Thursday, June 28, 2012

Insanity

Everyone has gone insane over the health care ruling.

I'm not worried.  1.  I am in the extremely low income bracket for the county.  I doubt we will pay much, probably less than I am now; if it all comes to pass.

2.  The public is furious.  I doubt the healthcare thing will live long.

3.  I believe in the rapture.  The way things are going I could be gone any day.

4.  I am healthy, a caregiver, and cheaply medicated.  I think they'd take good care of me (Ron, not so much).

By the way, my aunt has my password, if something happens to me she will post.  If I'm just gone, along with a lot of others, you'll know.

Happily, today was a good day for me.  I got a case of Bibles on the porch.  I opened them up.

What I do with the donors: give them a link to a Bible webstore, and my address, and tell them to send me whatever they are led.  One lady called my local store and bought me 40 New Testaments.  One guy bought me 2 cases of Spanish.  You get the idea.

Today, I got a beautiful case of whole Bibles.  The recipients LOVE the whole Bibles.  They'll go fast.

I decided to do the handout July 3.  I can get a lot of people shopping for party supplies.  I doubt many people will party on July 2.  Well, I can dream.

I already got whacked with a horrible depression today.  Ron took me to McDonald's, a dollar store, and home.  I got my razors, Ron his headphones, and that was it.  I had no energy to do anything else but some laundry.

I remind myself God doesn't need me perfect and able.  He can do more with me like this (waving hand) than He can if I were "perfect".  If I were normal, God knows you probably wouldn't catch me dead, on a Bible handout.

Anyway, if you're led, please pray for the recipients.

Oh, and regarding the healthcare thing - yes, it's disgusting violation of our rights.  Enough said.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Let's hear it for Atkins

I worry about pride.  If you're a regular you've heard that before.

It's kind of odd; if I worry about pride, enough, will that make me humble?  I try to avoid things that inflate my pride, like looking at my statistics.

However, before I started typing I had to wonder "Is anyone even reading this?"  So, I looked at the statistics.  110+ hits in two days says "Yes".

I drank a soda pretty late yesterday.  It kept me up most of last night.  I asked God to give me a good quality of sleep, and He did.

4:30 AM found Ron and I, walking in the door at work.  We had two deliveries.  One came around 8 AM (but could have been there at 5) and the other came at 9.  Ah.  At any rate, we were able to check and stock all machines.

I'm glad we got rid of the tacos.  They weren't doing very well, I had to throw some out today.  I also need more snack items.  Candy and crackers are OK.

We did need to stock several cases of soda.  The $1 bottled sodas are tremendously popular, we can hardly keep them stocked.  Getting them involves a little heavy lifting on my part.

Speaking of heavy, Ron made a comment this morning.  He had put his arm around my waist and it's not very slim.  He made a comment he shouldn't have, and I requested he file this: do not compare me to other women, especially your ex girlfriend.

Yes, she was very thin, but she became a crackhead, so look how that turned out.  I met her once.  I thanked her for leaving him, so he could meet me.  [snicker]

So, we did it all with that one little bump.  I was brooding about it a little, and reminded myself "I did not sleep well last night.  If I'm still upset about this tomorrow I can bring it up again."

Of course, after the rest of my lithium (taken at lunch), a good meal, and a nap, I could care less.  Ron does have brain damage and the comment just proved his filter is broken.  What he thinks tends to come straight out, without moderation.  It's a mixed blessing.

I had some backstabbers in my life, who were very good at "fronting" a different persona.  I'd rather have Ron, blunt to a fault, but 100% him all the time.  He has no guile, I value that.

So, work is over.  We went home.  I got my snack and a nap.  I woke up and thought "I have about 4 hours before I need to go back to bed.  What do I want to do?"

I thought about a workout, logistics, and decided I'd finish my God Time (always the #1 priority) and then my workout.  I finished my God Time, and did the workout.

I started out on the step, remember those plastic steps?  Mine's always worked well for me.  It's easy, simple (I just go up and down).  I am tremendously uncoordinated, so I don't do any footwork or arms. Trust me, getting 230 pounds up and down off that thing got my heart rate up in no time!

My knee started to twinge a little, so I got on the exercise bike (Ron got it for me several years ago).  20  minutes later, all done with my cardio.  I saw a dumbbell and thought, "I can bring in my dumbbells" (It's about 105 outside, and probably even more in the garage with the weights).  I brought in the 10's, and the 20's.

I did some overhead presses, squats, and dead-lifts with the dumbbells, good workout, really hit everything I want to firm up (this is in addition to my stocking at work).  I stored them over by the bike.  I will continue to work out in the house until it cools off.

I went, checked the mail, nothing fun.  Just some books for Ron.

Now I'm off to make my dinner.  Ron's giving me some rides tomorrow, but we're leaving early.  We want to beat the heat and get better trips, too.

I'm impressed; I really have a lot of energy today, and my mood's great.  Let's hear it for Atkins.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A tale of two sugars

You probably don't know I own a blood sugar meter.  I'm not diabetic, and I intend to stay that way.  

When I was taking risperidone, the medication carried many dire warnings about high blood sugar and pancreatic cancer.  Great, huh?  I must be pretty crazy to take that - or, the truth, the risks of the medication outweighed the risks of not treating my illness.  

Anyway, a few years back, I bought it.  It cost about $10.  The strips cost $27, and are one of the few things I've bought that have actually dropped in price.  

I checked my sugar every morning for a while, and noted "high normal" readings.  Unfortunately, I didn't take them to heart, and when things got bad, went right back to sugar laden pity parties.  

Happily, according to my meter, I didn't do any permanent harm.  I discontinued the risperidone, and started Haldol.  

As I restarted low carb, I felt hungry all the time.  I got some new test strips and got out my meter.  Sure enough, low blood sugars.  Interesting.  I started eating more.  

I test now and then, before and after meals, just making sure everything is OK.  Today I teased Ron about checking his sugars after he drank a frozen beverage from Starbucks.  

I have a legendary love of diet sodas.  Anyone who knows me is accustomed to the sight of me with a half-drunk soda in my hand.  All my diet books say they are "bad".  

I decided to see for myself.  First thing in the morning, I have my "eye opener" - a couple bottles of diet soda.  I am not naming the brand.  

So, first thing in the morning I checked my sugar.  60.  That is an excellent fasting sugar, almost 40 points LOWER than what I had on the other medication.  I drank a diet soda, took a shower, and checked my sugar again.  

I should add here, I use the really thin, 32 gauge lancets, they are very skinny and don't hurt as much.  When I check Ron, I need a thicker lancet, he has thicker skin.  I didn't mind all the poking because it didn't really hurt.  

So, I checked it after the soda.  80.  

Ron said it best: "I thought it was diet".  

Indeed.  I'll be eliminating them this week.  They are not my friends.  

I plan to get some sparkling water to tide me over, maybe.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

More Chapters in Broken

I put up another couple chapters on "Broken" - (waving to my right to indicate story link).

Make sure you start at the bottom and work your way up.  Otherwise you'll get the spoiler!

And, so we celebrate my 1,600th post.  [tips hat]  Thank you for reading!

Haters gonna hate

Oh, an interesting few days.  We have a tropical "thing" in the Gulf of Mexico.  Some internet drama, and other assorted excitement.

The tropical thing: I'm not too worried.  We have good insurance, and an excellent roofing company.  During Hurricane Ike, we were one of the few houses in the subdivision with an intact roof!  In fact, it looked the same as it did before the hurricane.  Good guys.  [RSS Roofing]

Internet drama.  To quote the gangsters: Haters gonna hate.  I can only remove myself from the situation, which I have, for a while at least.

Now, I do understand I can be an acquired taste.  Since you're reading, you're OK with that.  I have different thought processes at times, and can be impaired in the way I interact with others, on occasion.

However, Dale Carnagie really helped with that.  Focus attention on the other person.  I'm better at that with strangers, than friends or family.  Today, we had a driver.  I recognize him, so I started asking about his baby.  He talked about the baby all the way to Walmart, and probably drove off thinking we were awesome.

I try to do that when I can; focus the conversation on others.  Whatever burning thing I've got to say can probably wait.  It will not change the world.  However, if someone walks away from the conversation, having talked their head off, they'll look at me, and hopefully my faith, in a favorable light.

A lot of cults practice that, actually: they teach their members to be very good listeners.  I'm no cult.  I'm just a Bible-loving born again who wants to share her faith.  I want you to know that God is there for you, no matter what, and he can use the most awful thing in your life for tremendous good.  ((((hugs)))   Don't forget, I pray for you daily.

Speaking of Bibles, I have an inbound shipment.  That's the fun thing about my donors!  Someone bought some Bibles for me, and they've shipped.

Don't worry, I have plenty to keep me busy!  I have also bought a few enormous sacks of wrapped candy for Driver Candy handouts, and ordered more Scripture booklets (although I have so many Bibles I may just hand the candy out with a Bible!)

If the tropical thing becomes a hurricane, you will probably find me, in a house, lit by a battery operated something, bagging up Driver Candy for the recipients.

I've had a lot of headaches today.  Yes, hormone related.  I hate admitting that; it makes me sound weak and wimpy, "I'm the victim of my hormones".  But, in a sense, I am.  I even had to take a phenergan this morning.

Even the depressions have a strong, hormonal, link.  I always get depressed at a certain point in my cycle.

I always wonder if I am completely freaking out any male readers.  I try to be delicate.   I figure you don't need all the details.

I got some ketosis test strips today, and some baked oatmeal breakfast lowcarb things.  Link  The oatmeal lowcarb things were very good.  I want some more.  They would make a really good breakfast with a sausage.

I just need to see if they trigger a headache; they do have a little maltitol and that can do it for me.  I never know until I eat something, if it's a trigger.  Right now my triggers seem to be peanuts (cry with me), and chocolate (I've had so many vicious chocolate migraines I almost hate it now).

Man, I'm hungry.  Coming back.

OK, I ate some dinner.  Nothing fancy, a couple of beef sticks and cream cheese.  When I have a bad headache, I crave salt, and have no appetite.  Dinner fixed both.  Of course I also took my lithium.

I'm a little disappointed in my weight loss to date, but I have to remember, I am drinking diet soda.  I am not eating 100% clean (a few things not on this stage of the plan, but low carb), and I'm taking medication that affects weight loss.

To quote the old saying, I didn't gain it overnight.  I won't lose it overnight.  If I did lose it too quickly, I'd have a lot of sagging skin.   So, I'll try to have a good attitude.

That's it for now!  Hang in there!


Friday, June 22, 2012

They're suicidal, but I don't want to call 911

Here's how it goes:

"Heather, my friend is suicidal, talking about ending it all.  What should I do?"

"You need to call 911 and tell them, what you told me."

"I can't do that!  They'll put him in a mental hospital!  He's just having a hard time!   Come on, what do I say to him to pull him out of this?"

"You tell him, you are calling 911."

You think that's fun?  Imagine the reaction I got here:  I knew of a woman with bipolar disorder.  Although she had severe symptoms, she swore they were controlled with a special diet.  Frankly, she just seemed like every other person, off their meds: miserable and out of control.

One night she was drinking, taking sleeping pills, and said she wouldn't stop until she had finished the bottle of wine, and the sleeping pills.  I was messaged.   They wanted me to "Talk her out of it".

I said "She needs to be in a hospital, let the moderator know so they can contact 911 and send paramedics."  It is possible for the police to get someone's address from their IP address, which is logged on message boards.

It got back to her and she was furious.  "Who are you to say..."  I just repeated what I'd been told:  You were drinking and taking sleeping pills, stating you wanted to kill yourself.  I just did what anyone should have done.

Suicide is a leading cause of death for some age groups.  36,909 people killed themselves, in America, in 2009.  That's awful.  That's a whole town.  A million people attempt suicide every year.  Half of all people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide in their lifetimes.

Source 1

Source 2

You think your friend is in trouble.  What do you do?

WARNING SIGNS:

Recognize the Imminent Dangers

The signs that most directly warn of suicide include:
  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself (weapons, pills or other means)
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
  • Has made plans or preparations for a potentially serious attempt
Other warning signs include expressions or other indications of certain intense feelings in addition to depression, in particular:
  • Insomnia
  • Intense anxiety, usually exhibited as psychic pain or internal tension, as well as panic attacks
  • Feeling desperate or trapped -- like there's no way out
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling there's no reason or purpose to live
  • Rage or anger
Certain behaviors can also serve as warning signs, particularly when they are not characteristic of the person's normal behavior. These include:
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities
  • Engaging in violent or self-destructive behavior
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends or family

[copied from source 1]

OK, they have a problem.  What do you do?
(credit source 1 again)


Take it Seriously

  • Fifty to 75 percent of all suicides give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member.
  • Imminent signs must be taken seriously.

Be Willing to Listen

  • Start by telling the person you are concerned and give him/her examples.
  • If he/she is depressed, don't be afraid to ask whether he/she is considering suicide, or if he/she has a particular plan or method in mind.
  • Ask if they have a therapist and are taking medication.
  • Do not attempt to argue someone out of suicide. Rather, let the person know you care, that he/she is not alone, that suicidal feelings are temporary and that depression can be treated. Avoid the temptation to say, "You have so much to live for," or "Your suicide will hurt your family."

Seek Professional Help

  • Be actively involved in encouraging the person to see a physician or mental health professional immediately.
  • Individuals contemplating suicide often don't believe they can be helped, so you may have to do more.
  • Help the person find a knowledgeable mental health professional or a reputable treatment facility, and take them to the treatment.

In an Acute Crisis

  • If a friend or loved one is threatening, talking about or making plans for suicide, these are signs of an acute crisis.
  • Do not leave the person alone.
  • Remove from the vicinity any firearms, drugs or sharp objects that could be used for suicide.
  • Take the person to an emergency room or walk-in clinic at a psychiatric hospital.
  • If a psychiatric facility is unavailable, go to your nearest hospital or clinic.
  • If the above options are unavailable, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Follow-up on Treatment

  • Suicidal individuals are often hesitant to seek help and may need your continuing support to pursue treatment after an initial contact.
  • If medication is prescribed, make sure your friend or loved one is taking it exactly as prescribed. Be aware of possible side effects and be sure to notify the physician if the person seems to be getting worse. Usually, alternative medications can be prescribed.
  • Frequently the first medication doesn't work. It takes time and persistence to find the right medication(s) and therapist for the individual person.
Source 2: 

What should I do if I think someone is suicidal?

If you think someone is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek immediate help from his or her doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. Eliminate access to firearms or other potential tools for suicide, including unsupervised access to medications.

A suicidal person is a medical emergency.  It is no different from a stroke or a heart attack.  If you, or someone you love, is having trouble, get help!  
I did!  As a result, I have a much better life!  
Yeah, it was a little weird telling the emergency room I was suicidal, but they were very nice about it.  I walked out of there with a plan and a diagnosis that literally saved my life, my job, and my marriage.  
I'm glad I went.  I'm glad I made the call.  
And you will be, too.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Someone else

Someone asked me a question recently.  "Do you think I am in trouble if I don't witness to everyone, the way you do?"  I told them, that's not for me to say.

I will not tell another Christian what God wants them to do, unless it is very clear.  "Fred, you need to pray for the guy who stole your car".  Something like that.  Usually I go with something like: "God loves your child even more than you do, and knows how much you're hurting".

I'll advise, but I won't judge.  Mainly, when it comes to evangelism, I encourage.  "Get out there!  Pray for the unreached if you don't want direct contact", etc.  That's why I was shocked the guy thought I'd judge him.

God calls me to preach the truth, in love.  Ephesians 4:15
But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head —Christ. (HCSB)

If you're not a believer, you may not have heard that before.  Does that mean I am commanded to endorse lifestyles that are not in the Bible?  No.  Do I have to approve of everyone?  No.  But I do have to love them.  

Every day, I ask God to put His love in my heart, for everyone.  I cannot love everyone.  That's impossible.  In fact, there's a person in my life right now.  God has commanded me to pray for her specifically.  She has been very ugly to me on many occasions, and has hurt a lot of people.  She's not online, a relative, or a co-worker.  

So, I'll be working on that.  I will set some boundaries, if needed.  If she becomes verbally abusive I will call in a complaint.  

God is always working on me: I need to be obedient and do what He wants me to do, so I can become more useful to Him.  If nothing else, the difficult woman is a recipient, and you know I take them seriously.  I may tell her I pray for her every day, and ask if she has any special requests.  

That's how my faith life works: I can't speak to anyone else, because I'm only in my head.  

I did tell the guy, I think it's very sad to let an unreached person "get away" without sharing your faith.  It doesn't have to be much.  It may be Driver Cookies, the evolution of Driver Candy.  I put the cookies in a zip lock with a scripture booklet (I need to order more!).  They're easy to hand out, and no pressure 

If someone's ready, they'll read the booklet.  If not, they'll throw it away, and someone else will read it.  If nothing else, they got some delicious cookies.

I plan to do it with brownies, next week.  People got so excited over the brownies.  

That's how I work.  Share God with everyone.  I hate to miss an opportunity.  God didn't really have me start "working" until 2009.  I had 35 years of preparation and training before I got to do serious evangelism.  Sure, I handed out Bibles before, but not on a big scale.  

If you, as a Christian, want to miss witnessing opportunities, sending them away without sharing your faith, knowing we believe they will end up in hell; that's between you and God.  

I'm sure God can send them to someone else.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Do you?"

I always want the bad news first.

I was pissed when I came home, and found my neighbor (the one who trashed my siding)'s contractor leaning against my house, with his foot up on the siding.  He saw us and moved over against my garage  and squatted against it as he talked on the phone.  Rude, rude, rude.  I had only taken one lithium at the point so I went in the house.  The cat went out and apparently spooked the guy, who left.  [snicker]

Hours later, we are at McDonald's waiting on our ride.  I actually SEE our driver go past.  We wait and wait.  We call.  They say he's at the grocery store a mile up the road, and is coming right to us when he does the pickup.  We wait and wait.  We call again, same story, right up the road.  We keep calling, and getting the same story.  An HOUR later, Ron calls the head of the program and suddenly the driver shows up.

All drivers, especially in the rain, just pull up so the passenger can get in.  It is also WELL known to all the drivers that Ron sits in the rear passenger seat.  Anyway, this guy pulls up, about 20 yards past where I'm standing.  It's a guy who knows us.  He knows Ron has a lot of pain walking.

I go inside and get Ron "Looks like we'll have to hike a little."  I take him out.  The driver has pulled up, and is slowly maneuvering back and forth for some odd reason.  If we wait for him to do whatever he's doing, we will both be drenched and Ron's feet will be screaming.   I take Ron up to the side of the vehicle and get in the front passenger seat.

The driver yells Ron can't get in.  He'd put groceries in the back passenger seat; knowing, like I said, that Ron ALWAYS sits there.  Ron says "I'm getting in" as the driver pulls them away (I believe they were personal groceries, for the driver).  The driver: "OH, that's not cool."

"So, Ron should just get soaked waiting for you to move them?  Took you a while go get here from the grocery store."

He tried to tell us he wasn't there, when he's holding an armload of groceries.  Then the client in the back starts up.

Some of the older women have no boundaries.  "Do you work?"  I was shocked.  "What?"

"Do you work?  I never see you at work."  Ron told her yes, we did.

I was furious.  One, it's not her business.  Second, it's inappropriate to ask questions like that.   She knew better.  I can tell if someone has dementia issues. So, I turned it around.

"Do YOU work?"  She shut up.  She had some little "conspiracy" thing going with the driver.  She may have been trying to distract us.  I think the driver was doing his own shopping at the store, while giving the other client more time to do her own shopping.

When Ron asked him why he was over an hour late, he couldn't explain it.  He couldn't explain why he was at the grocery store for an hour when he was supposed to be taking us home.

When a driver gets an "extra trip" - which is just what you think; they will tell us, indignantly.  "I had to pick up someone from the airport and take them to Sharpstown!"  They ALWAYS want to tell us all about the horrible extra trips they got and how dispatch is abusing them.  Or, "My client had a seizure and I had to wait for the paramedics", "My client peed all over the front seat and I had to clean it up."

This guy just made very vague excuses, and he had several bags of personal groceries.  Oh, I was furious.  However, since Ron got the big boss involved, AND the cabs have GPS locaters, he's got some explaining to do.

He had a big, ugly, attitude, and I was happy to get out of the vehicle.  That nosy client wasn't much better.  I don't mind making conversation, but I hate it when people "get in my business".  It was clear she just wanted the information so she could gossip.  Some people actually ask us how much money we make!  I hate gossips.  Ugh.

Yes, I gossip, and yes, I am working on it.

Turning it around on her seemed to work very well.  If you won't answer your own intrusive questions...

I'm going to remember that trick.

That said, let's focus on the better end of my day.

I had a little trouble sleeping last night, and overslept.  We went to the warehouse store and got some candy, then took it to work and stocked it.  I was glad we'd stocked, I saw the plant manager.  He's a nice guy, I like him.

I woke up pretty depressed actually, which is unusual for me.  I am an atypical depressive, worse in the evening.  One reason I'm kind of gloomy today, that and the rain.

We finished up and came home, then went to McDonald's.  I like a Dollar Store nearby, they have some good health and beauty products.  I was very happy to find more rose-scented soap, some lavender soap, and some really nicely scented rose lotion.  I was just wanting that, the other day, when I shaved my legs.  My legs were dry and I thought, "It would be so nice to slather some rose lotion on my legs".  I also got some new razors (need them), and shaving cream (to help with the dryness)

I even found Ron a pair of earbuds he loves.  We plan to get him some more.

I left Ron at the McDonald's while I shopped, then came back.  Then we had the trip I won't talk about and we're home now.

We have tomorrow off, I plan to go to Walmart.  We need a few things.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

God doesn't want me to be a hater.

I had a pretty tough day, for a day off.

First, though, let me back track a little.  Sunday I went to church, got some baked goods, and put them in with scripture booklets (baked good in a baggie, double bagged into another baggie with booklet).  They have been HUGELY popular.  I'm down to my last package of cookies.

I didn't even eat them.  Happily, God has turned my 2 weaknesses (chocolate and peanuts) into migraine triggers.  The last time I ate peanuts, I vomited for 2 days straight.  I won't be doing that again for a very long time.  The recipients loved them.

Monday we went to work, got it done.  The deliveryman was late, and Ron was a little frustrated.  I told Ron "Everyone on his route is yelling at him right now.  He knows he is late, he doesn't need us to tell him that."  I also, privately, thought, I want to be a "good" stop.

So, when he did show up, very apologetic, he got cookies, and a soda.  God does not want me to be a hater.

After work, Ron was happy to provide me with a ride to Whole Foods.  They are not close.

I was a little worried, I forgot my money and my lunch.  Ron "loaned" me $20, but then said I could keep it AND paid for everything himself.  That was very sweet.

I got a seafood cioppino.  I think that's how you spell it.  Basically a tomato/seafood stew, with fish and clams.  It was very good, and I dropped a pound and a half last night, so it was low carb.

I also got some natural deodorant.  I don't like the gel, or "white stick" types.  I am a big fan of my Arm & Hammer Naturals, but it only comes in one fragrance, "herbal".  Herbal is nice, but not every day.

I may not have shared this, I am a huge fan of rose fragrance.  I wear Tea Rose perfume.  I wanted something that would harmonize.

At the time, I was a little manic so shopping was a lot of fun.  We took the wheelchair so I pushed Ron around the store.  He had fun getting bulk nuts and trail mixes (all of which contained either a very spicy content, peanuts, or both - you couldn't pay me to eat it).  He had a lot of fun mixing the various items and formulating his own mix.

I was really happy to see him eating roasted pumpkin seeds.  I will not tell him they're healthy.

So, I got some stew, a zevia soda, a little bit of roasted pumpkin seed, some soy nuts (for later), a crystal deodorant, and a Tom's of Maine Honeysuckle Rose deodorant.  We came home, took a nap, and then I cleaned up the front room and packaged up Dad's goodie box.

When they get it, I'll tell you what I mailed.  I am bookmarked (wink).

We had today off.  I started off by testing my new deodorant.  One under one arm, one under the other. If I had a "failure" I didn't want it at work.

They both performed well.  I can still smell a little fragrance from the Tom's.

You can image what the weather's like in Texas - hot and muggy.  I was exerting myself, too.  If it holds up to this, I'm good.

Ron went to a fast food place near the Post Office.  I took the box and walked.  I also had a completed A1C blood test (I want a baseline for my start).  Of course it rained, but I brought a garbage bag.

It was really quiet at the Post Office, and I was seen quickly.  I got it shipped, went back to Ron, and we came home.

I was pretty wiped out, so I took a nap.  The cat joined me.

I had a post-traumatic nightmare.  I thought I was done with them, but I'm not.

I guess certain events may very well haunt me until God takes me home.  I just felt so powerless.

Ron had to talk to me about lucid dreaming.  When we first married, my nightmares woke him up.  So, at some point, I realize, this is a dream, and tell the bad people I'm leaving.  Then I wake up or shift to another dream.

I hate feeling powerless.  When I woke up, I was depressed, too.  Ugh.  Hard not to think about the past, after a nightmare like that.  I forgave them, they apologized, but the damage lives on.

But God doesn't want me to be a hater, so I won't.  I just need to put it back in the past and move on.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Loser!

I've already lost an inch and a half off my waist, half an inch off my hips, and half a pound on the scale.  Not bad!  

The herbal migrane preventers (Swanson brand, feverfew and butterbur) have worked very well.  I have dull headaches, well managed by my generic headache tablets.  

Yesterday I worked in the garden, in shifts (can't get overheated, could have a seizure and die!), for over an hour, so I got some cardio and weights.  I am a little sore today, enough to let me know I did some good.  

About the only bad thing:  I have a horrible, onion flavor.  Well, no one's taken a bite, but my mouth tastes like onions, constantly.  I've never had this before.  

I've had bad flavors in my mouth due to lithium.  Bad flavors due to Haldol.  Dry mouth due to everything.  

Lowcarbing, and taking other medications, I had a bad, sticky flavor.  I have to assume the onions are a combined side effect of medication and ketosis.  

I will say, I'm diligent about drinking my water, trying to wash it away.  Yes, you read that right.  The woman who drinks a gallon of diet soda a day, on a "good" day, is actually drinking a couple quarts of plain water, every day.  

No wonder I'm losing.  

I think, for the first month, I'll weigh daily.  Then go to twice a week.  I don't think it's a good idea, for me, to weigh daily in the long-term.  

I was glad I had measured and all when I got to church today: bake sale.  The youth group are getting ready for a mission trip.  

They had all kinds of delicious treats.  I decided to buy some (wait before you get mad) and put them in the Bibles I hand out.  The treats are all zip locked.  Now I can put the cookies/brownie, whatever, into the bag along with the Bible.  

Oh, and I got an apprentice today.  He wants to help with the handouts!  Awesome!  

I love finding a church, where, when they find out about the Bible Handouts, they say "Cool" and "How can I help" instead of looking at me like a giant roach, and running away.  I found the message very meaningful, and two people got saved.  

I thought it was so awesome, seeing the pastor run back to them at the end of the service.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Low Carb Favorite Things

I started Atkins Induction, mostly.  I am still drinking some diet soda.

Today, I got the usual induction headache.  Which got me thinking how much I love my headache pills.    I had some great salad dressing today, with my lunch, and I thought "I need to do another Favorite Things post".

So, here it is.

1.  Found at Walmart:  "Equate" brand, "Extra Strength Headache Relief Tablets".  200 tablets for $4.  They work great and don't upset my stomach.

2.  Also found at Walmart:  "Cabot Farms Extra-Sharp Cheddar Cheese".  I can get a nice 8-ounce block for a few dollars.  I love extra-sharp cheese.  Sadly, I forgot to get it Friday.  [sad face]  I could really go for a little right now.

3.  Walmart:  "Ken's Buttermilk Ranch" salad dressing.  I forget the price.  It is really decadent, creamy, and only 1 carb per serving.  I love to use it with:

4.  Walmart:  Sugar Snap Peas.  I grow these myself, in the winter.  They're delicious and crunchy.  While they're green, they don't "taste" it.  They have a nice sweet flavor and tasty crunch.  I like to eat them raw, with the ranch dressing.  I dunk them.

5.  Premixed salad greens.  I hate cleaning and shredding my own greens.  I prefer a nice bitter mix, but Ron doesn't like bitter greens.  I usually get a "romaine mix" - I want a lot of dark green leaves in my salad mix.

6.  Tuna, mayo, and dill pickle relish.  I'll probably be eating that for dinner.  It's too hot to cook, and I can use the fish oils.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Balance Out

Writing, writing.  I've been busy.  16 thousand words and twenty four pages.

Re-examining my life always leads to the same conclusion: it was difficult.  In many ways, it was "easy".  I didn't have to worry about being homeless, having utilities, or what I'd have for breakfast.  On the other hand, I didn't have privacy, safety, and security.  I had brain damage and severe mental illness.   I was subject to verbal abuse.

Through all of this, I'm a Christian.  Jesus, himself, commands me to forgive them, so I have.  I wish it were that easy!

It took me a while to figure out I was incapable of forgiveness.  For one, I didn't have an apology.  Just vague comments like "Well, we all hurt each other".  I try to keep clean language, but WTF?

I always felt it would be so much easier to move on, if the truth could be faced, I could get a real apology, and we could all move on.  That didn't happen.

As a result, I was very bitter and cut off contact for some time.  I didn't even tell my Dad when I moved to Texas.  He had to find out from my grandmother.  Ouch.

Ron was the one, always pushing me to stay in contact with my Dad.  Eventually I wrote some very bitter poetry and "put it on the shelf" so to speak.   I did my best to accept Dad, where he was, as he was.

Then Ron got hurt.  The next year was completely consumed in caregiving, the wedding, and restarting our business.  Yes, Ron and I got legally married after the accident that put him in the wheelchair.

As I moved on with my life, I kept getting prods that I needed to let it go.  I was the only one suffering, it seemed.

Here's the main FAS website:  FAS-CRC  I found an article about raising a child with FAS (my brain damage).  The author made it seem like the most exhausting, stressful, thankless job in the world.  The parents could never turn their backs on the child, or they'd get into trouble.

I had a whole new angle on things.  God put empathy into my heart and I was able to send them an email, truly forgiving them for everything.

Then, they apologized, and meant it.  I found that ironic.  I only got the thing I'd sought all those years, after I did the thing I thought I could never do.

So, now I'm faced with my life, "on the page".  You know I believe in honesty.

However, so much of my life was ugly.  I swear, it would be easier to write about the time Ron said he wanted an open relationship, or a suicidal depression, than some of the experiences I've had.

I've thought about it, and I'm faced with two options:  1.  Write a completely sanitized version.  Nothing bad happened except for being crazy and neglected by my birth mother.  2.  Write the truth, knowing some of the parties involved would much rather forget it ever happened.

I've opted for #2.  I'm not sure how this will "play" with the parties.  They know I'm writing "Our story".  They know that involves childhoods.  I don't know what they think I might be writing.

However, while I have shared the ugly stuff I've also shared the good stuff, too.  I have to think that will balance out in the end.

God knows whatever problems I had with Ron are a lot "easier" than the first 18 years of my life.  Well, 17 and a half.  I met Ron when I was underage.

[Cough]  I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has expired.

The fattest one in the photo

I'm restating something I stated in a comment:  I don't want to be the fattest family member in the photos.  I have, essentially, three families: my Dad's family, his wife's family, and my mother's family.  No matter how you stack it, I'm the largest family member, probably even outweighing all the men, except, perhaps, one uncle.

I believe in honesty - and I have to face it.  Sadly, I suspect I may always be the biggest family member, no matter how much I exercise and diet.  I hope I'm wrong, I really do, but I don't think my medication is any aid to my metabolism.

Last week I bought some herbal migraine preventers.   I had a few reasons:  I plan to re-induct, and always get migraines when I do.  Even if I wasn't going low carb, again, I'd want them because I detest migraines.

One thing I didn't buy: fat burners.  I get horrible manias on them, and they can ruin your liver.

I have a few problem foods.  One, peanuts.  My last migraine, after eating peanut butter, was so horrible I doubt I will eat peanuts for years.

Ron doesn't like to see me hurting, either.  It's impossible to hide a migraine, at least mine.

Worst case, I do have plenty of phenergan in tablet and suppository form.  I hope it doesn't get that bad, but it might.  

Last weekend I sat down and considered meal options.  I don't have a lot of energy unless I am manic.  The other night, I finally did the dishes.  I'm still playing catch-up on the clothes.  Some days all I can do are shower, work, and home.

A while back I admitted the truth: cooking is really out of the question on this medication "cocktail".  I have EXCELLENT symptom control, so I'm willing to accept the loss of energy.  Ron and I agree, quality is better than quantity.

Most easy-to-prepare foods come in a highly processed, carbohydrate laden form. That's fine for Ron, who's maybe 150 pounds.  He can eat a TV dinner.

Cookies don't "call" him.  He can walk right past a display of pastries.  He does like salty snacks, but prefers a "blazing hot" varieties that wouldn't tempt me if I were starving.

Recently, I've just been eating "heat and eat" items, but I need to go low-carb.  I thought about it for a while, and decided to work out a compromise.

I'd buy precooked meat items, low-carb, and warm them up for meals.  They'd take no more effort than a TV dinner.  I went to Walmart and discovered cooked meatballs and cooked chicken breast patties.  I can do a lot with them.

I also bought some raw, frozen, hamburger patties.  I plan to cook them all up one night when I'm manic, and re-freeze them.  I also have some eggs and ham.

Are the "perfect", low-carb items?  No, they are somewhat processed.  They have flavor enhancers.  The ham has a few carb's worth of sugar.

However, it's a heck of lot better than what I have been eating.  It will be easy to combine ham/chicken/meatball + tomato sauce or salsa + vegetables + cheese and have a wonderful meal.  I'll have plenty of variety.

The worst thing I do, with regard to food: I tend to eat the same thing every day, for weeks, until I abhor it.  I have a nice mix of items, I hope, to provide lots of variety.  I have to admit, I bought a lot of tomato sauce.  I love it.  The type I bought contains no added sugar.

I'll have a lot of fun eating them up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Favorite things

I'd feel like a whore if I put ad links in my blog.  I have very strong opinions on the subject.   I don't care what other bloggers do - it's their blog.

My blogger, and my youtube, each want me to "allow" ad links.  They'll give me a cut of the profits, too.  I always say the same thing, no thank you.

However, I do have some favorite things.  Recently I encountered a post on honey, and that got me thinking about some of my very favorite honey things.

Honey Sticks  I love them.  I love chewing the end off, or cutting it, and sucking out all the delicious honey.  Yum, yum.  If you ever want to get me a gift, my favorite flavors are plain, cinnamon, lemon, orange, pink lemonade, and grapefruit.

This one takes a little explaining.  When I was 19, I had my wisdom teeth, and a bone cyst, removed from my upper right jaw.  As it healed, the skin in my cheek grew against the gum (it was actually sewn closed, that way).  Sorry to be graphic.  Anyway, when I eat a piece of candy, it always ends up on the left side of my mouth, because the right side is too crowded with the scar tissue.

As a result, I ended up with a 3-sided filling after discovering this.  I was always sucking on a piece!  Honey filled, honey lemon candy.  It is delicious, and the most expensive candy I have ever eaten (at $14 a pound).  It is delectable.  Probably my favorite candy ever.

I used to live in a small town in California.  They had a wonderful, local, Farmer's Market every Saturday, just a few blocks from my apartment.  The beekeeper always had the honey sticks, and wonderful dark honey.  I loved putting it into my tea.  He'd always run out, and we'd beg him for more.

Now they make it in a honey stick.  Yummy!  Dark honey sticks

Some other things we're liking, lately:  Domino's Pizza.  They have an excellent stuffed cheesy bread.  I like it so much that's all I get when we order.  I like the regular kind.

Today, we tried the parmesan bread bites.  I wasn't really excited about the concept, until I ate my first one.  They were deliciously, cheesy, garlic, and bread-y.  Ron "let" me have a few and ate the rest of the bad.  I don't even think he ate much of his chicken, after that.

Which brings me to Ron's favorite: he loves the BBQ chicken wings from Domino's.

That's it for now.  Rude neighbors, loud music last night.  Second time in 3 days, but I'm resolving not to be a whiner.

Some of the stuff I'm reading, says "Don't talk about anything in a negative manner, even the weather".  I'm toying with the idea.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I still believe in evil.

I'm not angry, just disappointed on a couple of levels.

Last night, the neighbors had a party.  A very LOUD party.  It went on until after 2 AM.

I've noticed, when I have something "spiritual" planned, I always encounter obstacles.  Say, I plan to get up early, before work (my plan every day) and do my God time.  I'll have a lot of trouble falling asleep, nightmares, and general poor sleep.  Morning comes, and the last thing I want to do is get up!

Unfortunately, a lot of times the Bad Guys win, and I hit the snooze button with an apology to Jesus.  I may, eventually, get up in time to have my God Time, or I may not.

Bible Handouts - it seems like something always happens before the Bible Handout.  I think, once, in all my handouts, I got one good night of sleep before the handout.  This was before I switched to afternoon handouts.  I might have transportation difficulties, getting back home to do the handout.  Ron might be sick, and I have to use my handcart instead.

So, I believe that Bad Things do whatever they can to slow me down.  Bad Things, you may ask.  Really, Heather?  I thought you took your medication!

Oh, I did.  But I still believe in evil.  I don't believe in "coincidence".

I may have a unique perspective on that, having had the mental illness.  I absolutely believe, at my worst, I had demons oppressing me.  I can practically hear myself getting deleted from bookmarks as I type.  I experienced a horrible darkness I only experienced in certain parts of San Francisco - an oppressive spiritual heaviness that always made me want to run.

Can you imagine how we'd live our lives if we could actually see Bad Things - evil, supernatural, beings?  I imagine we'd live our lives far differently.

On some level, I believe all of us can feel them.  Prayer runs them off.  Praising God, if you're the type.  I also like to play some of my Jesus Metal or Jesus Rap.  According to Ron, that would run anything off!

So, what does this have to do with my disappointment?

First, I have to explain.  Ron is very, physically, disabled.  He qualifies for paratransit, which, when cut to the bone, is essentially "shared rides for people who can't ride the bus".  Have you ever ridden one of those airport shuttle buses?  They drove around picking up various people, and dropping them off?  That's paratransit.

Ron qualifies because he cannot ride the bus, by himself.  He can't get to the bus stop by himself.  He can't board the bus.  I, on the other hand, can ride the bus.  I applied for paratransit, was declined (I was fine with that) and given a disabled bus pass.  When my old one got near expiration, the bus company mailed me a new one that doesn't expire for years.

So, I can ride the bus.  Ron can't.  Because Ron has paratransit, we have a greater scope and flexibility. I will, rarely, take him in the wheelchair, on the bus, but it's difficult.

Important note: Ron has the transport.  I don't.  So, after the party last night, Ron decided he didn't want to go to church.

I told him it was important to me.  I think he might have gone anyway, until he called and found out paratransit would drop us off, over an hour early, like they did last week.  Remember what I said about Bad Things and "spiritual activity"?  Messing up our rides, when we're going to church, is a good example.

Agh.

Ron balked.  He said, no.  I thought, I'll go anyway.  However, the bus doesn't go as far as paratransit and our ride wasn't able to come "out" that far.  AGH.

So, I'm at home today.  I'm disappointed.  I wish Ron were more eager to go to church, no matter what.  I worry Bad Things will continue to mess things up - screwing with our sleep on Saturday nights, making difficult trips on Sunday morning, and just aggravating us as much as they can.  I worry that staying home, means they "won".

I hate it when Bad Things win.

Friday, June 8, 2012

I've been cheating on you!

Low energy level.  


Today I asked Ron if it was worth it (no, I'm not really depressed but I was just wondering if life, at a very low energy level, was worth the trade-off for a stable mood).  


I don't care how motivated I am, the thought will come to mind, on occasion.  Ron was adamant, absolutely.  It is absolutely worth it.  Quality is better than quantity.  


OK.  I needed to hear that.  


I was pretty happy I got some laundry done, cleaned out the fridge, etc.  After I got up from my nap I did some writing.  


I don't know if I've told you, but I'm working on our story, Ron's and mine.  My end of things is pretty hard.  No matter how I dress it up, some awful things were done to me.  I'd rather forget the first half of my life altogether, except for getting saved.  


Anyway, I feel this is something God wants me to do, so I'm doing it.  


Here's a bite:  
"“Be like a rubber ball” Ron’s mother told him “They may knock you down but you’ll always bounce back up.”  Ron learned to be a manipulator and extort what he wanted from everyone he met.  These are his words, not mine.  “What I wanted, I got... most of the time”.  
Ron loved to play with a large glass jar, full of rice, his mother kept under the sink.  Ron loved touching things, and loved the sensation of the rice grains flowing through his fingers.  He’d sneak under the sink every chance he got, to play with the rice.  
Sensory therapists actually encourage activities, like that, for sensory impaired children.  
Ron was playing with the rice one day when his mother was on the phone.  “Wait a minute’ she said “Ron’s too quiet.  Ronald!  What are you doing?”  
“Nothing!” Ron shouted as he yanked his arm out of the big glass crock.  CRASH!  Oops.  Ron had caught the edge and knocked it down on the floor.  A shower of rice and broken glass rained down onto the floor.  
“They were a poor family” Ron says  “That was food for the week!”  They ate rice at every meal, even rice, milk, and sugar, for breakfast.  
Ron fled in terror, knowing he was going to get it, and good.  He hid himself under a pile of wood in the back corner of the yard.  At first, his angry mother searched the yard and interrogated the neighbors.  “Have you seen Ronald?”, standing, right outside his hiding place.  
Her anger turned to alarm and she confided she “Had to call my husband” off the job.  They’d lose money doing this, but they had to find “Little Blind Ronald”.  Or, as Ron says, the little blind bastard.  
Ron realized he was screwed."

I haven't forgotten about "Broken", either.  I have an interesting plot twist in the works.  



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Brain Fart

After Ron's accident, I tearfully told my aunt I knew my life would be, ever after, separated into Before and After.   She agreed.

3 years later, I developed a new Before (medication and diagnosis) and After.  Praise God, oh, I was living in hell.

I remember the old depressions.  I couldn't work.  I'd go to work with Ron and sit in the stockroom, staring at nothing.  I ached with constant mental and physical pain.  I was nauseous.  I had stomach cramps so bad I'd go to the ER.  I lacked an appetite, and any interest in life.  I wanted to die, every minute, of the day.

From the start, the lithium did a good job of taking the edge off.  SSRI's (the frontline drug of choice) worked OK, but I was constantly exhausted.  I got a bad taste of the Old Days when I had to discontinue the SSRI's due to a nearly fatal allergy.

Doc and I got me started on Wellbutrin (an SNRI), and I got to my antidepressant better place.  Times like this, you can't accuse me of "happy", but God knows it is better than before.

I hate this, but I remember - it was far, far, worse.

That's why it kills me when I see online friends who don't get help for depression.  You'll still hurt, but you won't suffer!  You will see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's the sun, not an oncoming train.  You'll hang in there, knowing it's just "a brain fart" (thanks to my husband for the phrasing).

I tend to have mixed depressions, but not this time.  I guess that is a good thing.  I suppose I can ask Doc when I see him in August.

It's just odd, I have a day off tomorrow, and it took me forever to figure out what I wanted to do (find a dress to wear to a wedding, in September).  I have money in my account (about half a weeks' pay) and no desire to spend it.  I have so many things I could be doing and no energy to do them.

And, damnit, the nausea is back!  ACK!

You heard it in 2001 - never forget.  I won't.  This is kitty litter compared to what I used to endure.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"You MUST be Heather"

"You know it don't come easy".  Good description of my church search.

Why, Heather, you might say.  There are plenty of churches near your home.  Oh yeah?  Are they Biblical?  NO.  Why do you say that?  Because they believe in  First Lady Nonsense.

I found another church, a little farther away.  They didn't look too bad, until I met with the pastor and learned he doesn't even believe in the Rapture.  Again, that's a major problem.  We STILL went, and were subjected to an hour long demand for money passing for a "sermon".  Ron and I, disgusted, gave up for a while.

I hang out online, pre tribulation rapture, message boards.  I've been on one for over a decade.  One lady suggested a church but it was completely out of the paratransit service area.  It sounded wonderful.

They looked even better when, hearing about my "work", came out and completely fixed my bathroom. But, they're out of the service area, and over 20 miles from our home.  We sent an email to the pastor, asking for a ride.

[crickets]

Agh!  It's enough to drive even the most devout, to profanity!  They gave me Bibles for handout!  [Even better, Pastor says they can provide, quote "thousands" more on request for handouts]  They are awesome, and Biblical!  I want to go!

BUT I CAN'T GET THERE!

Heather, Ron suggested, why don't you do an internet search, for a Starbucks near the church?  I can call the transit company and find out if they go there.

Yeah, right, I thought.  Even if we can get close, can we get a ride?   I gave Ron an address.

He made a trip to go there, it was a wonderful area, just in the service area.  We had a lovely meal at a restaurant, and didn't break the bank.  We had coffee, and an overall wonderful date.

Ron felt loved because I pushed him in the wheelchair.  I felt loved because I got my quality time.  We had a wonderful date.

Ron had me send Pastor an email with the new information.  We got an email back.  Someone was offering a ride.  Then someone else.

Today we got up, and had a nice straight trip.  We got there early, called the guy, and he came and had coffee with us before taking us to church.

Remember when I mentioned the message board?  I met 3 people who post on the board.  One of them, hearing me talk about Bible Handouts, came over and said "You must be Heather".  I had to laugh.  I'm  zealous.

I talked to Pastor about getting more Bibles, and to someone else about "tagging" them with church information.  I'd love to point the unreached at an awesome church, after they get the Bible.  They liked the tracts (Where to Look, and Ron's tracts), and I gave one man a sample Bible "done up for handout".

One of the message board guys offered us a ride in the future, which is great.  I wouldn't want to ask the same person to help us every week, I now have a total of 3 ride options.

The sermon was great, but I felt bad for Ron during the singing.  I am tone deaf.  So is our friend.  Ron, trapped between us, looked rather pained, but the lady behind us (also from the message board) had a lovely singing voice and Ron listened to her, instead.

I have audio processing troubles, but I was able to understand what Pastor said.  It was a wonderful service.

I feel like I did when I crossed the finish line at the half marathon.


"The perfect combination"

I didn't sleep well last night.  The Claratin was alive and well in my system.  It will probably come as no surprise to you that I would...