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.

April 12 2022

It’s been quite awhile since I wrote. Updates are in order. Spring is here but we haven’t gotten much rain. With as windy as it’s been, we’ve had lots of wildfires in my state this spring. The weather is slowly warming up, but it’s still chilly at night.

Baseball season started last week. I have a fantasy league team again. I’m in a league with a couple college friends and some of their former coworkers. Been in this league for 15 years now. So I usually watch a ballgame or two during the evenings.

Been staying up later and waking up later. Most nights I don’t fall asleep until midnight. Wake up for good around 9am. I sleep in my recliner only half of the night anymore. I’m having fewer aches and pains again. They were pretty bad a couple weeks ago.

Mentally I am still stable. I don’t leave my apartment very often. I do visit my neighbors a few times a week. My cleaning lady arrives every Thursday. She helps me with laundry now too.

I Don’t Socialize Much In Person, But I Don’t Feel Lonely Or Isolated

Spring has finally sprung. I’m glad to see the end of winter. My aches and pains have been essentially non existent the last several days. Most days I’m asleep by 10pm and up for good by 5am. I’m back to listening to audiobooks again after a few weeks of vacation I still have no desire to socialize in person. I do talk to friends and family a few times a day. But I spend most of my time alone.

I’m still losing weight, at least as far as I can tell. I can stand for longer periods of time now. I have fewer aches and pains. Things are going alright on that end.

I’m still afraid to socialize in person. I’m also scared to leave my apartment. My paranoia keeps me at home most of the time. I’m just scared of people anymore. I just don’t know how to read them anymore. It’s far easier for me to socialize over the phone and online than it is to socialize in person. The pandemic hasn’t been as tough on me as most people. I love that I can socialize online and on the phone. I love that I can get my groceries and medications delivered to my home. I love that I have a cleaning lady comes to my place once a week. I love being able to make payments online. I enjoy streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Absolutely love my Audible audiobooks. Sometimes I can spend hours at a time listening to audiobooks while playing computer games. I even love doing my doctors’ appointments via Zoom calls. I have too much sensory overload to be a safe driver anymore. Haven’t driven a car in almost three years. Saved me lots of money and headaches. I now know that my car accident several years ago spooked me real bad. It killed my love for driving.

Even though I’m afraid to socialize in person anymore, I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on much. It’s always been really tough for me to find people with similar interests. It’s gotten tougher the older I got. Most of my old friends have families and careers, so their ability to socialize with me is at a minimum. I haven’t seen my friend Matt since 2015. I haven’t been to a family reunion in probably ten years. I’ve been outside of my town only once since the start of the pandemic. While my physical world has gotten much smaller the last few years, my mental world has gotten much bigger. I probably spend six to eight hours per day reading, watching documentaries, and just learning new things. I’ve learned more history, economics, philosophy, science, etc. since 2015 than all the years before that.

One of the things I enjoy about being in my forties is that I no longer feel pressured to conform to others’ expectations. If I don’t want to leave my apartment for days at a time, I don’t leave my apartment. And I no longer feel any shame for wanting to stay home. I didn’t use to be a homebody. When I was in my teens and twenties, I preferred to spend time at my friends’ houses. I went roadtripping with my college friends every summer in my twenties and early thrities. I started becoming a homebody about five years ago. And the pandemic has accelerated this trend. I no longer feel like eating in restaurants or going out in public. I know many people feel like I’m missing out on life by not going to movies or sporting events or restaurants. But I don’t feel that way. I just hate being forced out of my home.

Even though I don’t have a paying job or a family, I don’t feel incomplete or a failure. I have, on average, written one blog entry per week over the last nine years. While it doesn’t have much of an audience, I still love doing it. I see no reason to quit doing this. It has given me more meaning in my life than any job or dating relationship ever did.

March 16 2022

Feeling pretty decent the last few days. My joints are hurting less. Haven’t had to take any advil for a few days. I still spend most of my time at home. I read and watch educational videos most days. Renewed my Netflix several weeks ago. I often watch Spanish language shows with English subtitles. I think some of my Spanish is starting to come back.

I sleep half of the night in my recliner and the other half in my bed. Half of the time in bed, I lay on my sides. First time I’ve done that in a few years. I almost rolled out of bed a few days ago. I’ve lost enough fat that sleeping on my sides is easier now. I’m not sure how much weight I’ve lost since the pandemic started. I know it’s at least 80 pounds as that is where I was during my last doctor’s appointment back in October. I don’t have any immediate goals for health and weight loss other than I eventually want to get back to my old college weight. That will take at least a couple more years.

Yet the weight loss doesn’t feel like drudge work. The biggest changes I made were giving up bread, sugar, fried food, and most fast food. I haven’t bought bread in over two years. Haven’t had even a Big Mac in almost five years. Most fast food is too greasy and salty for me anymore. Upsets my stomach too. Most of my diet is now grilled and baked chicken, pork, vegetables, and soups. It’s easier, at least for me, to cook healthier meals now than even five years ago. It also helps that I’m cooking only for myself as I live alone.

Even though my aches and pains are reducing, my mobility hasn’t come back as quick as I would like. So, my family and I hired someone to help me with my laundry on the weekends. I just provide the coins and laundry soap, she supplies the labor. Even though my mobility is all but gone, I’m glad to be getting help around my house. Makes me glad I was helpful to others in my younger days when I was still quite healthy. See, kids, it pays to not be a jerk to people.

Don’t have any real plans for St. Patrick’s Day even though I’m 20 percent Irish. I’m just glad that winter is about over.

Mid Winter Routines With Schizophrenia

Gone back to more normal sleep routines. I’m having very few aches and pains lately. I still have issues standing for more than five minutes at a time. So glad for home grocery delivery.

I’ve been more stable this week than the last couple. Most days I have only one or two flare ups. These aren’t as intense and short lived. Haven’t had much of an appetite for the last few weeks. Some days I eat only once. I rarely eat more than twice daily.

My parents are coming up this weekend. I’m getting a new mattress and microwave for late Christmas. I swear they don’t make furniture and appliances as sturdy as they used to. I haven’t had much for visitors all winter.

I’m pretty content to stay close to home these days. I don’t have to go shopping as I get everything delivered. I don’t even have a car anymore. I get sensory overload too easily anymore. It’s gotten worse the older I’ve gotten. I can’t even sit through a whole movie on Amazon Prime anymore because of too much to take in. I usually have to break it into three or four separate sessions.

Going to have maintanence come in sometime tomorrow. My intercom no longer works. It seems the older I get, the more people take my requests and issues seriously. I don’t know why my issues become more important just because I have some gray in my beard now. Any wonder why I refuse to be nostalgic? I remember how bad being a young adult could suck. I always will.

Recovering After A Rough Spell

I’m starting to recover after a couple rough weeks. Been feeling more paranoid and irritable than usual. Things started getting better a few days ago. I’m back to more regular sleep even if I am staying up a couple hours later than usual. I still sleep half of the night in my recliner. It seems to be easier on my back and knees.

So far has been a milder and dryer winter than usual. We haven’t had anywhere near normal snow. It actually feels more like prolonged autumn than winter some days. Still gets real cold at nights.

I really haven’t changed my routine much. I drop in on my neighbors once a day. I go to the complex library at least once a week. I contact my family usually once a day. Still listen to lots of audiobooks. I usually kept to myself most of the time for fear of having a breakdown in public. Finally had a minor one a few days ago. Didn’t last long but it was healing like having a good cry or any other emotional release.

Broke down and bought some smaller shirts several days ago. I’m down a full shirt size in the last two years. My aches and pains aren’t nearly as bad. I still get winded occasionally but I can recover from those faster than even a few months ago. I do have problems falling asleep but I get quality sleep once I do sleep. 4am to 9am seems to be my best sleep time. I still take my meds every night. They sometimes make me sleepy.

December 27 2021

Another Christmas has come and gone. I spent this one alone as I was afraid of having my elderly parents travel several hundred miles to see me on Christmas. First time in my life I spent Christmas alone. My cleaning lady was kind enough to drop off two plates of traditional Christmas dinner. She does this for all of her clients who are shut ins. I stayed home, listened to Christmas music while playing computer games, and watched the old movie ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’ It could have been worse. I friend of mine and her spouse spent Christmas sick with the flu while their neighbors suffered from covid.

This month has been warmer and drier than usual this year. We’ve had snow only twice in the last eight weeks. So it’s been drier too. Supposed to get cold this weekend. New Year’s Eve has always been one of my favorite holidays. Something about the old ending and the new beginning has always appealed to me. I used to go to local concerts on New Year’s Eve. I always made a point of leaving well before midnight to avoid drunk drivers.

Still lifting weights three times per week. I’m starting to sleep less too. Most nights I go to bed around 9:30 pm and wake up at 5am. I got a new cpap machine so I’m good to go on that for at least several years. I’m still losing weight as my clothes are looser and my endurance is increasing with each passing week.

I still talk to friends, neighbors, and family at least once a day. Even though I spend most of my time at home, I’m not lonely. I drop in on my neighbor across the hall once a day on average.

Been lazy about reading the last several days. I guess it comes and goes in cycles. I’ll probably start back up by the end of the year. I still have the Audible account. I probably won’t give that up anytime soon.

Been more paranoid than usual the last several days. Probably from the lack of sleep. My illness seems to get worse when my sleep patterns change. Sleep has always been good therapy for me.

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.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

I haven’t been sleeping much lately. Yet it doesn’t seem to be effecting my mental health much. I usually go to sleep around 11pm, wake at 3am, stay up for a few hours, and then sleep from 6am to 9am. Far cry from the 12 hours a day I was sleeping just a month ago.

We’re having apartment inspections this week. I’m not really worried but I will be glad to have them done. I usually stay close to home. It’s starting to get kind of boring. But I’m still slightly afraid to socialize. Seems like many people are just irritable and on edge most of the time anymore.

Saw my home health nurse on Friday afternoon. I usually see her once a week. I have a Zoom call with my doctor in two weeks. The blood pressure is still borderline high. So I’ll be on these meds for the rest of my life. Perhaps the blood pressure meds have the side effect of making me want to sleep less.

Been kind of restless lately, especially in the middle of the night. Lying in bed while my mind races in the middle of the night is a new normal for me. I used to fall asleep real easily. Not anymore. Having weird dreams too. They aren’t scary, they’re just odd and make no sense.