Wednesday, September 19th, Day Fifteen, Lupus

Wednesday, September 19th, Day Fifteen, Lupus

 

Morning

 

Curious Rather Than Furious

 
My weight bounced back up to 120.0.  Let me be curious rather than furious about why that happened.  I weighed the Garbanzo Mediterranean food last night.  I put it on a separate plate and cleaned my plate–not that I had to, but that conditioning is still very strong.  It is bad enough when I do it for my own plate.  Do I need to clean my husband’s plate too?  I may need more tapping for my limiting belief.
 
I only had about 200 calories left in my budget when I ate dinner last night, and I weighed out about 200 grams of food.  Its calorie density must have been higher than one calorie per gram.  It could have been as much as three calories per gram or even more.  At three calories per gram, I would have eaten about 400 calories more than my calorie budget.  That is enough to cause the weight gain I experienced.
 
I still felt hungry last night.  I erroneously thought because of that I would lose weight today, but I did not.  My hunger is not a very good indication of whether I will lose weight.  (I can feel hunger and still gain weight.)  The numbers in Cronometer are a better indication.  The window between too little and too much food is so narrow.  That is why I heavily recommend logging your food, if you are serious about losing weight.
 
Even though I gained over a pound, it is not all fat.  Sometimes if my weight bounces up, I can take it back off in one day.  Let me try for that.  [That did not work, however.]
 

Leaky Gut

 
If you have followed me this far, you know that Monday I discovered a symptom that could indicate a chronic health challenge.  I talked to Mom about it last night.  She seemed surprised that I had symptoms similar to my sister.  I asked her why she was surprised.  She said my sister had leaky gut.  I informed Mom that I have had leaky gut too.  Perhaps I still do.  I was raised on copious amounts of homemade, whole-wheat bread, which I loved.  The gluten in bread is capable of giving virtually anyone leaky gut.
 
I suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for at least 15 years.  Part of the suffering was caused by leaky gut.  I had a chronic yeast infection that went systemic, indicating that candida albicans leaked through my gut.
 
Not only that, I had to leave my last job due to an allergy to solvent paints.  My manager had started using solvent paints on a 17.5 foot printer, for which we were programming the user interface.  The paints made me dizzy and unable to concentrate.  I had to quit my job.  Later, I enrolled at the University of Utah to study biochemistry but was forced to quit due to allergies to chemicals in the lab.  A homeopathic physician told me I was allergic to nickel and not to wear my solar-powered watch, but I do anyway.
 
That is not even mentioning my current situation of getting deathly tired every time I drive, even for relatively short distances.  I think this is most likely caused by allergies.  So allergies and leaky gut have afflicted me for years.  I do not know why my mother does not realize I was affected.  Perhaps I have not educated her on all of this.
 

Gluten-Free Diet

 
So, will I have to deal with lupus too?  I do not know.  I need to get it checked out.  I know that the correct diet can ameliorate the condition.  A gluten-free diet is especially important.  I have avoided gluten for years, but I have not been absolute about it.  My doctor tested me for celiac disease, and since the result was negative, I thought perhaps gluten was not that serious of a problem for me.
 
I could have been wrong.  Fortunately, my diet is mostly gluten free now.  The cookies were an exception, but I have managed to get them out of here, for now.  Unfortunately, we still order from the Flyin’ Bee once in a while, and their meals are not all gluten-free.  I will have to talk to my husband about that.  Maybe the restaurant has a gluten-free option.  I have some work to do.  Even if a doctor cannot positively diagnose lupus, I realize now that it is a threat.  I must be proactive about my diet.
 

Primary Care Physician

 
I currently do not have a primary care physician.  Monday, my psychiatrist told me to get one within the next three months.  He recommended one that does not take my insurance.  His office recommended asking my counselor about one, which I will do tomorrow.
 
I got a shower just now.  It is 7:07 AM.  I could have some of that stew for breakfast.  The stew is much better now that it has been cooked longer and has some additional sea salt.
 

Nausea

 
Even though I had almost no fat for breakfast, I am starting to feel nauseous again.  Let me see if that could be a symptom.  Lupus can cause a build-up of fluid in the abdominal cavity which can cause nausea.  I thought it was just the way I was eating.  I have been having nausea since last year.  I am sipping on some gingered lemonade, which hopefully will treat the nausea.  Now I know why I have enjoyed that drink so often lately.
 
I talked to my husband about needing to see a doctor.
 
I can probably find more symptoms of lupus.  Of course, if I am looking for something, I am likely to find it.
 
The nausea is starting to fade a bit.  My husband asked me if I was safe to drive.  I asked him if he would do the driving instead.  He said, “I can’t.”  Let me review my, “I am” statements from yesterday.
 

Meditation

 
Let me do my meditation for today.
 
I did Mindfulness For Releasing Anxiety by Glenn Harrold again.  It was so relaxing I almost went to sleep afterwards.  I am up again though, feeling a lot better.  It is 9:24 AM.
 

Socialization

 
I drove to Wal-Mart and picked up my husband’s eyeglasses.  Before I left our building, I met a woman who lives just across the hallway.  I told her my husband and I had married.  She said he had mentioned to her that he was going back to be with a lady in Utah.  I told her that I was that lady and that I had come to Colorado to be with him.  The 86-year old lady invited me to knock on her door.  Now I do not feel so alone in this place.
 
In the Wal-Mart parking lot, a nice, elderly couple greeted me, asked me if I was from Utah, and welcomed me to Colorado.   Those two encounters made my day.
 
I am tired, but not exhausted like I was the other day after coming back from the doctor.  I had some more stew.  This time it was very well cooked, maybe too well cooked.  I fed some to my husband.  He is very shaky and cannot handle a spoon safely.  I wonder what is causing that today.  I invited him to come out to his rocker, but he did not come.
 

Afternoon

 

Maintenance

 
Between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM today, maintenance will come to clean the bedroom mess from our accident.  I had to be back from Wal-Mart before then because my husband does not open the door for anyone.
 
He has been talking about taking the train to Glenwood springs as a mini-vacation.  That might work, but I would like to see his condition improve, so he could drive us there.  He has not said anything more about moving to Grand Junction.  For one thing, if I do the work of getting medical help here, I do not want to have to do it all over again right away there.
 
I think we are going to be here for a while.
 
Cadillac
My niece took my Cadillac to Discount Tire.  They found a small nail in the tire that was always losing air.  My niece said the tires otherwise have good tread, and she does not have any problem with driving here on them.  So we are not getting new tires right now.
 
I just sent her a list of things to bring here from Utah.  Of course, I would like her to bring the whole apartment, but there would not be room here for everything, and there would not be room in the Cadillac.  So, I will get what I can.
 
Rocker
My husband is up in his rocker now.  He required some assistance, but he crawled most of the way on his own, making it unnecessary for me to take much of his weight.  He is concerned about my backache.
 
I am still rather drowsy from the drive this morning.  My husband is not 100% pleased with his glasses.  He is going to see if he can adjust to them.
 
Cronometer
I ate about 50 grams of leftover Garbanzo Mediterranean food.  I have a food record in Cronometer that just says 100 calories.  For the serving of leftover food, I added 1.53 of that food (153 calories) for approximately three calories per gram.
 
Cronometer is an awesome tool, but it does not have food from that many restaurants. MyFitnessPal has more restaurant food in its data base, but it has less complete data for each food.  I was able to lose weight using MyFitnessPal, so I think it is a good tool for that.  For a more in-depth nutritional analysis, Cronometer is better.
 
A second maintenance man came to seal off the balcony door, which is letting in light, air, water, and insects.  He got the door sealed and left.  The first maintenance man, who is working on the bedroom mess, left temporarily, giving his chemicals time to soak.  The mess is on the wall and carpet.  He wants to get it off the wall without having to paint it.  He has just returned.
 

Symptoms

 
I am feeling a feeling I have had quite a lot lately.  For lack of a better term, I will call it “hot brain”.  It could just be a symptom of menopause.  Then again, it could be lupus.  Let me do some more research.
 
It looks like a “burning” in the brain could be a symptom of lupus.  I have detected three symptoms so far and counting.  I will be sure to tell my doctor all of them.  I guess you can see that I am having a challenging day.
 
So what can I do to protect myself emotionally?  I already have the challenge of bipolar disorder.  I understand that lupus can cause depression as well.  Perhaps the best thing I can do now is to work on my blog, garner an audience, and get support that way.  I am not feeling that well right at the moment.  It is starting to appear that my symptoms may mean something.  My youngest aunt died not long ago from complications of lupus.  She had a very difficult time with it.
 
Then again there is no proof yet that I have it.  It can cause hypothyroidism and sensitivity to sunlight.  I already have those symptoms from the medications I take for bipolar.  I could say those are symptoms four and five.  There is no definite proof yet.
 
I am telling my husband that lupus is a possibility.  I do not think he is too familiar with it.  That is probably a good thing.  I wonder if my recent weight gain could be an indication.  Weight gain is also a possible symptom of depression.  Even the depression could be a sign of lupus.  I had a longer and more prolonged depressive episode than normal earlier this year.  Usually my depressions last a few days rather than a few months.
 
I need to relieve myself from my dreary thoughts, or I will slip into depression again.  I have had some mouth ulcers lately.  I thought they were caused by drinking too much gingered lemonade.  They are another possible sign of lupus.  So, if weight gain is sign six and depression is seven, mouth ulcers are sign eight.  Yet, nothing is definite yet.
 

Summary of Indications

 
1.        Crusty, itchy rash on scalp
2.        Nausea after eating
3.        “Burning” brain
4.        Hypothyroidism
5.        Sensitivity to sunlight
6.        More than 10% weight gain
7.        Prolonged depression
8.        Mouth ulcers
9.        History of leaky gut
10.        Family history of lupus
11.        Joint pain
12.        Numerous allergies
13.        Protein in urine
14.        Headaches
15.        Epstein-Barr in past
16.        Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in past
17.       Medications that can possibly cause lupus
 

Car Registration

 
My husband wants me to register his jeep in Colorado before the end of September.  In order to do so, I need a power of attorney for motor vehicles.  I have downloaded the form from colorado.gov.  We do not have a working printer, so the next step is to get the form and extra copy printed at OfficeMax, which I have done before.  Then I need to fill it out and get it notarized.  My husband will not go to a bank, so I need a mobile notary.  I know one who will probably come on short notice.  Then I probably need emissions testing, and then I need to take it to where I can register it.  Fortunately that is not too far away.  So there are probably three trips involved.  If you have followed me this far, you know how exhausting even a short trip can be for me.  When should I start on this?  My husband advised me to start in the morning when I am fresh.
 

Snack

It is 4:18 PM.  I have 304 calories left in my budget.  I should probably wait until 5:00 PM before eating.  I had some brown rice and almond milk just a few minutes ago.
 
Wow!  What a stressful day it has been!  Fortunately, some of the maintenance has been done on our residence.  I do not want to move to Grand Junction.  I want to stay here.   My husband has some money.  We can stay here.  Neither of us are doing particularly well.  If we undertake to care for a home, we will be overwhelmed.  I thought I wanted a home more than anything, but now I just want to stay here.
 

Life Expectancy

 
We have been married five weeks today.  So much has happened already.  Despite our medical trials, I have been very happy.  This medical possibility is a possible cloud over our happiness, but it does not need to be.  Even if it cuts my life expectancy, that is not something to mourn over.
 
I see the type of life lived by many of the residents here.  Long life is something I have always wanted, but I may have over-rated it.  I await the day I return to the Lord in his kingdom.  I have perfect faith that He is approving of me.  Whatever happens, it is okay.  I will do my best to stay active and healthy and do my best not to get down on myself about my disabilities.  I want to share my journey with you, my readers, and with whomever happens to come along with me.  It will be a joy to be able to write openly and express myself fully.  The day may come when I find that I do not have lupus.  You can be there with me to share the good news.
 

Evening

 

Evening Prayer

 
Dear Lord,
 
I thank you for this day, even though it has been hard.  Help me to set aside my medical worries and do my best to accomplish the tasks I need to do, such as getting my husband’s jeep registered in the state of Colorado before the end of the month.
 
Lord, bless my readers.  They have come with me through trials and hopes.  Let them be rewarded with blessings in their own lives.  Lord, I ask for a blessing of healing.  Please heal the crusty, itchy rash on my scalp.  Please heal whatever is causing that rash.  I desire a long life.  I am willing to return to you quickly, but I have much I want to accomplish first.  Right now, my innermost desire is to share myself on this blog that I may be an inspiration to others.
 
Long ago, Lord, I lived in Utah.  An elderly lady I knew from church said to me, “You are an inspiration to us all.”  How can I still be an inspiration?  I realize I may have to bear up under trials.  Help me to do that, Lord, and spare me what I do not need in order to fulfill my destiny.  Every day I look forward to being in your kingdom.
 
Amen.
 

Evening

Dinner

 
I had brown rice and almond milk again with some chicken breast for supper.  I have eaten a few too many carbs today, but that may be good for my kidneys.  I am only seven calories over my calorie budget for the day.
 

Primary Food

 
So, what do you think of the way I get off the topic of diet and exercise and explore primary food (relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality)?  I did not expect at first to talk about so many of the business details of my life.  You may find it boring.  Maybe it inspires you for your own life.  I think I will continue down the trail I have already blazed.
 

Gratitude Practice

 
I do not have a lot of energy tonight, but my night is open.  To start with, I want to state that I am grateful I have this computer, this Joyful Vibrance blog, and my husband tonight.
 

My Books

 
I have already written several books, some of them published, some of them unpublished as yet.  My first book is a novel, Lisa’s Light and Hope, which I have yet to publish.  Lisa is from Boulder, Colorado.  She works modeling sportswear in Los Angeles.  While driving, she is shot in the head.  A bullet takes out both of her eyes.  She returns home to Colorado to rebuild her life.  She re-unites with Ben and finds out he was born blind himself.  Eventually they get married, move to Utah, and have two children.  Ben loses his sight again, and the conflict they have over it separates them.  A good friend, Katella, gets them back together.
 
My second novel, Scarlet Night, starts shortly after the first one ends.  I have published it on Amazon.com.  Katella, the friend in the first novel, stars in the second.  She is a recently divorced electrical engineering graduate student.  Ben, Lisa’s husband, sets her up with a blind cellist, Marco.  Marco and Katella have a joint interest in music and fall in love.  However, Katella has a bipolar manic episode while in Las Vegas with a colleague.  In this novel, I explore Katella’s dilemma about having children.  It reflects my own concerns and experience.
 
A third book is Emotional Wisdom, , part of my spiritual journey. It is not published on Amazon, but it is available for free on my blog.  Please enjoy it.  It outlines 43 components of emotional wisdom.
 
A fourth book is a full-color paperback cookbook, which I have published on Amazon.  It is titled KaeLyn’s Korner Kitchen:  Complete Meals for the Healthy-Minded.  It is not totally gluten-free, but most of the meals can easily be converted to gluten-free recipes.
 
I am writing another book, which is nearly done called, Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood. You can get a sneak preview copy here for free, just for following along with me.
 
This book, Joyful Vibrance, Volume II, which is beginning as a series of blog posts, is a travel log of this journey to lose about 15 pounds, while keeping up my energy and mood.  It is becoming so much more.  I may re-define its purpose.
 
Sharing my writing with you has lifted my mood.  I hope you will take advantage of the above links.  Some of them are free.
 
So, if you were me, what would be your next step?  Would you be worried about lupus?  Would you give up on swimming?  (They may not like me in the pool with scabs on my head, even though the inflammation is non-transmissible.)  Would you give up on losing more weight and say that 120.0 pounds is good enough?  Would you get over to the DMV as soon as possible?  Would you give up on writing for the rest of the day and spend time with your husband?
 

Relaxation

 
I spent some time with my husband.  I tried out our new lamp.  It looks like my husband is not going to force me to send it back.  I took some Balance of Nature fruit pills.   My sister who has lupus works as a health coach for Balance of Nature.  She uses its products quite successfully.   I scored yesterday on JV Life Tracker–over 1100 points.
 
It is still almost two hours until bedtime.  Except for the fruit pills, I plan to fast until bedtime.  My original intention in writing this was to chronicle my weight loss.  I still want to lose weight, but the goal of increasing my mood and energy is perhaps even more important.  I also want to share my life.  My husband warns me to maintain my privacy.   He is a very private individual.  He has allowed me to post on my blog however, for which I am very grateful.
 
It is 7:59 PM.  I am starting to yawn.  I have been living in high beta brain waves today, I think, except for the short time I meditated.  That was the most relaxing part of my day.  A counselor in Utah recommended meditation to me.  My counselor here in Colorado reiterated the importance of meditation and invited me to her meditation group.  I will be seeing her tomorrow at 2:00 PM.  I will tell her how this travel log is progressing.  That will probably interest her.  Of course, I will tell her I had a med appointment as well.  We will have plenty to talk about.
 

Reiki

 
It would be beneficial to do some Reiki on my husband and myself.  I performed a transformational session of Reiki on my best friend in Utah when she was undergoing cancer treatments.  She fully recovered.  Since then I have not practiced it much.  It is important to do on myself.  That is a practice I can reinstate.  It might provide healing for me, if I do have lupus.  Reiki is one healing modality I know that I have not fully utilized.  I will put Reiki on JV Life Tracker to remind myself to do it.  One of the positions on the head is directly over where my scabs are.  What if Reiki, Universal Life Energy, can heal them?
 
That thought gives me hope.  I just put my hands on my head, not to scratch this time, but to heal.  I wrote my friend Michael who shared Reiki with me almost every day for over a year.  He is very transformative himself.  He established a video studio for his video business that was out-of-this-world.  Then he left Utah and moved to Hawaii, another one of his dreams, taking all his possessions with him in six suitcases.  He is a true minimalist.  I was inspired by his spirit.
 

Landmark

 
Michael talked me into taking the Landmark Forum, but I had second thoughts.  I was afraid of being too tired to drive home from the forum.  It was about 20 miles one way and would let out at or after 10:00 PM at night.  I never went.  I researched the Landmark philosophy though.
 
When Landmark signed me up, they made me sign a warning sheet.  They do not really want anyone with a mental health disorder in their forums.  Michael talked me into signing up anyway, but I regret that I did.  Then again, I have wondered if their philosophy could get me out of my never-ending cycle of over-confidence, lack of confidence, over-confidence, etc.  Are you doubtful?  I kind of am too.
 

Confidence

 
This is the challenge I have:  when I am manic I am over-confident, willing to try anything, extremely energetic, with an elevated mood, doing rash things.  I initiate more projects than I can ever get done.  When I am depressed, I lose all my confidence and have no energy.  If I have any projects going, they come to a standstill.  If I work to build my confidence, there is the danger of becoming over-confident.  When my medication is working, I am very conscientious, but not that confident.  My mood is usually a tad low.  I am willing to keep things rolling, but I am not willing to try much.  I go to extremes, and it is impossible to predict which pole I will be on at a given time in the future.
 
When I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, confidence was one of twelve sectors in their Circle of Life.  I wrote a vision statement showing what I intended to do to build my self-confidence:
 
8.  SELF-CONFIDENCE  I am building my self-confidence by:
  • consciously and consistently executing my success and bedtime rituals
  • doing new things and mastering what I want to be good at
  • spreading my body in poses that exude self-confidence
  • moving freely and gesturing while speaking
  • exuberantly singing, “I Have Confidence in Me”
  • enhancing my appearance:  my posture and body language, dressing up, smiling symmetrically, and wearing color
  • my thoughts: asking myself empowering questions, loving my time alone, loving myself, taking advantage of rather than avoiding all criticism; and believing I am good enough, worthy, and able to do anything worthwhile
  • my actions: living my truth, doing what makes me feel like a genius, practicing unique rituals, staying organized, behaving in ways in which I can trust myself, being timely, and being in the right place at the right time
  • perceiving the opportunity in obstacles and finding a way around, over, or through them.
  • interacting with people: appreciating, observing, blessing, complimenting, healing, teaching, and thanking others, and communicating with current and potential followers
 
My coaching circle coach recommended that I join Toastmasters for confidence.  So I did.  Eleven speeches later, memorizing almost all of them almost word for word, I did gain confidence.  Then depression set in, and I felt I was making no progress, so I quit.  Okay, so maybe it was time to take my speeches on the road anyway, but I did not have enough confidence to do that, even though I could speak very well on subjects that interested my audience.
 
Since then I have worked on my programming and writing, but have not done much more with speaking.  I do not really get nervous while speaking.  It is just that I am timid about approaching people to arrange speaking, even though I did arrange three presentations outside of Toastmasters.
 

Speaking vs. Writing

 
Speaking may be in my future.  I will have to see.  For now, I can write.  In writing, I can lay things out very realistically, just as I have above.  Writing has some advantages over speaking.  The main one is that I can have a down day, and it is not fatal.  If I miss getting to a speech venue, that can be a disaster.  If I do not write one day, that can be dealt with.  So, perhaps I have found my calling in writing.  I may want to record voice clips and attach them to my blog posts.  That way you can hear my voice, which I am told is sexy.  Let me consider that.
 

Designing My Life

 
Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is a good book.  It was written mainly for people seeking jobs, but its principles can be used for my situation too. Designing Your Life introduced a man who went into civil engineering because it was his mother’s idea.  He majored in civil engineering, graduated, and went to Holland with his girlfriend and got a civil engineering job there.  Later, he returned, married his girlfriend, and worked another civil engineering job.
 
About this time he realized he was not happy.  His father said he was good at math; he should go into finance.  Therefore, he contemplated returning to school to get his MBA.  He turned to Dave and Bill, the authors of this book, and they had him keep a log of his work activities showing how engaged he was in each and how energized each made him.
 
Consequently, he analyzed his log to learn that solving engineering problems engaged him, but administration and meetings did not energize or engage him.  Therefore, instead of going back to school in business, which would have been a colossal waste of time, he got his Ph.D. in engineering.  After graduating, he obtained a new position where he was able to focus on engineering problems, free from administration work, and he was happy.
 

Focus

 
Like it was for this man, sometimes we need to focus.  I left my baby grand piano in Utah.  I could mourn over that, but being here without it has enabled me to focus on my writing.  People go to retreats where they can be free of distractions, so they can complete a writing project or any project for that matter.
 
Kristi Yamaguchi was an awesome pair skater, but she gave up pair skating in order to focus on singles skating for the Olympics.  She won the gold medal in 1992.  Sometimes we have to give up something we do well, so we can do something else even better.
 
Whether there is music in my future, I do not know.  For now, my voice is a musical instrument that I can use whenever I want.  I love the piano, but I love my writing even more.
 
 

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