Sunday, September 10, 2006

Dominoes

I have mentioned that I have interrupted sleep. Sometimes it is worse and sometimes I think that I have solved it and sometimes I have almost solved it. I used to sleep like the dead. Julie could tell you about the time she came home after I was in bed and had forgotten her key and couldn't wake me up with the doorbell and pounding on the door and pounding on the window over my head and calling from the neighborhood 7-11. I have always had to get up in the night to pee, but I would be asleep again before my head hit the pillow.

Well, those days are long gone. I injured my left foot about four years ago and ignored the injury (a result of my own ethnic background [Colonial descendant]and our stiff upper lip and ignore the pain stupidity) until it was so bad that I couldn't walk more than absolutely necessary for over two years and while that was going on my previously injured back flared up for lack of exercise. The other things that happened because of lack of exercise were the onset of a mild case of type 2 diabetes (increased the number of night time visits to the loo), restless legs syndrome, insomnia, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. To this we add the unrelated fact that I had congenital paradoxical turbinates which meant that my sinuses tend to get clogged. I had surgery, but it only fixed it so far and the ENT doesn't want to go back because it could make things worse.

Here we are. I use a CPAP machine for the apnea. But my sinuses get clogged and I feel like I'm being smothered and so wake up. I get up to pee and have to take the mask of my CPAP off and put it back on, which wakes me completely even if my sinuses aren't clogged. I found that taking a quarter of a percocet and two coral calcium pills handles the restless legs most of the time, so that now I only have a bout once a month or less, rather than the three times a night it was before. For a little over a week I have been on Sanctura, which reduces the bathroom visits from eight a night to two. I have recently acquired a facial sauna which fills my sinuses with steam and when I add oil of eucalyptus it can clear them out in 15 minutes (five to heat up and 10 to use) instead of the 45 minutes it used to take. And, I don't have to use Sinus Buster, a good product but since it is pure capsaicin pepper extract, painful, any longer. I can't use decongestents, because of my blood pressure.

Where I stand right now is, I have solved everything except the sinuses, and they are not as bad as they were. Sometimes I get a good night's sleep. Last night was not one. I was up three times with sinuses and had trouble getting back to sleep each time. So, this morning I slept in until 10, which is the time I usually take my Sanctura. I have to take it at least two hours after eating and at least one hour before eating. If I had gone down and had breakfast at 10, I would have needed to wait until noon to take my pill, but then I would have been off for the 10 p.m. pill and . . . If I had gone down and fed the Hooligans, I would not have been able to resist eating myself, since I woke up very hungry. So, I stayed upstairs, took my pill, and read blogs until 11. Which meant the Hooligans ate late (usual for all three of us is 7:30). And so when I was feeding them Merry got impatient and jumped down off the counter and landed on my right foot, scratching it.
And the dominoes go: injure left foot, live sedentary life for four years, develop sleeping problems, solve some sleeping problems but not all, lose sleep because of sinuses, sleep late, delay breakfast so I can take my pill, delay feeding cats so I can delay my own breakfast, get scratched on my right foot by starving tomcat.

9 comments:

saz said...

I have bad sinus problems too but not as bad as yours. Tried the steamer thingie..didn't work for me as well as a neti pot. Now I religiously use that neti pot to rinse my sinuses before bed and first thing in the morning and it's really helped. I can't live without it.

The trouble with not sleeping (and I have that problem too) is it's so critical to maintaining health. Seems like a vicious circle...

Maya's Granny said...

Saz, The thing with paradoxical turbinates is that if my sinuses are clogged the Neti pot isn't helpful because the water won't flow -- it just backs up and comes out where it went in. It is pleasant when I'm not stopped up, but will neither cure nor prevent.

The steamer thing doesn't work without the eucalyptus oil -- that is what does it.

kenju said...

Maya....I am sory that you have to go through all that. I guess the moral of the story is GO TO THE DOC if you hurt your foot!

Anvilcloud said...

What an ordeal! I don't think any of sleep as well when we reach a certain age, but you have a whole lot of issues going on.

J said...

Ugh. I didn't sleep well on Saturday night, either...girl scout camp thing...and I hate that feeling. Nice for me, because I knew that I would sleep well Sunday night at least.

Sorry. :(

Maya's Granny said...

Anvilcloud, Yes, I have had a whole lot of issues going on. There have been nights, before I got a handle on any of it, when I would sit at my computer while my legs tried to run a marathon and I couldn't breathe and I was so tired but I couldn't sleep and I would look out the window at the hills across the channel and the two buildings across the street that I can see from my apartment and there wouldn't be a single light on and I would feel like I was the only person in the world who chouldnt' get any sleep. It is so much better now, even though I do still occasionally doze off for a moment at work.
Kenju, Yes, indeed. The moral is go to the doctor when you need to. Know that you have hurt yourself and stop trying to be a brave little soldier.

Chancy said...

Here's wishing a full night's sleep for you from now on. That waking up, going to sleep and waking up again must be dreadful.

Just do not take Ambien. I have seen stories on TV and read about some who took Ambien and got up and drove or cooked and ate and did not remember a thing the next day.

Can you get a nap in during the day after a bad night?

Betty said...

I won't chide you for not going to the doctor with your foot, because I'll go to almost any lengths to keep from going. I don't have any advice for anything but the restless legs. There are many people who swear that a bar of soap (some prefer Ivory) under your bottom sheet will cure the problem. Sounds strange, I know, but I keep reading it in Dr. Gott's column, and he doesn't scoff at it.

Gina said...

Where did I read that RLS was found to be relieved by iron supplements?

But the bad part was that it was a specific type of iron that was not available over the counter. You had to go to the doctor.