March 13 2023

The weather turned chilly today. I decided to spend the day inside. I guess winter isn’t completely over yet. My parents ran some errands and were gone most of the afternoon. I got along just fine alone. I sometimes feel better when I am alone than when I am around people.

I’m still losing weight. Lost 10 pounds since I moved to Oklahoma. I can walk anywhere in the house now without a walker. I use my wheelchair only when I leave the house. My blood pressure is still under control and I’m starting to need less sleep. Most nights I’m asleep by 10pm and wake up in the middle of the night. Most nights I sleep part of the night in my recliner. Seems to help with knee pains.

Mentally I’ve been stable for weeks. I haven’t had any flare ups since I moved. I sometimes get bored with the wait on a place to come open. I’m ready for my own place again. I guess I never lost my independence streak even in the facility. I’m glad to be out of long term care. I’m walking alot more now. I don’t use my walker or wheelchair in the house anymore. In fact, I haven’t used my walker at all in the last few weeks.

Boredom can get to be a problem. I used to remedy this by going to bed early. But that is not an option anymore as I no longer sleep alot. Most nights I sleep eight hours a night. I usually sleep five hours in my bed and three hours in my recliner. I still have knee pain from laying in bed for too long.

Mornings are always the roughest. They have gotten easier as the knee pain has decreased. I used to hurt so bad in the mornings I had to stretch for several minutes to get going. Now it’s only a couple of minutes. Sleeping in the recliner helps alleviate the knee pains. I probably should sleep in the recliner on a regular basis rather than just half of the night.

I guess the more mobile I get, the more I want to do. I don’t like just sitting down and watching tv for hours on end. I need to keep my mind occupied. Computer games help with this. But even I get burned out on computer games occasionally. I still read audiobooks. I still watch youtube videos, especially educational ones.

I have no idea how long it will take for a low income apartment to come open. I’ve been on waiting lists for months now. Hopefully I’m moving up the list. I’m just anxious to get my own place and get back out on my own again. I miss my freedom and privacy.


March 11 2023

It’s been a good last few days here in Oklahoma City. The sun is out and I got to spend most of the morning outside. I’m sleeping more in my recliner lately. Seems to be easier on my knees. I’m still losing weight. Lost almost 10 pounds since I moved here. I get up and walk some every day. I can walk anywhere in the house now. I use my wheelchair only when I’m not in the house. My knees hurt less and less with each passing week. I don’t breathe as hard when I walk as I did when I first moved here. Sometimes I get bored and restless. I’m getting to where I want to do more than just play computer games and listen to audiobooks all day. I’m glad the weather is changing for the better. I’m ready to be done with winter.

I’m still waiting on low income housing to come open. Probably will be waiting on that for another few months. I know I can live on my own given the right circumstances. I can walk anywhere inside the house now. I can get in and out of the pickup without problems. I still have knee pain in the morning when I get out of bed. But even that is starting to clear up some.

March 4, 2023

I’m still losing weight. Currently the lightest I’ve been since 2014. My mobility is starting to come back. I can walk anywhere in the house without much problems. I can get in my dad’s pickup without issues. I get outside a couple times a week. Other than some bad storms on Sunday, it’s been nice down here for the last week. The city blew the storm sirens on Sunday as there were a few tornadoes in the Oklahoma City metro area. We saw mostly bad winds and lightning.

Got to go sight seeing a couple of days ago. Saw the house where my brother lives, got to see where my nephews and niece go to school and have their soccer practices. Ate at a Chick fil A, it’s pretty good. First time I ever ate Chick fil A. And got to visit some of the stores were my parents shop. Haven’t really been much of anywhere besides church until that morning outing.

My knees hurt less and less all the time. The only real problem is still in the morning. My knees get stiff and sore if I go too long without standing. And since I can’t sleep standing up, I guess the only way to remedy this is to keep losing weight.

The meals I’m eating now are slightly bigger than what I got at the facility. I’m still used to eating small meals. Some days I’ll skip lunch or supper because I’m still full from the previous meal.

I’ve gotten to where I can walk to the pickup without a walker or wheelchair. I have less pain now than usual. It’s weird being able to walk short distances without a walker again. Makes me realize what I missed out on during the times I was homebound.

I’m still reading audiobooks. Currently working on The Foundation by Isaac Asimov as well as a couple of finance books. Reading regular books too. Currently working on Democracy in America by Alexis de Touchaville. It’s a classic. If anyone wants to truly understand the politics, culture, and development of America, I highly recommend it even though it’s a long read at over 900 pages.

Some days I’ll put on an audiobook while playing computer games. Next thing I know three hours have passed and I’m halfway through an audiobook. It gets me my gaming and knowledge fixes at the same time I guess.

Listening to more music too. Sometimes listening to some of the material I liked back in the 90s and 2000s is cheap therapy. I forgot how good some of that music really was. Either that or it’s my nostalgia talking. I refuse to degrade any music listened to by young people. Maybe I just took the criticism I took in my younger years too personally. But I promised myself if I ever became an elder, I wouldn’t complain about the kids. Now that I’m middle aged, I have a chance to fulfil my promise.

Coming To Terms with Congestive Heart Failure

In September 2021 I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. That explained why my feet and knees always hurt, why I was always short of breath, why my feet and ankles were swollen, why I had to urinate frequently, and why my blood pressure was so bad. I am saddened I wasn’t diagnosed sooner, but then covid was going full swing for almost two years before hand.

I have made my peace with the fact that I might die from this. Part of helping me make my peace with a possible early death came with going back to church services again. I am so thankful for online church as it’s sometimes tough for me to leave the house because of the heart failure and resulting limited mobility. I still have problems walking short distances without a walker. It is a bitter pill to swallow thinking I won’t live long enough to see cool things like colonies on the moon, people on Mars, really smart AI, green energy becoming a major part of the power grid, etc. But I guess it doesn’t matter the years of life if you had lots of life in your years.

I don’t have much for regrets about my life. I read many of the famous classics that most people only mention by name. I saw my Rockies play in the World Series. Got to see my Huskers have dominating football teams in my younger years. I fell in love a few times. I’m still best friends with my best friend from high school even though we’ve seen each other in person only a handful of times since age 18. I thank social media for that, first with myspace, and then later with facebook. I graduated from college even with a serious mental illness. I had some of my writing published. I actually made some money from my writing. I was even interviewed by local media for my writings a few times. I lived on my own for seventeen years even with schizophrenia.

Most of the things I do regret came from the mental illness, not from a lack of trying. I do regret not getting married and having kids, but the mental illness would have made this impossible, especially since I can’t hold a full time job.

I have come to accept that yes, I probably will die younger than normal with my heart failure. But I believe in the after life and am grateful I lived a good life with the life I have. It could be several years before I die, I don’t know. But I am grateful for having the opportunity to chase my dreams, even if I did come up short. Most of the coming up short was due to my various chronic illnesses.

There are worse things than an early death. I’ve been fighting mental illness for over twenty years. Been fighting heart failure for a few years now. Not sure if I have enough left in the tank to go another twenty years with mental illness, let alone mental illness with congestive heart failure. But it’s all right. I don’t have many regrets.

February 19 2023

I’ve been in Oklahoma for almost two weeks. I can now walk anywhere in the house. I use my wheelchair only when I’m outside. I’m lifting weights three times a week. I make it a point to stand up at least once an hour. I usually sleep in my recliner as it’s easier on my back and knees. I’m staying up to at least 930 most nights. I’m still not used to staying up late. Some of my meds make me sleepy.

I qualified for food stamps. I’m getting an Oklahoma bank account sometime this week. I’m also going to the park when we have a warm weather day. I shower with the help of a shower chair. My medicaid is in the process of transferring to Oklahoma. I’m on the waiting list for several low income housing units. I specifically requested handicap accessible. I don’t use my wheelchair in the house partly because the halls are too narrow to easily navigate and I’m trying to rebuild my walking endurance. I didn’t walk many places in my nursing home as things were far enough apart to use a wheelchair. But I get up and walk several times a day now, mostly short distances. I’m having less pains in my knees. I still walk kind of stiff but even that is coming back.

Attended church each of the last two weeks. It feels good to be going back and socializing regularly again. I usually weigh myself only twice per week. I’m still losing weight. Granted the progress doesn’t seem to be very fast when I’m lost in the day to day grinds. But last May I couldn’t stand up for longer than 5 seconds without the pain being unbearable.

February 13 2023

Hard to believe we are halfway done with February. My medications have been filled here in Oklahoma. My Nebraska Medicaid has been shut down, so I can now get Oklahoma Medicaid. I sent off an application for food stamps. I submitted applications for several low income housing units in the Oklahoma City area. I’m getting up and walking more than I did in the nursing home. I went to church on Sunday. And I got my mailing address transferred to Oklahoma.

I’m still losing weight. Watching my diet close. Still on fluid restrictions. The only time I have problems with incontenece is when I’m asleep. Woke up with some knee pain this morning that quickly cleared up. Most of my meds are only once a day, and usually in the morning. I’m almost out of the meds sent by my old pharmacy in Nebraska. But I got replacements ordered and delivered already.

Saw some of the Super Bowl the other day. Since the Broncos didn’t make playoffs I really didn’t follow them this year. I watched mainly for my mom’s cheese and meat dip. I still go to bed quite early, sometimes when it’s still light out. I still sleep like 10 to 12 hours a night, more than I would like. I still limit my caffeine intake. Haven’t had coffee in over a week.

Adjusting to New Surroundings

Been in my new hometown for a few days now. The transfer of all my medicaid and social security from Nebraska to Oklahoma seems to be going smoothly. Haven’t had any real hiccups yet. Been on the phone alot the last few days. I also want to go back to church again. I’ve found a renewed enthusiasm for God and religion in the last several months. I guess having a near death experience can do that to a person. I’ve found myself praying several times a day now. Mainly being thankful for my progress and praying my health problems can be solved. I haven’t been out and about since I moved here. Had a nice visit with my brother and two of his sons the other night. I’m excited about developing a deeper relationship with my brother and his family. My brother and I weren’t close as kids, but I think the fact we no longer live together has helped the relationship in adulthood. I also think me having health problems and him having a family and a career forced us both to grow up.

I’m also wanting to go back to church. Even at my worst, I never lost respect for God or the good work done by religious organizations in general. I may not have believed in divine intervention for a long time, but that was mainly a defense mechanism to explain to myself why God shouldn’t favor me over millions of other people even more deserving of good things. I guess justice is when we get what we deserve. Mercy is when we don’t get what we deserve. Grace, I guess, is when God gives us what we haven’t earned or deserved. It also helps that my life was saved by doctors and nurses at a Catholic hospital, even though I myself isn’t Catholic. I grew up in the Church of Christ. Some churches can be kind of strict about somethings, but one will get a good education in what the Bible does and doesn’t say after a few years of attending the CofC. Even at my worst, I never lost respect for God or the Bible. At least not enough to close that part of life off permanently.

I’m continuing to lose weight. I cook some of our meals as a family, granted I’m still trying to get the hang of a gas stove. I have memorized my parents’ address. I found a new pharmacy and a potential new bank. I’ve started the process of canceling my Nebraska Medicaid in favor of my Oklahoma Medicaid. Qualified for food stamp benefits. Also found out from a really helpful social security agent that, since I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 20, I might be able to requalify for social security disability payments based on my parents’ salary. Since my family was, more or less, upper middle class, I could be getting a substantial raise in my disability pension within the next few months.

I walk everywhere in my parents house. I still occasionally have issues with incontentience. To remedy this, I use pull up disposable briefs. While I am not proud of wearing adult diapers, it serves the purpose. Somedays I can go without issues. I certainly don’t have the problems I had previously. But if I continue to lose weight, the incontentience issues should resolve themselves.

Weight wise, I’m the lightest I’ve been since 2014. If I lose another 20 pounds, I’ll be lighter than I have been since 2010. I’m continuing to lose weight even outside of the nursing home. I was on a calorie restriction diet that helped me lose 90 pounds in seven months. My goal is to eventually get back to my old high school weight. Probably take a year or two, but I am making progress with every passing day. I’m not where I want to be just yet, but I am on the right track.

I’m still working on the process of setting up residency in Oklahoma. First have to transfer my social security disability and Medicaid over from Nebraska. That process is started. Once I establish residency, I’ll look into low income housing. I think I’ll qualify for section 8 housing, which will help me with my rent. It could take a few months to qualify. I’ve also decided to register to vote once my residency is established. I probably won’t join either political party as I feel both parties have valid points on various issues. I have both conservative and liberal friends, both of whom make valid arguments for their positions. It just breaks my heart to see congress fight among themselves so much. I guarantee that both China and Russia love seeing our politicians fight among themselves and not try to pass good legislation.

I’m also eventually thinking of finding a part time job. Either that or trying to make my writings as profitable as a part time job. Made some royalties from some of my ebooks I had published several years ago. I think there may be a market for my writings. I’ve also decided to republish my mental illness book, which was the original inspiration for this blog. I will find out if my promotions of my books bear fruit in a few months. The royalty payments are usually several months behind.

Overall things are getting easier with each passing day. I’m adapting to life in Oklahoma nicely. I’m getting things done. Maybe in a few months I can establish residency and qualify for my own place. Hopefully that’s part of the plan.

February 10 2023

I relocated to Oklahoma a few days ago. I’m still in the process of getting things transferred from Nebraska to Oklahoma. I’m still adhering to the diet and still losing weight. I sleep better and usually stay up later now. Overall the process is going smoothly but slowly. It’s a lot of work to do to move from one state to another while on disability.

January 31 2023

Things are really moving fast now. Heard from my caseworker that it might actually be easier to move to Oklahoma City and wait for low income housing down there to open up than wait here in Nebraska. The process of transferring my medicaid would be only a couple days worth of paperwork. And my parents are willing to let me stay in their guest room until low income comes open down there. In short, I could be living in Oklahoma within a couple weeks if even that. I am excited for this new chapter in my life. I have never lived outside of Nebraska. I’m ready to move on to the next chapter in my life. I haven’t been this excited since I started this blog full time in 2013. Weight loss wise, I’m the lightest I’ve been since 2014. If I lose another 20 pounds, I’ll be the lightest I’ve been since 2010.

I’ve decided if I keep losing weight, I’m going to get my Oklahoma drivers’ license and eventually look for a part time job. Since I’ve been out of the work force for several years, I imagine I’ll have to go through vocational rehab to find that first job. Since I’m still kind of stiff and achy when I walk long distances, this new job probably won’t begin within the next several months. I hope to find something in janitorial by the end of the year.

Dreams and Creativity

Sometimes I get ideas for poems and stories through dreams. I sometimes hear music in my dreams I don’t hear anywhere else. Since I don’t know much about songwriting, I usually leave the music as inspiration for my stories. Just this night, I had a dream about an American astronomer living in London. He has a steady career at a London Planetarium but his friends are total losers. He roommates with his younger brother and two of his soccer hooligan buddies. He loves ancient astronomy texts, dotes on his ten year old niece, and can barely make it in spite of having a decent career. There HAS to be a story in that jumble somewhere. Just have to draw it out.

Hopefully by frantically writing notes in the middle of the night, I can make sense of this dream. I have decided that I want to branch out as a writer. I’ve been doing these blogs regularly for almost ten years. I used to be really big into writing poetry, namely nature and small town things along the lines of Robert Frost and Walt Whitman, my two favorite poets. But, who knows what can come of this strange dream. In the past I have written rough drafts for two novels, a book of “Hillbilly Wisdom” available on e-reader via Amazon under the title “Wisdom of a Hillbilly Scholar” by Zach Foster. I have been writing regularly for years in this blog, but I think now that I have a few more years under my belt, a few grays in my beard, and chronic knee pains, now might be a good age to share some of my wisdom.