My friend asked why she hadn’t heard from Elizabeth in a while, so I thought I’d give a quick update. The good news is, my sleep continues to improve. It is a goddamn miracle. I cannot tell you how poor my sleep has been my whole life and this last year was like someone was intentionally torturing me. I was in bed more than ever, but sleeping less than ever. Unfortunately, I was awake in bed alone, for those of you that might think “in bed but not sleeping” is some euphemism for sex. As you may remember, I have posted sleep graphs from my Zeo that show nights with either huge chucks of “awake” through the night or I wake up over and over again, interrupting the regular, beautiful sleep cycle. The sleep study said my brain woke up 49 times an hour. Maybe, if I got hooked up to all those sensors again, I would still have waking brain activity of which I’m not aware, but I doubt it would be bad. For weeks after my last post about sleep, I was getting about 7 1/2 to 7 3/4 hours a night. The last 5 nights I have slept between 8 and 9 hours each night. But the best part is, the last few nights I have only woken up a few times ~ 2 or 3. My god, that’s bliss. Imagine turning off the light and, 9 1/2 hours later, you’ve had 9 hours sleep. WhawhAAT? This was last night:
I still don’t know what changed besides drinking tart cherry juice, so, although it has a high sugar content, I will continue to drink it each night with dinner. My real theory, though, is that my sleep is a product of the same thing that has caused me not to write a blog in a while: a quieter mind. When my brain won’t turn off, I want to write everything I think and I never feel peaceful enough to drift into slumber. So, maybe it’s my daily meditation or maybe I’m just tired of the fight, but this is life now and I think I’ve found a tiny bit of quiet. No doctor is going to make a miraculous discovery and this will not be a quick process. I have to rest. Full stop.
Unfortunately, the sleep has not helped my waking symptoms. I’ve actually been feeling worse this past week than I have since December 26th. My pain, achiness and stiffness has increased and my energy has declined. After having virtually no headache for about a week, it came back a few days ago. Wow, does that make a difference in my mood. I can still feel pretty upbeat and functional with all the other symptoms, but the headache decimates me, renders me silent and grimacing. “Decimate” technically means only destroying a tenth of something, right? What would be, say, half of something? Headaches quintimate me? Or septimate me? Would that be destroying 70% of me? Much better.
My Mom told me something that has kept me going lately. In one of the hundreds of articles I sent her, she read that if you are without pain for even one day, there is hope that you can be permanently pain-free. I do not hold out hope for pain-free, but that little gem of information has made me think that there could come a time when there are more pain-free days than crippled-and-crying days.
I’ll leave you all with good news. My period came and went and I didn’t have to take a single painkiller. It wasn’t painless by any means, but it was tolerable. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the new diet, maybe it’s all the supplements. Also, I am seeing a new doctor this week. The universe sort of conspired to introduce me to him, so I’m heeding the hint and trying one. more. specialist. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Gratitude: For painless days that allow me to laugh and for good nights’ sleep.