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.

Nearing The End of Summer

Summer is almost over and I’m glad for it. This has always been the roughest time of year for me. I’m looking forward to chilly nights, changing leaves, pumpkin spice in everything, and fall sports. School started a couple weeks ago so it’s feeling more like fall.

My Saturday plans during the fall usually involved staying home and watching football. Today will be no exception. I might even go down to the community tv room and watch the games. I feel like things are starting to come back to life with the change of seasons.

For most of my adult life, I lived in college towns. Those towns were really quiet during the summer, but really came back to life once students returned for fall semester. This is the first time in eighteen years I won’t be in a college town for the fall. It’s bittersweet. I’m where I know I need to be to get healthier. But I do miss the activities of college towns, whether it’s concerts at the local dive bars, ball games on the weekends, cultural events on campus, or just running into college students during my overnight trips to Wal Mart or the 24 hour grocery store in town. I miss those activities already.

My blood pressure is back to normal and I’m losing an average of 8 to 10 pounds per month since I moved here. I’ve lost over 100 pounds in the last 2 and a half years. Eventually I would love to get back to my old college weight. I can walk short distances again, even if it is slow. Most of the pain in my knees is gone. I haven’t had pain in my feet in weeks. I’m starting to need less sleep. Last night slept from 11pm to 6:30 am. My sleep patterns are starting to improve. I used to need 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night.

Overall I’m feeling much better than I felt this spring. I’m glad to be back on the right track.

August 27 2022 Updates

My knee pain is starting to clear up. I’m on a couple medications for it. Seems like it’s taking effect. I get out of my apartment at least a couple times a day anymore. It was just getting too discouraging to spend all my time at home.

My blood pressure has been stable for weeks now. I think I’m still losing weight. Some of my smaller clothes are starting to fit again. Tried on a couple of my hoodies a few days ago and they fit perfect now. Weather will start cooling off in a couple weeks so I have those ready.

Haven’t heard much from friends lately. Everyone is busy with work, family, chores, etc. Found out my friend in Denver is promoting her arts and crafts again. Won’t be too long before Christmas. I’ve bought a couple of her knitted hats in the past.

I just feel chilly most of the time lately. I imagine the blood pressure medications have changed my circulation. Rarely do I ever sit down without a blanket over my legs and feet. My joints feel worse when they are cold. My knees also ache whenever the weather changes drastically. We had a hail storm a week and a half ago. My knees were really acting up that day.

Still listening to audiobooks. Decided I’m going through Asimov’s Foundation series. I’m halfway through the first book so far. I like to listen to it while I play Civilization: Beyond Earth. That game is about setting up colonies on another planet. It’s certainly a science fiction game.

I’m thinking about hooking up my Play Station soon. I imagine as the days are getting shorter and start getting cooler, I’ll want to spend more time at home and less socializing. I still get around really well in a wheel chair. I usually make a few laps in the hallways every morning just to keep my arm strength up. Just because my knees went bad doesn’t mean my arms have to.

Haven’t seen my family since early July. I did get a good visit from an old college friend about a month ago. He bought me some updates to my Civilization game. Been playing that a great deal since. Having activities, even if it’s computer games, help the time pass on long days.

I’m looking forward to the fall. Fall is my second favorite season behind spring. I love the longer nights, the cooler nights, the changing leaves, the harvest, and the variety of sports during the fall.

Updates August 3 2022

I’ve now lived in my current place for two months. Updates are in order. My blood pressure is now normal and stabilized. I’m doing physical therapy twice a week trying to get some mobility back. I’m continuing to lose weight, usually a couple pounds per week. I’m eating smaller, but better balanced meals. The nursing and help staff are amazing here. My mobility is still limited to wheel chairs and walkers. I occasionally still get pains in my feet and knees. Usually some tylenol will clear those pains.

The variety of meals here is good. Seems that everything is home made quality. I think we have about 40 residents in my complex, most are senior citizens. I’m still adjusting to having a roommate for the first time in eighteen years. I had just got so used to living alone that having a roommate is probably the biggest adjustment I had to make. I sleep in an adjustable hospital bed. It’s so much easier on my knees and back than traditional beds. I’ve lost enough weight that I can sleep on my sides for part of the night. I’m currently at my lowest weight since late 2017.

Even though I’m at my lowest weight in almost five years, my mobility hasn’t come back as much as I hoped. I can still get around really well with a wheel chair. But I don’t own my own personal wheel chair as I borrow one from the complex. I met with a wheel chair salesman last week and talked to him for a good forty five minutes trying to get me outfitted with a custom made chair. Right now I’m waiting on social security to approve the purchase. I imagine supply chain problems are still an issue on some things.

Had a couple amazon deliveries to my new residence. Had to buy some new shorts as I was running out of pants that properly fit. It’s nice living where I don’t have to worry about doing laundry or cooking my meals anymore. I also enjoy having 24 hour access to health care and not having to worry about filling my prescriptions anymore.

July 24 2022

My blood pressure has returned to normal. My feet no longer hurt. My knees are getting better with each passing day. I got a new adjustable bed. I think that has helped my knees as much as anything. I had a Zoom appointment with my psych doctor. I’m continuing to lose weight at a fast pace. I’m now at my lowest weight in five years. I’m still mostly wheel chair bound. I’m starting to walk short distances with a walker.

My mental health has improved too. I was in a dark spot for quite a while earlier this summer. I’m still sad about having to give up my apartment and my independence. But it was for the best. I know have around the clock access to medical treatment. I don’t have to cook for myself anymore. I think the smaller, and more balanced, meals are helping me lose weight. I’ve lost enough weight I was taken off two blood pressure medications. I’m still afraid to walk without a cane or walker. I’m still a fall risk.

I still play lots of computer games. My roommate and I usually leave each other alone as we have different interests. I’m still getting used to having a roommate after living alone for almost eighteen years. While I mourn the loss of my freedom, independence, and privacy, I know I made the right decision to give up my apartment and move to long term care.

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.

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?

October 22 2021

I’ve been back at home for a week. In that time, I signed up for home health services. I have physical therapy at least two days per week and a home health nurse come in and check in on me a couple times a week too. I sleep a lot. Most nights I’m in bed shortly after sunset. I sleep most of the night except to go to the bathroom a couple times a night. I usually awake for good shortly before sunrise.

I have to take blood pressure meds three times a day. I still take my psych meds every night before bed. Sometimes the coming and going of nurses and therapists can be close to overwhelming. But it hasn’t gotten the best of me, at least not yet. I haven’t had any real serious bouts of depression, anxiety, or irritability since I came back home.

The weather is getting colder. Most nights it gets around freezing point. The leaves have turned and the harvest is going full effect. It is defineately autumn.

To keep myself occupied, I listen to audiobooks while I play computer games. I do exercises every day in accordance with my rehab. My strength and balance are good but I need to rebuild my endurance. I do use a walker when I am outside of my apartment. Part of my rehab is doing walking in the hallway. I also do a lot of standing leg exercises to increase endurance and balance. I still have to hold onto a walker when I stand on only one leg.

Continued to lose weight when I was in the hospital. Overall I am down over 80 pounds in the last two years. I hope that now I am more mobile I can continue the weight loss.

Update On My Serious Health Scare

It is Sunday October 10 2021 as I write this. My blood pressure is back under control thanks to a few blood pressure medications. I’ve been doing physical rehab for over a week. It’s looking like I will be able to go back home within a few days. I can get around in my hospital room without a walker. As part of my physical rehab, I’ve been outside several times in the last week. The weather is turning cooler the deeper into fall we go. Looks like my town might get it’s first frost by the end of this week.

I was retaining a lot of fluid. In the almost three weeks I’ve been in the hospital, I’ve lost 40 pounds in fluids. That was in addition to the 40 pounds I had already lost during the pandemic. Overall, I’m down over 80 pounds in less than two years. I still have a long way to go, but I’m off to a good start. I eventually want to be at my old college weight. It’ll take at least another three years.

The biggest thing I missed over the last three weeks was my own cooking. I’m probably going to cook some grilled pork and cheese soup for my first meal out in the world again. I’ll be ready for this ordeal to end. Haven’t slept in my own bed in almost three weeks.