Friday, July 16, 2010

The good, the bad and the hopeful.

My dirty dozen challenge went by the wayside. It was ambitious of me to attempt that anyway, then Kiddlywink came down with a cold and Alaskaboy had two full weeks of work at the same time. Thus I ended up as rundown and exhausted as I was around New Year's time.

Last night, for the first time in approximately two years, I slept seven hours straight.

What bliss to conk out for the night then wake up with a painfully full bladder the next morning and head off to the toilet for that sweet "ahhh" of relief. Of course there are recent nights where I had to pee in between, but only the once per night. Now that I've had some good quality sleep, I've remembered what sleep used to be like. To be honest, I'd completely forgotten.

Nearly two weeks ago I got my CPAP machine. I got used to wearing it while watching a movie the first couple of nights, then used it for naps the two days after that. My first few full nights wearing the machine I only needed five hours of sleep. In five hours I was just as, or even a little more, rested than I'd been recently with 8-10 hours sleep plus two daily naps. After a few more days of this I was back to peeing only once per night, and actually getting 6-8 hours every night.

Unfortunately, prior to getting my cpap I'd gotten that run down that I had given myself an abscess in my bum crack. And then once that course of antibiotics were completed, and not taking enough probiotics while doing so, I gave myself a UTI. So, I wasn't feeling the full benefits of the sleep I was getting because I was also feeling slightly crapola from what I was fighting off.

BUT I shudder to think how I would have felt without the machine, because despite the infection I was feeling so much better than I have in a long time. Every family member and friend I've spoken to recently on the phone/Skype has commented how much more like myself I sound.

The most dramatic difference I think was for Alaskagirl. We last spoke when I'd gotten the machine but hadn't used it for sleep yet. Then they left for their usual short summer getaway. When they returned I'd had over a week's worth of good sleep. While I was speaking with her, I could even hear and feel the difference in our conversation myself. I wasn't struggling to sound peppier than I was feeling, I actually was that peppy.

I've even noticed I'm even finding it easier to breathe during the day. Alaskaboy figures that's because my lungs aren't straining to inhale all night long and thus are actually rested when I wake up in the morning.

Yesterday and today I've been suffering leg cramps. More than I've had in any 24 hour period for months now. My own fault though. I was feeling so much better I forgot about watching my potassium levels and forewent my gatorades, plus we ran out of bananas and avocadoes and I failed to buy more. I think I'd hoped that the leg cramps were only an oxygen deprivation problem and would miraculously disappear once I started getting sleep.

There's been an interesting side effect from getting more sleep. My weight or diet haven't changed, in fact I ate pretty crap the last few weeks, but my body has changed. I'm fitting clothes better. Some t-shirts are downright loose. I even had to tighten my bra straps by over a centimetre! There is one thing odd I hadn't realised I'd noticed a difference in until this week; my socks have started to slide on like they used to!

Knowing I still have to pay attention to possible leg cramps, plus my ability to have good sleep, once this spate of them settles down I'm hoping to be able to get back to regular exercise and see even more positive changes in my body.

There's still a lot of sleep debt to repay, but at least now I have a more valuable currency to work with. :)

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