July 25, 2018

It’s been pretty quiet and uneventful the last few days.  I’ve been on my new medication routine for almost a month now.  I think things are working out quite well.  I’ve been getting out of my apartment and socializing in person more, so I haven’t been online as much for the last week or so.  I’m now usually going to bed by midnight and waking up by 8 am.  I’m apparently back to normal hours.  I think the weather being cooler than usual the last two weeks has helped.  It hasn’t been an unbareably hot July in my town this year.  I can tell the days are getting dark sooner.  Won’t be too long and school will be starting again.  Haven’t been watching as much baseball this summer.  I guess I got hooked on World Cup soccer this year.

I think I’m starting to lose weight again.  Changed my diet and started lifting weights three weeks ago.  I eat mostly high protein foods, keep carbs to a minimum, and have cut out most sugar.  I even need less sleep too.

Summers are usually a tough time of year for me.  But I have been able to avoid real problems this summer so far.  I guess we have about another five to six weeks of warm weather before things start cooling off.  And the foliage will start turning as well.  Summer is winding down.  I can hardly wait for cooler weather and longer nights.

No News Is Good News

Been a few days since I last wrote.  But then again, I haven’t had very much drama to write about.  It’s been quite quiet for the last several weeks for me.  About the only thing I really do have to report is that I am getting a little more active with each passing day.  I spend more and more time outdoors too.  I plan on spending a lot of time outside on Monday as the eclipse is coming right through the town I live in.  I am just going to watch it from my front yard.  I probably won’t be able to go much of anywhere tomorrow as my town is expecting several thousand out of town visitors for Monday.  I’m just going to stay home tomorrow.

I’m sleeping alright.  But my best sleep still comes in the morning anymore.  Most nights I’ll be up quite late.  While this puts a damper on my social life, it doesn’t seem to be effecting my mental stability any.  I’m usually up and going by noon no matter how late I stay awake.  I am so glad I can do this blog from home and I’m not constrained by office hours.

So far I have made it through the summer with no real issues.  This would be a first for me in several years.  And I am enjoying it.  I know I still have the potential for a few rough weeks before the weather cools off for good.  Sometimes no news is good news.

Spring

Since the weather has turned to true spring, I’ve been getting out of my apartment at least a few times per day.  Sometimes I’ll sit outside and listen to the birds and watch the squirrels.  A few times this spring I had Jimmy John’s delivery and had makeshift picnics.  I still don’t drive much simply because I don’t have to, especially since I can do most of my shopping and socializing online or over the phone.  But I’ll drive my car at least once a day just to make sure everything is running all right.

I renewed the lease on my apartment for another year just in case the move out of state doesn’t come through.  The big hang up is whether my parents can get their acreage sold.  Right now they are baby sitting their grandkids for the next several days and looking over a few places in person. I wouldn’t mind moving to a larger city as I have always wanted to live in a city at least once.  I’ve lived in villages and small towns my entire life. I’m not as in love with rural living as most of my family and classmates from high school.  I would love to see what the world has to offer.  Being in spring has me hopeful and thinking about the future.

 

Insomnia and Mental Health

For most of the winter I had the problem of sleeping too much.  I’d sometimes sleep until noon or even later and still be wanting to sleep by midnight.  Now my problem is that I just have a real hard time staying asleep, especially in the overnight hours.  Of course I’m concerned about this.  Sometimes major problems follow large changes in sleep patterns for me.  Getting good sleep is important for controlling mental illness problems.

This has been going on for several days.  One of the changes I made in an attempt to get more consistent sleep is taking my medications earlier in the night.  Sometimes my meds can make me sleepy.  Another thing I have done is cutting back on caffeine after 4pm.  I admit I love my caffeine, especially coffee and soda pop.  But perhaps I’m getting more sensitive to caffeine as I age.  But the cutbacks on caffeine make me less jittery but they aren’t helping me sleep much.

One advantage to sleeping less is I’m getting more done.  I’m spending more time outside.   I’m able to do laundry more often.  I’m keeping less clutter around my apartment.  Some of my habits have improved as I’m drinking more water and bathing twice a day now.  I have always liked taking a hot bath right before bed.  It helps me relax.  And I think I’ve lost a few pounds in the last couple weeks because I’m more active.

I still sleep some in the overnight hours.  I just usually don’t stay asleep for more than two hours at a time.  Since I keep my windows open most of the time anymore, I can hear the birds singing in the early morning hours when I would have been sound asleep in the winter months.

As much as I enjoy being able to get more done and having more energy, I am concerned about the changes in my sleep patterns.  I have traditionally had problems after major changes in sleep patterns.  This concerns me as springs and early summers have traditionally been my happiest times of year.  Spring has always been a favorite season of mine.  I just hope that if any problems do come up because of this insomnia I’ll be able to handle them without having a blow up on my family or friends.

Spring Cleaning and Changes

Spent the last couple days cleaning my apartment and car.  I didn’t drive much this winter except to buy groceries and pick up fast food, so it was just a matter of throwing out some trash in my car.  I’ve gotten rid of a lot of clutter in my apartment.  I still have a couple more days of decluttering.  But since the weather is supposed to warm up by the end of the week, I think I can get a great deal done.

My nephews and niece are visiting my parents for a few days over spring break.  I saw them yesterday and took them to a Mexican restaurant.  Had a good chat with the kids and my parents.  I hadn’t seen any family in person since Christmas.  It was a good change to my routine.

While I still sleep kind of late most mornings, I have found myself sleeping less the last several days.  Now that spring is on the way and the weather is starting to warm, I am getting more sunlight.  I feel better because of the better weather.  I definitely no longer feel the need to just stay inside for entire days.

Mentally I have been quite stable for weeks.  I think it helps that I am getting plenty of sleep, eating more healthy, and avoiding stressful people and situations.  I hope I can keep this kind of stability up.

Been experimenting with my diet for the last few days.  I haven’t eaten meat for several days and I’m also avoiding wheat and gluten.  My stomach is more settled and I feel like I have a little more energy than a week ago.  I have fewer aches and pains too.

I still have some cleaning to do in my apartment.  I had gotten a little lazy about keeping the place up over the winter.  Even though I usually feel mentally stable in the winter, I am also quite a bit lazier too.

I have an appointment with my psych doctor next week.  The medications I have been on for the last year seem to be working well.  I don’t see any changes in those coming.  I guess that I have weathered another winter and will be looking forward to warmer weather within the next couple weeks.

No News Can Be Good

It’s been a rather quiet last several days for myself.  Besides running errands and seeing my psychiatrist earlier this week, I really haven’t done much besides sleep and stay out of other people’s business.  I’m finding myself just wanting to sleep a lot.  I probably sleep twelve hours a day anymore.  Not only do I sleep a lot, I am also not doing a lot of physical activity when I am awake.  My psych doctor is concerned and thinks I could have some underlying physical health symptoms.  So I imagine a trip to my family doctor is in order soon.

Haven’t been watching the news lately.  I don’t spend much time on social media either.  And I think I’m feeling better because of it.  I just had to unplug.  Knowing about every bit of bad news going on wasn’t helping me.

In short, no news can be good.  I guess I really don’t have much to report for this week.

Easing Back Into Normal

Started spending a little more time on Facebook and talking with friends the last couple days.  I’m also starting to get out of my apartment more often.  There would be times in the last several weeks when I would leave my apartment only to get something to eat.  I’m cooking more of my meals now.  For a couple weeks I had fallen out of the habit of cooking and got quite lazy about my diet.  I’ve probably gained some weight over the last few weeks   so I’m going to address that.  Hopefully I can get back to eating less and making most of my own meals  and get used to that before the weather gets real cold.

I still haven’t gotten out of my hometown much these last several weeks.  I’ll probably go to my parents’ house within a week or two because my cousin is coming back to Nebraska for a couple weeks with her baby.  Her husband is career Navy so they have to live on the coast.  I don’t get to see her nearly as often as I would like.  I’m also going to my aunt’s place for Thanksgiving at the end of next month.

I’ve also been lazy about exercising and dieting the last several weeks.  No doubt I’ve gained weight.  I haven’t gotten much physical activity so I’m starting to get more unexplainable aches and pains.  I’m slowly easing back into activity.  I’m spending a little more time outdoors too.  It’s been nicer weather than typical late October so I’m enjoying this more.

Slowly I’m easing myself back into more normal routines.  Not much has been normal for me for months.  Between being in a car accident, spending the winter in chiropractic therapy, spending the summer with a bad back, and then spending the fall depressed and discouraged with how irritable people are over the election, I’m ready for some quiet and normal.

Visiting Family and Finding Normal

Saw my nephews and niece yesterday.  We had a picnic lunch and we went to a museum.  It was an pioneer trails museum as most of the old pioneer trails like the Oregon and Mormon trails ran through what is now my hometown.  It was also were the first transcontinental railroad and first Atlantic to Pacific highway ran through.  It was a good way to spend an afternoon and I got to keep the leftovers from the picnic.  It was a good way to break the boredom  that had been my life for the previous two months.

I talked to my best friend from college this afternoon.  He has a few more weeks before he has to be back at teacher inservice for the fall term.  I was invited to his place in the Black Hills of South Dakota for a few days during the middle of the month.  Ideally I’d like to go after the motorcycle rally in Sturgis is over as I really don’t look forward to dodging thousands of motorcyclists.  But this is probably the only time I get to see him again until at least next year.  So I’m thinking I may have to go really cheap for the next two months or break into my savings and make that trip a reality.  My back is fully healed so I won’t have to sleep in a recliner anymore.  I haven’t slept in a recliner for over a week now.  I’m still slower than I would like to be in the morning from stiffness in my lower back.  But it clears up after a couple minutes in a hot bath.  I suppose I am now in my mid 30s, so maybe things are starting to fall apart on my body.  I’m no longer growing a beard as I have found some grays.  It just didn’t look good with a few grays.  I have a friend who’s the same age I am and she already has arthritis.  I’ll probably get arthritis as my grandmother had it bad and my dad now has it bad.  But as bad as chronic aches and being slower to recover from injuries is, I prefer being an adult to begin a teenager.  I especially like the fact that I’m old enough now that I’m not as ruled by my hormones and emotions anymore.  I’d have skipped my teens and twenties had I known my thirties were going to be more settled.

Overall things are looking much better now than they were a month or two ago.  I’m feeling better mentally and physically.  I’m getting more activity.  And I’m getting more socializing.  Things are looking better all the time.

 

Days of Calm and Keeping Busy

My back is essentially healed up by now.  I can walk normal speed again and do my normal errands.  I’m spending more time out of the apartment.  Been to the park a couple times in the last week, chatted with a few neighbors, called a couple old friends, and gotten some sunshine.  This was a far cry from where I was just three weeks ago.  When I first hurt my back I didn’t leave my apartment for three days just from the pain.  Fortunately I managed to keep myself occupied with computer games, reading, youtube videos, phone calls to friends and family, and watching soccer and basketball on tv.

I was following the Copa America tournament over the last several days. Been watching a little of the Euro 2016 tournament too.  I saw all of USA’s games.  I haven’t traditionally made it a point to watch much soccer except when USA is playing.  I may be changing that as  the US put up a decent showing until when they ran into Argentina.  It helps that I have a nine year old nephew and a seven year old niece who are big soccer players.  My brother encourages his four kids to do numerous activities.  He won’t let them play football but I don’t blame him, especially with all the injuries.  I hurt my back in a football game when I was fifteen and I couldn’t sit without pain for months afterward.  Yet I didn’t tell the coaches or even my parents.  I suppose it went with the whole macho mentality that pain is just a part of football.  Plus playing football was the only thing I did in high school that most people considered normal.  The older I get the more I feel guilty about watching football.  It’s essentially people maiming themselves for my amusement.  But I guess it’s not as bad as ancient Romans cheering while lions eat Christians.  It’s just not as entertaining as it was ten to twenty years ago.

I still like baseball though.  Don’t watch it every night like I used to.  Even then I usually had it on in the background while I was doing chores, writing, reading, or doing something on my computer.  I still participate in a fantasy baseball league with some old college friends and friends of friends.  I met most of those guys when I was at Matt’s wedding in the Black Hills last July.  So I finally got to meet some of the guys I’ve only known by their screen names.  It is a competitive league but no money changes hands.  And my Rockies are doing a little better than normal, just slightly below fifty-fifty.

I may have been limited for the last few weeks but I still managed to keep busy.  And now that the back is cleared up I’ll be able to do even more.  Fortunately I haven’t had any flare ups of the mental illness in the last month.  I haven’t had any true flare ups since late March actually.  The one main medication I am on was shown by the DNA test I took to be more effective than most for me.  It certainly has proven that.  I’m reading more again.  I had been lazy about reading for a couple weeks when my back hurt real bad.  I was watching educational videos on youtube and reading blogs instead.  But it does feel good to see things falling back into place after weeks of hard work and rehabilitation.