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    Last night I had the most GLORIOUS sleep. I went to bed, read a little of something sort of interesting but not important or fast paced, and then my head hit the pillow. The next thing I knew it was morning, and I woke up right before my alarm.

    I can’t think of the last time that happened.

    I’ve heard that cancer survivors can have difficulty sleeping. I also know that menopause does that to people. Worry certainly does that to people, and I’ve been doing that.

    Last night some sort of magic happened, and I slept soundly and peacefully. Today it was a whole new world.

    Do you have any magic formula for reproducing this miracle? I’m all ears! Please share your sleep tricks in the comments below. I’m sure there has to be one or two that I haven’t heard yet!

    I sure hope I can repeat this miraculous feat tonight. I had a wonderfully productive day.

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    Back to the mat, this time to avoid having to take even half an Ambien!

    I’ve been reading the headlines with dread, the ones about sleeping pills causing death. A new study is all over the internet, terrifying millions of insomniacs, myself included. Fortunately I was able to stick with the subject long enough to investigate further, and this sleeping pill study everyone is upset about is seriously flawed. While the study authors controlled for some variables, they failed to establish that the link between sleeping pills and early death is actually causal. It could be that whatever caused the study participants to be insomniac in the first place was what predisposed them to dying prematurely.

    All the same, yoga is cheap, has no side effects, and best of all, helps me sleep. So yesterday I got started and last night I slept very well.

    I know that yoga is essential as well for me to manage my lymphedema. I am writing a lot these days, hence the somewhat sad neglect of this blog…been busy gearing up for the designed life I’ve been envisioning since I went through treatment five years ago now. That’s right, it’s been five years! I was diagnosed in February of 2007. I’m one of the lucky ones, and I don’t forget it.

    I’m almost afraid to call my blog “life after cancer” or something similar, for fear that I’ll jinx my good fortune. I know that’s silly. If the beast were to bite me again I could always call it something else. Right now, though, cancer is in the past. I am enjoying my work at the Children’s hospital, and some regular maintenance is keeping my arm from swelling up. I am starting to add more private clients, who just magically appeared after I said I was ready. I have been very busy writing for Yahoo, both on Voices and for Yahoo News. I actually get paid to be opinionated! I love that! Here are some links if you want to check it out:

    Complementary and Traditional Treatment Together to Beat Cancer
    What Your Insomnia May Be Costing You

    It’s the writing that makes my arm the most unhappy. All of it is really fun, and I have to really be committed to self care to make it doable. The yoga really helps.

    Oh yeah, there’s the mom job too. My offspring are now as tall as I am, and I am at the endless taxi driver stage.

    Life is grand.

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    It’s started…

    My son is down for the count, miserable with a cold of the snuffly, coughing, headachy, flat variety.

    Last week I had a day when I just felt as if a truck had run over me, for no identifiable reason. I think I’ve decided that we both were exposed, he incubated it and got mightily sick, and I am fighting it in this weird no-woman’s land of immune wars. This happens to me sometimes. I’ll battle a bug for a week or two, not get really sick but not feel well, and eventually I win. Or not. It depends partly on luck, and if I’m lucky, my pre-emptive strikes will be effective.

    Many years ago, when I was teaching at the massage therapy school, one of my colleagues commented at the end of the teaching day that she was canceling her clients and going to bed. At the first sign of a cold or flu, this is what she did. No delays, no bombardment with supplements and home remedies, just STOP amd REST.

    “When I feel sick I go to bed”, said she. She reported that it seldom, if ever took more than a day. Many times she averted the bug completely.

    I am not that adept. Usually the first sign of a bug (feeling very tired) is greeted by me with resistance. It is not until later, when the cold is closing in, that I remember that feeling and that I should have stopped and gone to bed! Right now I am paying attention. My boy is hacking away, my muscles ache but I can still breathe, so I am going to bed and feeling grateful that tomorrow is a low pressure day. Today I did a whole lotta nothing so I’m hoping tomorrow I will feel much better.

    Of course I still have my other tricks too. Emergen-C, Zicam, honey and lemon, etc., all are good and I will dose with all of them, but sleep trumps them all!

    Off to bed, hoping for the best.

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    I truly can’t wait until next Wednesday…

    I have one foot in the school routine and the other in the last gasps of summer, and I say enough aready…

    My son started high school last week. So far, so good! My daughter starts the seventh grade next Wednesday, and at this point if I try to hold her to a sane schedule she accuses me of ruining her summer. Ah, the drama! No wonder we do theater together.

    What I want desperately is some sleep, and next week I shall have it.

    I have had a lot of ambition for these last few days, and have fallen miserably short of everything I wanted to get accomplished before Fall hits full swing. I am going to be busier this fall than I have been to date since I finished cancer treatment over four years ago. I am wondering if I will be able to keep it up, grateful for the chance. I am working more at the children’s hospital, the drama club will be resuming, and I have another part time job visiting elderly folks who need a bit of sunshine (this doesn’t feel like work at all). I also am determined to be a super organized mom (there’s a stretch) and may be in the next musical, not sure yet. My mom would caution me against trying to do too much.

    I kind of think “too much” depends on what the too much is. Is it something that drains me or feeds me?

    Am I excited about it?

    Can I recover my momentum if I have one of those crazy no sleep nights? What’s my recovery plan if I get too insanely overwhelmed? Will I miss out if I don’t do these things?

    Are my eyes too big for my stomach, as the saying goes?

    Better to stretch than to shrink, and I can handle it. My backpacking trip restored my confidence in my ability to take some lumps, so here goes. My kids are transitioning, and so am I.

    And, that iconic five year anniversary looms in the near future. I am almost superstitiously afraid and also contemplating a deep sigh of relief. Five years is not a promise, but it makes things look better and better.

    My daughter is at her dad’s tonight, and I am going to bed early!

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