Category: health

The Joys of Insomnia

Not that I really want to have two complain-y posts in a row, but my word was my sleep last night bad. I got home from High Council at 10:40, and I was starving, since I’d skipped my nightly shake. (When you’re only eating around 1,500 calories a day, and 500 of those calories come from your nightly shake, you really notice when you haven’t eaten it.)

Since I don’t think it’s healthy to just eat 1,000 calories in a day (when you’re 6’2″ and over 180, at least), I made my shake when I got home. I knew in the back of my head that I had to get up at 5:25 to take Tomas to seminary in the morning, but I also knew I wasn’t feeling tired, having just gotten out of the car after a 1.5 hour ride.

So I had my shake and then tried to convince my brain it wanted to go to sleep.

It had other plans.

I read for a while, and then it was 11:45, and I was feeling a fair bit of pressure to get to sleep, seeing as how I had to get up in less than six hours. I know my body, and I know I can make do with seven hours of sleep just fine. Six is when I start to lose some functionality. Knowing that I was already under six hours . . . it didn’t do any wonders for my ability to get to sleep, especially since I was already an hour and a half past the time I typically fall asleep.

I used to have insomnia pretty bad. Back when Tomas was a baby, I’d regularly be awake until 2am or so, just because I couldn’t fall asleep. I’ve conquered that primarily by having a regular sleep schedule, avoiding naps, and getting up each morning before 8am, no matter what (for the most part). That’s great for almost all occasions, but every now and then, I take a significant departure from my sleep schedule, and things get difficult.

Usually, it’s when I know I can sleep in a bit extra the next morning. Going to bed at midnight and knowing I can sleep until 7:30 makes a big difference. But trying to sleep when each minute that passes makes you further concerned you’re going to be exhausted the next day?

Not easy at all.

I think I finally drifted off around 1am. MC showed up in our room around . . . 2? 3? She’d had a nightmare. I woke up and couldn’t fall asleep again for another half hour or so.

Suffice it to say, I’m on the sleepy side today.

So to all you people who suffer from chronic insomnia, I just wanted to take a moment and say I remember what it’s like to be one of you, and I’m sorry for what you’re going through. Reminders like these are no fun at all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve been posting my book ICHABOD in installments, as well as chapters from UTOPIA. Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Pain in the Shoulder

Back in July, give or take, I was out playing (losing at) tennis. I like to play tennis. I took a few years of lessons growing up, and it’s a fun, low-impact sport. Except I’m also competitive, and I don’t do a whole ton of physical activity. So of course, when I’m behind, I play harder.

I remember thinking, “This time, I’m really going to serve it well. Hard.” So I put all my oomph into it.

Something snapped in my shoulder. Not that it fell off or anything, but I felt it give way. It hurt some, and I knew it probably was a bad thing, but I played through the pain, and it seemed to improve.

Except it didn’t.

It came back, slowly but surely. While I was in Europe, I was driving stick, using my right hand all the time, the same hand that was attached to that shoulder. The pain got worse and worse, to the point that when I came back from Europe, it was really bad. Bad enough I wasn’t using the arm for anything. Bad enough that if I stuck it out in front of me, it wasn’t really bearable.

I had a physical therapist friend look at it, and he said he thought it was impingement syndrome. Part of the tendon was rubbing the wrong way against the shoulder bone. He gave me a few exercises to do to get over it. I did those more or less faithfully. It hurt at first, but the pain eventually subsided.

Except it’s still been there, lurking in the shadows. And here we are more than 5 months later. I finally decided it wasn’t going to go away on its own. Rather than ask a friend for a favor again, this time I went to my doctor and got an official referral.

When I showed up at my friend’s office, he kind of laughed it off, telling me we’d be able to do some more exercises, and chances were I wouldn’t have to come back again for another paid visit. Of course, then he actually did some tests. I didn’t think my shoulder was any different than my working one. But once we did those tests, I saw it’s not as flexible, and it’s not nearly as strong.

It’s got some real issues. Not serious ones, but ones that will need some work to improve. I’m glad I didn’t continue to ignore it.

So I’ve got a slew of exercises to do again, and I’ll be going back weekly for at least the next month or so. Fun times, but I’m thankful for insurance and modern medicine. Having shoulder pain isn’t fun, and I’d rather be rid of it than not.

Wish me luck.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve been posting my book ICHABOD in installments, as well as chapters from UTOPIA. Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

After a Run of Seven Months

All winter, I kept dodging getting sick. Tomas has been sick like four times, Denisa’s gotten sick. DC and MC have been sick multiple times as well. Meanwhile, my last round of sick was at the end of October. Each time someone in the house would get sick, I’d gear up, getting ready to come down with it as well. That’s just been par for the course for me for so long.

But I kept taking my multivitamins, kept exercising, and kept to my sleep schedule, and each time, I didn’t get sick. (This all goes back to a news article I read a while ago about how seldom NFL players get sick. They said it might have something to do with how active they were. So I upped my activity level back then with specific goal of being less sick.)

It’s definitely worked. I’m in the best shape of my life. (Which, mind you, doesn’t mean a whole lot . . .)

Yet all good things must come to an end, and Monday, I had the dreaded tickle in the back of my throat. I kept exercising, took more vitamins, but Tuesday, it was a full sore throat, and then I had a conference I forced myself to go to yesterday, and . . .

I’m definitely sick. Blarg. Hopefully I’ll be on the mend soon, but for now, I’m staying put and watching movies.

Newsflash: Overeating is a Bad Idea

You would think after years of living and tons of experience with eating and overeating, I would learn my lesson eventually. But you would think wrong. I had quite the weekend, with a Groundhog soiree on Friday followed by a Super Bowl party yesterday. (That game was incredible, by the way. So much fun to watch, and I had a great time viewing it with some die hard Patriots fans. I like both teams, but I was definitely leaning hard for the Eagles, simply because I like to spread the love around some, and Philly really *really* needed that win.)

The unifying factor between both parties was mass consumption of food.

Now that I generally eat more healthily than I used to, lots of things in life are better. I get sick less, I sleep better, I have more energy, and my self esteem is better. However, I’m continually discovering one serious side effect: I can’t eat large amounts of junk food and not feel awful later on. Gone are the days when I could just go to town on an array of desserts, eating all the brownies, and feeling fine afterward.

Of course, I wonder if it’s more that I always felt yucky afterward, but it was harder to tell, because I didn’t feel as good to begin with. I don’t know. What I do know is that if you sit me to watch a 4 hour football game and place a variety of cookies, cake pops, chips, salsa, queso, bread, hummus, and brownies in close reach, I will end up eating about three metric tons of food. This despite all my dieting practice, and knowing from experience that I won’t feel all that great afterward.

So why do I do it? Some of it is old habits. The way I used to celebrate was by eating a lot of food. So any party I go to doesn’t feel like a real party if all I do is graze on a bit of treats here and there. To really have a great time, I’m supposed to eat and eat. Plus, it tastes good. And just as I’ll stay up later than I ought to, despite knowing how awful I’ll feel in the morning, I’ll eat and eat and eat, even though I know I’ll feel sick to my stomach.

Sigh. Getting old is the pits. Back in the day, I could eat an entire large pizza all by myself and not even bat an eye. Who came up with the idea of being responsible and mature? I’ve got another party on Friday (it’s the Olympics!). Will I learn my lesson by then, or will I decide it’s okay to live it up one more time?

The sad thing is I think the safe money would be on me living it up again.

How do the rest of you manage to moderate at parties?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. I’m looking to get to $10/month to justify the amount of time I spend on this blog. I’m at $6/month so far. Read this post for more information. Or click here to go to Patreon and sign up. It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out.

Being Busy is Relative: My Trip to the ER

Tuesday evening, I started feeling under the weather. Stomach ache. I looked at my calendar for the rest of the week and sort of mentally shrugged. There were some important things on at work I had to attend to, so I had no time to be sick. I’d just have to barrel through it.

Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling worse. Stomach pain was tighter, but off to work I went. Throughout the day, things only went downhill. I started examining those important things I had to get done the rest of the week. Suddenly they didn’t seem so life or death anymore.

Staying home began to look more and more like the way to go.

I came home early Wednesday, and I was in bed since. The important things I had to do were done by other people. But the pain just wouldn’t go away, and I went to the doctor. Which led to a trip to the emergency room. I got to experience a whole bunch of firsts: my first IV. My first CAT scan. My first time having to be in one of those drafty hospital gowns. What a lucky guy.

Four hours later, I’m back home. It’s not appendicitis or cancer or anything scary. Nothing that needs surgery or treatment. Just “acute mesenteric lymphadenitis,” which basically means the lymph nodes in my abdomen are swollen and so are doing their best appendicitis impersonation. Way to go, body.

Still, compared to the alternatives, I’ll take this any day of the week. Nothing that can be done for it other than pain medicine and the passage of time. It should get better in 5-7 days. Here’s hoping.

Anyway. I just found it interesting how quickly priorities can chance. Between Wednesday afternoon and this morning, I went from “I have too much stuff to do to be sick” to “I really hope I don’t have to be operated on later today.” I much prefer being busy to being in need of surgery.

I don’t need the latter, and it looks like for the next few days, at least, I won’t be the former.

%d bloggers like this: