Last Days of Summer 2022

Summer will be coming to an end in a few days. The leaves are starting to turn yellow. The days are still hot but cooler weather is supposed to hit by the middle of next week. I’m glad that summer is almost over. It’s always been a rough time for my mental health problems. I’m looking forward to Okotberfest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, chilly nights, pumpkin spice in dang near everything, and the whole bit. Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Fall is living proof that change can be beautiful and good.

I’m still losing weight. A wheel chair has been ordered for me. Should be here any day now. Now that I am regaining my mobility and am losing weight, I’m starting to formulate a strategy on how I can get into position to where I can have my own apartment once more. I have made a lot of progress over the summer. I’ve lost over 30 pounds since Memorial Day. My blood pressure has stabilized. I lost enough weight that the doctor had to take me off a couple of my meds because my blood pressure was getting too low. Once I get my own wheelchair, I’ll be a lot more mobile than I am now. I am currently using a wheel chair I’m borrowing from the nursing home. The public transit buses in Kearney are wheel chair accessible, so maybe I could go back to Kearney once I’ve lost some more weight.

One of the reasons I opted to go to a nursing home was I couldn’t get to my doctors’ appointments anymore. I couldn’t walk long distances and I get sensory overload so much I can’t drive safely anymore. But, since some public buses are wheelchair accessible, I might be able to live on my own again and just take the bus everywhere. Hell, I might even be well enough to move out on my own within several months.

Maybe I should have bought my own wheelchair rather than give up my apartment in the first place. But hindsight is always perfect. I really didn’t think I was ever going to get better. It’s amazing how losing weight, regular doctors’ appointments, and getting my blood pressure under control changed everything.

Going To Long Term Care and Reflections on Life Since 2006

Tonight is my last night in swing bed. I move to my permanent place in long term care tomorrow. My parents and my cleaning lady are emptying out my apartment today. It is a bittersweet end of one chapter in my life and the start of another. At this point in my life, I can no longer manage both my physical and mental health problems all alone anymore. I gave it an honest shot for over eighteen years. I had lived in my previous apartment for sixteen years. Worked a variety of jobs, started my blog, made lots of new friends, had three grandparents, three uncles, and a favorite cousin die, had several really good friends die, lost most of my mobility, survived a car crash, went through two years of the covid pandemic without getting sick, saw my best friend from college get married and become a dad, and saw my three nephews and niece grow up. While I am sad that my physical health has fallen apart so fast, I am confident I am now where I need to be.

In my sixteen years in my previous apartment, I went to the mental health hospital twice. I applied for and got on social security disability insurance. I worked for four years as a janitor at the county courthouse. I started this blog and have continued it on a regular basis for nine years. I became a published writer by having several poems published in a couple literary magazines. I learned about the joys of home grocery delivery. I found out that youtube is a wealth of knowledge if one knows how to properly look. I learned more history, philosophy, economics, science, etc. in several years of binge watching youtube than I did in my formal education. I saw several cousins get married and become parents. I had DNA tests to determine what psych meds would be best for me with great success. I saw the rise of the smart phone. I saw the world completely transform during a pandemic. I went from a young to a middle aged man. I saw three college classmates die young. I saw my parents retire and move out of their house of over thirty five years to be closer to their grandkids. I saw private space flight become a normal thing. I saw the first Black man become president of the United States. I saw the first woman become vice president. I saw a new pope elected. I saw same sex marriages legalized. I saw the beginnings of legalized marijuana. I saw the Arab Spring. I saw Brexit. I saw the beginnings of driverless cars. I saw electric cars become mainstream. I saw people my age and younger become leaders in politics, science, and industry. I saw some people my age become grandparents. I saw the internet go from a luxury to a necessity. I saw China become a world power again. I saw a renewed appreciation for democracy, especially after the war in Ukraine started and several years of choaotic politics in USA and Europe. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the sixteen years I lived in my last apartment. Heck, I don’t even recognize the world of 2006 anymore. Hope I can get to live another sixteen years to see what changes happen then. Now that I’m in long term care and have around the clock medical care, my chances of seeing the next sixteen years are improving.

Moving to Long Term Care. Changes in A Life Of Mental Illness

It’s been a long while since I last wrote. Updates are in order. Two weeks ago I called the ambulance as I was having issues with foot pain and blood pressure. In those two weeks, I got my blood pressure back under control, had over 20 pounds of excess fluids pulled out, and decided to move to a Long Term Care facility in my home state of Nebraska. After almost 18 years of living on my own, I can no longer manage my mental illness issues and physical health problems at the same time.

I am currently in swing bed in a hospital in a small town in Nebraska. I should be able to move to my permanent long term care unit (in the same town) by Wednesday June 8th. My foot pain has mostly cleared up. My blood pressure is back to normal. I am not diabetic. All my blood numbers are in safe ranges. But I can no longer manage physical health and mental health at the same time. I can no longer live on my own. I came to the conclusion I need more help than I was getting at my previous home.

My parents and my cleaning lady will start clearing out my old apartment probably on Tuesday. I decided I’m donating most of my books to the complex library. Give them more variety than romance, western, and crime dramas. I lived there almost exactly sixteen years. It feels surreal to be moving. But it needs to be done. I just can’t take care of all my issues on my own anymore.

I will be living on a ground floor, have access to a wheel chair, and the staff will cook my meals, handle my medications, and do my laundry and cleaning. It’s been a crazy last two weeks, that’s for sure. But these changes were needed. I should have moved into long term care last fall when I had my blood pressure issues. But, with covid still raging hard, I guess all of that got lost in the shuffle.

Why I Love Being An Adult

Talked to my landlady this morning. Got my paperwork signed that will allow me to stay for at least another year. And she was actually apologetic about the wait on the paper work. First time in my entire life someone in a place of power actually apologized to me. When I was in my twenties and thirties, most bosses and landlords acted like they were doing me a favor by letting me work a job and not be homeless. It’s amazing how much things change once you have a little money and some gray in your beard. Things like this make me glad I’m no longer young. I’m starting to understand why some people say life beings at 40.

I admit I don’t miss my twenties and thirties. Sure I miss the physical health and ability to just do things with friends at the drop of a hat. But I certainly don’t miss the disrespect, slights, and elders complaining about me being one of those “damn kids.” Breaks my heart that I see people my age complaining about the young now. It’s like, they were complaining about us the same way back in the 1990s. We weren’t the “triggered snowflakes”, but we were “slackers.” Hell, kids today binge drink less, have less sex, and do fewer drugs than the kids back in the 90s did (at least according to statistics). Rates of violent crime were going down for decades, at least until covid hit. Makes me wonder what Gen Y and Gen Z will say about their kids twenty years from now. Maybe cyborgs and full immersion virtual reality will be the social media of the 2040s.

I do enjoy being middle age. Sure I miss the mobility, but I also enjoy the new found respect. I’m still not used to people in places of power taking me serious though. Most of the time I went to doctors in my twenties and thirties, most of my problems were blamed on my weight. One doctor blamed even my schizophrenia on my weight. I’m glad I fired him.

That’s another thing I glad I’m getting to finally experience in middle age. People like landlords, doctors, nurses, maintenance men, service workers, delivery guys, now act like their relationship with me is a two way street. When I was in my twenties, I was regarded as a nuissance at best by all of these. I still remember walking into stores in the mall as a teen and twenty something and getting followed around by the manager thinking I was going to steal something. Happened quite often. I still remember doctors and landlords treating me like I was an idiot and they were doing me a favor just by letting me into their offices. Now that I’m in my forties, it’s like we now have the two way relationship. I’m almost never regarded as an inconvinence or stupid. I never want to be young again. Screw that.

I also love how I can now say things that I know to be true and be considered wise and smart. When I was in my teens and twenties, I was just regarded as having an attitude problem especially when I was right. I was saying the same things at age 13 that I am at age 41. Yet now I am considered wise. I guess gray hair, chronic knee pain, and a little extra money make all the difference in the world. I just hope I never forget the struggles it took to get here. I hope I never pull the same crap on kids that was pulled on me.

Inflation Sucks

Had maintenance in my apartment yesterday fixing some things. I think I’m finally caught up on maintenance issues. I haven’t left my apartment for a few days. Just not in much of a mood to socialize these days. Seems like most of my friends are the same way.

Had to cancel my netflix service. Rates are going up again. My internet connection rates went up the first of the year. Looks like they’ll be going up even more in a few months. I get sticker shock every time I go grocery shopping. I’ve started eating more inexpensive things like rice and canned meat. I rarely order from amazon anymore. Price increases have certainly affected my life.

Been feeling more irritable and anxious the last few days. I’m also getting chronic aches and pains again. Some days my knees are bad enough I can barely walk even in my own apartment. I sit with blankets over my legs all the time no matter how hot it gets outside.

Don’t hear much from my friends these days. I think they are stressed and anxious too. Most people seem to be these days. In cases like these, it’s good that I can spend days at a time alone and not really be bothered by it.

December 12 2021

Started lifting weights again a few weeks ago. I’m starting to notice a difference. I’m taking vitamin C and fish oil suppliments. Still fighting off a cold but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was last week. I can stand for longer periods of time without pains. It’s easier to do chores around my apartment than even three months ago.

Changed up my diet some. I’m eating more burritos these days. I hadn’t been getting much for fiber in my high protein diet lately. I was needing a change as I was getting tired of the same routine every day. I’m going to go easy on restaurant delivery. That stuff is getting expensive, like everything else.

Sleeping in my recliner for the time being. My cpap machine finally broke down and I’ve been having chronic stiffness in my legs most mornings. I’m currently trying to get my machine replaced. But I’ll probably have to sleep in the recliner for at least the next few days until I can get a replacement.

Haven’t had bad flare ups of my mental illness in months. I’ve had a few minor ones and sometimes get kind of irritable. I’ve been stable for the most part this year. I see my psych doctor every two months via teleconference. I still spend most of my time alone. I still contact friends and family on a daily basis. But a lot of people are on edge lately, more so than usual. I just try to avoid the drama. Kind of sad it feels like I’m hiding out. But what’s the point of socializing with people who are going to make you feel bad? I no longer have time or patience for drama and nonsense.

Listen to audiobooks at least one hour a day. I’m getting close to finishing a couple of my recent purchases. For some odd reason, it’s just easier for me to focus on audiobooks than traditional books anymore. This wasn’t the case until a couple years ago.

I still do computer games some every day. I love the Civilization and Total War series of games. I’m also spending some time on Cyberpunk 2077 and Skyrim on my PS5. I still can’t believe my brother found that console. There are still shortages from what I’ve heard.

My clothes are fitting really loose these days. I’ve even had cases where I get snagged on dresser handles and door latches because of how much more loose my clothing now is. I have simple tastes as I prefer t shirts and sweat pants. I like hoodies but don’t wear them unless I’m outside as I’m more sensitive to heat than most people. Colder weather doesn’t really bother me, at least not as long as I have central heating, fleece blankets, and hot coffee. I’m going to start saving my money so I can buy new shirts and sweat pants. The ones I have right now are getting real loose. I know I have lost at least 80 pounds between December 2019 and October 2021. If the way my clothing fits is any indication, I’ve lost some more since October.

Christmas is coming in a couple weeks. The big thing I want this year is a new microwave. The PS5 was my blockbuster gift last year. As much as I appreciate my brother being able to find it, I appreciate spending time with family and friends even more. Christmas is more about spending time with family and celebrating the birth of Jesus anymore. Even though I haven’t regularly attended church services in several years, I think there is a great value to things like spirituality, community, and just treating other people with kindness and empathy. There will probably always be aspects of the cosmos and human experience that can’t be explained by even the best science.

In spite staying close to home and keeping physical contact with people to a minimum, I’m doing alright both mentally and physically. 2021 has been better for me than 2020, even with spending three weeks in the hospital. That time in the hospital allowed me to address health issues I neglected previously.

Nearing The End of 2021

2021 will be fading into 2022 in a few weeks. It’s been a year of changes and challenges for myself. I spent three weeks in the hospital for blood pressure and heart problems. Will be on meds for these for the rest of my life. I’m continuing to lose weight. Most of my clothes fit loose enough on me now that I may have to buy a whole new wardrobe if the weight loss continues. Several of my neighbors have moved away. I don’t even recognize many of the newer faces in my complex. I haven’t driven a car in over 2 years. I just don’t trust myself on the road anymore. I get sensory overload even in my own apartment now. I more or less quit socializing with my neighbors with a few exceptions. I just don’t have much in common with my neighbors. I guess I’m content to keep to myself with my books and hobbies. I no longer have a stomach for drama and pettiness. I’m just too tired for that anymore.

Been warmer and drier than normal the last few weeks. Seems like every day I hear firetrucks going out to range fires. We’re supposed to get some snow by the end of the week. We’ll see about that. We certainly need it.

My sleep patterns are returning to more normal. I usually go to bed around 10pm and wake up for good by 6am. I’m experiencing less severe aches and stiffness in the mornings. I still have odd dreams, but they aren’t scary. Just odd.

Using audiobooks a lot lately. Probably use those 2 to 3 hours per day. Still working the Ray Dalio one that came out last week. Have some Yuval Harrari and Parag Khana going right now too. I don’t know why, I just prefer non fiction to fiction. I always have. I never did get into science fiction even though I think I would have loved Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series had I discovered it in my youth as opposed to my late thirties. The science fiction I grew up on were stories like Terminator, Matrix, and Judge Dread. Basically really lousy futures that aren’t worth living in. I had enough drama and horror in my own personal life, I didn’t need horror and drama as an escape. Hell, I needed an escape from the horror and drama of real life. I have actually never bought a comic book.

Canceled my cable service several months ago. I don’t miss it one bit. I don’t even watch ballgames much anymore. Just seems pointless and I no longer enjoy it. And I haven’t watched cable news in over ten years. How is cable news still a thing? Most of what I watch anymore is youtube and Amazon Prime. I don’t even have Netflix anymore. I used to follow the Castlevania, Borgia, and Altered Carbon series. But I guess I just have a lot of reading I want to catch up on these days. I find learning fun. That makes me weird, I know. Maybe I just went to a good school in that they didn’t beat the love of learning out of me. I think it helped that I had parents who always kept books in our house and I was walking distance to the local library. When I was a kid, I wanted to buy that library, work in their full time, and just live in the basement. That was one of my aspirations as a kid. Another was to be rich enough that me and my friends could play Monopoly with real money. But isn’t being a real estate tycoon Monopoly in real life?

Having Schizophrenia During Covid

We’re having apartment inspections next week. These always make me anxious. It’s always been my experience that someone can always find something wrong. I once joked that maybe I should move everything out of my apartment (furniture, clothing, dishes, utensils, even food) just to see what they would find wrong with my place. I think it would be a good practical joke except that very few people have a sense of humor anymore. But I simply no longer have the health or the patience to pull it off.

Weather has been chilly and overcast. I’m enjoying it. I enjoy the chilly days and the long nights. I’ve come to appreciate fall more in my middle age. Spring has always been my favorite season but fall is definately working it’s way up.

I see that covid cases are starting to pick up again. My friend in Denver told me that hospitals there were resorting to deciding who to and who not to admit because they were having so many sicknesses. I’ve heard that Germany is getting slammed again. So much for covid being gone with a few weeks of lockdowns. Thank God this thing isn’t worse than it already is and that it didn’t hit back in the 1980s.

I very rarely leave my apartment anymore. Dealing with people, for the most part, is too stressful. Several tenants I knew have moved out lately. One died shortly after going to assisted living. I no longer know most of my neighbors. I still hear from a couple of my friends who used to live here. One is now at a homeless shelter. Even rural America has homeless people now.

My grocery bills are going up, like everyone else’s. I can keep the damage to a minimum because I had some stored up in case something like this happened. So glad I built up a small supply when things were cheaper. Have been needing some new shirts and pants. Those are tough to find even on Amazon.

Haven’t been sleeping well lately. I usually wake up in the middle of the night and take a couple hours to get back to sleep. My best sleep is now between 5 am and 9am. Don’t usually nap during the afternoon most days anymore. My knees still give me problems, especially in the mornings. I’m finding myself eating less most days. But I still have a lot of weight I want to lose anyway.

Mentally I’m feeling stable most of the time. I still have a couple flare ups of paranoia and anxiety every day. But they don’t last long. I usually do better when I don’t read the news or spend much time dwelling on my physical health. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get out of bed, mainly because of the knee pains. I’m finding myself more sensitive to cold now. I’ve been sensitive to heat for years.

November 6 2021

Been back home for three weeks. Things have returned to normal. I’m used to the new medication routines. I’m used to having home health drop in on me a couple times a week. I’m used to hearing neighbors in my hallway again. I contact my family several times a week. I usually call my parents in the late mornings and my friends in the evenings. Sometimes my friend in Denver with Facebook Messenger me when she has down time at her job. I cancelled my cable several months ago. I’m not missing it that much. It was, more or less, another bill to pay for something I didn’t use enough to justify having.

My aches and pains depend on the day. I still get bad knee pains when the weather is about to change. But it’s nowhere near as bad as it was a few months ago. I don’t get the pain in my thighs anymore, just my knees. The worst is still getting out of bed in the mornings. I’m usually good after standing, walking a little, sitting down for a few minutes, and then standing again. I understand why stretching is so important, especially the older I get.

I don’t have as much of an appetite anymore. I don’t eat as much as I used to in one sitting. What I used to eat for lunch, I’ll now eat two thirds of and then eat on the rest throughout the rest of the day. I’m still working on keeping my fluid intake reduced.

My sleep has been kind of odd lately. I’m usually up until 11pm most nights. Wake up around 3am to go to the bathroom. I’ll stay awake until about 5 am and then sleep again until almost 9 am. Time change is this weekend, so I guess that will throw me off as well. But I am glad I no longer sleep 12 hours a day.

September 18 2021

Last weekend of summer is officially here. I turned on my furnace for the first time a few days ago. It get chilly at night now. Corn harvest is beginning. It will be in full effect in a week or two.

Been having more aches and pains these last few days. Probably the constant change in weather. I’ve noticed I’ve been eating less the last few weeks. My clothes are looser now and I am a lot more flexible than even last spring. I’ve been having issues with bad sleep. I’ll fall asleep but won’t stay asleep for long. I usually get my best sleep now after 5 am. For most of the summer I woke at sunrise. I no longer keep a clock in my home as I have my phone, computer, and game console for that.

I like fall. It’s my second favorite season behind spring. I love being able to climb out of bed on Saturdays and catch college football games all day. Baseball playoffs will be starting in a couple weeks. Basketball and Hockey will be starting soon. I’m glad baseball season was able to go with fewer problems from covid than I thought. I still remember last year when most games were played in empty arenas. It not only wasn’t the same, it was eerie. So glad I got vaccinated a few months ago. I got the Johnson and Johnson one shot and done deal.

Been having issues with congestion in my lungs and throat. The throat congestion clears with a sip or two of apple cider vinegar. I usually mix it with a cup of water as it has a very strong bad taste and can be rough on my stomach. I think apple cider vinegar helps with lots of things, but I certainly don’t recommend it without a cup of water or tea. I still have my senses of taste and smell. When I do cough, I cough up gunk and not dry coughs. So I doubt it’s covid. Besides, the congestion, aches, and insomnia are the only issues I’ve had lately.

When I do have guests, I wear a face mask. The only regular guest I have is my cleaning lady once a week. It feels good to get my place scrubbed down and she doesn’t mind my conversation. While she works, I usually read science and news journals. I’m particularly fond of the free versions of the Washington Post, Financial Times, and FutureTimeline.net

Looks like another summer has come and passed. I’m ready for some autumn again..