Wednesday, October 24th, Day Fifty, Transformation
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, start with Day One.
Sauerkraut for sodium? I had my typical breakfast this morning and added two ounces of MM Colorado Live Kraut with Caraway. I am not feeling the nausea I typically feel after eating breakfast. It is already 9:48 AM.
Wow! We are on Day Fifty. At 120.3 pounds, I have lost less than five pounds of the fifteen I planned to lose. I could give up my plan, but then I would just gain weight, which I definitely do not want to do. I may not reach 110 pounds in 100 days, but let us see where this journey goes. This journey has been more about living life than just losing weight.
My most serious challenge so far has been fatigue, which has probably been the result of stress. In church Sunday, the pastor advised us not to be concerned about our results but to consider our faithfulness. I have been faithful to this journey and book/blog and faithful to the Lord. Let us press on.
Let me pray.
What a wonderful evening I had last night with friends and good food! They welcomed me. I want to get ready to see my husband. I do not want to go if I am nauseous and fatigued. Yesterday, I believe I solved the mystery of why I was getting nauseous in the mornings. I do not have the fatigue resolved yet, but for the last two days I napped, which I could not do for weeks. Today, I slept in later, which probably helped. Please, give me some guidance on what to do next.
I talked to my step-son last night about my chronic fatigue syndrome. He said I should not worry about whether he was going to judge me. If I do not worry about his judgment, that will relieve me. Lord, help me to be unconcerned about it. My step-son seems like a mature individual who genuinely loves his father. Have I correctly judged him to be trustworthy?
The answer is yes. Good, then I will continue to trust him. Let me get this journal synced to the USB drive. I will meet you there.
Lord, this is synced. Now I can take my journal with me to the rehab center. First, I will pack some pecans for snacking. I need a while to charge up my battery and cell phones. I should have thought of that earlier. I can do that at the rehab center in a pinch.
Getting Ready to Go
I am dressed in aqua, black, and white; I put on some makeup, brushed my hair, and packed the pecans and laptop computer. I took the book of devotionals to the rehab center Sunday and left it there, so I will have that and a Bible. Maybe I can do some silent meditation for a few minutes.
I concentrated on my breathing for about ten minutes. I got a headache though. It is probably from low blood sugar.
I am getting some lunch of herbed, sea-salted chicken breast with skin and a large, ripe, yellow pear along with four capsules of pharmaceutical-grade fish oil with 200 I.U. of vitamin E, diluted km Mineral supplement, and Balance of Nature powdered fruit capsules before I go. I chewed on the fruit capsules because I like to taste the fruit. I am still sipping on the mineral supplement. The headache is gone. It must have been low blood sugar.
It is almost noon. Mom says to take care of myself, but I am not sure just what she is referring to. Maybe it is all of this and more. I added B complex, calcium, and garcinia cambogia. I am ready to go. The cell phones and battery are packed, my coat is on. I just need to put my USB drive in my computer bag, get over to the Lodge, and hail Lyft. Wish me luck!
At the Rehab Center
My husband was still eating lunch when I arrived at the rehab center after getting out of the Nissan Sentra Lyft car. I had a good conversation with the Lyft driver. He is also a barber who does artistic work, and he plays the guitar. My husband was doing much better with his hand-to-mouth coordination. He got his food in with ease. I was impressed.
I put the legs on his wheelchair, and we went for a brief walk through the hallway. While walking I sang him original songs about being happy, pressing on, and believing in God. Afterwards, he said it had been very difficult for him on the days I had not come. I asked him about using Lyft everyday. He said if it made a difference in having me come, then it was okay. I thought it might be okay, if he is not in rehab too much longer. We probably have less than two weeks left.
As usual, it is a little hard to converse with him. He uses a lot of pronouns, for which I cannot tell the antecedent. I asked him about one, and his response was not clear to me. It did not fit into the sentence. He speaks very softly and slowly, so I miss the sound of some of his words. He speaks of things, and I do not know when or where they happened. He keeps asking if it is Thursday. I remind him that it is Wednesday. Maybe this is not a time to talk about budgets, schedules, timelines, plans, and goals. Where is the man I once knew?
The maid came in. She was about to leave, but I said now would be a good time to do it. When she finished cleaning the bathroom, she asked if she could do anything for me. I asked for a drink of water, and she got me one. What a nice woman! It was not ice cold, but maybe that is good. Maybe I can learn where she got it. I sometimes do not get enough to drink here because the water is so cold.
The main message my husband has given me is that he wants me here. That came through clear. I think I will go for more water. I only know where the ice water is.
Reprogramming for Transformation
We humans are creatures of habit. If I do not deliberately reprogram myself all the time, my behavior reverts to old ineffective habits. I work at continually transforming myself into a new creature, metaphorically like a caterpillar transforms itself into a butterfly. I made some progress at re-programming myself in 2015 and 2016 while writing Joyful Vibrance: Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood.
Mania and Depression
Then, in the summer of 2016, just as I was making huge progress in my transformation, I escalated into a manic episode. As usual, it was followed by a devastating crash. Fortunately however, I recovered enough to make 2017 a very productive year for me. In the beginning of 2018, I experienced a severe depression, probably my worst in ten years. It was not just chemically induced, I felt that my life had no purpose.
Joyful Vibrance Net
I started Joyful Vibrance Net, but I did not believe I had what it took to get it off the ground. I started using Microsoft Project, but learning the software and using it also became overwhelming. I accidentally charged-back the purchase of Microsoft Project. Microsoft deactivated the program and did not restore it when I corrected the charge-back at the bank. I was so overwhelmed with using the program, I did not press the matter.
Whether my depression was trigged by being overwhelmed by Microsoft Project or by suddenly losing all the work I did with it, I crashed and crashed hard.
I thought Joyful Vibrance Net might be the savior of my finances in the long run. I was disappointed I could not launch it. Later in 2018, I reconsidered getting married, partly for companionship, but also for financial reasons. Now that I have gotten married, I have more than finances to worry about. There is opportunity however, to still continue the process of transformation and maybe even do some work with Joyful Vibrance Net. I want to begin thinking about that, even amidst all the stress.
Going to Church
Of course, there is my goal to lose 15 pounds as part of my transformation, but I think it is never wise to attempt to only lose weight. Transformation needs to be a spiritual, physical, and intellectual remodeling. I have the opportunity to go to church with my neighbor. The sound is still a deterrent, but it was endurable with the help of earplugs. I really enjoyed the pastor’s message, which was about overcoming discouragement.
Surely I have had discouragement to overcome this year and in my life in general. Part of my remodeling could involve going to church every week. I am cautious to make a commitment however, because my ears could complain about the pain more every week. I will take this one week at a time.
As a recent part of my transformation, I got a good start at committing to my Big Four (meditation, JV Life Tracker, Cronometer, and journal). I am a bit behind with JV Life Tracker. My birthday “birthday” did not stick. Without JV Life Tracker, I cannot tell exactly how consistent I have been with the other goals. So if I can get some focus, I think it would be transformational to re-establish my consistency, even though that is hard to do during a time of stress.
If done effectively, the Big Four can become an antidote to stress. Meditation directly reduces stress hormones. Cronometer keeps me from the stress of gaining weight (even if I do not lose). Journal writing helps me process my problems. JV Life Tracker assures that important activities are getting done, which reduces the stress of falling behind.
Transformation is easier with the support of others. I used to think counseling was only needed until I was feeling better and functioning well. That may be true for you. However, I now think with bipolar disorder, counseling is a year-round requirement. I am currently seeing a counselor every three weeks. I think I need to go at least that often. I can parlay my counseling experience into further transformation. I just need to decide exactly which way I want my transformation to go. I told my counselor about my Big Four and blog. Perhaps I could think of the next step, whether it is going to church, recommitting to consistently doing my Big Four, continuing to work on my blog, or something else.
I have a counseling appointment tomorrow at 10:00 AM. Tomorrow also happens to be my maternal grandmother’s birthday. My paternal grandmother’s birthday is on the eleventh of October, two weeks before. I was in between the two. So the twenty-fifth of October will be another meaningful day for a birthday on my JV Life Tracker.
I hesitate to start anything other than going to church, recommitting to my Big Four, and continuing my blog. However, I could recommit to visiting my husband. He thinks it is okay to use Lyft, if it makes the difference between my being here or not. Doing it daily could get expensive, but maybe he will not be in rehab much longer. Being here more will keep me from the panic I felt yesterday that my husband was going to disown me. I do not really think he will, but it matters greatly to him that I am here.
Today, I have done my writing most of my time here. My husband does not seem to mind that. He just wants me near. I tried carrying on a conversation with him and got frustrated. Maybe it is better to just let him watch television, with the sound turned way down, and just get up to address his needs once in a while. I got up and read him a devotional just now. He said he liked that and said he was concerned about the coming cold weather. If I take Lyft, I will not have to drive in the ice and snow.
If my step-son complains about the money we spend on Lyft or anything else for that matter, my husband and I will deal with that. In a council of three, we are a majority. The important thing is to spend time together without becoming too stressed. Let me rest my mind about Lyft.
I love this new computer, by the way. I found the right and left mouse clickers on the touchpad. They are hidden. Also, this laptop does not overheat like my last one did. I think it has a less powerful processor (CORE i5,) but I do not mind. It is quite sufficient for writing. Working off a USB drive is not bad either. I changed the backup settings for this journal, so that it does not back up to the USB drive. Backing up was a very slow process. I can back it up to the desktop computer instead when I synchronize.
Now that I feel I can recommend it, I will say what brand it is. It is a Lenovo computer, which I understand used to be IBM. It cost me just over $500 at newegg.com for eight GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid state drive. The keyboard has a good feel. It is arranged a little differently than I am used to, but I am getting used to it. The battery life is greater than any laptop computer I have had in the past. It is now 5:00 PM, has two hours remaining, and I have been here since noon, using it most of the time since then. The battery is set about two-thirds of the way towards battery performance rather than battery life.
It is approaching dinner time. I have some cash. The meals here are usually six dollars or less. The nurse is here assisting my husband. She says he is improving. He is still not able to walk on his own though. I want to hope for that still, but if he can use a walker and/or wheelchair he can return to our retirement community in independent living and not need assisted living. I am praying for at least that much.
We ate dinner. I ate more than I intended, but I was still a little hungry when I first finished. My husband told the cook that I was still hungry, and she gave me some delicious vegetable soup for free.
As part of my transformation, I need to start eating more slowly. During the second half of my meal, I discovered a new way of eating that I may try again. First divide a portion in half. Eat half. Then divide the half left, and eat half of that, then half of what is left, and so on until you cannot eat any less. Continue similarly for all portions until out of food or satisfied. For soups, get a whole spoonful, let half of it slip off. Then eat. Get another spoonful, left half of it drop, then drop half of that. Then eat. Drop to one-eighth of a spoonful, if possible, then start again with a full spoon.
Continue as long as your husband waits for you. Just kidding. My husband has long been after me to slow down my eating. Maybe I have a method now. As a computer scientist, I am into algorithms. I will have to try my “eat half of a half” algorithm when I am really hungry.
Time With My Husband
How long should I stay tonight? Since I do not have to drive home, I do not have to worry about driving in the dark. Lyft drivers work around the clock. It is probably advisable to go home after rush hour. It is 7:10 PM, so that is virtually already past. I think I will stay another hour or so.
My husband just had me help him from the wheelchair onto the bed. Most of what I did was just coaching. He was able to do most of it himself. It looks like he can do it with just my help. He is watching the World Series on TV with the sound turned most of the way down.
I have asked my husband if he would like the volume turned up, but he keeps saying no. I closed the door to the hall, and now it is fairly quiet in here. I am at peace. My back is aching a bit, but it is bearable. I am just so happy I can write and be with my husband at the same time without the stress of anticipating the drive home. He seems engaged with the World Series. I am glad it is able to occupy his mind in a way he can understand.
There is hope. I want him home again. We might have to get a TV for our residence. His son said cable is already paid for. We just need a TV to hook it up to. Again, I have one in Utah, but this is Colorado.
Speaking of Utah, I do not know what to do with all my things. Many of them are very valuable, sentimentally or otherwise. If I get a separate residence here, I hope it will be big enough to move my things into. Then I can rent out my place in Utah. That would probably be the best solution. If we stay in our retirement community, perhaps I can move things into storage, either in Utah or Colorado. I would have to decide which. There would be some advantages to moving everything to Colorado, even if I do not have a place for them all. That way we could access things like the TV and make use of them. Of course, we still do not know whether I am going to be able to stay in our retirement complex. The suspense is starting to rise.
Though the cost of moving could be substantial, being able to use my things is one possible advantage to getting a separate residence. Of course, it is going to be a hassle having to drive back and forth to my husband’s place every day. I bought this computer with the idea in mind that I will soon want to do my writing in at least two separate places. It has already come in handy in occupying me at the rehab center.
I asked my husband, “Enjoying it?” referring to the World Series. He said, “Uh huh.” That is so good, so comforting, such a relief! It is approaching 8:00 PM. I kind of wish I could stay later. The nurse came in to give my husband his sleep medication. He convinced her to give his pills to him later, so he can enjoy me and the World Series for a while yet. If I have not left yet, I will leave when the nurse returns to give him his sleep medication.
To Leave or Not To Leave?
It is now 8:00 PM. Should I pack up and go or linger here? That kind of depends on what I need to do before I go to bed tonight. I can forgo talking on the phone. I have spent much of my evenings doing that. I do not need a shower before my counseling appointment tomorrow. I could just put away the stuff I bring home, get a drink, take my meds, wash my face, brush and floss my teeth, hang up my clothes, put on my nightie, say a prayer, and get in bed That should all take less than half an hour. So I can get home at 9:00 PM.
The nurse came back, and my husband wanted some more time, so I am going to stay for another half an hour. The nurse asked me to give my husband the sleep medication or let the nurses know. So, I have another half an hour to write. I got some cold water. Residents and guests are watching the World Series in the bistro also. I feel so much more peaceful than I did last night. The right place for me to be is with my husband. I can feel his love right across the room. He thanked me for helping out. All I agreed to do was stay and give him his pills!
It is still the wee hours of the morning, not quite 2:00 AM yet. I could not sleep anymore, so I decided to synchronize my journal and get it posted for Wednesday.
All went smoothly at the rehab center last night until I was packing to go. My husband asked me to assist him to the restroom. I was rushing to get home. Thank goodness I had not hailed Lyft yet. I started to help my husband out of bed and into his wheelchair, then thought it might not be safe for me to do so. I was afraid he could come crashing out of his bed into the wheelchair. I objected to helping him, even though he was intent on having me do so. It seemed he was doing this as a delay tactic to keep me from going yet. I gave him his medicine, as the nurse requested, then I left. I was unsettled as I got into the Lyft car.
My friend from Utah called on the way home, and I talked to him. He was driving home from a date with an online acquaintance he has already seen several times. I asked him how his date went. He was unsure of whether to continue dating her as he was not attracted to her. I told him how it went with my husband. I got home, did the things I listed earlier, except that I had forgotten that it was time to fill my pill containers, so that took extra time. I also talked to my friend some more. He advised me to make each moment count and spend quality time with my husband. It seemed he was being judgmental of the time I spent on my laptop today, so I was defensive. Perhaps I was just tired.
Truth be known, I enjoyed my time at the rehab center yesterday much more because I had my computer with me than if I would have spent the whole time one-on-one with my husband, trying to have a conversation with him. I could not explain to my friend how peaceful I felt typing while my husband was contentedly watching the World Series in the same room. To me, that was quality time together. Except for my trouble while leaving, I think it all went great.
Before we married, sometimes, I would just walk out of my husband’s apartment without getting a kiss, hug, or anything because he would not release me to go, which made me feel terrible. Last night, at least I got a kiss and an “I love you.” Maybe I should appreciate my husband’s desire to always have me stay. At least I am wanted.
Maybe my husband has the impression that I am always trying to get away from him. It is just that I have needs that I cannot always fill while being with him. Last night I needed my medication and a bed to sleep in. Things are going to work out somehow. I get plenty of advice from family and friends. I have to make judgment calls about the specific situations I am in, which nobody else is fully aware of. You, dear reader, know more than most. Feel free to leave your comments.