morning, and I have probably not been getting enough sleep. But can I sleep when I am as wired as I am? I guess I am wired and tired again. Sleep debt can make you hungry. So I could be sleepy and hungry. Which problem should I address first? I am also a bit dehydrated. Those of you who follow me know that I have diabetes insipidus, caused by one of my medications. Diabetes insipidus causes polyuria and polydipsia: having to go to the bathroom a lot and being very thirsty all the time. So do I need sleep, food, or water?
Let me start with water. Of the three, it is the least expensive in terms of time and money to resolve. Now that I have had several glasses of cold water, I feel more awake and not as hungry. Most of the time, we do not have the option during the day of resolving a sleep debt. However, today is a special day of rest for me, so I can probably go back to bed for a while. I think I will do that.
I am wondering if I should take a sleeping pill. I could sip a cup of chamomile tea. I have some on hand. That will take a while to make. However, I do need pampering today, and chamomile tea is pampering. I will blend it with Throat Comfort tea, which I like a lot. It has a slightly sweet taste I like. Both of these teas are non-caffeinated, so they should not interfere with sleep.
Yummy. I am drinking the tea now. While heating the water, I was able to do up the dishes and clean the kitchen. I am just about ready to try for an entire sleep cycle.
Do I have any other urgent issues to resolve? My husband is being cared for; the mail can wait; the bills are paid; the kitchen is clean; the rest of the laundry can wait; the front door is locked; JV Life Tracker can wait; meditation can wait; I do not have any appointments; the jeep is okay; my new coat is on its way; I can read the Bible later; my blog is current; my body is hydrated; I am fresh out of the shower; my toenails are clipped; I love life; I am safe; I am ready to heal; I can find another apartment later.
Currently my step-son and his wife are working to get me a disability exception to the 62-years of age minimum for this retirement complex. The management said they are contacting their headquarters to see what they can do. All I can do on that right now is wait. I will enjoy my sleep.
I did not get to sleep. I tried until almost noon. I did rest, however. Perhaps I had too many fluids. I had to use the bathroom. I thought of a few extra worries too. I had not settled everything.
This morning I have had to throw food away because we have not been able to eat it. We have been stuck at the hospital. I need more than one day to get on top of it. What can I do about it? Do I have time in the morning to prepare fresh vegetables to take with me? I could come later to the rehab center. I do not have to be there first thing in the morning. Of course, I want to do my blog as well.
Seeing that I cannot sleep, even though I am exhausted, I could be manic or hypomanic. I could just be stressed too. I may want to try using a drug to sleep, but it may be better to wait until night. Unfortunately, I used a sleeping pill once while I was preparing to go to Colorado and I woke up in the wee hours of the morning. It did not work at all.
Tired and Wired
Tired and wired. That is after only one week! Those of you who follow me know that I had sleep issues long before the accident and hospitalization. My husband was waking me up around the clock. He was exhausted too. He ran out of his medication for his sleep and anxiety disorders. It took a huge amount of effort to get him to a doctor. We got his medication delivered and that very night the paramedics took him to the emergency room. His pills remain unused in the other room.
If I feel this stressed after only a week, how will I get through the next three weeks while my husband is in rehab? We were really hoping he could do rehab right here in the retirement complex, but he is eight miles away. Perhaps that is not so dire, but that is more driving than I want to do every day.
My l-tryptophan just came via UPS. I was almost out of it. I use it for depression. Currently I am more anxious and stressed than depressed. However, l-tryptophan can help me sleep as well. The l-tryptophan in turkey is most often blamed for the Thanksgiving drowsiness almost everyone experiences. Again, I wonder if I should wait until nighttime to use it. I typically take one pill at bedtime. I could take some now and see if it reduces my wired feeling. It may also relieve depression I am not aware of. It can do that in a matter of minutes. L-tryptophan has saved my life over the past fourteen years. In 1996, when I did not have the help of l-tryptophan, due to it being banned, I was so depressed and suicidal I required shock treatments. There is more to that story, but I will save it for later.
I took two pills, one gram. If it starts to make me sleepy, I will try to sleep again. It will not always make me drowsy, though I do not usually take it during the day.
JV Life Tracker
While I am waiting to see this amino acid’s effect, what would be the next thing to do? I think my JV Life Tracker, or my meditation, or both. Starting with JV Life Tracker, I scored more than 1,000 points for yesterday. That is fairly easy to do if I keep my blog current. I lowered the number of bonus points on a few activities because they are getting to be routine and not taking a lot of time to do. For activities that have bonus points, I create the activity and then the activity +. I expand (or contract) the activity + up to 99 points, depending on how time-consuming or valuable the activity is. This works well, except for one thing. If I make a mistake and expand the activity rather than the activity +, it messes up my scoring system. I very rarely make that mistake any more, so the method is working well for me.
For a lot more info about JV Life Tracker, refer to Joyful Vibrance: Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood.
Next is meditation. If I fall asleep during the session, so much the better. I choose Glenn Harrold’s Mindfulness for Releasing Anxiety. That is my favorite. If you download Insight Timer for your Android or iPhone, be sure to check it out.
I dozed off during the session and woke up before it was over. Glenn says to not worry if you do that as you will still benefit. I think I very much benefited from a bit of sleep. My brain waves probably lengthened to predominately alpha and then to predominately theta during the session so that I deepened into a hypnotic state. My brain waves are probably mostly beta now, but maybe not so much high beta as they have been most of the time this past week.
Now would be a good time to check my blood pressure. It is 141/83, which may indicate that it has been high all week. I just have not had the chance to attend to it. Eighty-three is not so bad. One hundred and forty-one is a bit up there. The question is whether to medicate it. Since the lower number is okay, rather than do that, I will take my km Mineral Supplement for a healthy dose of potassium.
While the Flyin’ Bee Restaurant here at the retirement complex pays attention to lowering the amount of sodium in meals for the seniors who consume them, the rehab center, where my husband is, liberally uses salt. All of the food we had yesterday was very high in sodium–so high it was almost unpalatable. It is as if they are afraid the residents will not be able to taste the food otherwise or might not like it.
I hope my husband is going to be okay consuming that food. He eats so slowly, he is less likely to overdose on salt than I am. If the salt gets him to eat, it might not be so bad. He badly needs food in order to heal. However, not only does the rehab center not make gluten-free meals, it uses too much salt. I did not help matters yesterday by putting so much sea salt in my green drink, but that was only the beginning of my salty day.
It is almost 3:00 PM. I am feeling a bit chilled. I thought it was just my wet hair, but my hair is dry now. I turned up the furnace for more warmth. I will put on a pair of warm socks as well.
I have surpassed my 2500 word limit for the day. However, I think I will keep writing because writing helps me organize my thoughts. It also shows my example of taking a day of rest, even though my example is less than perfect. I feel like I need some spiritual food right now. I missed Joel Osteen’s Sunday message. Maybe I can take that in right now. If I go to sleep during the sermon, so much the better.
I dozed during the sermon, but did not go completely to sleep. I have actually missed two of his messages. I will save one of them for later. Joel follows a pattern in his messages. I wonder if my days would be more effective if I had a pattern for them. For a time, I followed the practice of evolving rituals, which was a very powerful concept. However, I would tend to evolve too fast and abandon powerful activities I ought to stick with to try the latest new thing.
Lately, I have been focusing on and sticking with my Big Four (meditation, Cronometer, JV Life Tracker, journal). Beyond that, I change everything from day to day. Maybe by the time I reach Day One Hundred, I hope to get a powerful pattern figured out–something as powerful as Joel Osteen’s, but distinctively mine. We need to balance old and new activities, but exactly what should be the balance? That I do not know. Perhaps we can surround new activities in an old pattern that structures them.
I am so grateful for this day of rest. My toes are happy, if nothing else. I miss my husband, but it feels good to have some space–a chance to find myself again. I just got out my piano music to play tomorrow at my neighbor’s. She will not be there while I am playing, so that will give me a chance to get my fingers back in shape in private.
Lord, I am tired today but I am getting a little less wired. I am a highly sensitive person so crowds, loud noises, and bright lights tire me. Traffic is almost devastating. I have found fulfillment in just writing for myself. However, now I need to seek an audience.
Who would love Joyful Vibrance, Volume II? Surely many people are interested in losing weight while keeping up their mood and energy. That is what this journey is all about, though it has important side stories of recovering from addiction and mental health issues, dealing with stress, and just plain endurance. Addiction and mental health recovery, dealing with stress, and endurance are crucial parts of losing weight without sacrificing mood and energy for many people.
One comment writer said he/she had found my blog from Google. My blog must be at least somewhat visible on the Internet. The sheer volume of content is starting to be substantial. I plan to stuff the blog with even more content. Where should I go from here, Lord? Should I start with Facebook? Should I pay more attention to SEO? Can I afford advertising? Should I use more photos? Should I write personalized messages to people with a link to my blog? Or should I bribe people on Facebook to share my posts? Should I send out business cards in the mail? Should I set up a local speaking gig? What are some other possibilities? What would be the most effective? Should I do a combination of these things?
The most effective form of advertising is probably word of mouth. If I can get my readers to spread the word, that would be awesome. I offer almost hidden links to my unpublished books. These free pdf’s may be of interest to some people, especially my most recent work Joyful Vibrance: Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood.
Lord, I have never won any popularity contests. However, I either won or placed second in several speech contests as a youth. People knew me for my enthusiasm. I completed the Toastmasters Competent Communicator as well as the Competent Leader requirements. I know how to write and deliver a speech. I just do not know how to get the audience there. A local promoter offered to set me up with speech venues, but I did not appreciate his business tactics. I thought I could succeed as a health coach without him.
Perhaps now is not the time to launch a major campaign. I just want to know my first step. Should I just continue writing for now? I have not yet lost the fifteen pounds I want to lose. What can you tell me, Lord?
My answer seems to be, “Keep writing”. I thought I would at least post on Facebook today, but I will do that later, I think. I feel a surge of joy and confidence that this is right for now. I am under incredible stress and do not have time to follow up with promotional material. I need to plan a campaign, and that takes time and may increase my stress. That can all be done later when the time is right. A few people may find me through Google. That will be okay.
Thank you, Lord, for listening to my prayer. Thank you, Lord, for always being there. Guide me, please, on what to do this evening.
I tried phoning my husband’s room again, but as usual, no answer. If he gives me a hard time about abandoning him today, I can mention that I have tried several times to call him.
I had some leftover food from the refrigerator tonight. I have done well on getting all my nutrients today within my calorie budget. Fortunately, I got more than 100% of the RDA of potassium, which is very hard to do. Today I am either nourished or super-nourished.
I kind of have the nervous shakes though. I wish I could talk to my husband. However, I do not want to drive clear across town to do it. Let me see if my parka has been shipped today. Yes, I got the message this afternoon. I look forward to being very warm this winter.
I could get dressed and get the mail. However, it is probably not available right now. I need to do that in the morning. Or I could go after 7:00 PM tonight.
I could read the Bible. The last time I read the Bible was in the hospital to my husband. I read him the Adam and Eve story.
I am listening to a podcast on mrm.org about mental illness and the Mormon faith. According to this podcast, Mormon women are statistically more prone to depression than non-Mormon women, even though they use less alcohol. My beliefs about grace and salvation have changed since I left the religion of my birth. This change of beliefs has helped prevent serious depression. I still get depressed sometimes, but I do not lose my assurance of salvation.
My former faith emphasized motherhood for women. When I was unable to become a mother, I felt unassured of the greatest blessings the faith had to offer. I struggled to get off my medication, so I could have the hope of having children. Though I tried too many times, I was never able to do that successfully. It was a long, painful struggle. In time, menopause completed, and I turned to other pursuits. However, when we married, my husband expressed regret that he had not gotten me pregnant long ago when I was still fertile. I did not have the heart to tell him what a dilemma that would have been.
I wrote a novel that details many of the issues I encountered when considering having children. Katella, the heroine of my story, is like me in some ways. She falls in love, but hesitates to marry because she is not able to give her boyfriend children. He is a cultured cellist, a teacher and performer, who loves children and finds ways to reach them either through or in spite of his handicap of blindness. For the complete story, you can read Scarlet Night, which has been published on Amazon.com in Kindle and paperback formats.
I just pulled a batch of clothes out of the dryer. I found my husband’s sweat pants! They were in the washer. I can take his sweats with me tomorrow. He will be grateful for that. I hope the rehab center will let him wear them. He is most comfortable in sweats.
I extended Scarlet Night many years after I originally wrote it to include a happy ending with Katella having a baby. However, after my 2016 manic episode, I reverted the story to its original for publishing. I could not realistically write an ending like that. I dreamed so long of getting off my medication successfully, and it never happened. Anyway, I do not want to give away the whole story here.
Now you know that I never had children. I am not sure I have revealed that heretofore in this blog. My husband would like to have a child with me. He is already 75 years of age, however. Joel Osteen would have us keep hope alive. After all, we are not as old as Abraham and Sara. I think it would be best to have other hopes. I am not saying it is impossible, but I would not bet money on it.
So what other hopes should I have? I am afraid to even hope that my husband will stay sober. I think I can hope for a good relationship with him in either case. I do not want to be so focused on his sobriety that I blow my relationship with him. On the other hand, if he keeps drinking he is going to kill himself. On the other hand, he is going to die before too much longer anyway.
Perhaps there is no other hand! How do I want it? I think I could toss his alcohol, but if he wants to buy more, then what? I think he wants to drink more than he wants to live. Perhaps I should give him the option to die. It ought to be a right in my book. Society forces people to live. Some people really do not want to. I delve into moral, legal, and political questions here. Personally, if I do not want to live, it is a temporary feeling. Eventually I really want to. Will that always be the case? I do not know.
Do I hope for a better world? What does that do to my desire to live in this one? For now, I want to live, but my symptoms of headache, hot brain, nausea, and scaly scalp make it less desirable to live. I could place my hope in medical science, but I know the treatment for lupus is not pleasant. One hope is to go gluten-free. How can I do that in my present circumstances?
The food at the rehab center is full of gluten. I could take a lunch, but I would need to take dinner as well, or go home early. Leaving early might be an option. I could even eat lunch before I go, take a snack of nuts, and come home before dinner. Four hours of visiting may be sufficient. My husband might not like it, but he could get used to it.
Pros and Cons
Let me pray whether I should pursue this course of action and risk having an irate husband. My weight gain from yesterday is still on me. It is significant. I cannot afford to be at the mercy of the rehab center’s kitchen. The pros of this course of action would be to:
1. Save my waistline.
2. Help me achieve my goal of losing 15 pounds.
3. Give me free time.
4. Allow me to be better rested.
5. Allow me to sleep in.
6. Allow me more time to post my blog in the morning.
7. Give me time to plan my visit to the rehab center in the morning.
8. Help me to stay gluten-free and reduce my medical symptoms.
9. Save money.
10. Allow me to eat our food on hand to prevent spoilage.
11. Give me my “space”.
12. Allow me time to play the piano.
13. Keep me from having to drive in the dark and cold.
14. Reduce my overall stress.
15. Keep me from interfering with my husband’s treatment.
16. Allow one-on-one time between my husband and his son.
17. Encourage my husband to be more independent.
18. Help me to be happier.
19. Help my husband enjoy a happier wife.
20. Help me to have more time to recover from the impact driving has on me.
21. Help me have time to get the housework done.
22. Give me the chance to develop friendships.
All of that for only a small risk that he is going to be irate! I could still visit him every day, maybe taking a day off here and there. I believe there is no way I can go the next three weeks visiting him for ten hours a day.
I talked to Mom about my plan. She agreed that the most important pro was probably reason number seventeen. He needs to be encouraged to be more independent.
It is approaching bedtime. I hope I will be able to sleep tonight.
I still have not submitted this plan to prayer. Let me do that. I asked, “Lord, should I go ahead with this plan?” The answer was a resounding yes. It is practically a no-brainer. My husband can make me feel guilty when I leave him, but with the support of my mother, my own reason, and the Lord, I have the ammunition to at least try putting this plan into practice. I do not have execute it perfectly for it to have major benefits.
I slept well, though not quite eight hours. It was almost seven uninterrupted hours of sleep. My weight went back to 119.8 pounds, a 1.7 pound drop from yesterday. I still have a way to go to reach my lowest point in this journey. I have some of my husband’s clothes ready to take to the rehab center. My music is ready to play later on today. I feel joyful and vibrant this morning. I remembered to take out the trash. I want to live.
If you desire to join me in this journey, start from Day One.