Better Living Through Chemicals

Met my new p-doc on Friday. He’s a nice person. He’s also highly effective at mixing the anti-lunacy cocktail of medications I require for what passes for normal in my world. Apparently, someone forgot to put down at That Place the fact that I have Bipolar Disorder. As you can probably tell from this blog, I don’t exactly keep that little factoid hidden from prying eyes. Especially when those prying eyes happen to be medical professionals tasked with the heavy burden of treating my illnesses.

 

For the record, I was diagnosed (at different times) with Bipolar Disorder II, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder with Agoraphobia becoming a problem child in recent years. Not a secret in the slightest. So, to have it divulged twice that not only was I not being fully treated for my illnesses but that my records have yet to transfer from the other place is getting me a little hot under the collar.

 

Thankfully, Doc L set me straight upon hearing from my own mouth what was going on with me. He adjusted the two medications I take, Aripriprazole and Escitalopram, as well as adding in a new medication called Prazosin. For the first time in a long time, I haven’t had nightmares, haven’t felt super anxious and haven’t felt majorly depressed. I haven’t had a single flashback since Saturday. For the first time in quite a while, I feel motivated to get stuff done, including writing and crafting. I’ve even been sleeping better since I first took the new regimen of medication on Saturday.

 

It’s early days, but I feel hopeful about this new cocktail.

 

In other related news, due to the hypersomnia, I gained weight despite my exercising like a neurotic freakazoid. Even though I moved around quite a bit, sleeping upwards of 12 –14 hours a day took its toll on my atmospheric displacement. To that end, I’m cutting any and all junk food from my intake of food. I’m also halving my sugar intake. This will doubtless send MyFitnessPal for a tailspin of thinking I’m starving myself but, let me assure you, I’m not. I eat to satiation everyday, without fail. I just tend to eat low calorie foods when I’m not gorging myself on tea.

 

I’ll have to very carefully count what and how much I eat to ensure I don’t set off the alarms of the site.

 

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you who sent kind words to me during my recovery period. I’m incredibly grateful for your friendship and hold it close to my heart. *giant hugs for you all*

 

In the realm of Knitting and Crocheting, I am on round twelve of the second doily and no further along with the gloves. That changes today. I’m not feeling like my world is spiraling out of control anymore, so back to work. Happily, I’ve also got the Hobbes doll I’m making for a new friend to look forward to crafting. As soon as the stuff my new friend mailed to me gets here, I’ll get started on it. I should have it turned around and ready to leave for its forever home by 1 March.

 

While I was recuperating, I had a chance to watch a few concerts. Specifically, Marilyn Manson’s Guns, God and Government compilation show and Queen’s Live Aid set from the mid-80s. Both concerts really served to lift my spirits and get my mood on the right track. Yay. Red heartNote

 

Today’s agenda is to finish watching LOTR – The Extended Edition, baking two loaves of bread, finishing one doily before starting on the next one, making progress with the gloves and last but certainly not least, exercising after carefully counting my calories. That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Later! Rolling on the floor laughing

Random Morning Ramblings

I don’t even know where to begin this morning. While checking posts on G+, I came across some disturbing updates from someone I really admire for her skill. One of the vloggers I follow is decompensating badly and vlogging about it rather than visiting a medical professional. Having dealt with mental illness for all of my life both personally and as a caregiver, I can see how this is going to play out and it’s sad to me that it’s going to take her crashing and burning to get the help she desperately needs. Sad smile

 

The one thing I can be thankful for in this is that the majority of her subscribers are begging for her to get the help she needs. I just hope it filters through.

 

Changing the subject, because the above is just too close to home and depressing, I’ve yet to cast on for the gloves or make the bread. Last night, we had pasta which required the storing of said comestible in the very bowl I use to make bread. In case you didn’t know, I’m very minimalist. So, I don’t have much in the way of cooking and baking gear. Nor do I have room for much. I should make the bread in a few days time.

 

The gloves, I am going to start today for sure. After I finish this post and eat, actually. I’m motivated to knit them up and I want to take advantage of this sudden burst of creative energy to get them done as quickly as possible. I want to get to the doilies, stat! Rolling on the floor laughing

 

I did manage to talk with my Protégé and he’s coming over on Wednesday to pick up his stuff. Oh joy be unconfined. This is another reason to get the gloves done sooner than later. They’re for his Dad. I don’t know if we’re going over our first lesson or not as I don’t know his schedule but I will be surprising him with some Amazing yarn from Lion Brand. I told him to expect expensive yarn but I didn’t say what I was giving him. Hopefully, he’s not reading this blog post.

 

I managed to get through my first workout last night without needing a medic. I do actually feel better for doing it, though I don’t know how many actual calories I burned in the process. MFP says a little over 800 for 90 minutes of dancing. I think tonight, I’ll do calisthenics. That burns an easy 1,400+ calories in the timeframe I normally do it. Sarcastic smile

 

Still no appetite but I am eating more, albeit reluctantly. I just don’t appear to be hungry. I force the food down but there’s no pleasure or motivation in eating beyond not dying of starvation. I do have some Kimchi downstairs in the refrigerator, along with some frozen vegetables. I may make myself a breakfast of noodle soup to get me through the day. Mmmm, Kimchi! Bowl

 

I have been eyeing the pattern for the In Love With Color throw made by Jessie Rayot. I have a great desire to make it but responsibilities come before pleasures. I’ve already gotten one afghan out of my system with the Hexagon Granny Afghan. Making another would really be spoiling myself. Rainbow

 

My plants are growing like weeds despite the harsh heating blowing on them and the winter slowdown. The Aloe Vera I docked is sending up new babies, the top part of the same plant that I put rooting hormone on with a wish and a wink is growing vigorous roots downstairs. The various cuttings I made of my Sansevieria are growing roots as well. Would anyone local like one? Ha ha. I have no room for these new babies. As soon as I get them established, they’re going out the door to various forever homes in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area.

 

Mind you, if they’re growing like this now, what will they do when Spring and Summer rolls around? I may be in some trouble in a few month’s time. Red rose

 

That’s enough rambling. I’ve got to go eat now. Later. Rolling on the floor laughingDevil

Bread Baking Bonanza

I have discovered that I have just enough yeast to bake some bread. It’s SO going to happen today.

 

My last two loaves weren’t my best baking. Owing to my own laziness in greasing the pans while depending on the Maternal Parental to do the aforementioned, the bread rose a little too long in the first rising and lost all the fizzy goodness for the second rising. Alas, my bread was doughy.

 

This time around, I’m going to time it to exact measurements with the hope that I can make this small amount of yeast last.

 

Not much is happening today beyond that. I am getting ready to knit the gloves, watching New Scandinavian Cooking and adding my blogs to this new (for me) remote poster.

 

As to this poster, I’m getting used to it. It’s weird seeing my blog colors as a part of the posting template but, other than that, Windows Live Writer is very intuitive and not at all difficult to work with. LOL, I like things difficult though. It even allows me to set categories and tags in the post, as well as make new ones. That’s worth a lot, not having to log into the site to do so.

 

So, I am finally going to follow my fitness schedule tonight. I lost some weight and I’ve got a motivation to lose more. I’m not just going to dance tonight, I’m going for the full 90-120 minute workout. I’m hoping that, within six weeks, there will be a noticeable difference in my weight and overall muscle tone. Ugh, I’m really not looking forward to this but…it must be done.

 

I also cancelled the appointment with Bethesda. The Maternal Parental has been majorly freaking out about the possibility of something “tragic and devastating” happening on my planned trip. She’s older and delicate now. I don’t want to worry her unnecessarily.

 

One thing I have to look forward to are my Protégés. One, I don’t have direct contact with but the other I do. I’ve gotten both crochet hook sets and, in the case of my geographically closer student, I’ve gotten a full bag of knitting implements including yarn enough to practice with, knitting needles crochet thread and steel crochet hooks. One protégé is 29 and the other is barely 13 with a rambunctious younger brother tearing through her possessions. You can guess who got what.

 

If only Padawan would come and get his stuff…

 

I am also teaching myself to write patterns. If I can ever get YouTube to load properly, I found a few promising videos as well as promising blog posts and information on professional pattern designer’s websites for me to peruse. I’m hoping to learn within a month’s timeframe. The best laid plans of Mice…

 

That’s all, folks. I’m going to go start the gloves now. Later. SmileDevil

Regimented Scheduling

I’m probably going to regret this but…I think it’s time to dust off and revamp the old schedule.

You see, I’ve been knitting and crocheting for so long, that I’ve lost track of the last time I actually followed most of what was formerly my daily routine. Surely, you remember the routine I set for myself in strict hourly schedules?

I still have the old one on my wall and I do try to adhere to the basics of it, but I haven’t studied outside of knitting and crochet patterns and books in quite a while. While I’ve worked out, I certainly haven’t done it consistantly for the timeframe I used to do it and I haven’t turned the television on regularly in months. Nope, most of my time has been spent watching my knitting needles and crochet hooks at work. After that, my brain usually rebels and wants to be pacified with DVD viewings or the ever elusive sleep. This has resulted in my burning out over my work to the point where I don’t want to do it, especially the paid commissions. Surprisingly, I have no issue with the gratis projects. It’s the pressurized paid stuff that is getting on my last nerve.

Also, if I eat any less healthy, My Fitness Pal is likely to come smack me upside the back of the head. Since I started this enterprise, I’ve been barely meeting the nutritional requirements for a meal, let alone a day. I get almost daily warnings, in red, from MFP stating that my caloric intake is substandard and, if I want to maintain a healthy diet where I don’t end up sick, I should eat more. Yeah, it’s that bad. I normally eat no more than 800 calories per day on average. Well below the 1,330 calories MFP has as my normal minimum daily intake.

So, I think a more strict adherence to a schedule might be a positive thing for me. It’ll certainly free up my time, in that I’ll be able to give myself permission to sleep, eat, rest, relax, exercise, have fun and study. Also, I’ll be able to schedule in some time to force myself outside. Last time I checked, the Agoraphobia wasn’t going anywhere unless I fought against it. I can’t do that cooped up in my room with my crafting.

So, after a few keystrokes in OpenOffice.org, this is my new schedule:

I’m going to do this for two weeks and see how it works for me. If I find it doesn’t, then some tweaking will be necessary. I said “tweaking”, not “twerking”.

According to my new schedule, today’s agenda is one of relaxation. I’ve given myself a weekend holiday. 🙂

The Beginnings of the Little Boy Blue Blanket

I’ve started on the blanket. *fanfare*

I love this pattern too. I’m a little further along than the above picture but not by much. I’m trying to pick up the pace so I can get this thing done before the end of September. I think I can do it. I have enough confidence in my abilities to think myself capable of this feat.

I’m making it extra big so that it can be used well after newborn phase. Is that what they call it? Newborn phase? I know little of such things. It’s for an as yet unborn baby. Theres no telling how big or small he’ll be, so I thought it safe to make the blanket on the large side to prepare for the eventuality that he’s a giant baby.

In other news, I’m almost back down to my “low” high weight. I was having issues with edema over the past two weeks that had me pushing my high weight again. Thankfully, it’s back down. I don’t know what I did to alleviate it but I’m glad it is gone. Edema is no fun. Hopefully, the dancing breaks I take in between crochet marathons will be enough exercise to keep the weight dropping. At least for the month I’m working on this blanket. I plan on restarting my regular two hour workout routine once this blanket is done.

Aside from that, no dates for a while. I’m quite off of them at the present. I will, of course, meet good friends for platonic get togethers but nothing romantic. Instead, I’m going to spend the next few months focusing on myself. Ugh, that sounds so self obsessed. What I meant is that there’s a lot I could be working on rather than pursuing, or being pursued by, romantic interests.

Chief among these things is the agoraphobia. I’m going to start exposure therapy on myself in an effort to break the stranglehold it has on me. I’ve been reading about it and conversing with people online who’ve done it. I think it’s time I gave it a try. Nothing too extreme to start off. Just walking, unaccompanied, around the block a few times a day. From there, hopefully, I can expand on the territory I can travel in without having a massive anxiety attack.

After that, is my writing. Aside from text messages and this blog, I haven’t been writing much lately. I do not like that one bit. My goal to be an author suffers greatly by my not practicing everyday. To that end, I am going to get back to studying my English text books, writing in my composition notebooks and increasing my writing on here and via my stories. Hopefully, this will help me improve my writing abilities to the point where I can get that book done in 2015 like I want to.

Third among my short term goals is to get in contact with the worst of the worst mental health centers and get an appointment in with a therapist and psychiatrist since the shining light of heath centers doesn’t have either available for the forseeable future. I am earnestly hoping that no drama occurs with this place this time around. The last time I was under their “care”, I was driven to being a completely housebound agoraphobic from one who could at least get out. Hopefully, it won’t be recommended that I re-enter their Day Program. *shudder* The stuff of nightmares.

I’m in a good place and I don’t want to get worse through incompetence.

A brighter future through hard work and perseverance is my aim. 🙂

Working Through The Pain and Other Things

I am going to do something I’m probably going to regret.

I’m going to knit and crochet despite blinding pain in my thumb.

For some time now, I’ve had a nagging pain right in the joint of my thumb that radiated outward from said joint. At first, I thought I’d sprained it and had it taped up to immobilize it. Nothing helped though and the pain was as present as ever. I began to speculate that, perhaps, this wasn’t a sprain but, instead, was a tendonitis issue. Yay, me. Not.

So, I was going to wait until my doctor had a look at my thumb to confirm or deny my hypothesis. However, my addiction to crafting is getting the better of me. I’ve been trying to knit without using my thumb which has turned out to be an exercise in futility.

Here’s where the regret comes in. I’m going to try knitting and crocheting, using my thumb on a limited basis, for at least these seven upcoming projects:

  1. My friend Sam’s hat.
  2. My friend Kathleen’s three doilies.
  3. My friend Lotta’s doily.
  4. My own warm weather scarf.
  5. My cousin’s baby blanket

I’m going to do my friend’s stuff first because I promised them this stuff. I’m going to do my cousin’s baby blanket next because that’s a paying gig. I’ll do my own project last because that’ll sit on the hook if I do too much damage to my thumb by the end of all this. I hope I don’t do any damage but it’s good to plan for such possibilities.

Aside from that, I’ve got Cinnamon Basil coming up!!!!! My seeds have become seedlings in less than a week’s time. I have every reason to believe, based on past evidence with this variety, that these will grow true to my past experience’s expectations. In addition to the seedlings I have coming up in the Spider Plant pot, I planted more cinnamon basil in with the Lemongrass, Ginger and Radishes. Whether they develop or die, as I take the radishes out, I’ll plant new seeds of either lemongrass or cinnamon basil.

Then, as soon as I get the individual pots and a lot more soil, I’ll plant one full of lemongrass, one full of cinnamon basil, one full of coleus, one full of geraniums and one full of nasturtiums. With the rest of the pots, I’ll root plants for my cousin, my neighbors and attempt to clone the African violet, as well as the hopefully rooted pineapple and sweet potato vines.

About the only other thing happening in my life right now is my new adherence to my friend Douglas’s fitness regimen. He posted it on a site we’re both a member of and, given his level of fitness, I’m definitely going to give his methods a try. In this regimen, I’ll be doing way more muscle building than calorie burning exercises. He is RIPPED, so I know it’s going to work. I just hope I can keep up with it.

That is about all I have to say right now. I’m going to get back to trying to knit this hat now. Later! 🙂

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014 To Come

Another year has come and almost gone. Hard to believe that 2013 is almost ended and we’re fourteen years into the century.

Rather a lot has happened to me in this year. Most notably, I’ve taken a good uppercut to the agoraphobia by going out on my own. In this neighborhood, at least, I can make it around with enough effort. I hope to extend this traveling range in 2014.

My babies are growing well, though I need to get fertilizer for them and soon. They’re all growing tall and/or strong as they possibly can. Not bad given that they’re all growing in pots. I’m hoping to grow basil, tomatoes and sweet potatoes in my window this year. I’ve certainly got the pot for sweet potatoes. I’ll try to grow tomatoes in it as well. Hopefully, they won’t compete. I am also going to try growing tulips and daffodils. For all of this, I am going to need more soil and a few more pots.

On to other things. Due to the fact that I’m not seeing Keith again until late January, I’m knitting Todd’s stuff first. I’m currently 29 rounds into the hat and I hope to have it finished in five day’s time. I really like this pattern now and will be glad to make it for myself and for the Maternal Parental. I may even try knitting it two at a time on my 47in circular needles.

After Todd’s hat comes his gloves. For those, I’m modifying the given pattern and just knitting fingers and closing them up rather than make them convertible. It’s the only pattern I could find that could accommodate his hands while maintaining the “glove” patterning. I just hope I get the hang of two at a time gloves like I did two at a time socks since this pattern calls for that particular knitting technique. If the gloves fit me well in the trying on phase, I may even make a pair for myself because I gave my gloves to the Maternal Parental.

On to my weight. Good grief. 2014 will be my year. I’ll make sure of it. Due to illness, I gained eight pounds. Hopefully, with the aid of hydrochlorothiazide in the coming year, I won’t be ill again and will be able to keep up with my exercises without pain. My target weight goal is 30lbs lost by January 2015 but I am really hoping to lose more than 30lbs. More like 100lbs but I know that’s unhealthy and unrealistic without a trainer, cameras and a prize at the end of it. I’ll be documenting all of this on my MyFitnessPal profile and blog as well as 43things as it’s my main goal to complete.

Effective today, I’m going to go through my stories, both in my head and on my computer, and work on whatever has an idea to it. I want to write a book by 2015 and I’m hoping my stories will be my ticket to doing that. It wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it would be a goal completed for me, so I’d have a reason to be proud.

I’m also going to make it my mission to complete my knitting and crocheting projects. Enough WIP startitis. Time to finish them!

Happy 2014 to come, everyone! May your year be filled with lots of great wonderful things. 🙂