Well, I certainly didn’t mean to let most of a week go by without posting! It’s been a crazy week. I have a little side business and I was distracted by stuff involving that for most of Tuesday. Wednesday I had my Lasik and went home and to sleep right afterwards. Thursday I was so happy I had taken the day off. I had a follow-up eye appointment and a psychiatrist appointment, then spent the afternoon at home cleaning and resting my eyes and babying my dog when she freaked out about thunder. My eyes feel gritty but I’m seeing with 20/20 vision. The eye doc said my tear film is not lasting as long as it should which just means my eyes are staying dry so I’m using drops more often to help with that. Otherwise, things looked good and I will go back again next week. My psychiatrist made no changes to my meds, and honestly, I haven’t been back from vacation long enough to know if anything I’m feeling is normal. She did want to talk to my primary care doctor though. She was concerned that we’re not being aggressive enough in getting my BP and heart rate down so that I can exercise. She knows how much being active helps with mental health. She thought it was likely just because this doctor doesn’t know me that well yet so she was going to call her yesterday. I will see my primary care doctor on Tuesday so I’m hoping she’s ready to move forward with beta blockers then. She had been afraid of them because they can cause depression but that’s pretty well under control. I’m looking forward to a calm weekend at home so I can cook and clean and my husband will have time to work on his trucks. Hope you have a great weekend too!
I wish I was still at the lake! We had some minor issues with the cottage we rented (the floor had some tricky soft spots and the road down was super steep) but it was still a great value for the price. The best part was walking right down half a flight of stairs and out the walkway onto the dock. One of my nephews spent all week with us and his brother and my sister and her husband were also with us the other five days. Various other family members came up to the lake on different days to hang out and swim and we had so much fun with everyone. We only went out to eat once and cooked the rest of our dinners and had sandwiches for lunches between swims. The boys all got to do lots of fishing and tricks off the diving boards too. I got a bit of a sunburn and my tan looks odd since I didn’t lay out at all and it’s just the top side of my arms, shoulders, and face. The underside of my arms are still pale. I only had one really bad day mentally and I ended up isolating myself most of that day. I just can’t handle that much stimulus for an extended period I think. I’m used to a lot of privacy and time alone and peace and quiet. That day it was five adults and five kids and I had woken up feeling off to begin with. Overall, I think I handled it pretty well. I also didn’t overeat and my blood pressure stayed down most of the trip. I’m further convinced my blood pressure is lower when I get more activity. I also met another half-sister that I hadn’t met previously. It was only because we ran into her and her husband the one night that we did go out. She probably thought I was a little rude. Honestly, she’s had so many opportunities to meet me and has said she was coming but never shows up so I just don’t have any emotional investment. I didn’t say anything rude, she probably just expected more enthusiasm. Once she got into a conversation with my sister, I sort of tuned out. She’s not the only one I haven’t met and it’s okay. I drive all the way down there, my sister invites them over, they don’t show. I’m happy to have the relationships that I do have with my sister and a couple of my half-sisters. Well, time to finish up some work so I can get back on track!
Things have been slightly better since I last posted but very inconsistent. I’m all over the place. Fortunately I have managed to be productive at work and my desk is clear before leaving. I have not stuck to my eating plan as well as I would have liked but I have not binged once so it’s progress for me.
Tomorrow my husband and I (and our dog) will head south to spend a full week at a cottage on the lake. My favorite sister (full sister but not the twin I grew up with) and her husband and one of their sons should be at the cottage with us most of the week. Her other son has football camp so he’ll come up to visit when he can. I am hoping my brother, half-siblings and their spouses can all come up and spend some time. If not, I may also go down to see them since the lake is only 30 minutes from the town they all live in. This is how you combine vacation and family! My father (adoptive) and twin sister probably don’t remember I will be there this week and that’s okay. I thought I might want to see my father for lunch one day but I’m just not ready. It’s been three and a half months since we’ve spoken. Maybe on the next trip. I’m very excited. This is the first long vacation I’ve had in over 15 years. My husband and I occasionally go somewhere for a night, three nights at most. We did go to his sister’s house last Christmas for a week but I don’t really count it as a vacation when you’re on someone else’s timetable, doing all the things they want to do, and staying in their house where you feel like you have to be a good guest. I just can’t relax like that. I’m also excited the cottage has a screened porch, a deck, a firepit and a dock and swimming pier. It sounds like we will have everything we could possibly want without having to run all over the place. The one thing it does not have is internet so I won’t be blogging. It will be tough because I spend so much time “connected” but I think it will be a healthy break.
One hour of work left and I am off to pack my bags and car! See you in a week.
Before I dive in here, I should say that last night actually went very well. I guzzled water all the way home and made my smoothie immediately when I got there.
I was wondering yesterday if my good mood was just looking forward to vacation or if I was slightly manic. It wasn’t severe so I decided to just keep an eye on it and move on. No change when I went to bed. I woke up this morning angry and agitated. It eased into frustration and forgetfulness. Back the other way to a super good mood and my commute starting with a sing a long. Next thing I know I’m crying, my heart is racing, my head is spinning, I’m anxious and I’m shaking. I was still in a pretty good mood while all of this is happening. (This was all just during my commute.) Since getting to work the good mood has mostly subsided and left me disoriented and all of those other things. I had taken a klonopin trying to take the edge off and it wasn’t making any difference at all. After a major crying meltdown in the bathroom, I took 2 more, my coworkers cannot see this version of me. It has taken forever to make a difference but I’m finally somewhat calmed. However, my heart is still racy (anxiety), I cannot think straight, I’m somewhat disoriented, jumpy and a little teary. I want to crawl out of my own skin so bad it hurts. I am terrified at what this could do to our vacation. It may be a week at the lake with family, but I haven’t had a real vacation since I was about 15, it’s a pretty big deal. I don’t know what to do right now. I’ve had several moments where I absolutely feel like I need to go to the ER but of course I don’t want to and that could lead to all kinds of complications that are worse. My psychiatrist didn’t have much of anything to offer me beyond that vacation should help and watch my blood pressure. Well, yeah, my blood pressure is up. It’s been up for years. I’m on the 4th variation of medications and it’s still up. Doesn’t sound like much of a trigger to me if nothing has changed. Her response did nothing but irritate me for not having anything helpful in it and make me feel overwhelmed and helpless because she’s the person I count on to help with this stuff.
First to catch up on the end of Day 1. I ate a few slices of bacon my husband left in the refrigerator. Anything really salty like that is a major trigger for me. My sodium was higher than planned because of it. I skipped out on part of the bread I was supposed to have, and wasn’t hungry enough for my dessert (fruit) and forgot to have my skim milk with dinner so I was still okay on calories. Overall, I have to call it successful. No, it wasn’t ideal. But for me to eat 95% healthy, stay in my calorie range and not binge eat is a major accomplishment. Baby steps!
Day 2: I cut back on my bread at breakfast (and cut the crust off for lunch). I can’t wait until this loaf is gone, I will never buy this stuff again! Unfortunately I also ran out the door and forgot to drink a cup of skim milk. I’ve been fighting a little bit of hunger all day. So far I have resisted going to the cafeteria and buying a carton of skim milk and they are about to close. We’ll see after work whether or not this was a huge mistake. If I am starving when I leave work, I have to get something, it takes me 45 minutes to get home. My backup plan right now is to stop and buy skim milk at the gas station to drink on my commute home if I absolutely have to have something. If I only do that I will still be on track. My smoothie (Green Elvis) and dinner (quinoa, tilapia, beets, asparagus) were both delicious last night and tonight is a repeat so I’m looking forward to it.
My blood pressure was back up last night (even before the bacon). I’ve basically come to the conclusion that activity played a large role in keeping it down on Sunday. Sitting all day at work is brutal. After I come back from vacation (for financial reasons), I will have to find some shoes I can walk in and sneak in more activity and time away from my desk. It’s really hard in such a small department and I’ve been reluctant because the shoes I’m wearing are seriously falling apart and make my feet hurt.
Here I am about halfway through the first day of following the dash diet eating plan and already learning some lessons.
1. Nothing can make cucumbers and radishes taste good to me.
2. Bread that doesn’t taste like dirt is worth doing a little more driving.
3. A little tiny bit of caffeine really is necessary in my life.
I am so hoping that the rest of the day is better in terms of not feeling like I’m eating dirt. Okay, this is mostly the bread’s fault and I’m not eating any more of it today. I bought the only low sodium kind in my usual store and next time I will drive across town for more variety. I am determined to eat it the rest of this week though because it cost too much to just toss out.
I did have a fairly good weekend going into this. I was very productive yesterday and did a lot of food prep to make this week easier on myself. I was more active than I usually am on a Sunday as well. Last night, my blood pressure way WAY down. I don’t know if it’s the new medication, eating better (I wasn’t strict over the weekend but much better than usual), or being more active. Regardless, I am going to keep working on all three. Now, I just have to get through this week and vacation starts Saturday morning. Can’t wait!
This is the story of my life right now. The website I was using to plan my meals is pretty inaccurate about a lot of things. Earlier today I got so frustrated that I had to take a klonopin and a break. I finally came to the conclusion that building my own database and tracking system was the only thing that would meet my needs. I mean, who tracks magnesium? But, it’s important to get enough because of the effect it can have on my blood pressure. Hours upon hours and I have 5 days entered so far. I’ll take it one week at a time. I know, eventually, it will get much easier since I will only have to research each food item once and then have it in my own system to reuse. It’s so frustrating too that both the book I bought and the dietitian I’ve talked to say eggs are great, and that it’s fine to eat 2 per day. Ummm, not is you’re watching your cholesterol. 1 large egg has 211mg. Your daily limit should be about 300 mg. Add tilapia at dinner, nonfat milk, etc and there’s way to stay under 300 even with just 1 egg. So I plan to do my omelet with half egg and half egg substitute. Wow! I wish I understood why it’s necessary to add over 100mg of sodium to 1/4 cup of egg substitute. I hate the food industry, I really do. I’ve got my meal plan as close as I possibly can to all of the requirements and it takes hours. I have a lot of concerns. Especially how much time it will take me to cook all of my meals. That’s a big one for me as I just don’t have the time and energy. I’m going to prep what I can on Sunday but that’s frustrating as well since I only see my husband on Saturday and Sunday and it will take time away from him. I don’t have a lot of faith that I will stay motivated knowing how much work this is going to be. But at least I have the planning part done. And I know I have a desperate need to do something.