Summertime & I Don’t Mix

The Heat

Heat is my enemy. The sun touches my face and it stings. The temperature surrounds me and my body aches, my muscles turn to stone. It is kind of like what people with arthritis feel in the winter just backwards. The last 3 years have been good years. I have been completely amazed at how well things have gone. This year, not so much. All I have to do is open a door and whoosh! I am in pain and weak. Really annoying because I’ve made such a nice place to paint for myself on the patio.

Dehydration

I have been sweating this year like a … well like something that sweats a lot. A horse? Do they sweat, I think so. Especially with the mask, oh my, my face is dripping whenever I go out. I have been so sick. I can’t drink enough without drinking too much. Yes, you read that right. If I don’t drink enough the dehydration is worse, but I can in fact drink too much, in which case I am on the verge of or actually vomiting.

What I Can and Cannot Do

So if I get quiet please understand. I don’t feel good. I will keep posting my art as I can do it. And I will try to stick to my schedule, but there are days I might miss. I will be back full force on days I can. I’ll miss you all.

Art vs. Mania

I feel like I am stealing, but really I am not! I had just come up with my topic for the day and thought, “I’ll write as soon as I go through all my notifications. One of the first posts I read was this one about coping with anxiety through travel. I wanted to comment so much because she wrote my thoughts. Anyway, here it is in case you want to read.

My Day

So today didn’t start out so well. I wasn’t feeling well and I had hoped to get a few things done. So settling for just one or two things I started my day. But a little bit turned into a shopping binge that did not help my purse, my stomach, my headache or my eventual anxiety.

So what did I do?

  • Breakfast
  • Trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond for a new coffee maker
  • Which led to a trip to Michael’s, it was right next door
  • Grocery store for creamer
  • Home to use my new coffee maker
  • A lot of reading and video watching to try and make my coffee maker work
  • A call to the manufacturer to find out it was broken
  • Back to BB&B for a new coffee maker
  • Have coffee, finally.
  • Arrange flowers I got at Michael’s in pots on my patio
  • Sweat a lot!!!
  • Trip to almost forgotten acupuncture session

Needless to say I feel no better and maybe even worse.

What I Wish I Had Known 12 Hours Ago

All of the above is a great sign I am manic. Well, not the not feeling well, but all the doing and buying, that is mania for sure. After all that I did I learned a lesson. There is more than one way to skin a cat!

Mania is one of my most miserable places that feels so good you just can’t help it. And I should know if I want to buy anything over 50 bucks I might just be heading to that spot on the map. And it is such an out of control place. BUT!!! I learned something when I got home. I sat down to do my watercolor for the day and lo and behold I felt calmer. And what was really nice was what I did turned out really well because I was more energetic about it. It wasn’t a “I’ll just kick this out and not worry about if it is too good and be done with it.” Instead it was, “how can I make something really beautiful” and stick to it until I succeed. I am new to watercolor so I let myself off the hook when something doesn’t look as good as it could. But today I didn’t.

So my theory, art battles mania! I knew it could work on my anxiety, but I never thought about mania. The next time I feel like spending over 50 dollars I am going to come up with an art project. If after that I still feel like that money is going to be well spent then okay, but first I need to give myself a chance to see if I am manic. If I am then I need to keep on doing the art. If what I want to buy is in fact necessary then spend away. But I do think I need to keep to online buying, having that store right next door was too much of a temptation. If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have even thought to look at those things.

So here is my leaf. It’s not situated on the page all that well, but I can trim it down later. Right now I am worn out!

My Maple Leaf! I’m Kind of Proud.

Sleep Apnea and Mental Health

What One Has to Do with the Other

Photo by SHAHBAZ AKRAM on Pexels.com

Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing while you are sleeping. There are different things they look at when they test for sleep apnea. The three I know of are how many times you stop breathing, how long do you stop breathing and then what your pulse ox is at different periods of time while you are sleeping. When I was tested I stopped breathing 8 times in the night. That isn’t great, but it isn’t bad. My problem was my pulse ox. That is how much oxygen is saturating your blood. I drop down to 62%, which is bad, really bad.

When your blood doesn’t have oxygen, neither do your organs, including your brain. So everything suffers. And if you have mental health problems the fact that your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen means it can’t function properly to help you cope with your mental health problems.

Some of the really annoying things about sleep apnea are the headaches every morning, the inability to think straight, the fatigue. I mean there are lots more, but those are the ones that keep me completely befuddled everyday.

Treatment

Sadly there is only one treatment for sleep apnea and that is a CPAP machine. What it does is it goes on your mouth and or nose and when it senses you have stopped breathing it gently pushes air into your mouth and or nose and you start to breathe again. There are 3 masks that I know of, the mouth, nose and full face. I have tried them all and have not been able to keep them on.

The masks are great unless the seal between the mask and your face breaks, then you are in a wind tunnel. In my case that happens constantly. So I get no sleep at all. Well, I start out at 3 hours and then each night it gets worse. Eventually I can’t even keep the seal for the amount of time it takes me to fall asleep.

Now I am to be introduced to a new apparatus. I don’t really like to call it a mask, it doesn’t cover your face. It’s called the Bleep. It has two plugs that go in your nose. You are supposedly able to move, supposedly you don’t lose the seal, supposedly it is loads better. We shall see I guess. I know I really hope it works. A drop in blood oxygen affects every organ in your body. So my liver and kidneys that are overloaded with medicines are attacked even more so. My pancreas is affected, so my diabetes is affected. My lungs are affected so heaven forbid I should get Covid-19 at this point. My intestines are affected so my IBS-C is affected, I am also more likely to get a stroke…I think you get the idea.

My doctor has managed to scare me half to death now, and I was scared before she went on her rant that I had to make this work. So here is hoping. And if you have sleep apnea, please take it seriously. Truly, there is nothing it doesn’t affect.

Bipolar: Mania: When My World Spins

I am bipolar. That means I can be very sad for no reason, or out of control happy for no reason. I am on medication for this and as a general rule it works well. Unfortunately, because I also have an anxiety disorder and PTSD my medication is a real balancing act. If you change one little thing everything can go haywire.

I started to realize yesterday that I was sliding into mania, the really happy and out of control part of myself. What each person experiences as mania can differ. For me it is super happy and see how much I can spend and still eat. Yesterday I spent a lot of money on arts and crafts. Which today I realized was more of a problem that I had thought.

Here’s why: over the last few weeks I have found myself trying to do everything! I had already been taking a class on drawing. Then I added learning the ocarina. In the last 2 weeks I have bought things for creative journaling and collage. Then in the last few days I added watercolor and watercolor sketching. And lets not forget my new blog. How many hours are in a day again? And how much space does my little apartment have? Oh and creative cooking, mustn’t forget that either.

Thankfully I am now aware of what I am doing, and I have an appointment with my doctor next week. So hopefully I can get a handle on it all. I mean I really want to do all this stuff, but I need to be realistic too.

For all of you out there that are struggling, just know you are not alone. And there is no shame in getting help.

Writing Slump

I am at a total loss as to what to write about. I have one post planned, but I haven’t been up to doing the research for it. I haven’t been up to doing much of anything for 2 days now.

Yesterday morning at the grocery store my hip just suddenly started hurting. Now I am used to pain, I am in pain all the time. But I struggle with new pain. This was new. And it does not want to go away. So as I struggle with a new pain and getting used to it, I am in an everything slump. I can’t convince myself to do anything. Well I have played my ocarina some. But not much and nothing else. TV and bed, that’s it.

So bear with me, or is it bare? I am going to adjust, I always do, and then I will be able to focus better.

Fatigue and Fibromyalgia

One of the real downfalls of fibromyalgia is poor sleep. I don’t know how many times I woke up last night. Once from dry eyes, two or three times from nightmares, and who knows how many times just to get more comfortable. It wasn’t rest, it was exhausting. So the downside, other than more pain, is fatigue. I took 3 naps today between 12 and 330. Obviously those weren’t all that restful either as it was less than three and a half hours I got out of it. In fact, as I sit here thinking what to put down, my eyes start to droop.

Some of the pitfalls of the fatigue is lack of concentration, I can look at a sentence, see the word go, and read inches. This isn’t an exageration. I am always rereading things trying to make some sense out of it. It’s frustrating to say the least since I love to read.

Another problem is I lack the stamina to do much around the house or in taking care of my dog. He is a very understanding little guy, especially because I have gotten a neighbor to start taking him on her long walks with her dog. But with me it is slow, easy, short and never far from the house.

Another is body weight. Because I don’t have the energy for exercise, or much of it, my body weight has skyrocketed. I was a size 4 when I got sick, now I am like a 20, maybe an 18. I am struggling now to bring that down. Walking as much as I can and being more mindful of what I eat. And if I can get my act together I have found a new exercise program that I hope I can do.

Headaches and muscle pains. What came first? Lack of sleep or the pain? I believe the pain, but it would be really hard to tell.

So what does a girl do? Well to tell the truth I have been doing this for 16 years, so it is my normal. Most of the time I smile and I mean it. Most of the time I pace myself and rest as necessary. And all of the time I put my reliance on Jehovah. But sometimes on days like today I just sleep and sleep and sleep waiting for one of the naps to catch me up.

The Lesson of Pharoah’s Dream; Fat and Skinny Cows

So I was looking at my memories on facebook and 4 years ago I was reading about Pharoah’s dream of the fat cows and the skinny cows. This can be found at Genesis 41. I appreciated it as much today as I did then. Here is what I got out of it.

First the interpretation of the dreams (there was a dream about grain too but it had the same interpretation). The dream meant that for seven years there would be an abundance of food, thus the fat cows. Then for the seven years after that there would be famine, the skinny cows. In the dream the skinny cows ate up the fat cows.

Next, how I took this personally and want to apply it. I have three emotional disorders, PTSD, bipolar, and an anxiety disorder. So to me the fat cows are the good times. The times everything is running smoothly. The skinny cows represent the bad times. Times when I can’t get my act together.

Now, upon interpreting the dream for Pharoah, Joseph advised him to get someone wise and discerning to save up food from the good years to prepare for the bad. (the skinny cows eating the fat cows) I find that with my mental health, as well as my physical health I can do the same thing. When you have a good day, make a note of it. Do it in a journal, facebook, just find a way to make note of it so that you can go back and see it again during the not so great (or flat out horrible) days. This will lead you to reminiscing times that were good and changing your attitude to a more pleasant one.

Some people say the Bible is outdated and not useful for today. I disagree. Right here I took a Bible story, one that would seem to not have much relevance, and applied it to my life. I found quite a bit of value in it. So secondary point of this post is don’t disregard the Bible. It is useful for today’s world and today’s society.

Visit jw.org for more information on applying the Bible in your life.

Isolation or Association

Or maybe both…

In this time of worrisome health bugs it seems like maybe Jehovah’s guidance to not isolate is wrong. But from my perspective it is still right on point. Proverbs 18:1 says, “Whoever isolates himself pursues his own selfish desires; He rejects all practical wisdom.” Of course today with Covid-19 running rampant we DON’T want to be running around and visiting and gathering and ignoring the advice to social distance. But thankfully we have other ways to gather together and from my point of view we need to take advantage of them.

I have an anxiety disorder and PTSD and to be honest this whole being at home and isolated has been horrible. Due to other illnesses and not feeling good for a week and a half I have done the bare minimum in socialization and I feel like the world is so far away from me. I talk to one person regularly on the phone and I make our meetings at our virtual Kingdom Hall on Zoom!. But I find that is not enough. We need to take advantage of the technology we have to stay connected.

When we reject the wisdom from above, God’s word the Bible, we will fare badly. So stay in touch with family and friends. Use all that is available to you. This goes for everyone, but especially I want to reach out to those who already suffer from mental health problems like myself. If we don’t want to go down the deep, dark rabbit hole then we need to stay connected. Nobody needs to know your issues, just call friends, text someone, chat, meet up in Zoom!, FaceTime, that’s a thing! Or, go old school and treat someone to a letter! I love getting letters and cards. There are still so many ways to social distance and hug each other at the same time. Do it for yourself and for your loved ones. This dividing virus could actually bring us together if we let it.