Taking Care of Physical Health With Mental Illness

Had a couple doctor appointments the last several days.  I’ve decided I need more help getting back on top of my physical health.  So I now have a regular general practice doctor at a clinic only a few blocks from my home.  For the last few years I had been going to doctors only for emergencies.  But now that I’m not as young as I once was, I imagine I’ll have to make regular appointments more often.  I just don’t bounce back physically as fast now as I did even five years ago.  One of the changes we made was to the blood pressure medication.  As blood pressure issues run in my family, I always knew it was only a matter of time before I started having problems.  I get that new regiment started today and check back in two weeks to see exactly where I stand.

Mentally I feel stable even though some times all I want to do is sleep.  And when I don’t want to sleep, I usually want to stay home.  Since I’ve been home the last few days, I’ve been watching some of the World Cup games.  I readily admit to knowing little about soccer, but I can see how much of the world can like it.  And I constantly have to remind myself that in soccer, there are no television timeouts like in baseball or basketball.  More than once I have been in the restroom or getting something to eat in my kitchen only to miss a goal.  One of our family friends is an immigrant from Mexico and they are doing quite well in the early going.  I was happy to hear that the USA, Canada, and Mexico will be hosting the World Cup in 2026.  I would love to get back in good enough health to attend one of those games or at least one of the festivals in a host city.  Hopefully a city near me, like Kansas City or Denver gets to host a game or two.  I got to see a World Series baseball game in person in 2007.  That was one of the highlights of my mid 20s.  I’m so glad one of my college buddies was able to score a couple tickets.

Other than watching the World Cup tournament and getting back on top of my health, I really haven’t been up to much else.  But with Independence Day coming in a little over a week, I’m sure I’ll be seeing (and hearing) fireworks any day now.

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Staying Calm With A Mental Illness

mental-health

For a few weeks now I have been feeling quite decent and not having any flare ups of my schizophrenia.  I had some minor flare up this afternoon.  I’m not sure what caused it but fortunately I remained calm and quiet and just let the feeling pass.  Traditionally during flare ups I call my family and just yell incoherent nonsense to them until I calm down, usually taking an hour or two.  Fortunately this time I kept calm and kept quiet.  I stayed in the apartment, turned off the tv and social media, put on a computer game, and kept myself distracted.  After about a half hour of this I calmed down I went to a fast food restaurant near my place and ordered a large dinner.  I brought it back to my apartment, ate quite well and drank lots of water. Oddly eating a protein rich meal can often make me more calm.  I haven’t been eating as much as I normally do as I’m trying to get that back under control.  For a week I had been eating protein only one meal per day.  I broke out of that today.  High protein foods like steaks and hamburgers have a calming effect on me, though I’m sure they’re not good when you’re trying to drop weight.  I am convinced I’d never make it as a vegetarian.

I’m glad that I was able to find another route to ward off my flare ups.  I’m glad that I was able to break out of past routines.  I’m sure me yelling incoherencies to my family isn’t easy for them.  My parents will be gone someday, probably sooner than I would like.  While it might be true that problems associated with schizophrenia lessen with age, I do know I can’t yell at random friends and therapists and hope to stay out of a mental hospital or even jail.  Perhaps my mental illness problems are starting to lessen.  I know that my interest in dating is far, far less than it was even five years ago.  I have heard that many men in their mid thirties start losing interest in sex and find more interest in their work or life’s calling. I’m also not as quick tempered as I was five to ten years ago.  I have also noticed that I can better deal with the minor annoyances and irritations of every day living than I could even a few years ago.  The flare ups I have had even going back to last Christmas weren’t as bad or frequent as the flare ups I was having in college.  Perhaps it is that as I age I am learning what will make things worse and just make points of avoiding those things.  Maybe this instance of just isolating and keeping myself distracted with as little noise as possible until I calm down is another tool in my toolbox.  And maybe I should think about eating fewer carbs than I have been the last few weeks.  But I am definitely glad I was able to prevent a flare up from becoming a full breakdown.