I hope it is easy to find lorib.blog, or lorib434.wordpress.com
i have been blogging, more like journaling for years, but not for an audience. I have published on The Mighty, recently started posting on Medium and published on Psych Central. The title there is Triple Winner.
I have a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and social anxiety, along with overcoming an alcohol addiction. I plan to blog about those topics and other ramblings.
As part of a gift in a gift exchange I was given Empathy Postcards by Emily McDowell. It reminded me of a time I was hospitalized for my mental health . In art class I made a card to myself. No one brings cards when you are you in the behavioral health unit. I think they just don’t know what to say. These empathy Postcards are perfect for times like that. I think I will use them for friends when they are having a rough time.
I also was given some keto friendly snacks, a little stuffed poodle that looks like my dog, dog treats and a nice note.
As far as keto, things are going well. My labs were good last month, so.my Dr took me off of one med, Januvia. Everything went wacky for a few weeks. My weight was going up, glucose went higher than when I started keto and I was out of ketosis. My Dr gave me the option to give it a couple of weeks more or to go back on Januvia. I decided to see how it goes in a week. It started improving. My weight started dropping and fasting glucose lowered. I am back in ketosis
I asked my coach from the program I am in, for type 2 diabetes, Virta, about a CGM, continuous glucose monitor. The Virta Dr called in a prescription for Freestyle Libre 14 day sensor. I got a voucher from the freestyle libre US website to bring to the pharmacy. It is a free trial. My insurance won’t cover more sensors but I am getting a lot of data. My glucose drops in the early morning and then rises. The sensor does not always agree with the fingerstick. It reads interstitial fluid. The range is set at 70-140 mg/dl and I am in range. I am going to lower it to 126 to see if I can tell the difference. It has a graph but it is hard to read. It is small. So far the biggest rise in glucose is just from waking up and not from my food. The app lets you write notes to go with the readings.
I have sleep apnea and wear a dental appliance. After my dentist adjusts it, he orders a home sleep study. I have done about 4 so far. I did one this week and have seen the results. I wore a t-shirt with tennis balls that is supposed to keep me in my side but the device read as if I was on my back most of the night. I still have mild apnea with the appliance so he will most likely adjust it more. It is not painful but it gets uncomfortable the more he moves my jaw forward and it takes time to get it back in position in the morning.
I talked with my therapist this week. She asked how much time I spend online. I don’t know so I told her that, but it is a lot. She said she spends an hour. She wants me to keep track. I don’t have to change but she says I should know. I like her but don’t like her assignments
I have been on a ketogenic diet for about 5 months to help treat type 2 diabetes. I was taking 2 medications. Metformin and Januvia. I am monitored through a program called Virta. I have a coach and a physician through Virta, it is all done virtually. There is also an online community for people on the program. It is covered by my insurance.
At the beginning of this month I had labs that my endocrinologist had ordered. The results were really good. A1C of 4.8 and fasting glucose 98. Everything else was normal, too. For some reason my endocrinologist office cancelled my appointment so I had to reschedule for August. The Virta dr said that I could try going off Januvia since my labs are so good.
So, I go off Januvia and everything goes screwy. I get ravenous at night and have to eat after dinner. I had been slowly losing, now I am gaining weight. My fasting glucose is higher than before I started keto. I test my ketones and they are low. I chatted with people in the community and they tell me to stick it out, that my body will adapt. I am not so sure. I put in a message to the Virta dr to ask for his opinion but I won’t hear until at least Monday. I did not even know if the Januvia was doing anything but I now notice a difference without it.
I rarely talk about work, but here I go. My opinions do not represent my employer.
I work in peer support in a 20 bed mental health crisis stabilization unit (CSU). I have worked in peer support at an activity center for people with mental health issues and in a residential program. The people we see are much more symptomatic than I had worked with in the past. I am available to talk and offer groups but I don’t get much interaction because people want to sleep, are too symptomatic, want to be left alone etc.
It is a new facility and peer support is a new position for my employer. I have been there about 5 months and still have not found my footing. My boss is aware of the issues of people not wanting to interact and told me to keep being available and offering groups. She is going to give me some additional duties once they are approved.
It also can be anxiety provoking when patients are loud or aggressive. I am not involved with dealing with those situations but I feel tense. I help out where I can. I like the place and what we do.
I had therapy last week. I started seeing this therapist after the pandemic, so all my sessions have been virtual. I forget what she asked but I mentioned I remember mistakes from the past, 20, 30 years ago or more and they torment me. She wanted me to share but I am not comfortable with that. I feel such shame and they were mistakes that I feel are unforgivable. If I did not feel shame there would be something wrong. But, I don’t want to delve into them.
My father did not believe in mental health treatment even though schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar run in our family. When I started therapy he discouraged it saying talking about the past just makes everyone sad. I did not understand what he meant until now.
My therapist wants me to work on forgiving myself. I have to explain to her that some of these things are best kept hidden.
I have been able to stay alcohol free after my planned intoxication in April. My plan is sobriety until our wedding anniversary in October. It was pretty easy to get back to it.
I posted a link to an In Our Own Voice presentation I did for NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, in a different post. I have not been speaking much lately. I saw a different program by NAMI called VOICES. It is geared towards first responders. I signed up to be a speaker, but am having trouble figuring out where to start. My initial interaction with mental healthcare and police was not until I was 39, but since mental illness runs in my family that was not foreign.
My brother had a psychotic break in college at 20 (I was 15). He refused treatment and would get picked up by the police for 72 hour observational holds in the late 70s. His is a sad story. He was severely symptomatic for 6 years when he finally was placed on a different medication that he responded well to. But, he started becoming symptomatic again, paranoid, edgy, and probably needed his medication adjusted. He went to Yosemite while symptomatic and fell at a waterfall. I don’t know if it was accidental or not, but he died from the fall.
This is supposed to be a story of hope, but it is part of my story. If I had not seen him so ill for so long I may not have accepted treatment, but I did not want to be stuck in psychosis like he was. I think it is okay for first responders, but not sure if it will scare the general public who may be worrying about their own children.
My story is much different. I did go in and out of psychosis for 3 years, but I have been stable since 2006. I have not been hospitalized for 16 years. I am married, have healthy grown children, work part time. I still have some doubts about what was real from the past, but I can function.
I zoomed with a dietician this week. We talked about ketogenic diet and brain health, specifically schizoaffective disorder. She gave me goals for macros and ketones. I am having trouble just staying in the requirements of Virta, the company that is monitoring my diabetes, so she suggested following that and then make changes.
The suggestions she made was: going from 30g carb a day to 22g. And, cutback on artificial sweeteners. Keep my protein the same, and increase fat. She also suggested, for my particular issue, that I should have 2-3 mmol/l ketones in blood. When I started keto, I was getting numbers in that range, but now it runs around 1.0 so she suggested adding mct oil. She also suggested balancing the unsaturated fat I use with some monounsaturated fats.
I am trying to hit the macro targets now, but will really start in earnest in May.
I had asked my psychiatrist if he would talk with the Virta doctor and he agreed, but I don’t think he has called. I have been stable a long time, and am wary of making any medication changes. The dietician told me to work with my psychiatrist about any changes, which I would do anyhow.
I really can’t believe I have stuck with this as long as I have. I want to make it a lifestyle change but it is hard. I feel good and am thinking clearly. My main issue is that something does not agree with my gut. My fasting glucose has dropped 20 pts. Still not low enough to change my diabetes meds, but it is an improvement. I have lost about 1 lb/week, it’s not melting off, but I think it is reasonable.
I am in a medically monitored nutritional ketosis program and working with a psychiatrist for my mental illness. Please don’t try this alone.
I have been on a ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes, through a company called Virta for about 3 months. I have lost about 1 lb/week, my fasting glucose has dropped 20 pts, and I feel good.
My friend was pushing me to try the diet and now he has been pressuring me to find out information on medical ketosis for psychiatry. He says it has greatly helped his depression. My provider from Virta agreed to talk with my psychiatrist about how a keto diet can affect mental health. But, I started wondering what am I doing. I have schizoaffective disorder controlled with medication and also take medication and use coping skills for anxiety. I don’t know that I want to change anything.
My therapist coached me on how to tell my friend thanks, but I feel pressured. I am not great at setting boundaries. I took her advice and he was cool. He said it is not his business what I decide to do and he is just making suggestions.
Then, I read a post on Reddit where someone is working with a dietician from the Charlie Foundation on a keto diet for schizophrenia. They work on keto for epilepsy in children and have expanded. I emailed and they gave me info on a dietician and I made an appointment for a zoom call on Wed.
The diet I am on now is 30 g total carbs, 13 oz protein containing food and fat to satiate. I am sure the dietician will have something more precise with macro g or percentages. Right now I weigh some but estimate amounts, where I will be measuring more.
My therapist gives me homework. The last thing she gave me was to give examples on where I could be more assertive, like with my friend. And to think of things I am grateful for and proud of. I am grateful for many things. The people in my life, especially my husband and even my pushy friend. My car, dog, food, home… i could go on, but proud of had me stumped.
I work and take care of my family but there is nothing I can identify as I am really proud about. I thought some more. I am proud I have been alcohol free for 6 months and have a plan for moderation. I am proud I have been able to stick with keto 3 months and with the results.
I have stopped going to AA meetings. I felt pressured to attend meetings and pray daily. I am not religious and I did not find that part helpful. There are things I gained. I don’t think I would have stayed sober this long without starting with AA. The accountability was helpful.
I belong to a couple of Facebook pages. Secular AA, Moderation Management and HAMs. (Harm Reduction, Abstinence and Moderation). We are called HAMsters. I am leaning towards trying to moderate drinking to about two times a year. We are going out of town over my birthday. Someone gave us a bottle of champagne and I plan to have some. Then I plan to go alcohol free until our wedding anniversary in October.
My therapist warned me it is a “slippery slope” and how do I not know I won’t go back to drinking more often. And, that I plan to drink because we have champagne makes no sense to her. I feel like if I have a plan, I can stick with it. And, that AA is not the program for me because I want to be able to drink occasionally, like twice a year. I won’t be alone. I won’t be driving.
I had therapy, virtual, on Wednesday. I went over what was going on in the present. Then my therapist started asking questions about when I was school age. Jr high and high school were not the best years of my life. I had a friend drop me in 8th grade to hang out with more popular friends. I had a boyfriend in high school who was very critical and was sometimes mean.
My home life was horrific. My father had an undiagnosed, but quite obvious in hindsight, mental illness and my brother had a severe psychotic disorder. He was nice, just a bit scary to me. Everything was unpredictable. My dad would be fine one day and raging the next. I could not deal with being there so I spent most of my time out, with friends, drinking alcohol or smoking weed. I was very sad, and quiet.
After answering her questions she asked for my thoughts and I said they are discombobulated. I don’t know what to think. So, she told me to write down my discombobulated thoughts when they come to me. She used my own words but I don’t what she wants. I am going to email mon.
She gave me other homework. To write what you can gain from AA, without spirituality. That is easier for me. I belong to a secular AA Facebook group. I tried one meeting but I felt out of place and have not looked at others. I did think the accountability and recognition for time sober helped me. I have not gone to meetings lately but I am staying sober,
I have had problems with the spirituality part of AA. I am not religious and don’t feel comfortable praying. I am okay with the Serenity Prayer at meetings, but don’t usually pray on my own. I also started getting busier in my life.
I started a new job this month and am also starting the ketogenic diet. It is fewer days, but 8 hr shifts so I have to plan lunch. I have been bringing nuts and cheese and making it more of a break. So far that is working well. But, I do have to think more about meals and planning until I get keto down.
I have lost 10 lbs in a month, which is great for me, but the main reason I am doing the diet is for type 2 diabetes. When I stick to the plan, 30 g total carbs moderate protein and fats to satiate I am good, but the store bought “keto” products that go by net carbs, not counting sugar alcohols and fiber, still raise my blood sugar a little. It is still better than when I started.
I am in a program through my insurance called Virta. They provide me with supplies, a health coach, a dr and a forum. I report weight, glucose and blood ketones daily. At first the additional fat in my diet upset my stomach, but I think I have adjusted. My sister started when I told her how well it worked for my blood sugar, so I have someone to talk about keto. It is a huge change for me. I am a big fruit and sweets eater but I don’t get many cravings and rarely feel hungry.
The job is going well. I am a peer advocate in mental health crisis stabilization unit. Basically, a mental health urgent care. We just opened and it has been quiet, sometimes they send me home early because I have nothing to do, I have been making a binder of resources, I will be providing therapeutic communication when we have patients, so far, I have only been there with one patient who was not very talkative.
As far as AA, I had cut way back in going to meetings because of things going on in my life. My sponsor suggested I go to more meetings and pray every morning and evening. I thought about it and decided to take a break from it all. I can meditate but I don’t want to pray every day and I felt pressured about going to meetings, I have not been drinking. I just don’t know if it is the right program for me.
I went to a zoom AA meeting and someone said that you don’t try to control things that are already under control. That was what I needed to hear.
I had all of these rules and thought my drinking was under control because: I didn’t drink and drive, I only drank in the evening, I got chores done before drinking, although I was pushing even those limits.
But, normal people just need one rule. Don’t drink too much.
I listed in a previous post how my life was unmanageable. I have to refer back to it to remind myself. I still have cravings even though I logically have decided I don’t want to continue drinking. I just remind myself of reasons I don’t want to drink.
I have schizoaffective disorder and I don’t want to interfere with stability, and alcohol does not play well with my medications. And, I am not very productive at home if I am drinking. Also, I think I was walking around with a mild hangover. My head feels more clear, I feel lighter now.