insomnia · neurology · RLS · sleep

Not sleeping, not so beautiful.

The long-awaited sleep study took place last week, at Providence Milwaukie Hospital’s Sleep Lab (and I am just now writing about it because I am the Queen of Procrastination!). It’s always fun, going to a strange place at night, being told to put your pyjamas on, watch a video, and then get a bunch of wires attached to your body. I’d recommend it to everyone looking for a groovy night out. I was pretty sure I’d have trouble sleeping while¬†wired up, since I have issues sleeping in my own bed, with my own stuff touching me. How was sleeping with wires taped to my calves and head, strapped to my chest & waist, and (worst of all) a little prong-thingy in my nose going to be possible?!

 

Not only did the wires totally f#*k up my hair, the one on my chin itched, and the ones in my nose were friggin' ANNOYING!
Not only did the wires totally f#*k up my hair, the one on my chin itched, and the ones in my nose were frigging’ ANNOYING!

Oddly enough, I was able to sleep. Which probably shouldn’t surprise me, since my life is just that weird. I didn’t sleep WELL, but I did sleep. The next morning, it was confirmed that I do not have sleep apnea (which I was pretty sure I didn’t anyway), but that I’d never gone into REM sleep, and that my RLS had been active all night. I’m not sure yet what these things mean, since I’ve not spoken to the doctor about this, yet, but that no-REM-sleep-thing can’t be good, can it?

On another note, I did see the doctor about my sore ankle and bad ear. A visit to Dr. Jeff, with his pointy shoes and metrosexual style, is always a pleasure, and not just because he’s a snazzy dresser. He’s a good doctor, pays attention to what I’m saying, and takes care of things right away. This time, he sent me to physical therapy to work on getting my ankle fixed, and gave me ear drops for the infection I didn’t even know I had. I’ve had trouble with my left ear for the last year, ever since I got water in it, and over the last month it had hurt off and on. Now, I’m putting in ear drops four times a day, and with luck, will feel better soon. ¬†Big fun.

accident · bed · falling · Golden Retriever · Kaylee · leash · pain · pulled · shoulder · sleep · sofa · Steven · yank

The Dog is Trying to Kill Me


I’m typing slowly today (not that I was such a whiz before) because my entire right arm is in pain after our dog tried to kill me last week. (I should point out here that I am right-handed, and if I’d had the leash in my left-hand, this wouldn’t be a problem.)

Kaylee is a 14-month-old Golden Retriever, very affectionate, enthusiastic, and way too full of energy. Last Thursday we were going to run some errands. I was walking Kaylee through the parking lot to the car when she spotted her favorite person in the world, Mike. Immediately, she dashed in his direction, yanking me along with her. What followed would have been a big hit on YouTube, had anyone been filming. I flew off my feet, into the air, and hit the wet, dirty pavement, face down, bruising my knees, & skinning my palms as I landed. The leash was jerked from my hand, and my right shoulder was felt as if it had been pulled out of the socket!
I hadn’t realized there were that many people outside, but instantly there were at least 7 neighbors around me, as well as Steven & Mike, all asking if I was okay, and exclaiming over what had happened. “Did you see how she flew? I’ve never seen a dog do that to a grown-up before!” I heard someone say.
As I cradled my arm against my chest, and headed back inside to change my now wet & dirty clothes, I reminded Mike “Do NOT give that dog any treats!!” Because this, of course, is why she loves him more that anyone else. Mike is the maintenance guy for our apartment complex, and in his storage room, keeps bags of expensive treats for all the dogs that he hands out like candy!
All the dogs adore him.
Later that evening Steven took me to the ER, where they told me I had an Acute Shoulder Strain, gave me some exercises & pain meds. Since then, I can’t lift more than I medium-sized book, and even that is sometimes painful. It’s hard to write; I can’t lift my hand above my head. Ouch.
If that was all, I wouldn’t wonder about the dog, but I’m starting to wonder. A month ago, she pulled so hard on the leash I fell down the stairs, and then a week later, she jumped on me when I was on a stepladder, knocking me off. If I see a shadow on the shower curtain, and hear the theme song from “Psycho,” I’m gonna know it’s her! I think she’s out to get me just because I won’t let her sleep on the bed. With me out of the way, she’ll have Steven all to herself, and can sleep anywhere she wants–sofa, bed, kitchen sink! Nobody will complain “That dog needs a bath!” or that she has toys all over the place.
So if I suddenly end up dead in an odd dog-related accident, you will all know it was no accident! Make sure the dog is prosecuted to the full extent of the law–and do NOT let her sleep on my bed!!
blogging · cleaning · Craig Ferguson · insomnia · medication · pain · reading · RLS · seizures · sleep · twitchy feet · yoga

Insomnia


I really should be in bed. Instead I’m sitting in the living room, watching ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’ and writing. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. So, I apologize if I begin to ramble. Sleep deprivation will do that to you!

Insomnia isn’t a new thing for me–it started way back at the dawn of time, when I was in high school. Always the same pattern. I fall asleep easily enough, and sleep well for a few hours. Then, usually about 2:30 a.m., I wake up, needing to pee, and after that, I’m awake for hours.
Sometimes I’ll be able to fall back asleep for an hour or two, but my twitchy feet usually watch me back up.
Oh, yeah, did I mention I have RLS? Restless Leg Syndrome. It’s a pain is the ass (or rather, legs) neurological condition that causes a tickling feeling in the legs or in my case, the bottoms of my feet. It makes my legs jerk so hard sometimes that I kick like a horse! Nobody is really sure what causes it, but we do know that many things make it worse; among these are the anti-seizure medication that I’m on. Yep. Finally found a med which will control my seizures (whoohoo!), and it makes my feet go crazy, causing an increase in insomnia. Wouldn’t you know, lack of sleep is a BIG trigger for me & seizures…
Anyway.
I’ve tried all sorts of insomnia remedies: medication, bedtime yoga, Sleepytime tea, self-hypnosis, melatonin & Valerian, and a white noise machine. Not many have been successful for long. I’ve heard all the advice, and have tried most of it, to little avail. I simply don’t sleep.
I’ve also tried many many remedies for RLS, most of them home remedies found online. So far none have worked for long. I’ve taken magnesium citrate before bed; I’ve rubbed my legs & lower back down with apple cider vinegar; I’ve done a series of strange exercises in the dark. The thing that worked the best was eliminating caffeine & sugar from my diet, which I did to get rid of migraines. Discovered it helped the feet. Of course, now I’m back on the coffee wagon, (or did I fall off the wagon?), so I may have to fix that… I do know there are a couple of medications available for RLS, but so far, I haven’t tried them. Didn’t want to add one more med to my already large collection. If things don’t improve, I may change my mind.
There was a time when I’d get out of bed and clean my apartment in the middle of the night, but those days are gone. (We have neighbors here who are very sensitive to noise, and even running water after ten seems to annoy them, so no more scrubbing the bathroom or rearranging kitchen cabinets!) Some nights I turn on my bedside lamp, pick up my book and read; other night I get online and discover strange new blogs. Most nights I simply lie in the dark, listening to the fake ocean sounds from the white noise machine, trying to count backward from one hundred, as I take deep, even breaths, and hope I’ll relax enough to to fall asleep again.
Tonight I’m going to finish watching Craig Ferguson, then stay up as late as I can, in hopes that I can reset my inner alarm clock a little, or at least throw it off balance. And then, with any luck, I’ll get some sleep, dammit!