CHF Recovery: Day 49

  • Got up at 8am
  • Weighed myself; I am now 135

Should I be concerned? Part of me wonders that, and the rest of me is like Good, let me just keep losing weight, that is something that culture approves of and nothing else matters.

Whatever.

  • Did not get dressed
  • Sat down at computer
  • Had protein shake and morning meds
  • Started writing a to-do list
  • Discussed a silly movie-trailer-esque advertisement and some other stuff with my friend Rae
  • Scrolled Tumblr
  • Sent an email I needed to send, then wrote “Email letter” on my to-do list and crossed it out

My to-do list right now is:

  1. pack and ship box
  2. create some sort of plan for meals
  3. start reading book
  4. email letter
  5. put up Christmas tree
  6. set up Christmas card station
  7. MAYBE do other decorations

These are not in any particular order. I just wanted to visually differentiate “to-do” from “ta-da”.

I thought about putting “kill myself” on there as a joke but decided not to.

#2 is ridiculous. As I said to Rae, “You know that thing you’ve been trying and failing to do for 15 years? Do that today.” I also told her, “I feel like I am screaming at the world, ‘I can’t do this by myself,’ and the world is answering, ‘Too bad. Do it anyway.'” She’s been having her own extremely rough time so she sympathized.

Anyway today I will try to create some sort of schedule system that will be able to take Sean’s work into account. Somehow. Maybe. I should ask him for input but he is at work.

I wonder if, like the day before yesterday, I will suddenly get in a good mood this afternoon. And then the good mood will last through tomorrow morning, and then I’ll be depressed again. Wouldn’t that be a hoot.

  • Paid rent
  • Renewed Costco membership
  • Wrote those things on to-do list and crossed them off
  • Added day-specific to-do lists:
    • 11/1: call Connor (it’s his birthday), walk, shower, pay rent
    • 11/2: walk, shower
  • Tried to use a meal planning website to make a schedule but realized I would rather have a fully robust calendar that can show me everything and I don’t know if that exists
  • Started playing with Google Calendar and got annoyed at how birthdays are imported and displayed
  • Went into Google Contacts and started editing all my contacts to display in the same format
  • Added other contacts from my Christmas card address spreadsheet because why not just do it all in one place
  • Spent a few hours in Google Contacts until I was tired of doing that
  • Warmed up some leftovers for lunch at 1:15 because I guess I should eat

So I ate a bit of the leftovers but not very much. My mood started really spiraling. I had a very disturbing thought, which I do want to share but at the same time I don’t because it would worry people. Although given that I mentioned the whole putting “kill myself” on my to-do list thing, I imagine you can guess the nature of it. It scared me a lot and I wanted to tell someone but I wasn’t sure who. I looked at the side effects for my depression medication and it said to tell my doctor if that sort of thing happened, so I called his office. At that point I was terrified so I was crying on the phone. They had me come in right away. I put all the food I had made in the fridge and got dressed and went in.

I explained to Dr. M how I’ve been feeling and what my stressors are, and we decided to try a different medication. We will evaluate in a few days and see if we think anything else is necessary.

I went straight to the pharmacy to get the new medicine, but it turned out they didn’t have it on hand, so they called it over to another Kroger for me. I drove over there, stopping for a chai tea latte on the way. Once there I had to wait a little bit. At one point I almost spilled my chai on myself. But I was feeling better knowing that I had a plan of action. I guess I can be optimistic sometimes. Or it was the placebo effect.

I got the medicine finally and came home. Sean was asleep. I decided to go ahead and take the medicine with a snack cake and then get dinner later. This turned out to be a mistake; the medicine made me extremely nauseous and fairly dizzy, and I had to lie down for a full hour waiting for the feelings to go away. When I finally did get up at around 8pm I was still feeling a little off, but I went and picked up dinner (chicken tenders) anyway, because I had barely eaten anything today and I needed some protein and calories.

I am still nauseated, especially when I yawn or otherwise open my mouth, but I am determined to finish one chicken tender before I go to bed for real. I hope I can sleep.

So I guess in list format:

  • Got in for an emergency visit to my doctor
  • Picked up new medication
  • Took first dose along with a snack cake
  • Had to lie down due to nausea
  • Picked up chicken tenders for dinner
  • Suddenly remembered I forgot to call Connor; texted him at 9:30pm
  • Chatted with friends and scrolled Tumblr and tried to eat
  • Only managed to eat one chicken tender and a few bites of mac and cheese due to still feeling slightly nauseated
  • Went to bed at 10:30
  • Woke up at 2:15

I am not sure I really slept? It felt more like a not-restful haze that I would swim out of whenever I heard a noise or saw a light. (I’m not sure what the light was, maybe a car’s headlights?) My muscles were twitchy and when I got up I felt dizzy. I decided to try to eat more of my dinner, since I am not nauseated now. I do seem to be feeling better now that I’m eating.

  • Finished the mac and cheese and another chicken tender
  • Went back to bed at 4:45am

Juggling recovery and full-time work

I go back to work on Thursday. It’s very important that I maintain the healthy habits I have formed during my leave of absence. These are the things I must do every day:

  • Weigh myself each morning (~1 minute)
  • Exercise at moderate intensity (at least 30 minutes)
  • Limit my sodium to 2000mg

Those things require me to do these other things:

  • Take a shower (~20 minutes)
  • Cook meals at home
  • Track everything I eat (I use MyFitnessPal)
  • Track my exercise (I use RunKeeper)

Work keeps me away from home from approximately 7:30 to 5:30, including travel time. Since I will not be at the apartment with my fridge and pantry readily available, I will need to:

  • Pack my lunch (~15 minutes)

Eating can take me awhile due to my small stomach. I can eat a decent amount within half an hour, but I can also take hours to finish a meal. For lunch this is not a problem; I can eat at my desk while working. I will just need to remember that in the evenings I will have the following tasks:

  • Cook dinner (assume ~2 hours, just to be safe)
  • Eat dinner (allow 1.5 hours)

Also, I use the restroom in the morning, TMI. I have to factor that in because it takes time. Number two is very different after weight loss surgery. I am trying to figure out how long it took me this morning, and it looks like it took an hour! Ugh. That seems ridiculous. But…yesterday appears to be about the same. I have never paid attention to this before. (My work schedule had always been get up, potty, shower, dress, get on computer for a few minutes, leave for work. I would get up at 6 and leave between 7:30 and 7:45. That…actually does account for all the time, since showering and dressing only takes me 20 minutes. Wow.)

  • Morning potty break (1 hour, good grief)

And finally, I tend to do best on 7.5 hours of sleep.

So, a day’s schedule might look like this:

Walk in the Morning

  • 5:30a-6:30a: Get up and potty
  • 6:30a-7:00a: Dress in workout clothes and walk for 30 minutes
  • 7:00a-7:30a: Shower, dress, and leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-7:30p: Get home from work and cook dinner
  • 7:30p-9:00p: Eat dinner (can do other things like be on computer or watch TV while doing this)
  • 9:00p-10:00p: Woo free time! Although this might be spent cleaning the kitchen and packing the next day’s lunch?
  • 10:00p: Go to bed

…okay HOW. How do people live. I do not understand.

I’m trying to think how I might rearrange this.

Walk at Lunch

  • 6:00a-7:00a: Get up and potty
  • 7:00a-7:30a: Shower, dress, and leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • ~1:00p-1:30p: Walk on lunch break (and sweat at desk for rest of day)
  • 5:30p-7:30p: Get home from work and cook dinner
  • 7:30p-9:00p: Eat dinner
  • 9:00p-9:30p: Clean kitchen, pack lunch
  • 9:30p-10:30p: Theoretical free time?
  • 10:30p: Go to bed

The above is basically as minimal as my morning schedule can get, unless I skip my shower, which to be honest I have done before. What if I move the walking and the shower to the evening?

Walk in the Evening

  • 6:30a-7:30a: Get up, potty, get dressed, leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-6:00p: Walk for 30 minutes
  • 6:00p-6:30p: Shower and get dressed in nightclothes (I guess)
  • 6:30p-8:00p: Cook dinner
  • 8:00p-9:30p: Eat dinner
  • 9:30p-10:00p: Clean kitchen, pack lunch
  • 10:00p-11:00p: Theoretical free time?
  • 11:00p: Go to bed

So like no matter how I slice it, I get an hour of free time per day (plus, I guess, dinner-eating time, during which I can multitask).

Okay. So. Now let’s say I want to prioritize my writing. I know I am the most awake and productive in the morning. So what if I want to put a block of writing time in the morning? I’ll just use that free hour that is in the evening right now.

Since I don’t like the idea of walking at lunch and being sweaty at work, I’m not going to bother working the writing into that one.

Write and Walk in the Morning

  • 4:30a-5:30a: Get up and potty
  • 5:30a-6:00a: Dress in workout clothes and walk for 30 minutes
  • 6:00a-6:30a: Shower and dress
  • 6:30a-7:30a: Write for an hour, leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-7:30p: Get home from work and cook dinner
  • 7:30p-9:00p: Eat dinner (and pack lunch real quick? Also when do I clean the kitchen)
  • 9:00p: Go to bed

OR

  • 4:30a-5:30a: Get up and potty
  • 5:30a-6:30a: Dress in workout clothes, write for an hour
  • 6:30a-7:00a: Walk for 30 minutes
  • 7:00a-7:30a: Shower, dress, and leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-7:30p: Get home from work and cook dinner
  • 7:30p-9:00p: Eat dinner (and pack lunch real quick? Also when do I clean the kitchen)
  • 9:00p: Go to bed

Write in the Morning, Walk in the Evening

  • 5:30a-6:30a: Get up, potty, get dressed
  • 6:30a-7:30a: Write for an hour, leave for work
  • 8:00a-5:00p: Work (eat lunch at desk)
  • 5:30p-6:00p: Walk for 30 minutes
  • 6:00p-6:30p: Shower and get dressed in nightclothes (I guess)
  • 6:30p-8:00p: Cook dinner
  • 8:00p-9:30p: Eat dinner
  • 9:30p-10:00p: Clean kitchen, pack lunch
  • 10:00p: Go to bed

Even though it seems ridiculous to put on pajamas at 6:30pm, I think that last one makes the most sense for me.

Still.

I am not sure this is tenable, long term. I feel like I would burn out pretty fast. (I’m pretty sure this is why my dieting and exercising had fallen by the wayside to begin with.)

There are certain activities like the walking and showering (and writing, if I prioritize it, which I want to) that must be done every day. But maybe I could shift the cooking and lunch packing to the weekend somehow. Cook a bunch of dinners at once, pack all the week’s lunches at the same time.

The weekend is laundry time. Doing laundry involves a lot of waiting. I could be cooking during that time. The challenge would be cooking five unique meals in one day. And then what would we eat that night? Takeout I guess.

I am not super confident about my ability to cook so much all at once, given that yesterday I had planned to cook two HelloFresh meals but could only manage one of them.

I’m open to suggestions here.

CHF Recovery: Day 48

  • Got up at 7:50

I think I could have slept longer, but I’m also not sure I slept well, because I remember my dream. (It involved me propositioning someone for sex o_o) Regardless, Sean was watching some sort of video and the sound woke me up, even though he was in the living room and I was down the hall in the bedroom with the door closed. Sound really seems to carry in our floor plan. Though I’m not sure there is a floor plan where it wouldn’t.

She asked if I was doing anything for Halloween and I said no, then launched into this whole explanation wherein I made myself out to be some sort of victim just because Sean doesn’t like holidays. Okay, fine. I wish he liked holidays. I also wish we had a kid and I could do holiday activities with them. But just because neither of those things happened doesn’t mean I can’t do holiday activities.

I mean, I know this. Sometimes I’m just like, but it’s a lot of work just for me, and no one will help me. Well, so what.

I keep coming back to one main point, which is: if I want something, I need to do it myself. And this is not an excuse to sit around being miserable, this is a reason to actually do things.

(I feel like this is part of my cycle, though? I get really depressed for awhile until I can’t stand it anymore and then I get all Determined to Make Changes and then I don’t actually do anything. Rinse and repeat. Should I start doing FlyLady again maybe? Have some sort of system for goals and things?)

I am really excited about this! I walked all the way to the end of the entire apartment complex, which is kind of three complexes in one, connected by two bridges over some…ravines that lead down to the river. (I’m sure there is a word for that.) So each branch is the size of a regular apartment complex, basically. I got to the end and while walking back I went down every single side branch and loop. Each main branch involves going down a hill and back up, and then some of the side branches also have hills. There is a fairly steep but short one down on the other end, and then there is an intense, long hill off our branch. I DID EVERYTHING.

I’ve been wondering how much distance the whole complex is, and now I know! Next time I want to do a 5k without having to guesstimate distance, I have an option besides going down to the river.

…okay I just looked at the map and realized I actually missed a loop, because I went alongside the apartment clubhouse instead of staying on the street. But the length of that loop isn’t much longer than the distance I actually walked, so it still works out about the same. ;P

That was great. The weather was gorgeous and I got several pictures of beautiful fall leaves. I’m glad I decided to try for a 5k today :)

  • Took a shower and got dressed
  • Made a lunch of cottage cheese, blackberries, half an orange that was left over from a HelloFresh recipe, and one ounce of mixed nuts (I hereby dub this lunch: Look How Healthy I Am. I Am a Paragon of Health)

Sean is at work, but not feeling well :/ He may need to go to the doctor.

While I was out on my walk I received an email confirming my return to work date. I’ll be back full time this Thursday. I’m a little nervous about how suddenly not having nine hours every weekday will affect my recovery efforts. One strategy might be to take my walk at lunch, but I’m iffy about it because I don’t want to sit around sweaty for three or four hours afterwards :/ Maybe I’ll try to do it in the morning, although that would mean I wouldn’t have much time for anything else then. Hmm. I may think about logistics more in a separate post.

  • Wrote a lengthy post about the logistics of work, exercise, cooking, and writing

Well, that was disheartening.

  • Went shopping
  • Came home and sank into a deep depression

Mood swings are fun.

Yesterday it was horrible mood to good mood. Today it was great mood to horrible mood. Just stop.

I am hitting that wall again of “if you want things to change, do it yourself,” and I feel overwhelmed by it, and it seems easier to just do it the way I’ve always done it even though that way is terrible and will burn me out and stress me to hell again.

I want somebody to just…come in here and figure it out for me.

  • Had a minor freakout (at least I could breathe during this one)

Sean had forgotten we had couples therapy today and so he was napping on the couch in his pajamas. I asked him if he wanted to cancel. He said it was up to me. My reaction to this was to think Everything is always up to me and to say aloud “I don’t know, I feel awful right now” or something to that effect. He asked what was wrong and I said it was the schedule possibilities I came up with and how little time that left for anything and how people say I should share chores but that means I have to figure out how and wouldn’t doing all that planning take just as much time as me just doing the chores myself? Then I said “I hate everything! I just hate everything!” and burst into tears and went to bed.

I am 38 years old.

Anyway, Sean came in and started getting dressed so I emerged from the covers and said “You want to go then?” and he said “Yeah.” So I got up and we went.

Due to Halloween traffic, the drive took an hour and a half, meaning we were a half hour late. Thankfully our therapist didn’t have anyone after us. I’m not sure how useful a session it was. Sean expressed that he is very tired. I expressed that I feel overwhelmed. No solutions were reached. We spent a long time discussing the election, as worry over that might be factoring into our feelings.

  • Went to couples therapy

Sean is sick and has been having trouble eating. We’re not sure if it’s allergies or an actual illness. But he was not hungry when we got out of therapy even though it was 7:30pm. I said we didn’t have to have dinner, and I was inwardly thinking that I would just skip the entire meal and go to bed. He said that he supposed we had food at home like sandwich makings, so he missed that meaning, which is fine. My disordered eating is yet another thing to worry about.

Anyway he said he didn’t know what to do. Hibachi would be too much. So I said we should go to the seafood restaurant and he could get something small like an appetizer. He realized he could do a bowl of soup, so we did that. This is good because I had not planned on cooking and I literally was thinking of going to bed without eating.

  • Went to dinner
  • Got me a mini Blizzard after dinner (I could only eat half)
  • Went home

I don’t really remember what I did at home. Got dressed for bed. Poked around online some. Felt awkward and weird and like I would say something wrong to anyone I spoke to.

  • Went to bed at 10:30

Martyr syndrome

It occurs to me that I have severe martyr syndrome.

I am always describing my situation in a helpless “well, this is just how it is” way, tinged with sadness.

What is the purpose of doing this? Do I want people to feel sorry for me? Why? What do I want them to do once they feel sorry for me? It’s not like they can fix things. Do I just want sympathy? Do I want attention? Do I want my “victim” feelings validated?

If I am a victim of anything, it’s my own choices. I am not an actual martyr.

If I want things, I need to fight for them. More than just saying “It would be nice if…” and then giving up immediately when I hit any sort of resistance.

I seem to be so afraid to commit to things that I accept any excuse. “Oh, I can’t do X because so-and-so doesn’t want to. I will adjust to what they want instead.” Anything that I “lose” by doing this is my own fault.

I am not sure what to do about this realization.

Christmas stuff

I am thinking I might start doing Christmas early in November instead of waiting until after Thanksgiving. That way I would have more time to get everything done that I want to get done. Plus, Christmas is a nice time for me. I like Christmas. Maybe it would help me feel better to be festive.

However, I am wearing shorts today. It seems sort of ludicrous to be thinking about Christmas.

But. Last year I barely managed to get any cards out. I would like to do it properly this year. Maybe finally write a “Christmas letter” like people do. But at least send cards to everyone I usually send cards to. If I can get the cards done in November, I can concentrate on cookies in December.

I thought about starting slow, just getting the card stuff out and putting up the decorations later, but the decorations are taxing enough when I don’t have heart failure, so I think it would be smart to get them out of the way first. I can enjoy them longer, and I won’t have the stress of “Oh no, I haven’t put up my tree yet, am I even going to?”

CHF Recovery: Day 47

  • Got up at 7:45
  • Had protein shake and morning meds

Mood is Bad. I feel exhausted even though I woke up naturally. I hate myself. Everything reminds me of why I am a waste of space. I got to thinking what I would be remembered for if I died tomorrow, and the answers were “nothing” and “stupid, meaningless stories.” What is even the point of anything.

Whee, depression. I have taken my pill. Maybe a walk would help. I really don’t want to go on a walk, which probably means I should.

  • Read one chapter of a fanfic
  • Got dressed in workout clothes
  • Went on 31-minute walk

I walked down to the river thinking it would be pretty, and it was, but there were also a billion people there because it’s Sunday. I found this very annoying. Still, I think the activity and sunshine helped some.

  • Took a shower and got dressed
  • Told Sean I was going to make noise in the kitchen so if he wanted to sleep more he should go to the bed; he seems to have decided to stay up
  • Emptied and loaded dishwasher
  • Hand-washed items that aren’t dishwasher safe:
    • Metal baking pan
    • Big knife
    • George Foreman grill top

This was very tiring. I stopped to breathe deeply a few times while scrubbing the grill.

  • Finally put vases from flower arrangements away (they had been on the counter since the flowers from my hospitalization died)
  • Sat down at my computer to rest and write this update

I kind of want to go to sleep now.

  • Read another fanfic chapter and ate two Oreos
  • Cooked a HelloFresh meal for lunch: Jamie Oliver’s Shrimp and Rice Salad

This took me about an hour and 15 minutes. The recipe estimate was 35 minutes, but I am slow. I clean up while I am cooking, so maybe that adds time.

It came out really well. The recipe calls for cilantro but I threw that away because I hate it ;) Otherwise I followed the directions. Sean said, “Oh wow, this looks amazing.” (He loves shrimp!) It’s pretty neat, it is pan-fried shrimp on a bed of basmati rice, shaved carrot, green beans, and mint leaves that have all been tossed in a light sauce of low-sodium soy, olive oil, garlic, ginger, lime juice, lime zest, and a small, seeded and chopped red chili. I will have to remember this one.

I am feeling more cheerful now, probably because this recipe was so successful.

  • Ate lunch while reading online

UPDATE: Sean did not actually care for the food! He thought it was too minty (which to be honest I did too) and he also thought it was weird that the rice (the “salad” part) was cold. I am not sure if he would have liked it better if everything was kept warm and there was less mint. Maybe? He did like the shrimp, the shrimp were fine. But all I did to the shrimp was fry them in a pan.

Sorry, Jamie Oliver.

  • Put away the leftover rice (there was a ton; did I accidentally make a whole package when I was only supposed to make half? Anyway we both ate all our shrimp but had like half a plate of rice left)
  • Put our plates and the cookware from making lunch in the dishwasher and started it
  • Did some more reading and chatting online
  • Spent some time with Sean and napped afterwards
  • Got up at around 7:15 and decided I did not want to cook
  • Picked up KFC for me and Taco Bell for Sean
  • Read an extremely satisfying fanfic (great characterization of General Hux, I must say) while eating dinner

I was going to do chicken tenders but Shane’s and Otter’s were both closed. WHY. I have gone over on pretty much everything today thanks to this, but since I do pretty well most days I have decided not to worry about it. Also, the counts aren’t accurate because I don’t eat the skin when I get fried chicken, so it’s probably less sodium than I logged. Here’s the breakdown from MyFitnessPal:

table of goal and actual nutrient intake from MyFitnessPal

Come to think of it, I was actually almost 1000mg under on sodium yesterday. So this is just making up for that ;D

I seem to be feeling rather chipper now. Quite the difference from earlier.

  • Continued reading stuff online
  • Went to bed around 12:30

CHF Recovery: Day 46

  • Got up at 9am
  • Checked weather and got dressed in workout clothes
  • Had protein shake and morning meds

I want to mention again that the last time I saw my doctor, which was October 12, she doubled my lisinopril. I think that is why for the past three days I have gotten dizzy immediately upon standing up. However, it seems like sort of a delayed reaction, since I started doubling immediately on October 13.

While poking around old CHF notes I came across this story of how my heart medicine dehydrated me last time and I ended up in the hospital. Will definitely have to watch that.

I also want to mention that my heart doctor is the same heart doctor I had back in Augusta, Dr. G. I think she said she moved here in 2010. And we, of course, moved here in 2011. Convenient! I first saw her in the hospital; she was the doctor doing rounds the day of my release. She told me where she practices, so I set up my followup appointment with her there.

  • Had planned to simply walk, shower, and write today; phone went off and reminded me I have individual therapy
  • Took a quick walk with no warmup or cooldown
  • Showered and got dressed
  • Had a yogurt and trail mix for lunch
  • Hurried off to therapy

It turned out my appointment was actually for 11 but I had entered it in my phone as noon! But my therapist’s noon appointment had canceled so it worked out! o_o

Therapy was good today, we covered two main things. My homework is to tell myself, “I am 100% confident I will succeed at what I attempt.” This is because I am often 100% confident I will fail.

  • Went to Buford Highway Farmers Market
  • Came home
  • Put groceries away and unpacked this week’s HelloFresh box

The package of pork had a tear in it, so pork juice had gotten everywhere. This was disgusting. I washed off all the meat packages and put them in individual baggies, and I threw away the recipes and coupons because they had all gotten blood on them. (The recipes are also online, fortunately.)

  • Divided a bunch of snack foods into individual serving baggies (this took forever):
    • Three different kinds of rice cracker that I got today at Buford Highway
    • Two bags of Baked Lays
    • One container of “heart healthy” mixed nuts
    • One party bag of Peanut M&Ms
  • While I was doing the above I ate a red bean daifuku and some of the crackers.
  • Emptied and loaded the dishwasher
  • Scrubbed out the sink
  • Scoured the counters
  • Reminded Sean that he had said he would wash a pan and a knife, so he did that
  • Put protein shakes in the fridge
  • Sat down on my computer for awhile, resting and reading and chatting
  • Cooked dinner

Dinner was HelloFresh Chicken Paillard with salad and sweet potato wedges. I burned the sweet potato wedges to hell. Guess I should have turned them halfway, or not peeled them, or both. Sigh. Some of them were salvageable. The salad was amazing, though; it was just spring mix and halved grape tomatoes tossed in a mixture of honey, lemon juice, and olive oil. I’ll need to remember that. And the chicken came out good as well. The recipe called for cooking it in a pan, but I did it on the George Foreman grill, and it worked fine. There was a lemon juice and olive oil marinade, and then once cooked there was “chimchurri” to go on top: parsley, cumin, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, salt (substitute), and pepper. (I had the chimney sweep song from Mary Poppins in my head for the rest of the night.)

  • Ate at my desk while reading online and chatting
  • Cleaned kitchen and started dishwasher
  • Ostensibly went to bed around 11, but stayed up reading in bed until nearly 2am

It was a mistake to stay up. I was already feeling weird about some interactions I’d had earlier in the day, and then I checked Tumblr after I was done reading and saw that I had a message from a different person, so I responded to it, and that turned into a horrible conversation. Never talk to people when you’re half asleep.

I was already feeling pretty down on myself and reading the story made me feel like I am a terrible writer, which did not help. (It’s a beautiful story that makes my heart literally clench. I feel like I could never write anything like that. Oh but “I am 100% confident I will succeed at what I attempt!!!!!”)

CHF Recovery: Day 45

  • Got up at 5:50, for some reason
  • (The reason was lower abdominal pain, solved by going to the bathroom. Ah, weight loss surgery)
  • Had protein shake and morning meds
  • Poked around online until around 8:30
  • Snuggled with Sean for awhile, as he was not feeling well
  • Took a shower at around 10, then got dressed
  • Started the laundry
  • Spent a bit more time online
  • Put darks in dryer and whites in washer
  • Went to my doctor’s office to get some paperwork
  • Picked up a protein bistro box and chai latte on my way home
  • Got home at around 12:30
  • Cleaned up all the paperwork in my office:
    • Sorted medical stuff into three different file folders
    • Sorted receipts and memories into baggies
    • Sorted retirement stuff into a pile that I don’t know what to do with
  • Finally started eating my lunch at around 1
  • Took the darks out of the dryer and sorted them in the laundry basket (usually I do this on the bed but Sean was in there sleeping)
  • Put the whites in the dryer and the couch cover and blanket in the washer
  • Continued reading online and talking with people
  • Sean got up and I snuggled him a little; he was feeling better
  • Made the bed and put the laundry on it
  • Sorted and folded the laundry and put it away

I am tired.

  • Read a work-in-progress fanfic for someone (but did not actually proof it this time)
  • Put the couch cover back on the couch
  • Watched the four currently available episodes of the fifth season of Natsume Yuujinchou with Sean (they were so good!)
  • Cooked dinner, a HelloFresh meal of Honey and Orange Chicken Jambalaya

Have I talked about HelloFresh here? Ah, yes, I see I mentioned it a few times, first on Day 1. Well. Basically it is a grocery service where they send you recipes and ingredients for meals. When I first started it my heart hadn’t failed yet and I did manage to do pretty well for awhile. But I started slipping, and then we had three guests in a row (Ally, Kathryn, and Celena), and I put HelloFresh on “pause” for several weeks. Then the heart failure happened. I ended up unable to cook nearly two weeks of meals and had to throw the food away, so I put it on pause again. This past Saturday was my first week back, and I hadn’t cooked a single one of the three meals until today. Another box arrives tomorrow.

I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do this or not, especially when I start back at work. But staying low sodium while eating out is ridiculously hard. I want to at least try to cook meals at home.

Anyway, tonight’s meal wasn’t too strenuous (there were only two vegetables to dice, the chicken went in the oven, and then everything else just went in a pot on the stove), and it was delicious.

I have a leftover orange half that I might eat tomorrow.

  • Ate dinner at my desk while reading stuff online
  • Got back to working on one of my fanfics
  • Went to bed around 10pm

CHF Recovery: Day 44

  • Got up at 7:45 (I had set an alarm) and got dressed in workout clothes
  • Checked the weather to see when the optimal time to go to Gibbs Gardens would be
  • Had protein shake and morning meds
  • Spent some time online reading and talking with people
  • Ended up leaving an hour later than planned
  • Went to Gibbs Gardens

I sort of exhausted myself? I was expecting to be able to do some power walking but it was all I could do to just walk normally while stopping for photos. I was so tired by the time I made it up to the Manor House that I had to sit there for a very long time to recover. And that was after I had had lunch, which I had thought would help.

Lunch was chicken salad on cranberry walnut bread with barbecue chips and water, btw, and it was really good.

  • Came home tired and grumpy and went immediately to bed at 4pm
  • Got up from nap at around 7:45pm
  • Made myself some eggs (over medium/hard because I left them in the pan too long) and toast
  • Chatted online and read stuff
  • Went to bed around 1am

Depression

Today I went through my depression tag. Since old posts imported from Blogger don’t have the correct tags, I also searched my blog for “depression”, “depressed”, and “quality of life”, and tagged any untagged posts that were actually about depression.

I was sort of hoping to find a pattern, something I could point to as a potential reason. I don’t think I did. But I came across this:

Sean says that I tend to have periods of depression that eventually pass. I guess I’m in one of them now. I hate my job and the thought of going back in tomorrow makes me want to cry. The thought of not being able to find a new job does make me cry. I feel trapped and helpless, like I can’t do anything except commit to things I hate in order to have the money to make myself feel better by buying things and eating out.

Every time I try to start something up to better myself, I do really well at first, and then I just taper off until I’m doing nothing again.

This is horrifying because it’s from 2004. Apparently this type of feeling is not particularly new for me.

The self-loathing has obviously always been there. I mean. But it seems like I have known for over a decade that I have this cycle wherein eventually I lose motivation and feel trapped and helpless, and I haven’t managed to learn anything or do anything about it.

I hope the steps I’ve taken this year to address my mental health will help me.

CHF Recovery: Day 43

  • Got up at 10:30, weighed myself, and got dressed in workout clothes
  • Had protein shake and morning meds
  • Poked around online and chatted a little
  • Went on a 34-minute walk

It was nice out, just under 70 degrees, and the fall leaves were really pretty :) I went up a big hill right away and when I got to the top my legs were burning very pleasantly.

  • Took shower and got dressed
  • Messed around online some more
  • Picked up lunch for me and Sean
  • Ate lunch while reading my blog
  • Basically read old blog posts all day

I got really into looking for patterns of my depression, and then I got sidetracked investigating my previous battle with congestive heart failure. I also just read random posts here and there.

I had actual things I wanted to do today. Bleh.

CHF Recovery: Day 42

  • Got up at 9am
  • Forgot to weigh myself
  • Took shower and got dressed
  • Had protein shake and morning meds
  • Went to meet an online friend for the first time; it was fun! We had lunch at a new-to-me restaurant downtown
  • Took my car to the dealer for an oil change and various other maintenance things; sat in a room off the waiting area with my little laptop and chatted and read things (I was planning to write but it was too noisy to concentrate)
  • Went to Costco and gassed up the car and got protein shakes
  • Came home and relaxed for awhile (feeling tired)

Thanks partially to a discussion in couples therapy yesterday and some new information I received today, I am coming to terms with the bad news I received yesterday. I am not happy about it, but I will survive.

  • Read stories
  • Realized it was already 7:30 and I hadn’t done anything about dinner
  • Hemmed and hawed and then just had a PB&J, yogurt, and chocolate-covered raisins and cranberries, and evening meds of course
  • Continued reading stories
  • Took bedtime supplements
  • Worked on writing a story

Around midnight it was really quiet, the sort of quiet that is calming and focusing for me. I decided to stay up late to take advantage of it. I didn’t write a whole lot, but I wrote, and I like what I wrote.

  • Went to bed at 2:30am

CHF Recovery: Day 41

Whoops I forgot to post at all yesterday. This is the update for:

Monday, October 24, 2016

  • Got up around 8:40
  • Had protein shake and morning meds
  • Got some stressful news and became very upset
  • Went on a 49-minute walk
  • Took a shower and got dressed
  • Made lunch: a sandwich with leftover chicken from the chicken fried rice and mustard; a yogurt; and raspberries
  • Skyped with Mom for awhile
  • Chatted and read stuff online
  • Went to couples therapy and it was really good and helpful
  • Went to dinner at Benihana; I had sushi and I do not recommend doing that
  • Went home and goofed off online some more; started writing a small story but didn’t get very far
  • Went to bed around 11pm

CHF Recovery: Day 40

  • Got up around 9:45

Sean came to the bed at some point during the night. He normally sleeps on the couch because he stays up so late and he doesn’t want to disturb me when he finally goes to sleep. It’s nice when he comes to the bed, although I get used to him not being there sometimes and then he wakes me up simply by existing (the sound of his breathing, shifting around, etc.). This time, I did stir when he came in, but I got right back to sleep and he didn’t disturb me at any other point.

  • Had protein shake and morning meds
  • Worked on the prompt-combining story
  • Watched videos and read an awesome fanfic
  • Went on a 31-minute walk; it was the first walk I’d been on in a week :(
  • Altered a fried rice recipe to make it low sodium and added grilled chicken to it; it was yummy
  • Did more messing around online
  • Went to bed at 11:45pm

Weight stuff

My weight has been fluctuating since this whole thing began. I’m supposed to pay close attention to this because rapid weight gain could indicate fluid retention, which would be Bad. However, so far I have not seemed to retain any fluids.

I started out around 150, but since I started watching sodium, my eating habits have changed some, so my weight dropped to around 140. It has been bouncing around that level ever since. Here’s a lovely graph:

a graph of weights for September and October 2016

Weights from September and October 2016

That spike in the middle happened during the New York trip, when all dieting efforts went out the window. I think the current low is due to a days-long period of depression that I think I am now coming out of.

I’m not really…concerned about this? I just wanted to document it because it’s interesting. So here it is.

(I feel like 140 is probably where I should actually be, since that’s where I seemed to level out initially after weight loss surgery, so that will be my “goal weight” going forward.)