Saturday, June 23, 2012
As many of you know (because I go on and off like a broken record) I've had a few struggles with mental illness. It has always been "just" depression and S.A.D. (and I say "just" because really there are so many other mental illnesses much worse out there as we all know - nevertheless depression is scary enough for me!) so when my doctor suggested my waves might really be mild bi-polar with S.A.D. thrown in as an added bonus it was like a light went off. Actually to be completely honest I do think she has tried to bring this up before but I sort of ignored it.
So, I've been a bad place lately. I would get up, drink a cup of coffee and a muffin from McDonalds and probably not eat anything else until supper. Then I would barely eat but at night time I ate a full bag of Reese's mini peanut butter cups. And, heaven help John if he wanted a taste! Jeepers, I was mean.
At my latest appointment with my "shrink" (a term I hate but I always have trouble with spelling psychiatrist) I prepared beforehand with a little chart. She was tickled with my "creativity" and especially more so when she realized that for each concern in my life I had listed solutions.
My question to her was WHY I go in spurts. I am gung ho about eating correctly and exercising and then it all falls by the wayside and I do absolutely nothing. I thought it was lack of willpower to stick through but according to her way of thinking it is actually the ups and downs of bi-polar. Hmmm....
So I asked her what I could/can do about this and she posed an interesting question to me:
What would I do if I was diagnosed with diabetes? I said I would make whatever lifestyle changes I could make and along with the medication I would do my best to keep it under control. She went on with various other ailments and diseases and each time I blurted out (without thinking) that I would take the medication if prescribed but would have to do my part as well.
Then I had my ah -ha moment: she was teaching me a lesson. I know a) because I read a lot, b) I am a member of Spark and c) from experience that depression can be "helped" with lifestyle adjustments. So she sat back and on a prescription pad wrote down:
"For the next two weeks - make a conscious effort to be aware of what you are eating. Eat three meals a day and your desire for night time eating will be cut dramatically. Concentrate on lean protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies, dairy and make sure to drink plenty of water.
Try to establish a routine that includes some fun time with your dogs and your husband. Walk as much as possible. Get adequate sleep but be careful not to use sleep as an avoidance. Read everyday. Treat yourself and be kind to yourself.
Come back in two weeks and see me and we will undoubtedly see an improvement. You must continue this the rest of your life to maintain optimal mental and physical health."
P.S. I am only a phone call away but I know you can do this!
Just thought you might all want to know that I am doing better these past few days just by following her advice. A lot like Spark, isn't it?
Today I made smoothies out of 1 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of vanilla greek yogourt, 1 cup of sliced banana and 1 cup of frozen blueberries. Yummy and healthy. And now as supper is being prepared so is Chef Meg's Slow Cooker Strawberry-Rhubarb Conserve. It smells delicious.
I am writing what I eat in a book I have started for my renewed attempt at keeping my mental state on an even keel. For once in my life I am not worried about what I write or how my writing looks....I am doing this for me.
Weight is going to stop being my focus right now (I'm back to 224 pounds) I have to start consistently eating better and have my doctor's prescription for the days when I feel like I just don't care. In addition to my prescription medication I am taking a multi-vitamin, a vitamin B complex and vitamin D. She suggested fish oil as well so I might as well start that!
Anyway, thank you to the many of you who reached out - I am going to have to re-examine the role Spark plays in my life but I am not quitting. I have to stop worrying about what friends I stay in touch with and those I simply can't keep up with.
Thanks for believing in me when I had lost hope in myself. Will be in touch!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I know you could all see this coming....as I haven't been the most active nor supportive member of Spark for quite awhile. It all goes back to my all or nothing way of thinking.
It is like I am eating myself into a fantasty land where I am waiting for the healthy eating food fairy to step forward and put and end to it. I'm not drinking my water and even sit down to drink Coca-Cola with meals...me?! Even my husband is shocked because I rarely drink soda.
Give me a few days to think about it but I know something has to change and I am the one to make the changes.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Hi and Happy Sunday (early Monday for some)
I am starting to come around again from yet another cycle with S.A.D. ~ special thanks to all of you who helped pull me through yet again!
The sun has been out all weekend but there is a frost warning for tonight. I doubt it will happen because it seems too warm but one never knows. I am hoping it doesn't dip that cold!
Went for a 5 km walk in the woods last night with Maddy and Louisa which the three of us enjoyed tremendously. Poor Louisa has been under the weather with an urinary tract infection. Earlier this week she woke up one morning and really wasn't herself. Normally she is bounding around the house with those big eyes of hers glossy and that tail wagging a mile a minute. But I noticed she hung out in the spare bedroom and when John came home from work she barely wagged her tail. I wanted to call the vet right away but John and my mom thought I was over-reacting, especially where vet bills are so high and money is tight.
The next morning there was no improvement so I called the vet and got in pretty much right away. An urine test showed another infection and now she is on three weeks of antibiotics. Thankfully she is feeling much better and so what if it cost us $200 we can't afford. She could have won an Academy Award though for "acting well" at the clinic. When the vet asked what the troubles were Louisa was jumping around, wagging her tail, giving paw, rolling over for belly rubs, etc.
The vet tried to examine her and Louisa kept giving her kisses. Then it was time for an actual examine where they felt down her sides and Louisa sat down and kept giving our vet her paw. She figured that wasn't comfortable enough so she lay down and got on her back with her belly up in the air all the while whipping our vet in the legs with her tail. She is quite the little actress, she is! The pH level of her pee was way off and she had been miserable at home but a trip to the vet, hey, it is time to put her best face forward. (WOOF!)
I've been giving her her medication in "pill pockets" followed by some cheese. Maddy sits by and watches every morsel and when spit the pill pocket out Maddy spit out his cheese. You would think we were poisoning them or something. Anyway, when he saw Lou take the pill pocket back in her mouth he took his cheese back and ate it. Funny little things they are!
I have taken some pictures of our walks lately which I will post tomorrow. I doubt we will be walking much tonight as I am tired. I vacuumed our car and truck today and washed them inside before going across the road to a neighbour's house as they are taking the brick off the front of their house. I even got to swing a sledge hammer! John was over there helping all day and now we are going back there for supper. I am sure I burned some calories but I have no idea how many! Felt good just to be out and be active.
Talk to you all later!
Thursday, June 07, 2012
I thought I would take a minute to clear up an apparent misconception about S.A.D. Although it usually affects people in the months from November - March, this is not always the case. Of course, I am not talking about those who just live in the southern Hemisphere, either.
S.A.D. can occur in peak of North American summer. It is a much rarer form but some people suffer dreadfully when the daylight hours are actually longer. Mine has been diagnosed by two doctors who have taken the patterns of my mental health over the span of several years into consideration. I do not do well when we have a lot of dreary, grey weather. With the climate we have here, this can occur at any time from March on.
And, I we have thought about moving across the country to find the "ideal" climate. However, we have so much going for us here that it does seem like heaven on earth.
One of our policitians told a national film crew that you can tell all the Newfoundlanders in Heaven as they are the only ones who want to go back home!
I love it here, I don't like the weather this time of the year, I would move if circumstances allowed it and yes, I am still fighting this sense of depression that washes over me with each dark, gloomy day.
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