Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday March 30th 2011 - Last hypnotherapy?

Today I have an appointment with Robbin. It has been very therapeutic in terms of stress release and self-forgiveness over things that I feel guilty about. Most of my guilt stems from things that I did as a teenager. Nothing criminal or at least nothing that I thought was criminal at the time. But as time goes by some of those deep secrets or embarrassing moments of bad judgment begin to eat at you. Actually I think I started eating at them. Secrets or bad events plus bipolar meds plus just not caring have made me the three men I am today.

I think it may be my last appointment. I'm sure her program would have worked had I been more diligent, but I really need to concentrate my finances towards surgery so while I like the hypnotherapy, I just can't justify the expense.

To be fair, we worked on so many of my "issues" that we never really got to appetite suppression. Today I hope we try that and then, maybe I'll decide for sure if I want to continue.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Second post March 29th, 2011 - Bipolar medications

I was doing some research or "reminders" about Bipolar disorder and I was reading the following medication guide from the Mayo Clinic. I do believe I have taken all of these at one time or another. Lithium and Depakote made it nearly impossible to lose weight, but extremely easy to gain weight. I stopped taking Lithium in January 2008 because I had lost so much weight in the hospital that the drug became toxic and I went into a month long total psychosis. I now take Lamictal for mood stablization, Lorazepam for anxiety, Seroquel as an anti-psychotic, and Hydroxyzine for anxiety. I took Effexor when my symptoms increased to the point where I had to seek help or get locked in a closet. It didn't work for me. I think it made things worse. I do not take anti-depressants. I'm Bipolar II so I need manic management more than depression.
My dosages are balanced enough to give help me controllable most of my mood swings without being tired all the time. I still have severe mood swings and bouts of anxiety, but the drugs do help. Actually, I am quite paranoid about life without these medications. 
The things that keep me somewhat stable are keeping busy, sleeping, exercising, meds, and a very supportive and wise wife. Without her and my boys I seriously doubt that I would be writing this right now.
Medications for bipolar disorder include:
  • Lithium. Lithium (Lithobid, others) is effective at stabilizing mood and preventing the extreme highs and lows of certain categories of bipolar disorder and has been used for many years. Periodic blood tests are required, since lithium can cause thyroid and kidney problems. Common side effects include tremor, weight gain and digestive issues.
  • Anticonvulsants. These mood stabilizing medications include valproic acid (Depakene), divalproex (Depakote) and lamotrigine (Lamictal). The medication asenapine (Saphris) may be helpful in treating mixed episodes. Depending on the medication you take, side effects can vary. Common side effects include weight gain, tremor and drowsiness. Rarely, certain anticonvulsants cause more serious problems, such as skin rashes, blood disorders or liver problems.
  • Antidepressants. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may or may not recommend you take an antidepressant. In some people with bipolar disorder, antidepressants can trigger manic episodes, but may be OK if taken along with a mood stabilizer. The most common antidepressant side effects include reduced sexual desire and problems reaching orgasm. Older antidepressants, which include tricyclics and MAO inhibitors, can cause a number of potentially dangerous side effects and require careful monitoring.
  • Antipsychotics. Certain antipsychotic medications, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal) and quetiapine (Seroquel), may help people who don't gain benefits from anticonvulsants. Side effects depend on the medication, but can include weight gain, sleepiness, tremors, dry mouth, blurred vision and sexual side effects. Weight gain in children is a significant concern. Antipsychotic use may also affect memory and attention and cause involuntary facial or body movements.
  • Symbyax. This medication combines the antidepressant fluoxetine and the antipsychotic olanzapine - it works as a depression treatment and a mood stabilizer. Side effects can include weight gain, drowsiness, dry mouth, increased appetite and fatigue. This medication may also cause sexual problems similar to those caused by antidepressants.
  • Benzodiazepines. These anti-anxiety medications may help with anxiety and improve sleep. Examples include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and alprazolam (Xanax). Benzodiazepines are generally used for relieving anxiety only on a short-term basis. Side effects can include drowsiness, reduced muscle coordination, and problems with balance and memory.

March 29th, 2011 - NASH

I just found a comment in my span folder that suggested that I should avoid using I, my and me, but this is a journal for me first and a blog for others second. So I will use me for my blog. Just kidding. When I'm writing articles, columns, or even my book I do not use first person. But, thanks anyway. I know it was meant to be constructive.

And to those that think I weight too much, duh. Saving up the $4000 for my portion of the Realize Band surgery is top priority.

I don't think that I explained my liver issue properly in the last post. I have been told that I have a fatty liver for over 15 years, but the doctors never seemed that concerned so neither was I. (Hahaha, more I, my, me). The name of my liver diagnosis is NASH otherwise known as Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis.

My new doctors theory makes complete sense. My liver is too fatty and it may be backing my blood flow back into my spleen causing it to enlarge and it may also be causing the low platelet count.

Bottom line is that I can't have more than a glass of wine or a beer per week. I must exercise more often and control calories through a healthy diet and lose as much weight as possible before the surgery. I said that I weighed in at 414 on Friday, but I took some water pills and reduced my calorie consumption by half and today I scaled in at 401 which is regrettably my actual weight. I can't believe I let it get this out of control again. I was down to 313 in October of 2009. Not anymore. I have too many books to write and, someday, a granddaughter and grandson to spoil (Make that plural).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday March 26th, 2011 - Fat be gone!

SO yesterday I wrote about why I was fat and about bariatric surgery. Today I would like to talk about the whole picture, but do it as quickly as I can because finishing the book is the most sustainable thing I can do to earn the four thousand dollars for my surgery and to earn money for plastic surgery as my loose skin needs to be removed.

Somehow having Chronic lymphocytic leukemia or CLL is less urgent than having my liver die. So I have recommitted myself to eating for health and exercising for comfort and mobility. This will be my path until I can get the surgery. 

I don't even want to say how heavy I am right now because it is disgusting and embarrassing. Shit. Okay. I'll tell you. In June 2009 when I started this blog I weighed about 360. Then I went vegan and exercise crazy and lost 45 pounds. Then, regardless of my vegan diet, my body adjusted and I started to gain weight back which discouraged me to no end. I then weighed 350 pounds again. Then I tried vegetarian with seafood which only led to my down fall into eating... well everything and I gained more weight. I was then 360-370 because I was afraid to step on the scale.

Recently I started going to a hypnotherapist which was good for stress and guilt therapy, but did not help me curb my cravings. At least not yet. There was a whole process that included the hypnosis and the Gabriel method and exercise and prayer and I didn't do it. I guess I was waiting for the hypnosis to help me not crave sugar and cheese. I knew I had reached 380 and that is where I thought I was, but yesterday I weighed in at 414. 

My wife commented that there is no way I could have gained that much weight that quickly, but I did. I could blame it on chemistry or a dozen other things, but the bottom line is that I ate maybe twice what I should have and my body loved it. The whole liver damage has never been explained to me as well as this new doctor explained it and I am fairly convinced that my CLL is not as urgent as my NASH  (Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) is going to ruin me. It is time to watch everything, exercise and earn the money I need for surgery. Hopefully I can get the surgery within this year, but I will continue to watch my diet until then.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday March 25th 2011 - Bariatric bypass and Lap-band surgery

My weight is simply out of control. Without a sustainable plan to keep any weight loss off, there is basically the same thing I have done since I was 20. And that is, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%, diet, gain back plus 10%... you get the picture.

I would suggest that if I had never dieted, I would be about 150 pounds lighter. Still a little chubby, but not obese. In addition to yoyo dieting, I have had to take medication that either irritates my stomach or causes cravings. I also eat when I am stressed out. Since I am bipolar, depression comes often and I eat and then when I feel better I eat to congratulate myself.

All you really need to do is eat just 10% more than you should at eat meal or each day and you will become obese. It may take sometime and you may be able to exercise to keep up, but then you age and your life becomes more complicated and you stop exercising so much. I go to the gym to work out for one hour three times a week which makes me a fairly mobile fat man, but, since I am a writer and housewife, I don't get enough exercise even though I do go to the gym. I'm not lazy. I am busy.

Another huge contributor to weight gain is baggage. Many fat girls started gaining weight to get Chester the molester away. We all have emotional scars and they add up and for some people, like me, they turn into obesity. Let's see... some of the issues that came up during therapy were... multiple suicides including my father, sexual exploits in my young teenage years, participating in work theft when I was 19 (food items), some drug use, and many overlapping bipolar and psychotic episodes. Yup, mainly crap, but it added up. I was a stupid teenager and now I wear my stupidity. That sounds pretty stupid.

So all of these things plus an addiction to gourmet food and ice cream and chocolate have made me fat and I am tired of the yo-yo deprivation diets. They just make me hungry and miserable. I have decided to try to stabilize my weight gain and workout to stay healthy. I'm going to make wise healthy food choices avoiding processed and sugary foods WHILE I am saving up money for a lap-band procedure.

Ever since I started this blog in July 2009 I have been debating whether or not I should get the surgery. I've been through excessive exercise and even stayed vegan for six or seven months, but, eventually, the cravings took over and I snapped. Now I have gained back all the weight plus 10%. Actually, I think it's closer to 15%, but it's over. I am tired of dieting. It's time for bariatric surgery.

So what is the difference between bariatric bypass and the lap-band? The bypass surgically changes your anatomy permanently by connecting your throat to your intestines, thus, bypassing your stomach all together. The lap band is just a plastic/rubber ring that shrinks the area of your stomach, but it can be removed for say any medical emergency. I take hand fulls of medications for bipolarity and thyroid and ect... and the bypass may affect my med digestion. So I have chosen the lap-band because it won't interfere with the digestion of my medication. Of course there are huge drawbacks like getting food stuck at the ring or the tiny portions, but I am ready.

I just talked to a new oncologist who said I probably have a bad liver which is backing blood and fatty tissue in my spleen causing it to expand and hurt. Basically, I need to lose this obese fat in order to live. So for now on I am trying to save $4,000 for the lap band surgery. My insurance pays $7,500. I will also need to save for plastic surgery to get rid of the excess skin. BUT, bring it on. I am ready. It may take me a month or it may take me a year, but I am going to have that surgery. I have to.

So, now this blog has become all about the bariatric surgery again. Blah.     

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday March 9th, 2011 - Back on the upswing

I feel like I have passed through the worst of my bipolar low or it could be that I have gotten very busy. I am currently writing two articles/columns for some trade magazine websites and I am trying to stick to my book, but it has been hard to find enough time. Today, however, I will spend at least 4 hours on the book.

I have been going crazy updating the website. I've added mountains of material and I still have 100 images to add and 144 pages worth of documents. Yup, I'll be busy with that. Maybe a little everyday. Might open up a new library to consolidate all of the written work by or about my father.

My diet has been for shit. When I am on a bipolar low it is very difficult to care about the calories in a Philly Cheese Steak. All I know is that it makes me feel better and sometimes that's enough. In addition to my lack of daytime will power, I have a hard time sleeping which usually leads to deciding if I am going to fight my late night hunger and have insomnia or will I eat a PBJ and fall asleep. The PBJ has been winning up until the last few days which indicates to me that I must be getting closer to my regular self. I need to get back into the gym, but I hurt my back lifting my mom into the van last Friday. Perhaps I'll feel better tomorrow. I know that I have to buy a six month membership because paying as I go only means that I don't feel guilty enough to go.

My hypno-therapist missed our last appointment because she logged my appointment on the wrong month. I was a little upset that I had to drive across town for a missed appointment and I had decided to use the money I would have spent on the therapist for the gym membership, but then she called and expressed regret at having gotten the appointment wrong and she said that she would credit me one hour which equals $100, so I rescheduled.

I received an email from Paul Hench regarding an article he just published on his blog and I thought it would be helpful to link to it in case you are looking for some great tweets on weight control. "Daily Dieting Motivation: The Top 50 Must-Follow Weight Loss Twitter Feeds” at . I hope that he writes another one on top weight control blogs and then I want on the list because my ramblings are just awesome... for insomnia. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday March 3rd, 2011 - Bipolar low

Still having trouble getting into the weight loss mode. For some reason, I can't seem to shake what is obviously a bipolar low. I'm on edge and ready for an argument. The boys have a habit of procrastinating about things I have asked them to do. For instance, I asked number 3 to empty the trash 3 times and he said he would. Finally I got tired of seeing the overflowing trash and I went to him as he was lying on his bed texting his girlfriend and told him to stop what he is doing and empty the trash immediately. He got up and grabbed the bag I had already pulled and set on the floor with such force and attitude that he knocked some of the trash out of the bag. I went ape shit. I'll let them back talk to a point, but they are not allowed to throw things or slam doors and walk away from me when I am disciplining them. That triggers animal anger. Another example, I do the laundry. I don't mind, but I expect number 2 to take his clean and folded basket of clothes up to his room and he must put them away as opposed to living out of the basket. I had his basket sitting in the path to the stairs. He had to have past it many times. As a matter of fact he was pulling clean clothes out of it while it remained in the way. I asked repeatedly over the course of two days and he said, "yeah sure, in a minute." I had heard that enough and I turned the computer monitor off and told him he could resume on the computer when he had collected his basket and put them away. I do this with verbal conclusion, not physical force. They get all wacked out and say I'm going over the top and being an ass which just gets them further into trouble. Then I am compelled to offer a one way conversation to prohibit repeated offenses. Okay, I tear them a new one. My wife who listens to my request and sees my eventual blowout tells me she totally agrees and that I was completely justified and well within the bounds of proper parenting. Keep in mind that number 3 is 14 and number two is 19. I don't even work on number one anymore because I want him to learn to take care of himself so I let him get as close as I can to letting him face the adult consequences. Besides, he knows all my button and can drive me to the point where I have to leave the room or even the house before I smack him one. Keep in mind I am not only fat, but also very strong both in voice and physical being. They wouldn't stand a chance in a physical fight. I scare them. All that being said, 99% of the time I laugh and hang out with 2 &3 and we have fun (number 1 is too cool for me and he thinks I'm an idiot). I still think I am a good parent. None of my boys have gotten suspended from school or even a parking ticket let alone a DUI or incarceration of any kind. They respect other peoples property and they would never harm a soul. In our household their is a "no touchy" rule. I want them to use their words, not fists. That rule is obeyed over 98% of the time. They are publicly respectful and polite. I think they are awesome boys. And they adore their mom as they should. They will make excellent husbands and parents when the time comes.

The one thing that will provoke the opening of the whoop ass can is if they talk back to their mother or disrespect her in any way. I simply will not tolerate that under any circumstances and they know it. You can mess with me to a point, but never ever with mom. It's the way it always has been and always will be. Mom is to be talked to respectfully even when she is wrong. She loves her boys unconditionally, but she has no problem threating to tell me. For some reason this works. I must be just scary enough, but I don't have to use physical force so I guess its just part of being a parent, but I still get upset when I have to play the bad guy. Of course that doesn't stop me. I'll take the roll because I am the dad.

All of that is okay, but when I'm like this, I have a much shorter fuse and I will react with fierceness when ignored. I always try to be polite even when I am ready to kill someone, but if they blow me off, I retaliate.

I think what concerns me the most when I am depressed is that it is so hard to get motivated and to be productive. And I have been fantasizing about death. I think it would be a relief to be dead for awhile, but then I want the Jesus ability to come back. I just want peace and maybe I selfishly want people to recognize a world without me. Nonetheless, I have gone through the check list; hanging=gross; cutting wrists=ouch; jumping off a cliff=ouch; solo car wreck = messy and death is not guarantied. Gun shot =messy, but guaranteed. Drug overdose. Humm, it would have to be lethal and quick and painless. Maybe take a drive to a mountain road and then OD.

See, is that a little unhealthy? When I find myself seriously planning out my suicide I know I'm depressed. There is no real reason. My life isn't even close to being hard enough to commit suicide. What I do fear is that I would not be "attempting" anything. I would be successful as usual. So much to lose; some much left to be done; so much to wait for like grandchildren or successfully transitioning into a full time author. I have lots of places I want to travel to and many other things yet to be experienced so no, I am not currently suicidal, but I think about it too much and sometimes I scare myself. I could see a problem if I was, for instance, going through a divorce or if I found out my wife was having an affair. I just couldn't handle that. I suppose if I got arrested for something horrible, I would commit suicide in a blink.

I guess when I'm writing it out it sounds silly. Unfortunately, this is the point where I get real drunk for a day or I eat without restraint. I did that last night. I ate three hot dogs. In my defense, they were really good hot dogs prepared just the way I like them. Which reminds me; I haven't had lunch yet and I need to write on the book so enough of this pity party and back to work. I haven't even made my bed yet. Later.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1st, 2011 - Book progress

Well, my eating is still a bit out of control. I'm not gaining weight, but I'm also not losing weight. I also need to re-schedule my hypno therapist. I have been feeling the financial pinch and I've been having troubles with my bipolar disorder.

Perhaps it's the time of year or the frequency of dead birthdays, but I have been feeling edgy and my emotions have been all over the place with no reason whatsoever. I'll just take my meds and work my way through this.

We have been having our new windows installed, so I've had to stick around the house, but they are done today so I should be able to start hitting the gym again. That seems to be the key. If I feel strong it's easier to stick to the weight loss routine. So, I'll give myself a break and worry about it tomorrow. Seriously, Wednesday the second.

Oh yes, I have put writing my book as a top priority. First, I think it's a good book and second, it is the clearest path towards sustainable income. I know. So many authors never get published. Well if I can't find a publisher in the first month after I have completed the manuscript, I will self publish and advertise the crap out of it. When you publish online, your book can be sold at amazon, barnes and noble, ect... However, if you want to publish hardcovers, then it will cost you. If I have to I will first publish as an ebook and then use the proceeds to publish hard copies. Or, I could submit it to the publishers that I already know. This isn't quite their cup of tea, but I'm optimistic that they will help me find the appropriate publisher. Either way, my book will get published.