I'm a year old man and I live in Salem Oregon. I'm at a point in my life where I need to make some changes. Can I turn my life around at my age or did I wait too long and if so, then please stop the world I want to get off now.
Do you remember the
To protect myself I have to tell you that parts of my website are fiction even though that's not true. To read the reason why I have to tell you that, click here.
I'm not an author and my spelling and grammar isn't the best, but I'm going to give you some history on my physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social, and financial health. I'm going to talk about my goals, my achievements, and my failures. I'll be completely transparent and honest with you because that's the only way this will work. I'll provide unredacted documents like, medical records and lab results and I'll provide pdf's from banks and credit card companies showing my statements.
I'll answer any sincere questions and consider any advice or suggestions from anyone that is taking this as seriously as I am. There is a community section where we can talk, post pictures, there's even a section for recipes. I'm a diabetic and anything I can do to be healthier I'm willing to try. To get to the community section click the "Talk With Me" link at the top. The links up there are a great way to navigate my site and down at the bottom is the image gallery with lots of pictures and descriptions.
Goals For Me
What am I trying to achieve? I need to get into an assisted living environment. My health has declined so much over the past decade that I've been told many times that I'm not fit to live alone and care for myself properly, I sadly agree with them. I just want to be happy, healthy, and as independent as possible.
I'm setting my first goal, I want to be 30 pounds lighter and be able to get up when I fall. I want to be in an assisted living environment, such as EmpRes Healthcare Management, where I can get healthy diabetic meals, exercise, wound care, dementia care, medication management, neurological care, help with basic daily personal care, pain management, and I want to have access to counseling. I need this goal to be met by July 4th 2023. There are days remaining. If I achieve my goal I will set a new goal and reset the countdown.
But if I fail I'll end my life by stepping off the Union Street Railroad Bridge into the Willamette River below. I can't swim and I'm too overweight and weak to get to the surface, problems solved. I plan on notifying Jared Leisek and Doug Bishop at Adventures With Purpose right before I go in the water, AWP is in Bend Oregon, only 130 miles from Salem. They're a volunteer search and recovery dive team, they recover bodies from the water and they help bring closure to the families with missing loved ones. They operate strictly on donations from individuals, business sponsorships, along with ad monetization from YouTube and Facebook. I've watched all their videos and read a lot about the owner Jared Leisek, I like his principals on life and family and even though we won't meet in my lifetime I'd like to thank him and Doug Bishop for the part they unknowingly may end up playing in my adventure. The team recently acquired The AquaEye® which is an advanced handheld sonar device used to assist in finding missing persons in the water.
When I link to a photo, a document, or even an offsite source of information the links will open in a new tab. I only link to reputable sites that I trust and that are top rated in their field, such as:
Below I'll list out my medical issues and I'll show pictures and documents when I can. If, on our adventure, I can check one of the items off the list I will and from time to time I may need to add a new item.
The links below will take you to a specific section on the page, you don't need to navigate the site with those links if you don't want to, you can scroll down the page and read as you go if you choose.
I suffer from uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, I test my blood twice a day by poking my fingers and rarely is the reading under 350 and it's been so high that the meter just says "HI" because the reading was off the chart and it couldn't display a number that high. Recently I bought some dentures, check them out here, they don't fit my mouth very well, but without them I can only eat food that doesn't require chewing. I try to eat right, but I have no way to heat food and my refrigerator is very small, only about 18 inches by 18 inches by 18 inches, Look at it here. Storing fresh vegetables and healthy food is impossible and I normally eat foods like beans out of the can or ramen soup, that I keep in the closet on a shelf, like this I made out of a cardboard box - that's ingenuity, but it's all high in sugar, salt, and carbs. I don't have a way to heat canned food, but I do have a kettle to make hot water for the ramen. Please don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for everything I have, some people aren't as blessed as me.
Back in the 90's I was a long-haul trucker, I drove coast to coast delivering goods for people around the US, it was a lot of fun, but in 1999 I was careless and fell off a dock and broke my right leg really bad. It was never the same after that, I had a lot of nerve damage and it never healed correctly, the skin in the area of the break turned a dark reddish bronze (called a venous leg ulcer), it's caused by the trauma to the veins around the injury site where my skin is not getting enough nutrients or oxygen from my blood and the spots where the staples were never healed quite right, it's kind of gross but if you want to see it click here. It's not too swollen in that picture, it gets so swollen that my ankles disappear, I'm told its mainly from eating salt but I also have really bad edema and that's where my leg feels like it's full of putty. I can push on it and it leaves a dent that takes all day to recover. A proper diet would help with the swelling and weight loss and exercise would help the edema go away and then my blood would flow right, diabetics need to take care of their legs to avoid diabetic amputations. I've already told my doctor that I won't allow them to remove any body parts, this is another reason that assisted living is a must, if they want to remove my foot or lower leg and I refuse, then our adventure will surely end quickly because the leg will first get gangrene and then I'll get blood poisoning and die. I've been told it's a terrible way to go.
I have sleep apnea and I sleep sitting up in a broken chair. 6 years ago I was able to lay in a bed because I used a machine called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), the machine was an air pump connected to a mask that had straps that held it over my nose and mouth while I slept, the air passed through a tank of water so the air wasn't dry. It was uncomfortable to sleep with a plastic mask strapped to my head but it reduced the chance of me dying in my sleep. When the supplier, A Turning Leaf, here in Salem changed their policies and refused to mail me supplies anymore I had to stop using the machine because it was unsafe to use dirty hoses and filters. A A Turning Leaf is still in business and they still refuse to send me supplies. The supplies are paid for by my medical coverage which is PacificSource Community Solutions and that's through the Oregon Health Plan. The postage was paid by them and I even offered to pay it myself, but A Turning Leaf still refuses to send supplies. The machine is sitting on a shelf in my mother's garage and I don't know if it can be cleaned.
My eye sight is going, partially because I'm aging and maybe a little from the diabetes too. I recently tried to get glasses but wasn't able to. The Oregon Health Plan provides health care coverage for low-income people. I asked PacificSource Community Solutions for some help to cover the cost of the glasses. They didn't help me, I thought if I saved them $1000's by stopping all my seizure medicine and firing my neurologist that they would consider helping me with a $200-ish pair of glasses. Not a chance. This is a prime example of what makes sense in my head, but not in the mind of a pencil-pushing government employee. Upset? Heck yeah...
I have Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. It's an injury to the Ulnar nerve in my elbow. I've spent decades sitting at my desk working on my computer and leaning on my elbows. The injury became painful so I told my doctor what I was going through and he referred me to Neaman Plastic Surgery where I saw Dr. Peter Tsai who also runs his own clinic called Upper Hand Orthopaedics and is the co-founder of The Waverly Lake Surgery Center in Albany Oregon. I was referred to Dr. Daniel Chen at The Salem Hospital and he did a ulnar nerve conduction study on my elbow and sent the results to Dr. Peter Tsai. Who sat down with me in September of 2021 and he said he would do the surgery, but because of my high A1C (related to my diabetes) he wouldn't be able to do it in the office, but he would do it at one of the hospitals in Corvallis Oregon. He told me he would get it scheduled and let me know when. In March after waiting nearly 6 months to hear from Dr. Peter Tsai, I started going to the Neaman Plastic Surgery website and using their contact form on their site to ask why I wasn't hearing from anyone and after many emails I finally got a reply from Kylee Pattee who is a Medical Assistant. Here is our conversation. Here is more information on the caring doctor that told me he would do the surgery to relieve my pain and help my injury heal but instead he turned out to be a deceptive liar.
I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus production and wheezing. I have it because I smoked for over 35 years, I quit in 2018 after I mentioned to my doctor that my ears ring all the time and he told me that would stop when I quit smoking, it didn't or at least it hasn't yet but it's only been 4 years they should stop ringing soon, he said they would. I communicate with my doctor and his team on a regular basis.
I have a skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa. For me, a morbidly obese ex-smoker, I get large painful lumps in my groin. When I walk, they rub and that causes pain, when I sit, I'm sitting ON them and that causes pain, there is nothing I can do, I'm always in pain. This sometimes goes on for weeks and eventually they grow big enough that one day I sit on the toilet and they explode, most of the bloody stuff blows into the toilet and what doesn't I can squeeze out with a paper towel. Then it drains slowly until the hole heals up then it starts building up again, it's painful while it grows, it pops, it drains, it heals and then it all starts over.
Obesity is determined by your body mass index (BMI). This score is calculated by finding your height and weight on the BMI chart. Morbid obesity is defined by a BMI of 40 or greater. Here is a link to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention's BMI calculator. I'm 5'10" tall and around 340 pounds. My BMI is 48.8 and I have health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
Weight loss is difficult. I've read that only around 5% of people who are morbidly obese, like me, are successful at losing weight without surgical assistance. I don't want surgery, I think I can do it myself with healthy food and excercise, but if not then it's an option. Gastric bypass surgery is the option I would choose if I had to go with surgery, it works by sealing off most of my stomach, so I feel fuller faster. When I eat less food I'll lose weight fast.
I forget to take my medicine. A lot! I don't know how I forget so frequently, I've tried everything to remind myself but I continue to screw it up somehow. I tried email reminders and alarms on my phone, and even pill reminder apps, I just can't remember. If I don't maintain a therapeutic level of the medication in my blood it won't work like my prescribers intend for it to. It's time to admit that I'm not in control, I need help, and that's another reason that I know that I need to be in an assisted living environment. I hope I won't need it forever; I want to be independent like everyone else, but if I keep going like I am now there won't be any improvement in my life and I don't want to be here doing the same thing next year and the year after and the year after.
I think I'm in the beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. Sometimes I wake up and I don't know where I am or who I am, it's scary to think that I'm in someone else's home and I don't know how I got there. It freaks me out, I just sit there in the dark and try to figure it out. After a while it comes to me, kind of like slowly walking out of a thick fog.
In 2009 I bought a big truck (Dodge 3500) and an RV and I travelled around trying to relive my past. I went to places where I lived and they weren't the same as I remembered. I visited people from my past, I located my first girlfriend in Las Vegas, Alisha, we went to school together in Washington State. I spent a few months in Vegas and we hung out a few times, I think. I remember going to an outdoor movie and visiting Red Rock Canyon. It's very fuzzy but I'm pretty sure we also went to the Hoover Dam.
My father died when I was 9 years old, I don't remember what he looked like, all I remember is sitting on his bed and having him tell me that he was sick and we only had about 2 years left together, I remember when the radiation made his hair fall out and when I woke up in the morning he was bald and I laughed at him, I remember being at a zoo and asking him if I could take a picture of the turtle swimming under water and he said "no" because the picture would just be a reflection but I took the picture anyway and it was fine. He died 2 months later. I can't believe I laughed at him when his hair fell out... That had to hurt him, it wasn't my intention.
My youngest brother and his family live across town but I can't remember the last time we spoke. I have another younger brother and he doesn't like to talk to me, he says I repeat myself over and over and that when I think I'm telling him something new, he says I've already told him that and he calls me a retard. I just need a little help. I don't think I'm a retard.
A Mental Me
My mental health is a weird thing for me to talk about because I'm trying to tell you what's wrong with me but some of the things that I think are normal are really quite messed up, I mean a blind guy knows he's blind but does a crazy guy know he's crazy? I know I have issues, I have my whole life, but with proper care and medication I've always been able to live a life with happiness, love, positive outlook, independence, compassion, and humility. I've been happy and I've been unhappy, that's part of being human. I can honestly say that my medication and my environment are both key factors that work together to keep me happy and healthy.
My Mental Health Prescriptions
I take 300 milligrams of extended release Lamotragine twice a day. Lamotrigine is used alone or with other medications to treat epileptic seizures. Lamotrigine is also used to delay mood episodes in adults with bipolar disorder (manic depression) and it warns that I may have suicidal thoughts. So, the medication makes me think about committing suicide, but it puts me in a good mood?
I take 600 milligrams of Lithium Carbonate every morning and 900 milligrams every night. It works to stabilize the mood and reduce extremes in behavior by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in my brain. Some of the benefits include decreasing how often my manic episodes occur and decreasing the symptoms of manic episodes such as exaggerated feelings of well-being, feelings that others wish to harm you, irritability, anxiousness, loud fast speech, and aggressive and hostile behaviors.
I take 200 milligrams of Quentapine Fumarate XR is used to treat certain mental conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, sudden episodes of mania or depression associated with bipolar disorder. Quetiapine is known as an anti-psychotic drug. It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain. It can decrease hallucinations and improve concentration. It also helps with mood swings.
I take 40 milligrams of Propranolol twice a day for anxiety.
My Mental Health Conditions
I have Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unexpected and often dramatic shifts in mood. I have manic episodes where I become irritated about little things or things that are real inside my head but aren't really real at all. I go from nice and calm to an uncontrollable raging a**hole in the blink of an eye.
Anxiety is worrying that never stops. Its symptoms can be severe and include emotional, physical, and/or psychological manifestations. Here are some of the symptoms of my anxiety. I've read that people who have anxiety tend to have abnormal levels of neurotransmitters, which means their brains have trouble transmitting information on a cellular level.
Phobias, they're irrational fears of harmless things. Some of mine include the fear of being alone, spiders, shaving, showering, plant-based meat, and flying in airplanes. I'm also scared of food and drink that may contain soy. Soy is unique in that it contains a high concentration of isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen (phytoestrogen) that is similar in function to human estrogen. So, if you're a man and you want a beautiful pair of breasts, just keep sucking down those soy lattes. A popular men's health site, Breaking Muscle reports, "Soy is a potent androgen disruptor, and according to results of a study, men who consumed the largest amount of soy tend to have the lowest sperm counts. Sperm count is tied intimately with androgen levels, meaning that you should also expect to see lowered testosterone levels." Some studies say soy is bad and some say it isn't, I'll just be safe and avoid it. Here's a list of 10 foods that contain soy.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The most well-known example is obsessive hand-washing, but OCD can also involve other ritualistic behavior, such as deleting all my inbox email at the end of the day, all the sent mail, all my junk mail, and then all the deleted mail has to be deleted. I also believe everything has a place and it needs to be kept in its place. I have a small desk and I don't have a calendar and it's only because I tell myself that there isn't a place for a calendar, I know that's irrational but to this day I don't own a calendar. I'm going to get one in 2023 and try to hang it somewhere.
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder where I'm scared to death and quickly panic in situations like: crowded places and places that I can't escape from like not having control over the ability to get away. When I'm in those situations I have panic attacks and I experience racing heart rate, breathing problem, chest pain, increased sweating, very dry mouth, and that kind of thing. I don't like taking pills and every medication has side effects and mixing all the pills for each ailment I have could be dangerous. I don't take any medication for my agoraphobia, I just prefer to be alone, and even before the whole Covid thing I was pretty much a shut-in, I never left my living area, I opted to stay indoors, I blacked out all the windows, not answer the door (I gave my family keys so they could just come in rather than knocking and expecting me to open it.) I also don't answer my cellular phone unless the caller ID displays the name of someone I know. (My voicemail still says that I don't monitor my phone and to not leave a message. Do you want to hear it? 1-503-480-9754) I really don't like going out in public. If I want to go shopping, I go to Wal-Mart® at 3am when there was hardly anyone in the store or I'd order from Amazon® or Instacart®.
Schizoaffective Disorder is a mental health disorder that is marked by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania. People with schizoaffective disorder may need assistance with daily stuff, like managing personal care, including cleanliness and physical appearance.
When I'm not taking my medication as prescribed, and that happens a lot, I used to think people were trying to harm me and that I needed to get them before they got me. Remember when the Islamic radicals were driving trucks into crowds of people? Here are a few examples:
1) 2016 Nice truck attack resulting in the deaths of 86 and injuring 458.
I also fear the "lone wolf" attacks on people:
1) Wikipedia: List of lone wolf terrorist attacks.
If that doesn't scare the sh** out of you then you're what I would refer to as "a victim" or "a statistic". I don't like living in fear, who would?
That was very hard for me to deal with, living in constant fear of someone hurting me or worse, my family. I became obsessed with killing them all. Only through mental health counselling and medication was I able to get out of that mindset. Another great reason that assisted living would be so great, I need help with my medication. Here's an onsite link where I talk about my problems with taking my medication properly.
A Spiritual Me
I believe three things about being a spiritual person:
First, I'm not a religious man, but I do believe in God and I've read the teachings of Jesus Christ, I've also read some philosophies of a man named Buddha and I tried to understand the teachings of the Quran, but couldn't. I think for the most part the 5 most popular religions of the world all teach basically the same thing and that's: murder is evil, incest is wrong, prayer is good and the world is imperfect. They all also seem to acknowledge Karma, the Golden Rule, and Love Thy Neighbor kinds of ideas. All I want is happiness, health, and harmony both internal and external.
Second, I try to attend to my inner life, to my mental and emotional states, in the hopes of gaining a certain kind of self-knowledge. Building this site is helping me learn a lot about myself. I'm not into yoga or meditation, but I am into self-reflection, who I am and why I do the things I do.
Third, I value these virtues: I'm compassionate, empathetic and open-hearted. I like to do things without recognition, I would go through the drive-thru at lunchtime and when I got to the payment window, I would pay for the meal of the car behind me or grab an extra combo-meal and give it to the homeless person on the corner. It's amazing how doing something that is very inexpensive will make you smile and it might be the best thing that's happened to the other person in a while, in any case you spent very little and you made people happy, including yourself.
I think my spirit is one of the most neglected aspects of myself. Just as I should exercise to condition my body, a healthy spirit is nurtured by purposeful practice. My spirit is the aspect of myself that should be able to carry me through anything. If I took care of my spirit, I'd experience a sense of peace and purpose even when life deals me a severe blow.
A Social Me
It involves my inability to form healthy relationships with others. It also relates to my repeated failure to adapt to different social situations and act appropriately. I've read that to optimize my health, I'll need to go beyond physical and mental health and look at the health of my close social relationships. I don't have any close relationships. I have no friends, I used to have a friend named Boris, but I screwed that up. The only other human contact I've had since 2010 is from talking to people that are paid to interact with me, like doctors and counselors. I believe that my lack of strong social ties is a factor in my current state of morbid obesity, weighing in at over 340 pounds.
My social environment includes lifestyle factors like diet and exercise, socioeconomic status, and other societal influences that affect my health. My social environment also means things in the natural environment like air, water, and soil, and also all the physical, chemical, biological, and social features of our surroundings. Being a "prisoner" in my small 10'by 14' space is what I believe is the most damning aspect of my current state of mind. This "cell" is the number one reason that I fear it's too late to recover and that my only realistic method of improving my situation is to go to the water. It's not logical that I believe that suicide may actually improve my life, not by making it better, but by not allowing it to get worse.
My most common emotions are: sadness, fear, anger, and sometimes happiness. I blame my medication for a lot of my emotional state. If i took my prescribed medication as I was supposed to then I would likely be more stable, but when I constantly forget to take my meds for days at a time or when I don't eat right, I find that it's like I'm on an emotional roller coaster. One day everything is great and I can focus on whatever I'm doing and the next day is filled with confusion and frustration and tears. It's like, WTF is going on?
Let's take it a step further, with confidence. I'm not confident in my appearance, educational level, intelligence, personality, career accomplishments, place in life, and financial situation. Those are important things to me and we all know that women want a confident man. I'm a failure in each of those categories, my appearance is that of a fat, sloppy, out of shape, lazy person. I don't even try to improve any part of it, sure I want to lose weight and I will someday and it seems like I always have an excuse as to why I can't do it right now. I don't think I can improve my intelligence, education, and financial situation since I started having seizures and with the brain damage I can actually 'feel' myself getting stupider by the day. I feel like I'm just repeating myself when I say that I had a whole lifetime to learn it and get it right and be a success and somewhere along the way I screwed it up and I never got out of the rut I was in. It undisputable, I'm a worthless failure. So, what emotions do I feel when I say that? Sadness, fear, and anger.
A Financial Me