1:27 am any I’m getting ready for bed…eventually. It’s -2 degrees fahrenheit outside and the wind has been blowing like a bastard all day. I’ve stayed in, done work and have continued putting together my Christmas presents. That involves a lot of baking.
My sleep therapist wants me to wait until I’m really tired before going to bed. So, I could be hanging around for a while. It is getting better though. I have never slept normally in my life and even the smallest improvements are gratefully accepted. So, here I come 2 or 3 am.
Okay, I’m going for the gold: a certified sleep therapy program. I’m a life-long insomniac. It’s not attitude – it’s brain chemistry. I couldn’t do nap time when I was 5. I still have memories of staring at the classroom ceiling in the dark and wondering when the torture would end. I hated anything that started in the morning: school, meetings, classes, you name it. I did well in all of them, but my body was not a happy camper. I’m not at my best at a 7:30 am meeting after I’ve had four hours of sleep. My immune system was a frequent victim of those feckless nights.
Like a lot of insomniacs, my internal chronometer is off by a few hours. Typically, your body starts a “cool-down” process to get you ready for sleep. Your body temperature starts to decrease a bit and your active, roaming mind gets the five-minute warning. We’re shutting down now, good nighzzzzzz…
But me? My stupid brain won’t shut up for a minute and my body temperature refuses to chill out. I do get to sleep eventually, but not for a while (hence the nap time torture ritual). It’s called Sleep Onset Insomnia and that’s a killer for me. These days I’m also experiencing very early awakenings. When that happens, I’m up and nothing short of a morphine drip will get me back down.
I’ve been to sleep doctors before, but not in a long time. I take a multitude of medications to get me into a bed and keep me there. I’ve also been trying to follow some online advice about turning my bedroom into a sleep haven. I’ve made some progress, but good luck with the rest of it. I’m going offline earlier and keeping my computer life and my sleep life as separate as I can. Problem is, I associate bedtime with toss-and-turn time.
So, I hope this helps. The clinician I’m seeing is a psychologist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. It’s an actual field and a new one, with a marked dearth of practitioners. Fortunately, I live in Boston which has lots and lots (and lots) of doctors from all background. I had my choice of two!
It’s 5:30 am and I’ve been up for two hours. I could hear the hubby snoring and went downstairs to the couch. It was too cold, even with a sleeping bag. We’ve got some kick-ass snow out there with more on the way. Mighty cold, too.
But sleep? This chronic insomniac usually doesn’t crack open her eyes until 11 am or so. I usually finally get to sleep by 3:30 or even 4am. Very odd.
Well, one day and $700.00 later, we have new pipes snaking through the now-exposed walls with full access to water, water everywhere. I can take a shower, take a pee and wash my pots and pans in hot water. That is, I’ll be able to do that once I’ve cleaned everything up. My entire kitchen is powdered in plaster dust and I don’t feel like going anywhere near it.
I have to say, the plumbers were fast and really nice. I had another doctor’s appointment late this morning and they were finished and gone by the time I got back.
My health is…well, my health. I might have had a virus a few weeks ago, but it’s slowly going away. My liver enzymes are still elevated, but less so. I feel much better. Still no idea why I had the hallucinations. I saw a neurologist yesterday and he is is as stumped as every other doctor I’ve seen. I’m going to put it down to sleep deprivation and leave it at that.
In the meantime, I wonder if we can swing some new cabinets and a sink? The wall and ceiling repairs are covered by insurance, so that should be okay.
Yesterday was a crap-out from the minute I woke up to the wee hours of the next morning when I was still trying to get to sleep. It was cold and overcast, all day, just like today. I decided to finish up some errands yesterday and that’s when the trouble began. I meant to start at one store, then drive to the next. Only, I got it backwards, and as soon as I drove to the second store, I forgot how to get to the first one. As luck would have it, I left my cell phone and my GPS behind me at home. I couldn’t believe my brain. It just wouldn’t cooperate. So, I went to that shop, then came home and went to a different place for my produce. Hell with it.
I couldn’t figure out why I was so disoriented, like I was out of sync with myself. Was I just really tired? Depressed somehow? I was totally baffled and puzzling it over when my head started to throb. Oh, shit. Now that? Then it occurred to me that I might be having another migraine. I had one two days previously and wasn’t expecting anything like that. Was it the same migraine, or was I getting some weird two for one deal?
I asked the hubby to put together dinner and we feasted on some very tasty items I had brought home, or grown in my garden. I’m harvesting the lettuce, so we enjoyed that, along with a few spinach leaves, which are also in-season.
Then came the wonderful events of yesterday evening. I went to a doctor’s appointment down the road from me, since my calendar had given me a reminder. Waited. And waited. And waited. Finally left and double-checked the appointment card. Next month, on that day. I did get a very cold walk out of it, so I won’t write it completely off. And, I got to have dinner all that much sooner.
So, my perfect day ended with some very persistent insomnia. I take medication that, on occasion, makes my leg twitch. I had reduced the dosage but for some reason yesterday it just kept twitching. Then my brain just shot into high gear and I couldn’t turn it off.
I think I’ll blame this on the migraine. It can do a number on me.
I’ve spent most of the day in my air-conditioned office. It’s not exactly my idea of a relaxing day, but it’s hot enough outside to make me very uncomfortable – trouble-breathing, light-headedness kind of trouble. Just a walk around the hotter parts of the house do that to me.
I used to handle heat quite well. I was mildly uncomfortable on days that decked every one else out flat. Now I’m the one who’s decked out and wondering if I need extra oxygen when I’m walking around.
The sleep problems aren’t helping, either. If the air conditioner is on in the bedroom I’m either too cold or too hot, depending on it’s thermostat. At some point I end up turning the damned thing off and putting a fan in the window. At 1:00 am the outside air temp is a bit more reasonable. Unfortunately, by 10:00 am it’s not.
Oh well. I’m not the only one struggling with heat these days. I could be in Kansas. One benefit of the weather has been the granting of a bit more time to catch up on the fun stuff. Last Wednesday I made it to the Arlington farmers market, after a dentist’s appointment in Cambridge. I was late, but still able to pick up enough for a veggie-heavy dinner: corn, lettuce, wax beans and bread. I threw together a salad, boiled up the corn and the beans and cut open the bread. Paired it with some of the New York State cheddars we’d purchased in the Finger Lakes. Yum!
Of course, being me, I made a music video out of it.
I’ve just added a new job description to my roster of internet and website services – classroom teacher. I taught my first class under the auspices of the Arlington Center for Adult Education. The course, Build A Website Without Knowing HTML or CSS, met for the first time last night (Wednesday). I’ve given plenty of presentations and know how to do it, but the added classroom thing was both disorienting but very satisfying at the same time. Disorienting, I think, because it was the first time through and I had to get used to the way the computers in the classrooms worked. Then I had to contend with latecomers drifting in as I was starting up.
But, I really liked it despite its moments of confusion and technical buginess. Some of my students are really excited about being able to build their own website and I’m enjoying learning how to teach them. This is just so cool!
I was both wired as well as exhausted by the time I got home last night. I’m a chronic insomniac at the best of times. I never thought I’d get to sleep, with all that was running around inside of my head! Then, for some bizarre reason, I woke up at 7:30 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep no matter what I did. I typically wake in the late double-digits of the morning and have only a passing acquaintance with 7:30 am. And, at 7:16 pm, I’m still not tired.
I have a feeling I’ll eventually crash, hopefully without a headache to top things off.