Archives for posts with tag: sleep

It has been almost a week since I started getting help breathing at night, and all the adjustments are SO WORTH IT!!

I no longer feel like I’m plodding through a thick, murky fog each day. I still get headaches, but my mind is starting to work again and my stamina is improving. My energy is returning, and I can actually process what people are saying to me (well, as much as I ever have anyway).

There’s a sign on my street that flashes the speed you’re going, and if there are no cars around me, it will clock my bike. I used to round the corner at 12-14mph. Over the past year or so, it’s been 6-8mph while feeling like I’m working just as hard – if not harder. Friday, on my way home from a Soiree concert, I got clocked at 8-10mph. Not where I used to be, but definitely an improvement.

I’ve also stopped falling asleep while sitting down to eat something in front of the television. My dog is not so happy about this. He is ecstatic, however, about my new charcoal grill. Today, I whipped up some food for the week:

organic chicken thighs from Trader Joe's

organic chicken thighs from Trader Joe’s

hamburgers from Omaha Steaks (thanks, mom!) and steaks from Trader Joe's

hamburgers from Omaha Steaks (thanks, mom!) and steaks from Trader Joe’s

potatoes speared on cast iron skewers

potatoes speared on cast iron skewers

Yes, Boo gets samples. He also gets to lick the plate I carry the cooked food in on after I’ve transferred everything to the fridge.

mini peppers, onions, beets, and (hiding underneath) baby bok choy

mini peppers, onions, beets, and (hiding underneath) baby Bok choy

pineapple - tried slices instead of spears this time, not sure which I like better

pineapple – tried slices instead of spears this time, not sure which I like better

The grill can hold a lot of food and the charcoal I got from Trader Joe’s stays hot for quite some time. I’m starting to have fun experimenting with it  – today I made a marinade to brush on most of the food instead of just throwing it on. It helped immensely that the weather stayed sunny and the rain/wind stayed away. (I’m still amazed that I spent all afternoon grilling and enjoyed it after spending the morning at Barnes & Noble and Trader Joe’s … )

There are so many things I want to do, and now I’m getting the energy back to do them. I’ve even started thinking about (key verb: think) cleaning the house, inside and out.



So for the last week or so, I conducted an experiment.

I began swimming at the Bath & Racquet Club at the beginning of July. After a week or so of swimming, I added in cardio (yes, I know swimming can be considered cardio … but I prefer to think of it as stress relief) and weights, following a program set out by a trainer. I enjoyed how my muscles and mind felt while doing them, but I was losing most of the day afterwards because I’d get home and be so dizzy and nauseated and tired that the only thing I could do was lie down and sleep. Eleven to fourteen hours of sleep each 24 hour period doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for living.

I decided to take a week or two and see if taking it easy – just short, slow walks with the dog, tai chi class, and short bike trips to the grocery store – would help or make any difference. Short answer? Not really. Instead of getting myself out on my bike to the gym, I’d fall back asleep after eating breakfast and walking the dog in the morning. Wake up five  or six hours later and be ready to do something. The dizziness, nausea, and exhaustion? Still there. Afternoons and evenings easier, but still spending the same total amount of time sleeping.

Since it doesn’t make a difference time-wise, I’ve decided the heck with it – at least for now. I need the stress relief I get from swimming. So I got back to the gym this morning and went swimming. Just swimming. I’m thinking I’ll stick to that for now and leave the cardio machines and weights for later. When maybe all this gets figured out.

It’s now 11:27pm, and I can’t wait to hit my bed. I have the first night of a two-part sleep study scheduled for tomorrow night, and the instructions say to go to bed late the night before and get up early the day of to help falling asleep in a strange place. I’m keeping everything crossed that they find something – anything – that can be fixed. Because we start work in a month, and right now I can’t imagine being able to keep my focus long enough to play a concert.


I was going to get so much done today … finish a rough draft of a grant due in a week, organize and clean (or at least vacuüm) my bedroom, boil a chicken for my dog, start some bread for myself, experiment more with a knitted necklace, bike to the store … so what happened?

I laid down around 11. I just woke up when the phone rang. It’s now after 5, I feel like I’ve lost most of the day, and all I want to do is either cry my eyes out or lay back down. My first instinct is to berate myself (yeah, I know – some of my instincts suck). But I gotta figure that (1) if I need to fight to keep my eyes open every time I sit down and (2) I slept for a solid 5+ hours in the middle of the day, then maybe I needed it.

I know. Compassion, not condemnation. What doesn’t get done today will be there tomorrow. Tomorrow’s another day. Sleep is essential to survival and creativity. Honey and vinegar and all that.

But? I just want to say SCREW IT ALL and order a pizza and stuff my face with whatever in front of the television until I fall asleep there and the dog finally nudges/licks me awake because he needs to go out. Luckily, payday isn’t until tomorrow.

I think I need to come up with a healthy coping mechanism for when I get this way. One that I’ll actually do. I have noticed that when I get tired, I do say screw it to lighting candles and enjoying food. Even though I know I’ll feel better after doing it. I balk at meditating, knitting, or doing anything that will help me feel better. Instead, I’ll hunker down in front of the television, wolf down something to eat, and keep feeling miserable/sorry for myself/pissed and mad at water for being wet until I’m totally zoned out. A coping mechanism of sorts, but I want something different. Intentional and in the moment instead of dissociation.

That’s it. I’ve had it for today. I’ll go take care of the dog and the cats, then whatever.

Hmmmm … yes, it’s easier to take care of the animals than it is to take care of myself. What a screwed up world I live in.

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