Actually encouraging

I have just looked over my latest blood test and realize I am healthier than that ole GFR reveals. ALL electrolytes except phosphorus (phosphate) are in range, even carbon dioxide, which is PERFECT. Phosphorus improved. Blood sugar is normal. My BP is normal. I may be dehydrated, which is understandable since I have to be on the bus an entire hour prior to the blood test and by then, I’m thirsty.

Now I need to improve anemia and phosphate. Other RBC values are off such as hematocrit (which is always off) and a couple of others. Still, the NORMAL electrolytes explains a lot…but I already knew my electrolytes are normal, didn’t I? If they were off, yes, I would know it. Like instantly!

I’m wondering why I crave protein. I need to cut down and increase fluids. It is hot out! I think I will try for a few days and see if my lips are less dry.

Meanwhile, I also figured out (using logic) why I had the lung problem. I do not expect it back anytime soon! This is why it happened….

I broke my ankle May 20. I wasn’t eating very much and was concerned that I wasn’t getting enough energy, but I also didn’t have any appetite after the fracture. Still, one day I woke up and my bra barely fit me. I put myself on the scale and noticed, almost overnight, I’d gained ten pounds! Now you gotta realize I’m mini to start with, so ten pounds on a mini-person is a lot. It’s also concerning because it’s a sign of worsening kidney disease, mainly due to fluids in the body.

The problem was that while one leg was very swollen, it was like suddenly this was all over my body. I know that the heat can cause this, but this is too extreme for comfort. That’s when I ended up with the lung problem. But why?

Here is my theory, and it may, or may not, be correct. It’s just logic at work here. I had to realize that a fracture is an extreme assault to the body, and even to the mind, especially until I got the dog walkers. I believe I swelled up due to the normal inflammatory response, which is how the body can react. Edema is a form of inflammation.

I could tell it was edema. I had swelling in the one leg, but also in my good leg and in other parts, too, including my face. Since then, the swelling has vacillated to the extreme, but mostly, it’s going down. I was aggressive with herbal medicine to try to reduce the fluid and also, continued to exercise (as much as I could).

I am able to walk up hills just fine now. It was very scary when that happened. No, it wasn’t a panic attack. It happened repeatedly upon exertion, climbing hills and walking fast. After shock treatments I had a lot of panic attacks! So I know the difference.

I’m wondering also if since I had that blood test Monday, when the edema was really bad, then maybe it affected the results. I have also gone back to normal pharma thyroid since I can’t seem to get the dose right of the natural stuff.

By the way, I feel quite good overall. As usual! I was so happy that today my internet has been out so that got me excused from work. I worked on my book (finishing touches) and did a few other things. I invented a recipe and went out house-hunting.

What did you do today?

Cure? Why? I want to feel stuff!

check this out:

Who on earth would want this? I want to feel the pain. I want to cry all I want, likely totally in private. I want to understand the event fully, and that means feeling stuff. I even want it to overwhelm me at times.

Why? This is what makes me who I am. Why are we so determined to get rid of pain? Pain helps us.

What if I felt no pain when I broke my ankle? Likely, I wouldn’t have cared that my foot looked funny, continued to walk on it (because I could, after all, without pain) and then, severed a tendon.

What if I wasn’t traumatized by psych abuse? God bless pain, god bless the fear that it all produced. That was what got me out of the System and saved my life.

I am blessed. How are you blessed?

Excerpt from Life After Lithium

This excerpt is from early on in the book, when I discuss my life before I started lithium.

It was at Options Day Treatment where I was introduced to the concept of mental illness as a “real” medical disease. I was almost relieved. So it wasn’t my fault. Suddenly, my eating disorder was no longer a moral issue! It was a chemical imbalance that caused it all! This answered the nature/nurture issue for me. Solved! Although the therapists continued to try to find something wrong with my upbringing I was positive, finally, that this was all chemical. I decided to pursue this further after my mother found a book in a bookstore by two Harvard doctors, called New Hope for Binge Eaters. This book represented groundbreaking work at the time. Somehow, through research, these doctors had shown that the drug Imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant, could stop binge eating in its tracks. After pouring through this book I was determined to get my hands on this pill.

I felt ashamed to admit my true feelings aloud to anyone, though. I was afraid to say just how badly I wanted this pill. If the solution was that easy, why wouldn’t these doctors give it to me in an instant? They had the power. I was powerless. Why, in turn, did I not come out and say what I wanted directly? “Please, just write a prescription for Imipraminine so I can end this horror story once and for all!”

The doctors and therapists told me something similar to what many with eating disorders were often told, especially back then before the death of Karen Carpenter. These professionals didn’t believe I really had anything very serious at all, especially since I stated I did not vomit. Some of them thought I was “faking it for attention.” Others believed I was lying. “You look okay, what’s the problem?”

As for Imipramine, later on, it didn’t take long for the research results to fall flat. Perhaps the study was flawed, or the virtues of the drug were overblown in the literature. I didn’t know this, though. I was still determined to try anything I could to get hold of this pill. Therapy was making me worse. How could I find a psychiatrist who might believe me? I went to a few and they only turned me away, saying I didn’t have a mental illness, or at least not one worthy of their time. My friend urged me, “Tell them you are anxious. Or say you can’t sleep. That’ll work.” I tried these tactics but neither method succeeded to get me on drugs. Finally, my friend told me if I go to an ER, that will finally get them to listen. It was January, 1983.

Being admitted got me pills, but didn’t get me the kindness and understanding about my eating disorder that I really needed. I managed to get a different therapist, a private practice one this time, who promised to do a better job. Still I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. I didn’t know if I should say anything. I was afraid of hurting his feelings. The pills didn’t seem to be the right ones, either. They made me pace around the unit. I also noticed after a week or so my hands got shaky. After I was discharged I noticed the pills had no positive effect on my eating problem. I didn’t know what to do. Was it the wrong pill? Utterly discouraged, I got myself admitted again and again, hoping this time they’d understand just how much binge eating was wrecking my life. I hoped each time they’d give me the right one, or say some magic words that would fix this once and for all.

Not particularly significant…..

Yesterday I received my blood test results. I finally got something more comprehensive than I have been getting.

I have learned that I do not have elevated albumin. I need to research this because it is of course to my advantage that this is the case. It affects the “progression” of kidney disease.

I was discouraged to see that my creatinine has risen. However, it’s not impossibly up there. It’s still lower than it was last December. So that means my basic GFR, which has risen to 18, is now a discouraging 16.  But that depends on how you calculate it. There are different formulas. Depending, I may, or may not, be in End Stage. I say this with a bit of humor since I do not feel at all like I’m on death’s door. I do feel weak, kinda, but it’s 90 degrees in here which likely explains a lot. It’s exceptionally hot out.

Wanna know a secret? Baking in the heat will save your kidneys! For this reason, if you have kidney disease, try turning off your AC, or if possible, go without it! Your skin is your second kidney! Your skin can and will do the job your kidneys cannot do. This is how I will survive the summer!

After that, I’m going to invest in a gym membership that includes a sauna. Or maybe, if I’m owning my own home (I might!), purchase a sauna, but I’m not sure of the cost. Are you? Looks like $1,000 at Costco, and you assemble it yourself. If I’m going to buy a sauna might as well purchase a treadmill while I am at it. Oh, please throw in some designer earrings and a vacation in Egypt. Naw, maybe I can’t afford all that stuff. But I could if I penny-pinched. I already do penny-pinch. I’m sitting here baking!

I did not feel well yesterday, but here’s why: I did too much, for one thing. I won’t overcrowd my time that way again.

I should mention that I climbed up a long, steep hill and did not huff and puff. I’m extremely happy that I have bypassed that awful phenomenon. Really it it totally unpleasant to have to gasp for air. I felt so happy that I could go up those hills and not have to worry!

Later, I locked my keys in the house. I went into Downtown Pittsburgh knowing I’d have to call for help upon my arrival home, but that’s not what happened. Turned out yesterday, I hadn’t quite latched the door. Good thing! Either way, I still can’t find my keys but I have located spares. I think it’s odd that my keys are totally missing…but not a disaster.

Today I got to do some writing that I feel great about. Also, the article that some of you know about (upcoming, on the cyber school) will be coming out in MIA very shortly. Meanwhile, I’ve been just about done with my book for at least a month now. I need to start getting it read and proofread.

What would you do if you knew, due to some medical test, that you didn’t have long to live? Would you then live it up, doing drugs and having lots of sex? Or would you work very hard at lengthening your life? Would you just give up?

These questions run through my head, but not really that much. One thing I’m not doing is giving up. Other than that, I think I am indeed having a good time.

For all the worry about carbon emissions…Why are we overlooking the obvious?

I just saw an article stating that concrete manufacture is a bigger cause of carbon emissions than trucks. But when I saw the chart I could see that cars and trucks were separated. Here’s the breakdown:

7.9 percent from cars, 6.1 percent from trucks = a whopping 14% from vehicles.

The obvious? Take the bus! My dad studied public transit a long time ago. Studies showed then, and still show now, that increasing or improving service will increase ridership. But the reverse of this is also true. They add more routes and get more funding if they make more money off of passenger fares.

Ride a bike! Bikes are a great way to get around. If more people understood the value of riding a bike, more would ride, and that’s going to mean more bike paths and beautiful places to ride.

Walk or run! It’s gorgeous out here! Go enjoy the outdoors before the entire human race and all the creatures here die off.

Vote for candidates that support public transit, who don’t want to see it cut, who understand its value. Bring public transit to the concrete areas like Los Angeles. Promote freedom from vehicle ownership. It might go viral, after all.