Trouble getting going

I feel like I’m trapped in molasses right now. I think I want to do things, but actually getting up and doing them is challenging. I did make cookies today, which surprised me, since I haven’t been able to get up the will to do it the last couple of days. This may have happened because I was hungry, and haven’t gone grocery shopping since I got back.

I’m really struggling with the WILL to do things as well. So I guess it’s sort of like a two-phase problem. There are some things I don’t have the will to do, and others that I want to do, but feel stuck.

I’m also not really able to sort of stick to goals I’ve tried to set. Like blogging. I try to do it three times/week. Clearly that hasn’t happened recently. I get busy and this gets dropped by the wayside. Knowing that I want to do it, I should plan for it, but I don’t. On Monday I had a meeting that I needed to be somewhere from 8am-1pm. Then I wanted to go to the doctor, but got sidetracked by something else, and didn’t get back from the doctor until after 7:30pm. By then I was pretty spent for the day.

I guess the real problem is that I don’t treat the things I want to do seriously. Part of the problem with working from home is that the day doesn’t have the structure that working from an office does. Things sort of just slide around. When I worked from an office, I knew that I had X amount of hours when I got home to get things done. I felt some pressure, and that encouraged me to do what I wanted.

Now, the days just sort of slip by. Before I know it, I’m as tired as I get, and I crash. It doesn’t help that I’m tired throughout the day as well. I suppose constant fatigue can get in the way of goals at times.

I am working on getting the fatigue issue sorted out. I saw an ENT the other day and learned that my nose is blocked – so I’m not getting the right amount of air in. We’re trying a nasal spray for two weeks and will see where I’m at, maybe do a sleep study. At this point I would love to have some energy during the day to get things done and feel like myself again. I hate feeling wiped out all the time. It’s gotten old.

Perhaps I should cut myself a little slack.

Done

I’m done. I think I probably hit this point a few weeks ago, when my irritation with everything lasted for days. I woke up irritated.

I don’t really know what it is. Mr. Lyndsy and I have been apart since August 10, but we’ve been apart this long before. That could still be it.

I’m not sleeping well either. But that’s nothing new. Maybe it’s catching up with me.

I can’t string together many non-irritated days anymore. That’s problem.

I know that irritation like this can be a symptom of anxiety. Unfortunately I can’t walk around stoned on Xanax all the time though I should consider it for the next few days until I’m back with Mr. Lyndsy.

I don’t like being irritated by everything. I don’t like not wanting to be around people. But I can’t be nice when I’m like this. And I’d rather not do and say things that will upset people.

Being me is hard sometimes. I don’t think all my pieces work particularly well together. An extrovert that can’t be around people nicely? That doesn’t work.

I have been exhausted lately. So much I want to and need to get done before I eventually get on a flight back to the sandbox but I just want to sleep or lay in bed. I’m tired of being tired.

Ugh.

I guess I have to keep working out

I work out 6 days a week. Sunday is my rest day (right now anyway, that will probably change when I’m back in the sandbox).

What I have discovered the past 3 Sundays is that I sleep a lot on rest days. Like, not up and moving until after 1pm. When we were driving back on our road trip, I slept while Mr. Lyndsy drove.

Mr. Lyndsy doesn’t see anything wrong with this. It is, after all, the rest day. He believes I should take it to rest. I don’t like that I’m doing it. I feel unproductive and tired. He said, “Join the club.” I guess he’s exhausted on his rest days too. The problem is that it’s not like I have much to do. He goes to work and his job is both physically and mentally engaging. I don’t have that.

What dawned on me the other day though is that this is exactly what happened before we started working out after getting back to the U.S. In the sandbox I’m not up until 1pm or even later some days. I’m only up in the mornings for doctor appointments or group meetings. If I don’t have anything to do, it is almost physically impossible for me to get my body moving. Even on previous trips to the US, I wasn’t up until 11am.

Before I considered what was happening on the rest days, I was excited! I thought I’d beaten whatever was keeping me trapped in bed. To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement. I suppose I should be focusing on the fact that working out DOES get me up, but when you’ve got as many medical conditions going on as I do, it’s nice to think you’ve conquered something and can take it off the list.

I still feel fatigued during the day, every day. Some days are better than others. I still think this relates to the lack of quality sleep I have going on. I’ll investigate this when I’m back in the sandbox, but it’s something I can think about and research in the meantime. I may as well go back to my doctors armed with as much information as possible.

My shrink told me that if the meds make me tired, I should let my body rest. But we have since changed the medication and I’m on an extended release form. That should have alleviated the problem of oversleeping. Now that I suspect I’m not getting quality sleep, that changes the equation. At least in my opinion. But what do I know?

I really want to try to work out the best possible scenario for myself. I’m tired of being fatigued. I’m tired of being distracted all the time. I’m tired of not being able to focus. I like that my mind explores loads of different things and makes connections in lots of different ways, but at the same time, standing up and not remembering why is very frustrating.

At any rate, working out is now more important than ever for my health and my life. While I was committed to it before, my resolve is even stronger now. 

Fatigue is a TOTAL DRAG

I know I’ve mentioned before that fatigue is one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, diabetes, thyroid issues, lupus, etc. Since my thyroid and diabetes are under control, I suspect it’s not them. It could be the lupus. But the most likely culprit for the cause of the fatigue is fibro.

I don’t know what’s going on, but the last few weeks have been *really* bad. I downloaded and app for the AppleWatch that tracks your sleep for you. I figured that I’d have some issues since I know I don’t sleep particularly well – I wake up a lot, I toss and turn (can’t figure out why), but I didn’t expect that it would be this bad.

From the output, my deep sleep ranges anywhere from NO DEEP SLEEP to no more than 45-50 minutes usually. Most people need/get 2 hours of deep sleep.

This wouldn’t be a problem except that deep sleep is the restorative sleep. This is the time your body takes to heal itself. Because my body isn’t really getting a chance to do that, I’m constantly fatigued. I have pain. My brain is sluggish.

I tried using binaural beats to help induce delta waves, but that had limited results. It doesn’t help that right now I’m at a hotel with a crappy bed that’s way too small for me and Mr. Lyndsy to share it comfortably. Perhaps when I’m back in my bed and I have space, the binaural beats will have more of an effect. I hope so anyway.

When I’m back with my own doctors I will definitely be chatting with them about this. I’m sure (read: I hope) they’re all familiar with the necessity of deep sleep. I have no idea what the plan may be to correct it though. I’m not sure that my shrink will want to prescribe any kind of sleep medication since I’m already on an anti-depressant that’s supposed to be addressing it. I’m not also not sure that’s the correct solution since I do fall asleep and I can stay that way for 8 hours. (I think that’s a side effect of exercising 6 days/week.)

I am desperate to find a solution because I’m pretty sure at some point the body just shuts down when it’s not getting the time it needs to heal. At this point I can’t afford to have any more health issues. I have enough trouble managing the ones I have!

This is something I was thinking about the other day. Currently I work part-time from home, but at the point we move back to the United States (if we do), I may have to go back to work full-time outside the home. Right now I don’t think my body could do it. These days I’m not really taxing my body and mind the way working full-time does. Sitting at a desk for hour after hour while typing causes an immense amount of pain in my upper back and arms as well as my lower back. Additional pain will only exacerbate the brain fog.

I have a friend who has been going through the Social Security Disability process. Her doctor said something that has started to resonate with me: Her main job is to manage her illnesses.

At the time she shared that I didn’t understand what that meant. Now I have a better idea. I work out which keeps my body pretty stable and I sleep better when I work out (which isn’t saying much, apparently). I rest when I need to so that my body doesn’t collapse on me. I eat better, which is probably helping my body – giving it more energy for the workouts which are helping me sleep better.

But until I get all, or as many as possible, of my health issues worked out, working more isn’t a possibility. My focus right now HAS to be on getting things under control. They just aren’t right now. I’m working on it, but I’m not there yet.

And that’s okay. These are BIG issues for me. They take time to resolve. There’s just no way around that. Organs are being affected. My musculoskeletal system is involved. My brain is a little fried right now.

So right now, my priority is my body (or, as it is now known, My Preciousss). Once I get my body better sorted, I think many other things will follow.

What was I doing?

Between the lack of sleep on Saturday night and staying up over 24 hours on Sunday (we flew back in time), I was a little wiped out when I got up today. I think I got a decent amount of sleep and it wasn’t terrible sleep. But it just wasn’t enough.

I have spent the entire day forgetting from one second to the next what I was doing. I’d pull out my phone and forget why. Or, I’d pull it out, get distracted by a notification, handle it, and then put the phone down. I slurred words a bunch. I forgot what I was saying in the middle of a sentence.

My brain is done. I think this has happened to me before, but I either didn’t really notice or was too overwhelmed with something else to care. Today it was incredibly frustrating. I should have realized much earlier on in the day that trying to do two things at once was a bad idea. Instead, I continued to try to multi-task. Fail.

I’m hoping a nice restorative sleep this evening will save me from myself tomorrow. I hope this isn’t a new, long-term problem for me. I don’t think I could handle it!

30-Day Project: February Wrap-Up/March Project

30-day Project

Hahahah. Oh holy hell was February a complete failure. I think I stitched maybe 7 days total. Which is terrible. I had projects I wanted to finish if I was going to start selling them on Etsy. It’s not a the world’s biggest deal obviously, but crap. I did finally frame things I had finished. I feel like I should get some credit for that.

My goal for March is to journal every day to sort of track how my body feels from day to day – back pain, leg/foot pain, stomach issues, etc. – and see how my activity, eating, and sleeping affect how I feel. A friend does it and while hers is a lot more detailed than mine will be, it’s a good start.

It’s not exciting and don’t worry, I won’t post the day to day in here. That would be terrible of me to do.

While I’m here, I may as well give a quick update on my leg/foot. I still have a bit of pain and my gait is totally screwed up. I walk with my foot turned out and I don’t step all the way through because of pain that happens in my foot and achilles. At the January 6 appointment with the surgeon, he acknowledged that due to the Achilles lengthening, there could be some inflammation and scarring in there that are causing pain and making it difficult to walk. He referred me to a doctor to get an extracorporeal shockwave thing to help break it down and hopefully help me walk. Unfortunately, the first appointment that doctor had available was in mid-March. So, in a couple weeks I’ll see him and get this sorted out. Maybe.

I had an MRI yesterday to make sure there isn’t any nerve entrapment that’s still causing pain down my leg and into my foot. I doubt there is since they did an MRI right after the spinal fusion that caused the foot drop and there wasn’t any then.

I do attribute some of the foot/leg nerve pain issues to the work done by the physical therapist after the surgery. He can pretty much suck. A lot of the other nerve issues had resolved, but NOT in my lower leg. I do wonder very seriously if the foot drop would have resolved if I had never seen him.

At any rate, that’s where I’m at. I’ve had some days where I wasn’t having a ton of pain and it was amazing. I think it was over a week! Still had some pain, but nothing like it had been. Then yesterday I was reduced to a sobbing mess because my back, hips, leg/foot, AND arm hurt (thanks cellulitis!). Today is better. I chalk that up to getting a fuck ton of good sleep. Yay for melatonin!

Anyway, I hope you all are well or if you’re not, that you get there soon!

 

A Lucky Girl

It’s almost 4am and I’m the only one awake. Mr. Lyndsy is tossing and turning, sick. I hope I didn’t give it to him. He says it’s the change of weather, but who knows what I picked up on the plane. The dog is passed the hell out at the opposite end of our sofa. Not sure why she left the comfort of the bed. Maybe she thought I needed protection.

Jet lag is keeping me up, but so are the thoughts constantly running through my head. I have paperwork to get done so my student loans don’t skyrocket. I owe so much money that I’m not sure it’ll ever get paid back. At this point, I have a hard time caring. I thought I’d be able to work one of any several jobs but that didn’t pan out. At first it was budget issues since everything I wanted to do was government-related. Now it’s pain and health issues. Sitting at a desk doing anything for 8 hours a day just doesn’t feel like a possibility. I can’t get through a movie without my back and/or leg screaming at me. The fog that envelops my brain a lot of the time doesn’t help either. Hard to do anything detail-oriented if you can’t remember why you opened the computer in the first place.

I have no idea if my back, leg, or other issues will ever get better. I’m learning to live with what seems to be my new normal. I use the reminder app on my phone to keep lists (which helps, except when I can’t remember what I wanted to remember in the first place. (Seriously, I once thought, “I need Q-tips!” So I opened the app on my phone and then started making a list that included everything eXCEPT Q-tips.) I make sure I give myself plenty of time if what I’m doing requires walking or moving about very much. I have recovery days. Sometimes it’s just making sure I get a nap.

But then I think about our insane little dog who really is a bundle of love. I think about our fish who thinks the dog is insane (he told me so). I think about Mr. Lyndsy and his continuing support while I try to work out what the fuck is going on with my life. I think about the friends who were so happy to see me when I came to visit and the fact that I was able to visit. I think about my family, who are a little crazy, but generally a good group of people. I think about the toys I have to play with, a constant supply of craft materials, and that I have a bed that’s comfy even when I can’t sleep.

No, my life isn’t perfect. Far from it. But when I take a step back and think about all I do have, I realize just how lucky I am. And for now, that’s enough to get me through the shit of it.

A Good Month

I talked briefly about this yesterday, but this has been a really good month for me. I’ve been on a different sleeping schedule to go with my new job – I don’t get up until the afternoon and I’m up until 3am or 4am. I’ve always been more of a night owl, so this feels more natural to me than waking up in the morning.

I think the other thing that’s really helped is writing every day. Forced creativity apparently agrees with me. It was an easy way to give everyone a status update on my health after the surgery, which was a total bonus.

It’s been my thought for a while that if I wasn’t blogging it meant that something was wrong. It never occurred to me that I could sort of force myself out of a funk by making myself write. I’m not entirely sure if that’s what really happened this month, but I feel like that could be right.

The other thing that may have contributed is that I finally feel like I’m on a path to really doing something about the foot drop. I’ve had less pain this month, even after the surgery, because I haven’t been able to walk on it. Pain with walking is really frustrating and energy-zapping. I hope that the pain stays away when I’m back to walking on both feet.

I’m not sure what’s made the difference this month – whether it was the writing or the health or the sleeping or all three, but it’s been really excellent. Thanks to everyone who has commented or liked the blog posts. It helps keep me going!