Sleep Study

Because I feel like an absolute wreck but I also want to record these thoughts in a way that’s more permanent than Facebook, here is what I wrote up and posted this morning after last night’s sleep study:

Sooooo…I had a home sleep study last night, and honestly I have no idea how doctors get useful data from these things. It took me twice as long as normal to fall asleep, and then I woke up every 10-15 mins for the first three hours of the night. The one time I changed positions without getting all the way out of bed, the monitor started an alarm to have me adjust the device on my face. Eventually I got to where I was only waking up every 30-60 minutes, but that still meant getting up far more often than usual, plus sleeping stiffly so I wouldn’t dislodge the device at all. The shortened sleep periods meant I got no deep sleep, but instead these shallow dreams that all involved being able to take the stupid thing off my head.

I “slept” from 11 to 6, but probably only got 3-4 hours of shallow, restless sleep. This morning I feel like I’ve been hit by a car. My body is stiff, I’m having mild hallucinations, I can’t walk straight, and my lungs and throat are reacting as if to bad allergens. Thank goodness Jason has the option of working from home because I would not be remotely safe to drive today, and the boys have a few appointments.

And really, I’m just not sure the data from this study will help. I don’t have problems falling asleep, and I’d guess I get some deep sleep normally. My problem is waking up ~2-4 am and being unable to go back to sleep for several hours unless I’ve taken a sleep aid. My study in no way reflected any of that, especially as they had me take my sleep aid like normal. I think they’re only testing for apnea, which I’m sure I have, but which isn’t causing the insomnia as the insomnia pre-dates the apnea! Sigh. I guess I’ll just have to see what they say in a few weeks. In the meantime…coffee…

*****
To add a few details for my own record here, not on Facebook: When I “woke” up at the end of the night, my face was very swollen. The tubing that went into my nose was snug but not tight enough to cause indentations (see pic above), but my skin swelled enough in the night to cause deep grooves to be left on both sides (not just the side I was lying on). My lips, nose, and eyes were puffy. I’ve had this kind of sleep-puffing before, but usually only after extremely hard interval workouts during the day (especially ones that take place while swimming – this used to happen a lot during high school when I was a competitive swimmer, for instance). My joints and glands are all swollen, again like I’m having an allergic reaction. I’m coughing, my throat is almost swollen shut, and it’s hard to swallow. I’m not sick, but have this as a result of lying too stiffly and not getting any deep sleep.

I do plan to try to nap at some point, after the swelling in my face goes down. And I really don’t want to take another sleep study ever again. Sheesh.

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Sunday Coffee – Happy Father’s Day!

(My dad, me, my brother William, my sister Becky.)

(Jason and our three boys.)

Dads really are made for crawling on, aren’t they? Happy Father’s Day!

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Wellness Wednesday – Why I Adore LuLaRoe

I posted about my first LuLaRoe order a few weeks ago. In that post, I talked about going overboard on buying their clothes, from multiple retailers. Then on the 3rd, I went to my first in-person LLR party, which allowed me to try styles and fabrics that I hadn’t yet experienced, and of course I bought more than I was planning then, too. So far, while I like some pieces more than others, I’ve pretty much loved every single thing I’ve bought. Why post this as a Wellness Wednesday topic? Well, because my reasons for loving this clothing brand have a lot to do with body image and empowerment.

Size Envy
One of the things that pops up all the time in various online LLR groups is size envy. You see a dress or shirt or jacket you love, but it’s not your size. Various retailers aren’t going to have every design in every size – usually they only have one. If it’s not your size, oh well. But here’s the thing: Maybe you fit into a size L and the piece that’s causing size envy is an XXS. Or maybe it’s a 3XL. Because regardless if the piece is too small or too big for you, it’s still size envy. You’re envious that someone will be able to wear this piece. In a culture where size envy is usually only directed toward smaller sizes, always wanting to be smaller than you are, having a subculture of people who also envy larger sizes is just AMAZING. Silly, I know, but this is psychological gold.

Body Type
You learn very quickly that body type matters more than the size of a piece of clothing in LLR. Example: I wear a size M to L in a Carly dress, and the M is loose enough that I could probably go smaller if I wanted it to be tighter fitting. However, because I’m busty and have a long waist, I have to size up to a 2XL or higher in the Classic T. This depends very much on body type, not size. At that party I attended, my friend Stephanie and I both tried on the same XL Classic T. We’re both similarly-sized, but we carry our weight very differently. The shirt we both tried on did not even come close to fitting me because of my bust, but was extremely flattering and just perfect on her, because she carries more in her hip area. So unlike with most clothing brands, you stop shopping for size and start shopping for what flatters your body. The number stops mattering so much. More psychological gold.

Diversity of Style
Probably 85% of LLR prints and colors are ones I would never wear. I don’t love Americana or Disney or floral or tribal-looking or animal prints. I won’t wear hot pink or bright spring colors or pretty much any shade of yellow. Instead, I gravitate toward paisley, stripes, raglan, swirls, heathered fabrics, and autumn-toned colors (anything from teal to brown to orange). Similarly, I’m not a fan of certain clothing lines like the Cassie (pencil skirt), but I love ones like the Carly (flowing dress). Stretchy fabrics are better than cottony for me, and I love textured fabrics as well. There are so many different styles, designs, and fabrics to choose from that there’s something for just about everyone.

Comfort
Honestly, I expected the clothes to be a little uncomfortable before I received my first order. I’ve always gravitated toward jeans/jean shorts and t-shirts or tunics, and I’ve often found that higher-priced pieces from name brands tend to be less comfortable for me. Not so with LLR. The fabrics are soft and comfortable, none of the seams and tighter areas (like under your arms or at your waist) pull or pinch. And the leggings! I’ve never liked leggings before, but these don’t roll, pinch, fold over, shift, or drop. They aren’t hot even in south TX heat, and I basically forget I’m wearing them while they’re on. It’s awesome.

Quality
Honestly, I haven’t yet owned my pieces long enough to 100% comment on quality. However, I’ve been wearing at least part of my outfits from LLR almost every day for the last few weeks, and so far all has been great. I compare this to my last interest in a clothing company, Modcloth, which I ordered from three times in 2016-2017. Nearly every piece I ordered was uncomfortable to wear, and 75% of them either ripped or popped a seam or took a hole from a cat claw within 1-2 wearings. The quality of fabric was AWFUL. So far, nothing like that has happened with LLR, and believe me, my cats have tried. They particularly like chasing the hems of my longer pieces (ha!). Besides that, many pieces can be altered in fit/style – tying dresses into knots, cinching them up inside for a different look, etc – and they just pop back into normal shape after a run through the wash. It’s awesome.

So yes, I’m a LLR convert. For the first time in several years, I actually like the clothes I’m wearing – like the pieces themselves, and like myself in them. It’s a huge boost to self-esteem to love the way you look in your clothes. I don’t even mind that I’ve spent way too much on this stuff and that if I do manage to lose weight, I’ll have to start my wardrobe all over again. Totally worth it.

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Sunday Coffee – House Update 1

I figure I should chronicle the craziness here, as a way of keeping myself from going insane. Things that happened since last Sunday (another warning of LONG):

1 – The roofing company indeed fought, saying that none of this was their responsibility. We called the contracting people from USAA that put us in contact with them as a guaranteed company. After a three-way conversation, the roofers said they’d come out to our house with a third party roofer to all discuss with us the damage and what might possibly their part in it. They were supposed to come out on Monday, but never showed, and when we called, they said maybe Tuesday.

Continue reading

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Wellness Wednesday – A Reminder

April 2012 – Cozumel, Mexico – 185 lbs (the line between overweight and obese for my height). Jason took this picture of me. I’d been so happy about my progress – down 75 lbs – but I hated this picture the moment I saw it, as I hated many pictures from that particular vacation.

It looked to me in that moment that all my hard work wasn’t reflected at all in my appearance. I felt huge. Especially my abdomen, which was always a difficult part for me before surgery because of all the pregnancy damage. Taking a closer look:

The thing is, now I look at this picture and I don’t even notice my stomach. I see a person who may not be the thinnest in the world, but who looks fairly in shape and average-sized. Back then, I let myself get tunnel-vision, unable to really see my body accurately. It wasn’t the first time I’d done that, and it won’t be the last, I’m sure. But I wanted to give myself a reminder right here on my blog that focusing on flaws, large or small, detracts quite a bit from the whole. Sometimes it’s good to step back and see from a wider perspective.

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Sunday Coffee – Let’s Play the Good News Bad News Game

As you might be able to tell by my fine coffee picture, I’m currently sitting in a hotel. There’s quite a lot of story that leads up to this. It starts on June 1st, a crazy rollercoaster of a day filled with alternating good news and bad news. I’ll split this into two sections, family and house, and forewarn you that this post will be LONG. Continue reading

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May in Review

Please note: Last night I got the news that my uncle has advanced cancer with liver and kidney failure. There’s a very strong probability that he won’t make it longer than a few more days. I’m heading to Houston to see him today. I’ll likely be absent from the blog for a bit as I deal with the upcoming weeks. This post was mostly pre-drafted. 

*****
I feel like I came out of this month battle-scarred. It was a tough one. I got through it, and I didn’t have any major breakdowns (I won’t say how many minor…), but I pretty much spent the whole month binge-watching TV as a coping mechanism for stupid ghost-trauma, and then I kinda overspent when I became LuLaRoe-obsessed. That’s far better than I’ve done over the last few years in May, though – no binging or binge-drinking – so I consider the month a semi-success despite accomplishing very little.

Goals
We made progress on our front yard xeriscaping/landscaping project! It’s about 2/3rds done now and I hope we can finish soon. The longer this goes on, the hotter it is outside to work! I did also finally sign up to get monthly massages, so I’ve started in on that part of my 2018 goals. Getting a pedicure with my friend Stephanie early in the month crossed off another goal (new-to-me locations/events), and I used up my second-to-last skein of yarn making a grey beanie. –> So I suppose I accomplished some things this month…

Health
This is where my month-of-ghost-trauma-and-TV-watching really affected me. As I was saying in my last post, I can exercise like normal, but if I just sit around post-exercise, nothing good happens weight- and health-wise. Example: I exercised 22 days this month (average for me), for a total 22 hours (average), with 13 yoga sessions (below average) and 42 miles walked (above average) and a daily step count of 9680 steps (average). Other than my yoga being slightly less than normal, this is pretty much the norm for me. And yet, everything went wrong in my health. My sleep was pretty bad, my diet was worse than usual, my mental health was in shambles, and despite my best intentions, I did drink alcohol a few times this month. And the scale – it dropped in the first week of the month, carrying over from my work in April, but then it stalled out, bumped back up a bit, and flatlined from there. Pretty much starting from the exact same place I began.

Books
I wasn’t really in a reading mood this month. Managed to read two books, one of which was a reread and one of which I disliked. Heh. I think I might do a summer of (mostly) rereads coming up.

Highlights of May
I still tried to record the good moments of the month, because otherwise I’d just be miserable! Here’s my Good for May:

  • Laurence playing Mr. Darling in his school play, Peter Pan
  • spa date with my friend Stephanie, including my very first ever pedicure
  • getting complimented on my yoga poses in a public class
  • seeing (briefly) numbers on the scale that I haven’t seen since Feb 2017
  • having coffee with Stephanie one day and my cousin Jen showing up randomly (in other words, I love being home again with so many people I know and love nearby!)
  • my kids seeing the “garbage day” clip of bad movie reels for the first time, and their reactions to it (if you don’t know it, please follow that link, it’s awesome!)
  • attending my first LuLaRoe party and receiving the lovely clothes afterwards (not to mention buying far more after that party than I probably should have…)
  • Morrigan getting his driving permit and finishing driver’s ed
  • Laurence having his first ever date and girlfriend
  • finally seeing The Greatest Showman (it was sooooo good!), and seeing Book Club in theatre
  • new haircut! (above)
  • Ambrose got inducted into the National Art Honor Society!
  • the progress on our front yard has been lovely, and I adore the way it looks

Coming up in June
School gets out on the 7th. Those who have been following me for a long time know that I dread the summer for two reasons. First, the heat, because come on, a temp variance of 80 degree nights and 100 degree days for months and months? No fun!!! Second, as a stay at home mom, my job becomes a 24/7 thing with no break for the next three months. Some people might feel like this is a dream, but I’m a stay at home mom out of necessity, not choice, and I miss my quiet, non-chaotic days. This summer will be particularly packed because my two younger kids decided to take extra classes for summer school, and Morrigan is doing both band camp and this trip to Japan in July. Plus Jason will be working from the office rather than home this summer, the first summer he’s not been a home-based employee since 2013, so I have to adjust to having no help at home again. Sure, the boys are older, but my oldest has a lot of mental health problems and home-restrictions, so there’s a lot of worrisome coming up.

On the other hand, June 1st tends to mark a reawakening in me, a little shot of energy that will (hopefully) keep me going for a bit. It’ll be especially helpful now, because all that ghost-trauma of May? There’s less of it in June-July-August, but 2013-2015 involved a LOT of trauma stuffed into those summer months, and I’m still wary of how my body may cope. Often, I drop off the blog altogether between May and August. I don’t think that’ll happen this year, but you never know. I’ll just keep doing the best I can.

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