Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Bedtime Story

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My attempt to switch my hours from that of the night owl to the early bird in a gentle one or two hour step back each night until I reach the desired hour went splat like a blind bird hitting a plate glass window.

In two night's I'd managed to step it back from a 3 AM lay down to a midnight lay down.  Was feeling pretty encouraged by how little disruption to my mood there had been due to the negligible two hour changes in the med schedule.  I was even feeling pleased with myself for having thought of doing the step back rather than pulling another all nighter like I used to do when I needed to flip my hours.

So last night I lay down at midnight and was asleep in less than twenty minutes.  But then I was wakened at 4am by nature's call and a nightmare.  When I got back to bed I could not sleep.  The nightmare still had me in its grip and my racing thots were free associating on its content and taking me back to times in my life and places in my self I didn't care to visit.  My anxiety was rising and causing mild heart acrobatics.

This was the kind of experience that used to be my life and was the reason I pulled so many 24, 36, 48 and more hours awake or went weeks getting only three or four hours of sleep per night.  Or getting three at night and two in the afternoon.  I can't stand laying in the dark when my thoughts go racing, playing movies in my head so my habit had always been to get up after less than half an hour of it and distract myself with writing, video, crochet or even housework and to never lay down until I was nearly sleepwalking.

The healthy choices I need to make, dictated by the exigencies of my current situation which I've dubbed the lifequake, demand that I no longer use that method.  I must put a premium on sleep. 7.5 minimum.  8 is better.

So I tried.  For an hour.

Then my stomach started growling.  I decided that maybe since waking up at 4 AM was my goal why not just get up and start my day.  So I got up and fixed a bowl of cold cereal and sat down at my netbook thinking to read an ebook or watch news pods.

But as I sat down my hand knocked something off the front corner of my desk and it rattled distinctively as it fell. I knew the sound of my meds and supplements in their little plastic cup.  And I had a vague memory of having lost track of that cup while sitting at the netbook taking meds and supplements with a snack while writing an email to Ed and then thinking I must have emptied it and set it over with the others for return to the kitchen.  I scrambled around on the floor gathering up the three capsules that were left.  Two of them were my blood pressure meds.

Suddenly the nightmare and the anxiety preventing return to sleep was explained.  The Metoprolol acts as an anti-anxiety and I've learned before that missing doses has a significant effect on my anxiety and thus on my overall mood.  I had no choice but to take them.  Six hours later than the previous night and thus my slow step back was kicked a giant leap forward.

I wasn't sure what this would mean for tonight as, altho the Metoprolol is a twice a day pill that I try to keep twelve hours apart, the other is a once a day pill that was on the strong side so I wasn't sure how early I could safely take it.  Could I still take it at 9pm tonight?

My sister checked with the pharmacist who said yes.  So that's the plan.

My day between ten and two went fairly smoothly and productively.  But my mood plummeted in the mid afternoon and it took me awhile to figure it out.  Because I'd taken the Metoprolol at 5:30 I could not take it at ten as planned and had meant to take it at 4 but forgot and it wasn't until nearly 6pm that I made the connection and took it.

Meanwhile, my attempt to start my day at 5 was short circuited by having to take the Amlopidine because it blurs my vision and makes me dizzy and a bit drowsy for several hours.  Which is why I take it at bedtime.  An sure enough by 6:30 I was unable to read even the large fonts of my ebook so I went back to bed.  But it still took me at least tn hour to get back to sleep and I woke several times before the med alarm woke me at 10.

Thus I am good and ready to crawl into bed as soon as I've finished reading a chapter or two of our story to Mom.

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