Been awhile since I dug into assessment. At this point, the best word I can find to describe where I'm currently at is luxurious. I don't know if some of you would find this incredulous, but I've not been able to simply lay around in bed in the morning and luxuriously stretch without instant charlie horses, nasty joint pain, or a rush of dread from the chemical cocktails my brain sloshes over me for most of my adult life. Over the last couple of months, those 'early to rise' dilemmas seem to have ALL died down and gone away. Yes, I still have arthritis all over my body, yes, I still have fibromyalgia, yes, I still have mood disorder challenges, BUT they don't smite me first thing waking up. That is luxurious.
I've been very surprised. The only two big changes I've been compliant with my new doctor so far are adding losartan to my blood pressure meds, which kinda sucked getting used to because of the headache thing, and adding vitamin D to my diet. She discovered immediately that I'm D deficient (not just low), which no other doctor has ever checked on.
For years (decades) doctors kept me on meds that rashed me out in sunlight. A few of my worst years were so bad I'd actually break out in near boils within minutes of going outside. All I'd have to do was walk across a parking lot, a real challenge back then anyway, made worse by polymorphous light eruption, sometimes with fevers. Sometimes just a few minutes of sunlight could even trigger an autoimmune flare, and then I'd wind up on prednisone. As you can imagine, I didn't get a lot of sun, especially not enough to get sufficient vitamin D going.
How to Safely Get Vitamin D from Sunlight 👈 click that
You'd think it would be a given to just take vitamins. I had two problems with that.
1- My mom, in her enthusiasm, gave me vitamin poisoning one year, which later a hepatologist was shocked to learn and he called it child abuse. I was loathe to take vitamins after that for a long time.
2- Doctors back then kept me so medicated with handfuls of drugs that adding vitamins was frowned on as causing interactive problems. In order for the meds to work, I had to back off on taking vitamins.
That's horrible, you say. Yes, I say back. Imagine how many adults are suffering in this world with severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies because the medical culture we wind up trapped in deems it more important to keep adding medications instead of investigating malnutrution with comorbidities like diabetes and stuff.
So I was instructed to take 5000 units of D a day for 3 months, and then go down to 2000 a day. I usually wind up around 3 or 4000 a day. I'm not terribly stringent with my compliance. Still, I started noticing changes within a week, more within a month, and now at two months I'm experiencing so much change that I can legit say the vitamin D has got to be what's doing that. Simply bringing my blood pressure down a little more starting losartan doesn't account for all of this.
One of the first things I noticed was that my gabapentin withdrawal wasn't bothering me any more. For several weeks I sludged my way through the last of my receptor grumbling adapting back to my own normal, but that faded fairly quickly once I started taking vitamin D.
Click this 👉 Understanding GABA 👈
Gaba receptor meds essentially take over body production and when you withdraw, having to restart making it adds its own level of pain to existing pain, like having raw nerves ringing all day. I've been withdrawing off the last of my xanax, as well, so that is a double receptor challenge. I've done it before, and as ridiculous as it sounds, even a teeny tiny amount is still hard withdrawing from if you've been taking it for years. It's worse than quitting smoking, which I've also done. Much worse. The nerve sensitivity is pretty miserating. Fortunately, it's gotten way easier over the last month to the point where I'm barely noticing it. That's pretty huge for me.
8 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency 👈 click that.
Right? That's a pretty spot on list for me. Muscle pain? I am the queen of muscle pain. Hair loss? I've blogged about years of hair loss. Depression? I'm a depression blogger. Bone and back pain? Ha, please, to the point of nearly complete immobility for several years. Fatigue and tiredness? Just shut up already, we all know how fail I am at keeping up with life.
To be comprehensive in a nutshell, I've become so relaxed over the last month for the first time in my life without any meds making this happen that I'm laying around in bed stretching like a cat for the first time since I can remember, with no sudden muscle cramps snapping me back, no sudden pain stabs dragging me down, and no sudden sloshes of weird adrenaline responses springing me out of bed. Just stretching because it feels good to stretch.
That's quality of life.
Before we go on, no, taking vitamin D has NOT cured anything. It's not a cure, ok? It's a nutrition problem solver. I'm still dealing with arthritis and neuralgia in my feet, knee challenges, other joints all over my body, etc. I'm not insinuating that anyone should start taking vitamin D without first checking with your doctor and investigating your current malnutrition status. I grew up on homeopathic 'cures' and can verify not a single thing ever EVER stopped me living a miserable life, so be smart about this, ok? This isn't about curing, it's about living better, feeling better, functioning better. This blog is about using our brains ever since I started it in 2011. If you are new to me, there are many things I've covered on my own healing path.
And I really thought I was getting enough because I'm a big dairy fan and vitamin D is added to dairy. You do not know until you get a blood test. You can see here I was clearly deficient, not just low on it.
I'm frugal. I'm horrible to not spend money on new shoes, even though I know I really need to stay on top of that if I want to keep walking, per my podiatrist. I'm commanded to keep my feet in top of the line athletic shoes at all times. I'm bad to not wear them around my house unless I'm working out, and then the workout increases my foot pain so badly that it's hard to walk the rest of the day. Guess what. That means it's time for new shoes. If your top of the line athletic shoes are no longer helping you through workouts, they're probably worn down enough to no longer be supportive. This means they aren't good for you any more. Junk shoes are like junk food. They make your health slide down that slippery slope to more misery.
I put the new shoes on yesterday and my workout was. a. breeze. Total validation for new shoes.
It's really important to keep walking to keep up healthy elasticity in the veins in my legs. Congestive heart failure creeps up slowly, basically starts with fluid in your legs getting stuck down there, and other comorbidities don't help that at all. Diabetes shreds veins, and higher BMI means there is that much more work getting those fluids back up. It's a horrible and very painful way to die, and I can say that after my dad dying from it. He wasn't diabetic at all and lived to 90, but that didn't make it any less excruciating. I have comorbidities he didn't have, so I'm higher risk to die earlier than he did, plenty of incentive now that I've seen it.
In 2011, all I had to do was stick to 1500 calories a day and 50 pounds melted off me over 4 months without any exercise at all. That's not happening this time. Even when I cut to 1400 calories a day, I'm not losing weight. When I look it up, aging does that. Metabolism slows down. There are ways to stimulate it, like with doing weights and other core workouts, so I am modifying my workouts again. I'm also looking into 👉 intermittent fasting. 👈 I have days where I'm naturally not hungry, especially when I'm going through euphoric episodes, and I was trying to make myself eat to keep my moods more even. I've decided that now I'm off meds, I need to pay more attention to my body, biorhythms and whatnot, moods. If I don't feel like eating, I can always sling a small protein shake down sometime during the day with my vitamins. Instead of just counting calories, I'm further spacing out the snack thing on hungry days.
I counted calories last month and noticed that even stopping at 1400, just snacking through the day seems to keep the weight on. I think I need to cut that out. No more something in my mouth every couple hours, which, if you are diabetic, is really normal because glucose drops are rough. Even when my glucose stays level, I crave to eat. The only way that stops is to just stop eating. The dangerous part of that is not realizing when I'm sliding into a hypoglycemic state, which doesn't have to be actual low blood sugar. For diabetics, that kicks off abnormally because the entire disease is about living with a broken feedback loop concerning digesting carbs in general. It reminds me of my drinking days. I was hardcore into alcohol in my mid 20s and was able to drink around the clock and still hold a job. I got really skinny doing that, so yeah, that's tempting but I'm an alcoholic and don't dare. That steady every so often alcohol intake made life bearable back then, and I've been noticing diabetes is exactly like that, a steady intake of carbs feels very much to my brain the way taking a drink every little bit did. It's a brain chemical feedback malfunction. It's a terrible lie I live with, thinking it feels better to nibble and not getting anywhere truly healthy with it.
I've noticed also that when I skip a meal and stay really engrossed in writing or gaming, I don't miss food at all, and I generally feel better through the afternoon and then sleep better that night. My body doesn't seem to miss the skipped food at all. I don't put anything into my digestive system to trigger the faulty feedback. That's a simple way of looking at a complex issue, but it's helping me see how I can try moving forward another way.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern. I think I need to study that some more and try it for a few weeks. If I'm naturally doing it anyway on my own when I'm not paying attention, maybe I can adapt it into a lifestyle. I just need to be smart about it and pay attention to how my diabetes responds. I'm the kind of person that can suddenly experience hypoglycemic symptoms out of the blue even if my glucose is still in the 80s or 90s, so being smart about this means not taking off to run errands or starting a workout if I've skipped meals through the day.
Since I was shopping for vitamin D, I decided maybe it's time to add a good supplement back into my diet. I found a basic multi for 50+ with all the Bs, C, D, E, zinc, selenium (supposed to help with hair problems), calcium/magnesium kind of thing. I also picked up CoQ10 on the advice of my new doctor. She said it's to help with the problems taking statins can cause, but I'm taking it anyway. Haven't started the statin yet since I'm already dealing with fibromyalgia. A doctor long ago put me on a statin and I didn't do well on it, so I'm taking my time for now. After 30 years of meds with a full range of side effects and intolerances, I'm enjoying being on so few meds for awhile. As long as I don't eat junk and watch my calories, my cholesterol won't be getting worse.
Since I brought up supplements, remember not to take them within two hours of thyroid and blood pressure meds.
I'm kind of in limbo in psychological assessment. I'm taking a big break, thanks to covid, just really sick of the whole 'we gotta wear masks' push and how stupid it is to be told in an empty waiting room at a mental health clinic to keep my mask on, and you tell me how in the world that is a psychologically healthy 'mandate' for people who are already messed up with fear porn and hypochondria. And then my psychologist was ok with masks being off during therapy while the whole covid thing was a hot mess, but once it all settled and the world went to mandating masks even harder, he suddenly became glued to his mask but kept moving it over to sip a drink while we were talking. That is worse than trying to have private phone convos with other people in my house.
So yeah, taking a long break. I've been privately working through some more of the progress I started making on depersonalization and dissociative issues on other blogs, and I'm not in the mood to talk about them here yet. This blog, weirdly, is seen more prolifically lately than my other blogs, probably because of covid, so I imagine a lot of us are working through all kinds of things with all the 'me' time on our hands. I think I'd like to reach a place where I feel more solid with some conclusions than I currently feel. Consensus, though, is that this explains a *lot*.
Hope you guys are doing ok. I'm staying busy. 🙂