Fiera's Diary

Llama

Well-known member
Good luck with your doctor's appointments. At least if you've been having the same issues with memory and concentration for over ten years it doesn't seem to be progressing.
 

Fiera

Active member
Yesterday I restarted T / P hormones on advice of meds dr. Will try to make it a habit. I have them on the bathroom counter, otherwise they are out of sight - out of mind.

I ate pretty healthy and managed until I got into two bowls of flake cereal - with cane sugar sprinkled on top - around 9P. I really think I have this comfort-association with having a full tummy at bed time. But I will still recognize the good things I did (namely having salad for brekkie and cooking shrimp and having salad for dinner). Today I have a steak to cook that I pulled out of the freezer a couple of days ago. I will have it over a couple of meals in the next couple of days. Steak in salad, steak tacos. I will grill it after I get home from the orthopedic doc.

Grilling season is helpful for me. Tossing a protein and some kind of veg over open flame smells and tastes great, and it helps me shrink my carb intake. Cooking over the stove makes such a mess all the time. My kitchen has no exhaust fan and cleaning the stove is a pain. Grilling FTW.

The price of avocados has me leaving this dietary staple in the supermarket for the time being. I think I am not the only one. I am hoping to catch flash sales from time to time. $3.50 each is too much to pay when you sometimes get home and find they are already going bad. What irks me is that the stores will rather see them rot than reduce the price to $1 to clear them out. Or they will charge 2 for $5 but they are these little tiny ones you need 2 of to make one full sized one...or they are already entirely soft (which I can't eat due to the tyramine). Sadly there is no good substitute for avocado.

Food is an area where I can save money, both in the store and ordering out. I don't waste much food, but I can consume less that is for sure. If I get back to the good and the green I will drop weight and feel better, and I will know my food money is going to good use.
 

Fiera

Active member
Good luck with your doctor's appointments. At least if you've been having the same issues with memory and concentration for over ten years it doesn't seem to be progressing.

I suppose that is a positive way to look at it. And this stuff about aphantasia and memory is revealing. I read a blog post that I related to, about how the ways that we have coped all our lives can fail to keep up and eventually manifests things like social anxiety and insecurity. Like wow. When you can meet someone and have a conversation and then not remember the person when you meet them again, that awareness and the associated embarrassment is pretty bad. I recognized this at one point at work and would try to study pictures of people or notes before I went into meetings, It would help, because for me repetition allows for recognition. It explains for example why I always retain more when I take lots of notes...I for years knew that I retained things better if I wrote it down, that the act of writing itself was part of the process that my brain needed to grab on to a concept. And why taking notes in the margins always did the same thing. Information presented visuallly goes immediately away, and information presented audibily was better. Neither was great. But repetition was always helpful. This explains why I could not often remember the outcome of a set facts, yet I could consistently and reliably reach the same conclusions for a set of facts. My processor, my analytics worked great! My memory not great at all! And when my tools started failing me - when I was not matched to the tasks I needed to complete, or the behaviors I needed to emulate; when I was overloaded with the challenges, I lost my ability to perform. 10 years ago, right in her notes, my old therapist was saying that cognitively I am spending so much energy trying to suppress and manage emotions, that it was taking away from my ability to focus and do the work at hand. In other words, when the conditions at the job and my personal relationships were demanding so much cognitive attention, I became unable to use my cognitive shortcuts and life skills at the same time.

What this all suggests is that I have to resolve the emotional components and get recentered in order to be at my best functioning. Not like this is a surprise or different from other people. But it does suggest perhaps a reason why I have felt so deeply incapacitated. There surely is and has been a lot of suppressed emotion. It comes up still when I think about my job and I think about L; when I think about family; when I think about lost time.
 

Llama

Well-known member
I am hoping to catch flash sales from time to time. $3.50 each is too much to pay when you sometimes get home and find they are already going bad.
I thought ours were expensive but that's insane! I can get a small avocado for 1€ at some stores and even that is more than I want to pay regularly. A shame, because they're delicious, but I seem to remember they need a lot of water to grow so it's probably better for the planet if I don't have 3 a week anyway...
When you can meet someone and have a conversation and then not remember the person when you meet them again, that awareness and the associated embarrassment is pretty bad.
Oh god that used to happen to me all the time, mostly with guys I'd chatted with for a bit and then agreed to go on a date with. Also means I never had a clue if dudes from dating apps used someone else's face for their profile pic :rotflmao:Then they'd think I was just being polite so they'd awkwardly, anxiously bring it up which was kind of hilarious.
10 years ago, right in her notes, my old therapist was saying that cognitively I am spending so much energy trying to suppress and manage emotions, that it was taking away from my ability to focus and do the work at hand.
I never thought of it that way but it makes a ton of sense. Like a computer getting stuck.
 

Trusylver

Sport and Exercise Coach
Staff member
The price of avocados has me leaving this dietary staple in the supermarket for the time being. I think I am not the only one. I am hoping to catch flash sales from time to time. $3.50 each

The cost of fresh food can be a big challenge in some areas, Living in a regional farm area means that it is not much of a problem here for locally grown foods but food from elsewhere can be very expensive due to freight. Avocado is on my allergy list so not one I need to worry about.
 

Fiera

Active member
I am waking up with a rare morning of sunshine (rare this entire Spring so far). I got a full nights' sleep again. Yay. I did feel like I was alert later than usual last night, not sleepy as early. I am really happy that I - for the first time in what seems like ages - managed to NOT SNACK IN THE EVENING after dinner.

Self-applause!!! 😄👏👏👏😄🎉🎉🎉🎉

Ha ha. One thing that helped was that I brushed my teeth and stuck my night guard in around 8:30, which is also when I put on the progesterone cream. All of those,are things I don't typically do and then I fall asleep on the couch doing none of them.

I did fall asleep on the couch and it was deliberate. It is just so cold in my room and the dog bed in there is not the kind that KDog can curl up in....and I just cannot do that to her. She will sleep wherever I sleep no matter how hard it is for her. Soon the temps will be warmer (I hope) and when I come into some extra cash I can buy another bolster bed. For now, the couch will do. Turning the TV off is a good help.

The past 2 days have been good in terms of collecting myself. I haven't really been checking in with people and getting on the phone like I usually feel I need to in order to support people. My dad (w gf) is home for the summer so I cut yesterdays call short after making arrangements to drive out and visit Friday. S I just kind of said good morning to. AN, CC I have let sit. Proggy has been busy at work and we kept last nights call shorter as I was working through a stack of papers and organizing my to-do list. SB will be there when I am ready for a walk. Saylor I can also call but during drive time or something. I was actually able to get some medical records sorted, make a couple of appointments, got new orthopedic inserts, etc. The quiet and calm of just sorting my to-do's and notes into piles is helping a sense of calm and serenity.

I also signed up for a program my doc offers which will provide ongoing lifestyle coaching in addition to regular doc stuff. The decision and money were hanging over my head, but it will just make things simpler and it may only be needed for a year or two. My CW seems to be up and fluctuating since I put batteries the scale, but generally I am about 178 and so that is my new/old SW.

I got out a blank sheet of paper and started writing down the reasons I wanted to get my weight down (138 for target) and fitness up. There is a long list of things which will be easier. A list of ways I will save money. A list of ways that it will support mental state and things I will stop avoiding. I have been noticing it a lot lately, I don't want to go to this reunion or that concert because of how I look and feel. I have nothing to wear. I don't know what fits. It creates all this clutter and uncertainty. And I finally see it for what it is in all this stupidity, to be going through my life like this. OF COURSE I don't feel like I am living life, when I am subconsciously saying to myself "you can't go to that, you are too overweight, you look terrible."

I just wasn't really recognizing that inner voice or what it was saying. Partly because there was too much noise going on in my life. But when I was getting over the flu and weak last week, trying to find something - anything - in my closet which I could wear to the funeral, I heard that voice talking. And I heard it again on Sunday and Monday while looking at concert listings. My biggest holdback is not money and it is not Proggy. My biggest holdback is being a fat blob with no clothes to wear.

Don't tell me not to talk to myself like that, because I need to say it and hear it and OWN it. And DO SOMETHING about it, finally. To love myself and this gift of a life that I have enough to make it a priority.

I feel so much more at peace with just a couple of days to focus on myself. I want more. I need more. It raises a question of course on whether I need to phase some people out of my life. People who are not willing to do things with me which aren't aligned with my goals. The worst offender is Proggy, because of his tendency to not do or plan anything, and to focus on food as entertainment. He doesn't want to go for a walk and when he does, it is like a mile. I don't have room for that kind of a person to take up the most amount of bandwidth It has been delicate the past couple of weeks due to his brothers' illness/passing. And he is clinging to me even though we are no longer boyfriend/girlfriend. I would like to remain friends but I have to redefine the terms so that I put myself first, and really enjoy the time we *do* spend together.

I have a reunion in November and another in December which feel like targets for me to be down 40 pounds, 6 months/40 pounds would be doable if I have a right focus on eating and exercise. It's the exercise part which is the most intimidating right now, I feel so weak and my knees are not what they used to be. But It also is not going to get any easier if I don't start putting in the work.

It would delight me to emerge from this 40 pound weight and be capable to jog a 5K again.
 

Fiera

Active member
Glad I came back here and see something celebratory. I did it again last night (in addition to spending 18 straight hours sleeping for some reason. My food compulsion seems to have left and I am able to make good choices and also wait to eat. I hope that it is not the 1-2 cigarettes a day I have been having. I rather think that being sick with the flu did something to help reset something - brain chemicals, blood sugar, gut biome, vagus nerve etc.

Today was Cleaning Lady day. I didn't have anywhere to go and I wasn't feeling much energy to go for a walk or go out. So I stayed in. I did finish up the tax documentation and got that filed away. Then I started tackling the bags and boxes of notes, mementos, or just miscellaneous 'things' (the junk drawer equivalent) and started to thin out some things I felt were no longer relevant.

It turns out of course that most of these things I have hung onto are little memory bombs. Folders from trips with scrapbook items, A little broken music box from I which plays Eidelweiss (which needed to be glued together - took care of that now that it has even more significance in light of her passing). Prayer cards and a Rose from S's mom's funeral. Silly putty. Seashells and rocks from a trip I need to try harder to remember. Business cards. Christmas cards and photos. Geneaology printouts/leads. Documentation from my hacker problem. Just a lot. I think what is hardest is that these things have been accumulating since oh, about 2015 give or take. Just more reminders that literally years have been going by and I have soooo many loose ends. And coming at it with fresh eyes and more time, what is no longer relevant (2017 Christmas cards for example). What is important to keep just so I don't forget how it really was (notes from the depths of W's self-inflicted troubles), random journal type writings.

I am really feeling on a cusp of tossing everything. That the past is becoming less relevant with time and the energy expended into trying to save and organize reminders is too much and not serving me. Even this house, I felt detached from. I realized that the detachment part was a defense mechanism, part self-preservation, part wanting to embrace the go-forward because the where-I-am right now feels awfully empty.

I take a few days for myself and it is good and bad. It is good in that I am cleaning house - figuratively as well as literally. It is bad in that when I was feeling an urge to medicate with a drink, I wasn't able to just reach out and talk with someone I haven't talked to in a week or so without the need to apologize and go through all the small talk and pretend everything is OK.

I am not Ok. It is a minor downturn and not something I expect to be dealing with more than a day or two. Surprisingly one of the things which added to my depression was Cleaning Lady asking for a raise. It has been quite some time and I trust her and I want to keep her on. But when she told me what other clients are paying and that she was asking for less than that, it did affect me. I have no desire to pay her less than other clients. But the truth is, between having no income and inflation running off the rails, I started to see ahead to a time when I won't be able to keep her any more. And I just restarted lawn service this year because I can't do that all myself anymore either.

Which leads me to confront the fact that I need to revisit my budgeting, and get a grip on what my investor is doing.

In addition to trying to figure out how I can bring in $20-30K per year without compromising my flexible schedule, I also am thinking about - well - my demise. It seems like all we do is plan so that I don't run out of money. But I need fun and I need joy and I need laughs a lot more than I need to live to be 90. In fact, what would be so darn awful about having a plan so that when the money runs out, I just turn out the lights? Maybe then I could stop worrying about it so much.
 

Llama

Well-known member
It is bad in that when I was feeling an urge to medicate with a drink, I wasn't able to just reach out and talk with someone I haven't talked to in a week or so without the need to apologize and go through all the small talk and pretend everything is OK.
Maybe that's part of not spending so much energy managing your emotions: telling people you're NOT ok. That you're struggling and don't want to talk aboit but do want some company/distraction. Or actually talk about things irl.
Because while
In fact, what would be so darn awful about having a plan so that when the money runs out, I just turn out the lights? Maybe then I could stop worrying about it so much.
has for years been the thought stopper I use when I get overly and unproductively anxious about the future (and for that it's comforting) it's ultimately cold comfort. Not bad in itself but it comes with a side of "how would it affect other people if I did?" Which in turn leads to trying to make people care less about me so they won't be hurt. And that's bad for both me and them and I'm going to confidently claim that it would be bad for you and your loved ones as well.
 

Fiera

Active member
LaMa I see your point and don't disagree when others are involved and considering the impact on them. But I also feel like by the time frame (80? 85?) that it would become a serious consideration there won't be people left in my life to be bothered by it. No kids, no grandkids, no nieces and nephews. Just friends. In fact anyone left would totally get it...because I am going to start being more vocal about this expectation for my life. I don't want to be in an institution. I don't want to live for years in physical pain and mental anguish like my mom. And if I get to the point that I am out of money and I cannot figure out how to survive, well then I am ok saying "I had a good ride, now I will bow out peacefully and end my suffering". For me it is a construct which will help me live more fully in the today, rather than worrying about end of life security. And if I AM blessed enough to have family or friends who do give a crap at that point in my life, well then I won't be so alone in trying to survive, and life might well be worth sticking around.

I am not talking about the next 10 or 15 years. I am talking about these damn actuaries who tell you that you need to plan to live til 95 and figure out a way to pay for it. Why should I? It's just stupid. It makes far more sense for me to travel or take pottery classes or spend money on good running shoes or pay someone to clean my house than it does for me to sit here doing nothing because I might need the money to pay for nursing care when I am 90. That is a crappy deal and I am no longer willing to live with that fear hanging over my head. Checking out instead of lingering on when life is no longer bringing you joy seems like an elegant and dignified solution to me.

Again that this would be all out in the open and planned thoughtfully. I wouldn't want anyone to just happen upon me some day. I think there should be a peaceful option like those dying with dignity clinics. Things all in order and then the lights get turned out. Solves so much needless suffering. Really I don't know why there is such a taboo about talking about this. I feel like I am getting honest with thoughts and feelings inside of me which are legit and I have nothing to be ashamed of.

And I am fine I really am. In fact, this entire topic leaves me feeling MORE optimistic about the prospects ahead for my life, rather than the opposite. Get busy living! 🙂😎
 

Fiera

Active member
After a few days of more managed eating I am reading 174.7 on the scale this morning. I have been drinking water so I know that it is not just water weight; I think rather that my body has cleared out some inflammation and junk.

I noticed a difference when I zipped up my windbreaker this morning. Yay. NSV.

This morning I took an online test for ADD recommended by my meds doc. It is about 15 minutes of watching 1 of 4 symbols appear on the screen one at a time, then pressing a button when a symbol repeats. I don't think I did bad and I don't think I did as well as I would have when I was younger. My mind was so sharp and my focus was so good once upon a time. My mind is more vaporous now. I assume the doc will call me in a day or two. It is annoying that I have to pay for it out of pocket. Just like my hormone medication and just like my integrative medicine doc. Not sure why I even bother paying for insurance, it doesn't cover much of what I need.

Yesterday I made some progress going through totes of papers and stuff. I think I mentioned it already. The silly putty is still sitting on the coffee table, Really. Just put it in the donate box already Fiera. Or else in the "toy" box of novelties. Just make a darn decision.
 

Llama

Well-known member
I do think it's important for people to talk about these topics more. As long as you know what you're doing: more power to you.
 

Cate

Long-term member.
I agree that it's very important to have more of these conversations & get things out in the open. I have started planning our funerals & will try to work on it regularly. I don't want to go into a home & die a slow, demeaning death either. Hopefully, in the next 10 years or so, we will have voluntary assisted dying for non-life-threatening illnesses. Maybe past a certain age? It would be much better to think that you can plan for your future death & then put it out of your mind & live well.
 

Fiera

Active member
Thank you Cate and LaMa for your open and useful comments. Being able to determine what I want, and then being able to openly express that, is a validating experience.

Yesterday the crave monster came back. I had small breakfast (yogurt, egg) and lunch (egg salad, open faced, small bread). Then driving out to my Dad's with a few stops planned along the way, my brain started wanting a chocolate chunk cookie. It led to me getting 2nd lunch of chicken breast sandwich with chocolate cake from a drive through. Later, I was still craving a cookie and I stopped at shop which gave me free trial cookie cards about 6 weeks ago. Chocolate chip cookie as big as my hand consumed. Then later after I got home I had hot dog, mac/cheese/naan bread. It was back to my old bing-ey self, for no specific reason I can identify.

I was feeling tired still from my illness, and it was hard to force myself to make the long drive. All I have is that perhaps my body started craving some extra carbs to match the effort involved? Then once I got on the carb wagon my body started pushing for more more more? Silly. That was easily two days worth of calories that I ate yesterday. Today my goal is to be moderate; I know from past experience if I try to have a very low calorie day to offset a high one, it will just result in a binge. The key is to try to get more exercise instead, I am still feeling weak but I *am* feeling better and so will take KDog out for a walk before the storms arrive. We have hardly walked in the 2 weeks since Proggys brother died and we both caught the flu.

I think I will go do that now while my energy is still relatively good.
 

Fiera

Active member
Walked a mile with KDog, good thing we turned around at the 1/2 mile mark. We had a bit of rain sprinkles which turned into a steady rain once we got back to the car. Napped after I got home.

Tornado warned storm this afternoon; hid out in the basement closet. All was fine and actually didn't get water on the neighbors side, which is hopeful. Did get some on the S side of the house which is OK cause I can do something about that.

I used the basement toilet and noticed that the water kept "running". It has done that a few times but it would shut off after I played with it. Not this time. I guess the innards are toast. I tried shutting the water valve off under the tank and it is too old and started leaking all over the floor. Another valve up the line is simply old and got a droplet of water on it when I tried turning it, so I decided to leave it...ended up having to shut off the water to the entire house. Since it is Saturday evening it would be overtime to have someone out, so I am going to be waterless until at least Monday. It's not a huge deal, though I haven't had a shower yet today, I can go to SB's or Proggys or my Dad's tomorrow.

I am glad that I seem to be handling things a bit better w/r/t the house.

Am streaming (audio) of my Dad's hockey team. I would like to stream the video but they only offer an annual package - not worth the price for me. I did splurge today on a weather app, but that only costs $10 a year.

Another band of storms is on the way. They look to be quite intense. Hopefully we won't have another tornado warning, It's starting to get dark and it's a different ball game getting the dog down in the basment with lightning and pouring rain in the dark.

I am grateful to have some quietude for the now.
 

Fiera

Active member
Frustratingly, the NE leak occurred again sometime after I left the basement after the first round. It seems to take a while for the soil to get saturated or something before it starts up. Only the basement waterproofing companies want to sell me drain tile and sump pump; everyone else says don't do it. Esp. because making the sump pump reservoir (cutting a hole in the foundation) is a great way to end up with radon in your home. So....I just keep with it...thinking that my gc is right and I need to have everything re cleaned and re camera'd. Maybe I will do the soil correction on the S side first. It's $2K-$2.5K and pretty much everyone says that is not causing my problem. So...I get stuck a bit on what to spend money on first.

Heading to Proggy's soon. Bringing a few things to take water home
with me. Going to buy coffee on the way over to his place to economize. I admit that it is a bit fun to see how one uses water and how much, (It's only fun because it is temporary and I have places I can easily go to get some). But I apparently wash my hands a lot. I used the dehumidifier water in the basement to refill (partially) that toilet tank. So that is clever. Keeping fresh water in KDog's bowl is a key water use. Not having water for laundry or dishes is OK temporarily but if I don't have the water back on by Tuesday I will need options. I like what a change of circumstance can teach me. Awareness and gratitude. And creativity. And interdependence.

It is about time for me to head out...wishing everyone a good day.
 

Cate

Long-term member.
I always have filled water containers under the laundry trough & the kitchen sink for when the power goes out. I keep it in 5-litre containers that I have bought filled with a coconut-based cleaning liquid, that I use for just about everything. We lose power reasonably often when birds hit a transformer or a tree comes down over the lines. Tornadoes would be scary. I'm sure glad we don't get them.
Knowing what to spend money on first in your house I understand totally. It's very hard to decide.
 

Fiera

Active member
Loooong day. First it looked like I might be able to get away with $30 in parts and some luck and courage. Later realized that indications are that the seal under the toilet is leaking, and so back to replacing toilet. Found a much more reasonable plumber. I did need to order a "tall" toilet to clear an old water intake for a wall mounted tank. So, so much I have learned today. Also getting potable water from the drinking fountain at the park and non-potable water from the utility closet sink. Will ask SB to use her shower tomorrow if it looks like the plumber cannot come.

I took KDog out to get pup cups to celebrate her bday. This was complicated by the fact that our usual store was out of them. The 5th store we went to had them. I couldn't let her down. She lit up when I said "ice cream" and she was not going to be pleased with any substitute. She is so smart and so sweet and so determined to get what she wants.

Listened to the end of the hockey game (dad's team). It was exciting and they advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Also, some new health concerns observed by Peaches, but cardio doc says to watch and also make sure he sees lung doctor.

I am worn out so knocking off for the eve.
 

Fiera

Active member
The forecast says "dreary" and that is accurate. The heavy grey outside is getting lighter and there is a steadying gentle rain pinging against the window and onto the metal awning over the back door.

My anxiety kicked in yesterday as I was attempting to address the toilet shutoff valve and fill valve. I think I would have ultimately been able to do it, with a back up plant of course to call a plumber in if my courage or skill failed me. But the discovery of what appeared to be a seal leak under the toilet put all the plans back on hold. The social group where I had been asking questions was the source for the new plumber referral; local family-owned 2nd generation business - they are making good money and a honest living for doing honest work. Universally the group had said my original plumber was charging too much ("taking advantage" "ridiculous" etc.) I will go to the home store in a little while, after I get KDog out to take a morning potty in the rain.

I was concerned about the ongoing operation of the boiler and hot water tank with the water main turned off. So I reattached the shutoff to the toilet in the basement to slow down the flow and then flipped on the main. Miraculously the toilet shutoff is holding for the time being, which means I can leave the water on and flush the system and take a shower if the plumber is not coming this morning.

I guess I had better get going to the home store. The toilet is prepaid but there is likely to be a parade of contractors picking up orders and I will have to wait in line for help loading.

It is still grey and raining, I cannot recall a Spring this consistently cool and wet. May my lawn take this opportunity to start springing back to life, since I am making the investment to have a weed service and a cutting service this year and get it al, under control.
 

Llama

Well-known member
I took KDog out to get pup cups to celebrate her bday. This was complicated by the fact that our usual store was out of them. The 5th store we went to had them. I couldn't let her down. She lit up when I said "ice cream" and she was not going to be pleased with any substitute. She is so smart and so sweet and so determined to get what she wants.
That's adorable. Happy birthday, K-Dog!

Also best of luck with the toilet situation.
 
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