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.

Making My Peace With My Decline

I’ve been living in long term care for over a month now. Updates are in order. My feet no longer hurt. Now it’s both of my knees. I can barely stand up because of the pain, let alone walk. My knees hurt so bad I can’t even lay on my back in bed because of the pain. I’m back to sleeping in my recliner most of the time.

My high blood pressure issues have been solved. Now low blood pressure is a problem. I can barely stand up or go to the bathroom without feeling like I’m going to pass out. I also have the problem that I’m forced to do physical therapy even though I can barely stand up without passing out. I try to explain my problems to the nurses. No one is listening. I can’t get anyone to listen to my problems. Supposedly a doctor ordered me to do physical therapy even though that was NEVER brought up the only time I’ve met with a doctor since I’ve moved to long term care.

I couldn’t manage my blood pressure issues and mental health at the same time anymore. Home health coming to check in on me a couple times a week was only temporary. I live alone and I can no longer drive. So I couldn’t get to any of my doctors’ appointments. My blood pressure meds couldn’t be renewed via Zoom calls. That’s why I opted for long term care. I can’t drive so I can’t get to my medical appointments. My mobility is severely limited to where I’m wheel chair bound now. Even though I’m in long term care, my problems are still not being listened to. I am by far the youngest person in my facility.

After years of loss, fighting mental illness, no one taking my complaints serious, decline of physical health, loss of friends, loss of career, and the general overall decline of the state of the world, I have made my peace with my mental and physical decline. I’ve even made my peace with death. I’m tired of fighting losing battles. I’m tired of trying to put a positive spin on everything. No, my mental health will never get better. No, I can’t fight mental illness and physical decline at the same time anymore. I am tired of being ignored. I’m tired of being blown off. I am tired of being told I’m lucky. I am tired of being told to man up and stop complaining all the damn time. I’ve made my peace with death. I’ve made my peace that most of my dreams will never be fulfilled. I’ve made my peace with declining health. I’ve made my peace with the world never being a good place. I don’t know why no one else can.

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.

May 16 2022

Haven’t written lately. But, then I’ve been too discouraged to write. My diet has changed significantly due to price increases. I stay home all the time. Breaks my heart to see how insane most people have become these days. I believe mass psychosis is real. I see it every day. While I know things will never go back to the way they were pre covid, I can’t even relate to most people anymore. I swear the older I get, the less sense people make. Makes me glad to be an introvert. At this point I’m just surviving. Forget about thriving and self actualization.

My friends are also stressed. A friend of mine had much of their personal info and emails hacked into. Another friend and her husband are both working full time yet rely on food pantries. My dad might have to have stints put in by the end of summer. Another friend of mine found out his house has almost doubled in value since he and his wife bought it five years ago. Nothing makes sense anymore. I can handle life being unfair. Hell, I’ve heard that from my elders all the time since I was four years old. It’s a lot tougher when things no longer make sense. I’m now surprised when things work the way they are supposed to.

At least in my part of the world, we aren’t having problems with covid and lockdowns anymore. I feel for the people in China who have indefinate lockdowns and food shortages. Lockdowns of entire cities don’t make sense. We have vaccines that work. Survivors develop a sort of immuntity. My brother has had covid twice. He said the second time was alot easier than the first. And don’t even get me started on the war in Ukraine. We all have to suffer because of our leaders’ pride and ego it seems like.

Sickness, PS5 games, exercise, friends, family, and end of 2021

Been fighting off a cold for the last few days. Since I’m coughing up a lot of mucus and haven’t lost my sense of smell or taste, I’m sure it’s not covid. I mask up whenever I have guests or meet the delivery man out of common courtesy. My neighbor was sick for a few days. He thinks it was the flu. The cases of covid are starting to go up in my home state, I imagine it’s only a matter of time before we have masks in public places again. So glad I still have a box of masks and extra disinfectant.

Bought some PS5 games over the course of the autumn. Currently working on Cyberpunk 2077. I think it’s a cool game. But, if you aren’t into sci fi or violent games, I don’t recommend it. I recently bought the Skyrim 10th Anniversary update package. I hope they make a new college football game next year. It’s been several years since one was made by EA Sports.

Getting more physically active. I make a point to stand up at least once an hour for several minutes. Started getting serious about arm weights again. With the exception of Thanksgiving week, I’ve been pretty strict about my diet. Still avoiding carbs and sugar most days. I’m avoiding coffee too. It makes me too irritable anymore. Upsets my stomach too. Haven’t had coffee in over two weeks.

Sometimes I’ll sleep in my recliner. It seems to be easier on my back and knees. I still get my best sleep between 5 and 8 am. I still wake up with back and knee pain every morning. But it seems to be far more manageable when I sleep half of the night in my recliner and the other half in my bed.

I still hear from my close friends a few times a week. My friend in Denver is quite busy with her job and her arts and crafts. Recently made some sales. She has problems with getting enough sleep. She also has chronic joint pains. We tell each other it’s a pity that we started falling apart exactly when we figured out how to be adults. My friend in South Dakota is busy with his teaching job, marriage, and two daughters. I called him this morning. We talked mostly baseball. He has a few weeks until final exams right before Christmas.

My mom and dad are doing alright. Enjoying the retired life and spending time with grandkids. I try to call them a few times a week. I hosted them for Thanksgiving last weekend. They said they’d be back here before Christmas. I really need a new microwave. That’s all I ready need this year.

I don’t feel as negative about Christmas this year as most years. It’s good that I don’t have to venture out into the stores for shopping. I think surviving 2020 when large in person gatherings weren’t advisable before covid vaccines and treatments really made me appreciate in person gatherings more. And since I know some people who died from covid, it makes me appreciate life even more. Spending three weeks in the hospital this fall gave me better perspectives on everything. It allowed me to treat problems I couldn’t have treated on my own. I’m grateful to be on the road to recovery. I’m grateful to still be alive.

Holidays and Mental Illness

Hosted a non traditional Thanksgiving dinner over last weekend. My parents came back to Nebraska for a funeral, so they won’t be coming back this week. My cleaning lady, who does lots of cooking, said she’d bring me a plate of traditional Thanksgiving fare. I guess with many of my neighbors going to family and friends for the long weekend, I’ll be having a few quiet days in my apartment complex.

Holidays are tough for most people. For us with mental illness, it can sometimes be unbearable. While I enjoy the good food and Christmas decorations as much as anyone, I do have a hard time with the disruptions of my routines. I thrive on routines more than I care to admit. I don’t usually change my routines unless I have to. Some days I don’t even leave my apartment or have guests. I guess I’m really picky about what I do and don’t do, more than is healthy probably.

Christmas movies will begin playing soon. It’s A Wonderful Life and Christmas Story are my two favorites of all time. I think some of those ClayMation shows are kinda creepy. I definately will not participate in Black Friday. I mean, how did this even become a thing? Not only that, there are people who actually enjoy that madness. I can understand Cyber Monday, but in the case of internet shopping, I get what I need and the post man brings it right to my house. It’s so simple that the only time I need to put on pants is when I go meet the delivery man. I think kids waiting on the Amazon delivery service will be to them what getting the Sears Christmas catalog was to me growing up in the 1980s. On Black Friday, I’m just staying home and watching football.

While Thanksgiving and Christmas get most of the attention, my favorite end of the year holiday is New Year’s. When I was growing up, my church hosted a new year’s party every year. Played a lot of board games, had lots of good food, and we usually let out immediately after midnight in order to avoid drivers who had too much to drink. I’d wake up early the next morning and watch the Rose Bowl parade and football games all afternoon. Back then, my Huskers were good enough they were almost always playing in a New Year’s Day game. Sadly, some traditions wind up dying over the years. After I moved out on my own, I used to go to New Year’s Eve concerts hosted by the local bars. Quit going out on New Year’s around ten years ago after some girl chatted me up and I think she was trying to make her boyfriend jealous. Glad I was sober so I could talk my way out of a bad situation.

I didn’t do much for Halloween besides buy some peanut butter cups. They were always my favorite candy. First time in months I had candy. I try to avoid sugar as much as possible. Same goes for carbs. One year for Halloween, I watched the original Dracula movie from the 1930s.

While I do enjoy the chilly weather and possibility for snow, I don’t enjoy some aspects of the holidays. But they too shall pass.

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..

Hallucinations And Paranoia With Schizophrenia

One of the primary symptoms of schizophrenia is hallucinations. In my case I have auditory hallucinations. I often hear people walking and talking in the hallways who aren’t there. I often hear my phone ring when it isn’t. It’s especially bad when I’m away from my phone in the bathroom or in the bedroom trying to take a nap. I often hear my Facebook Messenger ap chime only to find it was only hallucinations. I often have voices criticizing me when I’m trying to do even mundane tasks like cooking supper, doing laundry, getting dressed, and even when playing computer games and watching Amazon Prime. And it’s always the voices of people I know and they are always very critical and nasty.

As far as paranoia goes, it’s often bad. I always feel like I’m being watched when I am in public. I always feel like when something goes wrong when I have company (things like my internet going down, my computer being slower than usual, neighbors knocking on my door, having too much clutter on my desk and bedroom floor, or even having to get up to go to the bathroom) I’m being silently condemned and criticized. I’ve called my family out on this a few times. Even though they try their best to tell me that they mean no harm, I usually think they are lying and just get even more paranoid. I’m also paranoid that my call box that opens the security door to let delivery men isn’t going to work. I’m usually ready to go to my neighbor’s and have them open the security door. This has been especially bad for over two years as I’m completely reliant on grocery and UPS delivery.

I rarely leave my apartment for I fear that I’m being watched and condemned. I often lose my breath after walking long distances. And people making comments about me breathing hard makes me not want to leave my home. Then I get people telling me I wouldn’t be so short of breath if I got out of the house more often. I catch hell either way anymore.

I’m also really self conscious about my appearance. But, I’m also paranoid enough to think that no matter how good I am dressed up and presentable, it won’t be good enough for anybody. What’s the point of doing anything beyond minimum if it’s never going to be good enough for anyone? People were really critical of my appearance even back in grade school no matter how dressed up and cleaned up I was. I had one general practice doctor who wanted to take me off all of my psych meds because he thought the psych meds were preventing me from losing weight and that I’d be doing so much better mentally if I lost weight. Never mind that I’ve had mental health issues since high school and was physically strong well into my late 30s. Until my car accident in 2015 I’d walk three miles a day, five days a week. Can’t do that anymore. Another doctor flat out told me, and I quote, “Lose the damn weight.” First, last, and only time I saw him.

The whole, get tough, man up, scream in my face, Alpha Male, Marine Corp, hell fire and brimstone, cowboy nonsense never worked with me. It also never impressed me. I guess that makes me less manly, depending on who you ask. I suppose that after twenty plus years of schizophrenia I just no longer want to be bothered with it. Some days I feel a lot older than 41. I have no clue how I made it even this far. I really no longer care if I impress anyone, even friends and family. I’ll do the minimum to keep my neighbors, my landlord, social security, etc. happy and off my case. But I’m no longer going out of my way to impress anyone. It’s not like I was impressing anyone when I was in my teens and twenties anyway. I’m glad I’m not young anymore and can more or less do my own thing as long as I’m not being a jerk to my neighbors or breaking the law. I’m enjoying my 40s far more than I did my teens. As bad as the hallucinations and paranoias are now, they were far worse in my twenties. There are far worse things in life than being on disability and living in low income housing in rural America. Even the last couple years with the pandemic, I have a legit excuse to not leave my house and not get hassled.