How I Beat Insomnia

insomnia

Insomnia sucks. You lie in bed in a dark silent room with your eyes closed hoping to drift off to sleep, but all you can think about is new ways to beat the bad guys in your favorite video game, or how you would design your tiny house layout. Maybe you are thinking of something that someone said and it is bugging the heck out of you. Perhaps you are having flashbacks of a time when you were treated poorly by someone or a group of people. Or fill in the blanks.

That’s been my problem for several years. I remember a time when I could barely keep my eyes open after midnight when Ghost Hunters was doing a live ghost hunt on Halloween, but for the last few years, staying up past midnight was a non issue. In fact, I was lucky if I was going to bed by 5am. Insomnia has been awful for me for a very long time. I was taking Ambien for more than 10 years, then the insurance stopped paying for it, or any other sleeping pills for that matter. I’ve been buying over the counter sleeping pills. Your body becomes immune after taking so many sleeping pills. One of my doctors told me to take Benadryl, and I did, but that too stopped making me sleep. I thought about buying NyQuil, but that can get expensive.

So how did I beat insomnia? I bought a FitBit earlier this year, and it has an alarm on it that vibrates to wake you up. I decided to start using it, so I would set the alarm for 8am. The first couple of days I would wake up and 8am, but press the button and go back to sleep. Then I decided to get up at 8am, but by 10am I was sleepy again, so I would take a nap. I tried staying awake as long as I could, and try as I might I would still fall asleep after noon around 1pm or 2pm. I tried my best to stay awake, so when I would find myself drifting off to sleep, I would sit up and drink something cold and get up and walk around. Sometimes I would get in the shower because washing your body usually wakes you up.

It might have taken me 2 weeks to finally get to the point where even though the alarm is set for 8am, I wake up at 6am. Of course I try to go back to sleep and wake up at 8, but there are days where I’m so awake that I just can’t possibly go back to sleep, so I just get up. Now when I’m watching my shows at night, I’ll start drifting off to sleep at like 9 or 10pm and I’m asleep all night until 6 or 8am. No more sleeping pills.

We have a new doctor who is Hindu and he told me I could try meditation and I have tried meditation in the past, but I’ve gotten to the point where it just puts me to sleep. I mean like during the day. I think trying to meditate at night when you are trying to fall asleep is a great idea, but I don’t need to meditate to fall asleep anymore since my body has gotten used to calling it a day by 9pm. So I don’t need medication, nor do I need meditation to sleep.

It’s a wonderful feeling when you are able to fall asleep at a decent hour, despite the fact that I don’t have a job to go to in the morning.

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Day 5 After Parotidectomy Surgery

surgery scar 5 days

My surgery was on November 20th so it has been 5 days and I thought I would take a picture to show my progress.  It appears that my ear is swelling up and my face is a lot redder than it was.  I had just gotten out of the bath tub when I took the picture on the right, but it has been more than an hour since then and it is still just as red.  All of the red area is completely numb.

The way the doctor cut my face and stitched it up was perfect.  He followed my ear all the way down and went behind my ear lobe before going down following the line of my beard.  Genius!  In my opinion, he did an excellent job.  I saw pictures of other people who had the same surgery and their incisions didn’t look this good, so I feel very blessed that I had such an artist.

My face has a golf ball sized hole in front of my ear where my gland used to be swollen.  I figured it would have filled in by now, but it is still dented.  I’m sure it will fill in, I’m not worried about that.  It is still numb too.

The only thing that isn’t numb is where the tube is sticking out.  I don’t really care too much for having a tube sticking out of my neck.  It would be awesome if I didn’t have to have it in me for 2 whole weeks.  It was supposed to be removed after 7 days, and they even wrote a note on the paperwork that said “Follow-up KMC ENT Clinic next Friday.”  Well, that is the day after Thanksgiving and they are closed that day.  The reason they said Friday and not Wednesday is because that surgeon is only in the surgery clinic on Friday.  I guess he is the only one who can take the tube out so I will have to wait until December 6th.

I have been catching up on my sleep.  Today I woke up to the sound of my alarm on my phone to tell me to take my pills at 8am.  I had other pills to take at 10am and it had to wake me up again for those.  Then my partner woke me up at 12:30pm and I decided I wanted to get out of bed.  I don’t like sleeping the day away lol.

Another good thing about this is that I am losing weight again.  That’s not always a good thing because the reason I am losing weight is because of the medication, but I am using that to my advantage.  I am normally always hungry, so since I don’t feel too hungry all the time, I am eating the same amount of food I ate when I lost 70lbs.  I have been eating a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerio’s for breakfast with a banana and Silk Vanilla Light Almond Milk.  I ate a Yoplait light Strawberry yogurt at 10am which is my usual snack time and I ate a Weight Watchers Smart Ones meal with Fettuccine Alfredo and Chicken.  It is my 3pm snack time now so I will have a banana, then at dinner I will have another Weight Watchers Smart Ones meal.

When I stopped losing weight in July, I was still eating this same diet, although I was eating a little bit more food and I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep which seems to be the key.  I am getting more sleep now and eating the right foods, so I am losing weight again.  When I stopped losing weight I was 192lbs, but then I went back up to 202lbs and fluctuated between 202 and 210.  Last week when I had my surgery I was 208.  Today I am 199.8.  So I will just keep doing what I am doing to help get me back down to 192.  Whatever it takes, right?  This was the boost I needed and hopefully I will continue to lose weight.

Well, back to bed I go.

Recovering from Surgery

I am still recovering from surgery.  Been laying in bed reading the 12th Xanth book “Man From Mundania”.  The meds make me very sleepy though, so it’s hard to concentrate, but I do my best.  My face around my ear and my ear are still numb and it feels very odd to be numb and itchy at the same time.  I’ve never had surgery so naturally I had no idea what this would be like.

There is a tube sticking out of my neck to drain the fluids that I was only supposed to have for 1 week, but since the doctor is only there on Fridays and they are closed the day after Thanksgiving, I have to have the tube for 2 weeks.  It doesn’t bother me, but I was hoping to not have it any more than I have to because it hurts sometimes when I accidentally pull on it.  It’s also very disgusting lol.  We usually go to Golden Corral on Thanksgiving because it’s easier to have them do all the work, but with the stitches and the tube, I just can’t see me walking around a restaurant filling my plate without feeling like I’m being stared at and judged.  I already had someone blatantly staring at my stitches while talking to me and seeing the disgusted look on his face which made me never want to leave the house again.

I honestly don’t mind the cooking and cleaning, but since it is just the two of us and we really don’t need to cook that much food, it doesn’t make much sense buying and cooking so many different dishes.  I think if we can just get some chicken for the crock pot, a couple of potatoes and a couple of yams and a pumpkin pie we should be fine.  That’s really all I care to eat anyway.

I haven’t been eating as much as I normally have been.  I don’t know if it’s the medicine, but I’m just not hungry which means I am losing weight.  Yes, I have literally lost 6lbs since Wednesday.  I love knowing that I am losing weight, but not because the medicine is making me sick, but because I’m eating right and trying to lose weight.  I don’t know if that makes sense.

Well, I really just wanted to do a status update, but I was up to 3 paragraphs and I figured it was big enough for a blog post so I switched over to blogging lol.  I’m finished so back to bed for me.

A message from the American Osteopathic Association

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Michaelbeitz for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Are you aware that more than 100 million Americans live in constant chronic pain from sitting in their office desk chair?  70% of them sit in their desk chairs for more than 5 hours per day and 2 in 5 wouldn’t even consider getting out of their chair to talk to a co-worker, they probably chat on the phone or send each other text messages.  That’s how lazy electronics are making us, but I’m sure they would just rather not get up because they are in too much pain, and I can certainly understand that because I am one of them.  I have been diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease and I am in constant agony, so much that even prescription strength Ibuprofen won’t help.

The American Osteopathic Association is helping Americans avoid and prevent pain in the workplace by showing some stretch exercises that you can do at your desk chair to help relieve some of the pain.  Take a look.

I did do those exercises and I will start doing those stretches because I am sick of being in pain every minute of every day with no help from medication.  There is something you can do to help your back pain.  Get up and get some exercise.  Go to the office kitchen (if any) and wipe down the counters or make a new pot of coffee.  Sweep and mop the floor, even if it isn’t your job.  Instead of sending your co-worker a text message or calling them, go talk to them in person.  When you are sitting in your desk chair, don’t slouch, sit up straight.  There are lots of things you can do to help your pain, so why not help yourself by being more active?  Visit the American Osteopathic Association for more information.

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Diabetes Update

Last month my doctor gave me a new medication to help lower my triglycerides called Gemfibrozil 600MG that I take twice a day.  I was told to make sure I take them exactly 12 hours apart for it to be effective.  I created a schedule on my cell phone to remind me twice a day, once at 10am, and then once at 10pm to take my pills.  It has worked out so far and today is day 30.  We went to the doctor’s office on Thursday and they drew blood to test it to see if it helped so I will find out on my next appointment which is May 24th.

In the meantime, he gave me a prescription for a blood glucose meter to check my blood twice a day.  He told me to check it in the morning before I eat and before I have dinner at night.  So far it hasn’t been that high.  Thursday night I did a reading and it was 112 then the next morning it was 132, last night it was 100 and this morning it was 112 again.  Why is that so important?  Well, when they did that blood glucose test a few months ago I was near 200, so this just tells me that I have gone way down.  I have been eating a lot of chocolate lately, this just shows me that it hasn’t really affected me as much as I thought it did.  Although now that I have this meter, I have been staying away from the bad foods because I know if the number goes high, it will make me feel guilty.  Perhaps guilt is the kick in the pants that I needed to get me to stop eating so much sugar.

This is my new meter, the One Touch Ultra 2.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it because Darrin has a meter, but it’s a different one with different strips.  He couldn’t get the hang of his and he was going to just give me his since he stopped using it, but I didn’t want his, I wanted one of my own because, well I just did :p.

The needles that you use to prick your finger with (in the zippered pouch on the left) aren’t very painful.  The skin on my fingers on my left hand are so thick that even at the highest setting, which is 7, hardly any blood comes out so I have to use my right hand.  I have to really milk the blood out because even at the highest setting it still doesn’t penetrate enough.  So when I say I am thick-skinned, I’m not exaggerating LOL.  My first test was an error because I didn’t milk it enough, but I learned to really get as much blood out as I can so I don’t waste test strips.  The wound heals up so fast that I am only able to get that one little drop, if I try to milk out any more after the test, nothing comes out.  Not that I need to, but I was curious to see if any more would come out for S&G’s.

So this is what it has come to, I have to test my blood every day, as if the constant medication every day for 18 years isn’t enough.  I really hope that the triglyceride medication and the guilt from the meter really helps me lose weight so I am no longer diabetic.  I hope the day finally comes when I no longer have to go through all of this nonsense with health issues, although we both know when that day will occur, and it’s not going to be a good day.  Oh well, life goes on.

Tom Cruise on The View

This morning I wake up (late) and go into the living room and the view is on the tv set.  Now normally I’d go back in my room and get on the computer or something because I don’t normally sit and watch this show.  Rosie ruined it for me frankly.  And it’s a chick show.

But I sat there and they announced Tom Cruise.  Now normally I would get up and go into the other room if I heard his name but I sat there and watched.  This is the Tom Cruise that I like and have missed for such a long time.  He wasn’t outrageous, he didn’t jump on a couch or call Barbara Walters Glib.  He did the interview the way he should have by answering questions.

If he keeps this good behavior up he just might get back into the good graces of people and they might start paying to see his movies again.

They asked him about Jett Travolta about medication and seeing a doctor and he said that it simply isn’t true, in fact it’s the opposite, yes the scientologists take their kids to the doctor and get them medication for whatever illness they have.  His whole thing with Brooke Shields and Matt Lauer was that “he” doesn’t believe in psychiatry or something.  But that was probably his belief and not Scientology.  He was basically speechless about Jett’s death.

He finished the show and he was just perfect in this interview, just perfect.  Good for him and I hope things work out for him.