Saturday, May 31, 2014
I had hoped to have a job lined up to start tomorrow, but I haven't heard back yet from anybody except one fast-food restaurant that is pursuing somebody else. My house is much better, though still pretty messy---it's a bit like playing with a rubric cube: you just keep shuffling things from spot to spot until it all looks right. I did play Sims, finally, and that made me super happy, and I've done some administration work in a fandom group I "help" run (I run it, our founder has been on hiatus for literally years now). I'm also caught up on my television shows, which is satisfying. My garden is pretty much dead, I'm hoping for one or two plants to survive.
I start summer "mini-mester" tomorrow. They force a semester's worth of content into a single month. I cannot imagine why. Maybe to make it easier to fit nine to twelve credit hours in a summer? I'm only taking three credit hours, and only because this class is not offered any other time of year. Since I'll be a student once again, I plan on utilizing the school's gym as well as its library. I figure I can go to the gym for a couple of hours, and then hit the library for my online class time.
I've seen my sleep specialist recently, and she helped me figure out a weight loss plan, with a midterm goal and a short term goal. My short term goal is 2 pounds a week, and my midrange goal is to get out of the morbidly obese range. While I don't trust the BMI chart for my end goal, it's an okay place to start, I guess. My doctor actually started with figuring out how much 2 pounds a week would be, and then upping my end goal so I have wiggle room. I've actually lost four pounds in the last two weeks, which surprised the heck out of me. I've officially lost all the weight I've gained from my new psych meds, and I didn't gain weight from my new BC, so that's a whole new bundle of relief.
I picked up my CPAP machine yesterday. I didn't sleep well last night, but that's to be expected. It's mainly worry over mask leaks. That's super important, so I get paranoid about it, constantly waking up to check it. I may have to switch masks.
This is the last health concern, the last thing that is holding me back from starting my weight loss journey---a good night's rest. I've been so drained all week, too, and I have no idea why. I'm upping my liquid intake, and I've been napping, but it's to no avail. I'm hoping this will help me out some. This, and cleaning the house---I'm hoping it's not depression.
On a random note, I dyed my hair blond last week. I think I want it a few shades lighter, but over all, it's part of trying to take care of myself. Changing what is holding me back.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Well, I spent the time between my last blog and this one pulling myself back together. I passed all my glasses, with a semester GPA of 3.995. Not bad, considering how broken I was half-way through. I continued seeing my councilor, and I have been started on Abilify. There was mild weight gain, less than 10 pounds and it's coming off. My last therapy session the councilor was concerned I may have body-image issues. I believe I have reality-based body-image issues. I'm seeing room for improvement, not issues with my basic shape. I can be stronger. I can be less plump. Less defined like a marshmallow. She wants me to go ahead and follow my doctor's weight-loss (God, I hate that word, I hate weight) plan for the summer, and then we'll discuss my body attitudes in the fall.
I fell off the blog map because if it wasn't homework, I didn't have time for it. I fell off the exercise map, I'm not sure why. And diet and I still aren't friends.
I want to elaborate why I hate weight. I keep going to my doctors, I'm being carefully examined now that we're actually dealing with my sleep apnea, my PCOS, my Bi-Polar disorder, and my A-Fib (Geeze, does *anything* work in my body?!) Well, the point is, I'm not losing weight, even when I was exercising over 8 hours a week. But I WAS losing inches. My thighs are now the size I want my waist to be---35 inches. I walked into my doctors, I had gained a few pounds, which I could see the nurse making *tch tch* noises about, but I had lost over 16 inches. I'm sorry, but this is part of how my body is built---I don't lose weight. For weeks and weeks, I live on a plateau at first, and that is what makes me so vulnerable and likely to quit. This time, I marched myself down to the curves and offered to pay the visitor's fee, just to have them measure me. And measure me they did. Now we're measuring me every month, and I'm losing inches, even though my weight stays stubbornly stuck. I guess it's one of my health issues. I'm also losing fat pounds, as judged by a little hand-held machine that tests my electricity. I lost a whole 3 pounds of fat last time I went in! That's almost a pack of butter!
That being what it is, now that my sleep apnea has me ready to go forward with the machine, the sleep clinic doctor set up an actual weight loss plan with me. A plan of 2 pounds a week for the next 12 weeks, with a goal of about 15 pounds in the end. Wiggle room. It feels over whelming. What's stranger, is it feels logical. This isn't like the last time a doctor told me to lose weight. I don't feel alone. I don't feel like she's kicking me out of the harbor. I feel like I have partners. I feel like I have a team. I have 6 doctors: a family physician, an ob-gyn, a cardiologist, a sleep specialist, a therapist, a psychiatrist. And I am truly not alone.
My first "long term goal" is to get out of the "morbidly" obese range. BMI is not the best solution for the end result, but for now, it's a starting point.
It's summer break, and I don't go back to work or school until June. I'm going to spend the next few weeks getting healthy (I caught a cold) and getting my house back into the order I want it to be. I have a small garden going, and I'm going to try to keep it alive. I'll try not to over eat and hit the gym, too. Small steps. Small steps.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
I don't work out on Wednesdays and I missed Tuesday's work out because it was an advising\counseling day at school. I approached their psychological counselling services because rewiring my hormones has me mood swinging like I'm going through puberty again, and with my bipolar disorder that wasn't exactly easy the first time around. Because of side effects and the trouble with find the right med, I'm hoping some behavioral cognitive therapy, mindfulness mediation, and getting my sleep apnea addressed will help take care of it a bit before I have to go on meds again. It's also part of why I'm blogging so often: the more I write, the better I can handle things.
I had been freaking out because I was so far behind in school. Snow days screwed up my study schedule, and even though I was maintaining Bs and I was only halfway through the semester, a bipolar brain is not known for its rationality. Another issue I have when battling depression is a sense of worthlessness and being a burden. I have friends and family who tell me otherwise, but my social media (Facebook, email, etc) is filled to the brim with "friends" and relatives who gladly repost and rant about----well, people like me. I really feel like they don't want me in their country, that they hate me, even though they don't actually know my political view points. I finally got my father to quit sending me such emails when I blew up at him: "If one more email tells me that I need to leave the country if I don't believe in what it says, that's it! I'm leaving!" There's always the theory that if you stand up and say "This is offensive" people will stop, but more likely they say "You're being too sensitive," or "Oh, we didn't mean YOU. Just, you know, others. Like you." Which is kind of how people try to hide their sexist\racist\homophobic behavior--"Some of my best friends are---"
But I'm getting off topic.
So the point is I've been stressed, I don't feel safe at home because it's a trashed mess and I like it tidier than it is but I don't have time because of homework, and my friends and family alienate me.
So in addition to avoiding the people who tick me off by invalidating me, I went ahead and sought counselling, I started blogging, and I've been exercising regularly. I discovered today that breaking up with my scale is harder than I anticipated. I caught myself slipping my watch\heart rate monitor and rings off to weigh myself, even though I had just repeated I was not going to step on that scale. I stopped myself, but I'm really wanting to validate my efforts with weight.
I've been rewording my sentences. It's a cognitive behavior believing your focus determines your reality: if you say "I NEED to do this," then you will file it under NEED---it's now as important as food and shelter. But if you say "I want to do this," "I should do this," "I will do this" they will be filed in a separate, less stressful thought process. So instead of saying "weight" I directly refer to "excess fat." My worth is not a number on a scale. My issue is not weight itself, weight is a side effect. My issue is an unhealthy amount of fat, especially around my middle.
I'm caught up in my classes, and in fact am working ahead.
I've come back to a safe zone in SparkPeople, I'm journalling in my blog, and I've joined new clubs at school.
I've sought help when I was in too deep.
It took much battling, but my husband is closer to being my house partner, and I have Spring Break in less than 2 weeks to allow me to put the house back in order.
I'm keeping track of my study hours to have an accurate (as opposed to irrational and false) sense of reality and effort.
And I'm exercising most days of the week, regularly surpassing my required minutes.
The result can be seen in this week's afore-mentioned advising session.
Last semester, I felt completely overwhelmed by my adviser. I had literally been at the university for less than a semester, and he was ready to graduate me the next semester. He wanted me in Japan by the end of the summer, he wanted me to forgo my minor and jump into the work force that had previously driven me into school. I panicked, put myself into less-than-helpful situations, and over all did not respond well.
Tuesday I went in with a mockup schedule. I promptly corrected him on my declared major (which hasn't been properly set up still.) When he started pushing to fit classes into requirements where I hadn't planned them on being, I asked him if it was to graduate me sooner. When he confirmed, I stated plainly I was not comfortable with that. I self-advocated, I stated what I wanted, why I wanted it, how I was going to accomplish it, and when I would complete it. He was stunned, completely taken aback and appreciative. He thought I was being aggressive and that it was a GREAT thing. We spoke at length about Japanese cinema afterward.
It was the complete opposite of the previous semester. I was prepared, I was confident, I was capable.
I was doing better.
My mood swings have stabilized somewhat since Sunday, the low point of the week. I think it has to do with you. You guys who read my blog and give me feed back. I really want to thank you all for being here. I know I've been a big mess---I guess that isn't too uncommon, for myself and humans in general---and I want to thank you for being supportive of me and offering advise on how to handle things in general. I haven't been replying to comments because it's a form of active listening I want to try---instead of agreeing point blank or defending myself, I want to fully absorb your words and see how they fit and really live in the moment and in your words.
So thank you.
Monday, February 24, 2014
So I saw my sleep specialist today. I haven't seen her since late 2009. I lost my insurance in the month that followed, and my job shortly afterward, so I haven't seen her since my original sleep study that confirmed I have sleep apnea.
Well, today, I saw her finally. I'm 40 pounds heavier, but I saw her. I have a heart condition now, but I saw her. My bipolar disorder is at a dangerous point and I have PCOS that is possibly linked to stress and weight, but I saw her.
I mention these things, because she mentioned a very specific thing.
Back in 2009, she told me how hard it is to lose weight if you don't get sleep. And how hard it is on your emotions if you don't get sleep.
In 2012, it was acknowledge the problem that caused my heart condition, was probably my sleep apnea. It's known to happen. It's likely to happen.
Here is the thing: she looked down my throat and noticed the build of my mouth and throat.
I've always snored, ever since I was a baby. I've always had sever sore throats, sever sinus infections, sever ear infections. I didn't get sick often, but when I did, I was down for the count for weeks because the infection couldn't drain properly.
I knew, KNEW my tonsils and other palate tissue was obstructing my airways, especially when my snoring got so bad that my husband started sleeping on the other side of the house and I still kept him awake.
So back in 2008, we both BEGGED my primary care doctor to send me to a sleep clinic. We BEGGED that I have the surgery to correct my excess tissue.
I wasn't even 230 pounds back then. My weight could still fluctuate in the downward direction at points. But I knew how much stress my snoring was putting us under, and since I'd had it as a skinny child, I figured this was something that should be surgically fixed.
But my doctor refused to refer me to a specialist, and only told me to lose weight. It would go away, if I lost weight.
And being only 22 at the time, I bowed my head and followed her instructions and never lost. I started gaining. She put me on amphetamines, and she threatened gastric bypass when I couldn't take them because they caused chest pains; but she didn't listen about my worsening bipolar disorder or my fatigue or my snoring. I eventually did the research on my own and tracked down the clinic by myself, paying out of pocket where need be, but did not finish before losing my job.
I'm thankful that I lost my insurance, because that was the only thing that made me leave that office. I kept blaming myself for not being able to fit her criteria.
And so, two years later, when I was 24, I developed the heart condition.
And today, today my sleep specialist wondered, pained, how much I've suffered because this was never addressed.
And she highly recommended, in addition to weight control, the surgery, especially since I've been this way since my childhood.
Do you understand what this means? I could have NEVER HAD A HEART CONDITION. I mean, I COULD have. It's POSSIBLE. But it's also possible and MORE LIKELY that I would never have developed my heart issues if this had been addressed. I might never have gained weight to the extent I have. I might not be struggling with my poisoned mind to the point that I am.
I feel like my health has been stolen from me.
I feel like the struggles and the pain and the failure of the past few years stemmed from negligence.
I'm furious, to the point of tears.
I trusted an authority figure, who is not omnipotent and infallible, true, but who was given a request and the information needed to make a different choice.
I feel like the last four years have been stolen from me.
Who might I have been, if I hadn't been falling apart?
Maybe I never would have dropped out of school in the first place, maybe I would never have lost my job, maybe I'd still be working AND be an honor student.
And thinking like this is going to drive me mad.
I need to forgive, let it go, realize that what I'm doing is taking control of my life . I now have four, FOUR, doctors who take me seriously and who want me to be healthy. I have a wonderful general practitioner, I have a caring ob/gyn, I have a serious cardiologist, and I have a sympathetic sleep specialist.
I said I wanted the cards stacked in my favor, that I don't want anything standing against me if I'm going to truly lose this excess fat.
But I think I may need time to come to grips with this revelation that I was right, and that I let somebody else make choices for me.
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