Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ah the power of...

...sleep! And I'll bet you thought I was going to say cheese.

Among the numerous issues I've been dealing with over the last god knows how many years, quality sleep has never really been something I could count on. Quite the opposite really, a good nights sleep for me has long been a fantasy in my life. Eight hours of sleep straight through? Yeah right, when pigs fly.

Well last night the ATC centers in the US must have been out of their skulls cause I'm telling you, pigs were flyin!

I met with my new PCP on Friday, as as we were going over the list of medications I take, including OTC stuff, she suggested I change what I was doing for sleep, since part of that involved an OTC sleep aid along with prescription meds. Saturday I slept well until my phone woke me in the morning when I wasn't ready, so that caused Saturday not to count. Last night into this morning was a very, very different story. I started off right, after having had a small glass of wine while blogging earlier, I took my meds and hour before I was going to go to sleep.

I got to bed early at 2:30 and having taken my meds an hour earlier I went right off to sleep for a change. No tossing, turning, trying to get to sleep, just wrapped my arms around Jesse and drifted off to sleep. Nine hours later, exactly nine, I woke up feeling so very strange and disoriented, I didn't feel bad per say, but just really odd and it was something I'd never experienced. I was awake, relaxed, refreshed, not in pain and ready to actually get the day started. Normally I wake up and need to take some pain killers, have a bowl of cereal or some cinnamon toast, and fight to go back to sleep.

It was the earliest I'd made it to bed - well no, it depends on how you look at time. For the past god knows how many years I'd get to bed between 4-8 in the morning, and then sleep (if you could call it that) in four to six hour spurts, tossing and turning, in pain, with horrific nightmares, popping pain killers every time I woke up and having a nosh because I couldn't get to sleep on an empty stomach. Mind you that's with the meds I was on at the time. It was a project, and the "sleep" I got was never enough, when I'd finally wake up for the "day" I was tired, hungry, in pain and sluggish from not enough sleep.

Before that, it was even worse. For the last four years of my marriage, I'd finally get to sleep around 4 or 5 in the morning and then have to be up a 7 or 8 to disconnect Earl from the Dialysis machine. Why? Because he wouldn't do it himself. I'd spend the long, hard, days holding down too many full time jobs at the same time. Housewife, Nurse, Doctor, Researcher, Therapist, Computer Programmer and Mom to a very demanding Tuxedo Cat and of course Earl himself. Not really what I'd dreamed of when I wanted to be a Wife and Mother. At the very end, when I started seeing a therapist without Earl's co-operation after giving her the highlights of what my life was like in the first session she looked at me at the end and said:

"Look Sam, I'm not going to lie to you here. You need to quit at least four or five of the full time jobs you have right now, and you must start getting at least six hours of sleep. If you don't, you are going to die. How you've lived this long is nothing short of a miracle. How you've stayed sane I just cannot begin to understand."

That kinda chilled me.

Before that, I wasn't exactly Olympic gold material when it came to sleeping. If anything, I could have taken silver in NOT sleeping.

So obviously waking up this morning after a nice, solid, uninterrupted, qaulity nine hour sleep I was startled and concerned because it was a strange feeling. To give you an idea of how soundly I slept, I woke up holding Jesse right where I went to sleep. Normally the sheets are a horrific mess, and even the bed itself has moved closer to the wall. Tossing and turning so much the whole bed shifts. Mind that's not as strange as it sounds. I haven't finished moving everything yet, and that includes my bed in a storage locker 9 hundred miles away. So right now I'm sleeping on one of those comfy elevated aerobeds that you just inflate. Which makes it really easy to go slipping and sliding around on the carpet as I toss and turn.

Not this morning. The bed was exactly where I left it with me in it. I'm not going to get my hopes up that this will become the norm on these new meds, but hey, at this point I'll be overjoyed if I get sleep like that every other day or so. If I manage to sleep like that everynight consistently for a while, well, I'll be so thrilled I won't know what to do with myself.

In other news I had a serious blonde moment tonight. I was making more of my favorite iced tea drink and knew I had a pinch left in the gallon jug I keep it in. So I poured it out to drink after I washed out my jug and refilled it. So I get a gresh batch in the fridge and sit down with my mug of tea ready to finish this entry. Took a long pull and savored the flavor going down. It tasted sweeter than I thought I'd made it, but was enjoying it so much I just kept going. Still I couldn't shake the feeling it was somehow different in taste and much sweeter.

I finished drinking and went to get some more out of the fridge when it struck me. The little bit I had left in the jug? Well it was the wrong jug I'd emptied, washed, and refilled. 100% natural Apple Juice straight up. No small wonder it seemd so sweet. I drink a lot of apple juice, something on the order of probably just over 100 gallons this year. Typically I drink about two gallons a week when I'm not making tea, which I've only just started doing again recently. Mind you I drink even the 100% natural stuff in the healiest way possible, I usually cut it at least half and half with clean, pure, filtered water. Cuts down on the amount of carbs, and gets that much more water into me. I reuse the empty bottles for ice tea, cycling them out periodically as I drink more juice. Well, that was the last of the Apple Juice, behind it, in the OTHER 100 Apple Juice container was the rest of the last batch of tea... My brother has often said I'm the worlds first naturally occuring example of artificial intelligence. Which of course is a reference to an old blonde joke:

"What do you call a blonde who dye her hair brown? Artificial Intelligence!"

While I don't usually suffer blonde jokes lightly, unfortunately his use of this one for me is often all too true. I can be a classic ditz. I mean giggle and a squeak ditzy kind of ditz. Worse yet, much of my hair is slowly going blonde instead of grey or white as I get older. It's so weird, but as my family says, well you know, it's weird yes, but for you it's perfectly normal.

Otherwise the day was light, puttering around the house, cleaning, putting stuff away nothing to really write about. Speaking of my brother, I'm trying to figure out what to get for the geek who has everything. Especially since he went out and bought the two things I was planning on getting him for his birthday. It's the seventh and I'm at a loss. All though, come to think of it, I could get him a gift certificate to his favorite pizza place, the one he doesn't go to often because it's about fourty miles away. So we'll see...


beckyboop said...

Your comment you left on my blog was touching. Thank you.

It is great you finally got a good nights sleep. I always sleep 6-7 hours a night. I snore like a chain saw. I went to a sleep study and was told I don't reach rem sleep. They suggested Xanex?? I really need to consentrate on loosing weight. I feel that would help me more than anything.

Happy holidays!

beckyboop said...

Hee hee, word verification "ulsnorin".

alan said...

When they were pushing us so hard on the overtime I started taking Melatonin to try to get to sleep a bit sooner when I got home. It always took a few hours to wind down when I came home; trying to lie down and go to bed immediately just didn't work, but when you were coming home after 5AM the time to wind down was already gone!

It worked for a while, though I still woke up every couple of hours due to other things (joints, bladder, etc.). I've weaned myself from them in the 6 months since I retired because they weren't working as well.

It sounds like your brother is a prime candidate for a gift card!