Thanks Chris for your advice and concern. I went to see the doctor this morning. I'm okay. My blood pressure is good, pulse is good, heart and lungs sound good. He was also pleased with my weight loss. He told me the symptoms for a heart attack and for a stroke and those weren't the symptoms that I had. He said many smokers experience something called pleurisy which is a inner inflammation that causes painful breathing, but is not life threatening. So I was relieved and left his office feeling good.
All in all, the painful breathing was a good thing because it got me to wake up to the fact that smoking is not an option for me any more. I'm also pleased that I made myself make an appointment to see my doctor, even if I should have done it sooner. The life expectancy for someone with schizophrenia is not good. I think this is partially due to the fact that over 10 percent of those who suffer from it commit suicide. I'm pretty positive that I've pushed past that point, but the other side of the coin is that many people with schizophrenia have a lot of trouble taking care of themselves. If you don't get symptoms treated early, you are courting potential disaster. Illnesses that could have been prevented with early treatment wind up cutting one's life short. It's also just a part of getting older. You have to get more check-ups and take more tests. I will see the doctor again in a month, but I will have blood work done to see if my bad cholesterol is coming down and my good cholesterol is going up.
The doctor did say that I should start exercising again and I plan to after my parent's visit. And I will return to the Anne Collins weight loss site because this past month I have plateaued-- that is neither gained, nor lost much weight. Losing 20 pounds is great, but I can't stop there, I have to keep going. Once I lose about 15 more pounds, I will no longer be considered obese, just overweight. I won't stop there either, but when I reach that weight I will be very proud of myself and I will begin to look and feel lighter.
A Recovery Blog
This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.