Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Copy of a Copy of a Copy

I wanted to wait and resume blogging when I actually felt something positive to write about, but it looks like that may be awhile down the road so I decided to just jump back in right where I am.

Did you know that lack of sleep can make you suicidal? Homicidal even? At the very least severely depressed? It's true. Just in the past month both 60 Minutes and Oprah have had segments about insomnia and how it affects the human body, brain and emotions. It's been almost six weeks since my surgery and I'm still hurting enough at night that I don't sleep through. I have gotten up to sleeping about four or five hours at a time which is a vast improvement from the night's I haven't slept at all, but it isn't enough yet to counteract the ill effects. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I were like that one woman on Oprah who gets up and cleans the house and bakes cakes when she can't sleep, but about the most I can do is wander around in a daze or do a little reading.

I've developed a lovely little syndrome called patella femoral pain syndrome. It's a common complication after ACL surgery, especially for women. The PT and I are working on it with some exercises, but so far it still hurts like a . . . . well, like hell.

In a way, thank god I was laid off right after surgery because I know myself and I would've pushed myself to get back to work as soon as possible and I think if I actually had to be somewhere every morning at 8:00, someone probably would be dead. As it is, I'm doing my little side job three hours an afternoon and even after six weeks, that's about all I can handle. Of course, some days and nights are better than others and there really is light at the end of the tunnel.

The positive side to all this is that I've been forced into an exercise routine that was sorely needed and I've lost a little weight to go along with it. Oh. Did you know that lack of sleep can also cause you to gain weight? Honestly, it can wreak a lot of havoc in a person's life.

I've discovered a lot about myself in these past weeks. I think the most important discovery is that I seem to have acquired some faith somewhere along this life path. I have faith in my ability to care for myself, faith that this is all perfect timing and faith that the universe is unfolding exactly as it should. And I have faith that I will soon be pain-free and asleep for a full 8 hours. I absolutely get that this is a just a tiny blip on the screen and that each day is a gift and an opportunity. Of course, I actually slept for five hours straight last night.


Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

oh yes. Insomnia can wreak total havoc on your life, your sense of personal worth, the way you relate to everything and everyone. Believe me - I know. Be gentle on yourself - and yell at the top of your lungs when you need to (I wait until my husband and the dog are out walking to do that part - don't want to scare them both out of their wits!)
And you're right - bit by bit you are moving away from the worst of it, Angela.

thailandchani said...

Actually, I'm glad the mass media is finally making a big issue of how lack of sleep affects us. I've always been one of those people who can sleep for two hours or so without waking up - and never get the benefit of restful sleep, even if I stay in bed.

In your case with the pain, hopefully the insomnia will go away when the pain goes away.

Until then.. napping whenever you get the urge makes sense. :)

bella said...

I still sometimes have nights of menopausal insomnia. several nights in a row of it and it does make you go crazy and the body starts to freak out.
I'm happy to see you here writing, just showing up as you are right now.
Sorry that there it still hurts.
May you continue to go gently with yourself and this faith you speak of, may it be nurtured and grow.

Sherri said...

I swear that sleep deprivation is the main reason women have been the "weaker" sex through history. I'm pretty sure it was the driving force behind my own post-partum depression. My youngest is four, and I'm still recovering from years of too-little sleep. I feel ya.

Take care of yourself, lady.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog. After many years in AA, & sleepless in bed, I discovered much of my substance & self abuse was because I'm wired a little up - the label bipolar never really fit, even though docs had used it on me. Now with good sleep hygiene - mostly common sense, simple stuff - & a normally non-therapeutic dose of a non-addicting med (which works great for me) I sleep great & I don't drink at all. Am still active in AA, best way to change something is from the inside. Being rational & loving, somehow the dogma just doesn't stick anymore.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, Angela. It's so nice to hear these positive statements coming from you again. You help me with my own perspective, too.

Angela said...

Lee - Luckily, I don't have a husband to worry about - just the neighbors. :)

Chani - insomnia is not a new thing to me either - the pain just seems to be a good excuse for it.

Thank you, Bella.

Sherri - you're brilliant! Of course that's why we've always been considered weaker. What we know is that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Anon- thanks for visiting here. I hope you'll come back again.

Diva Carla said...

Angela, so glad you are back writing. While you are not feeling great yet, you are feeling well enough to write, which is certainly better. I can't imagine recovery from a surgery like this.

Sleeping more is one thing I want to do, and starting earlier. Here I am at 9:40 pm, my delicious dinner still cooking. Last week I did not sit down to eat once: I ate on the move constantly, and I didn't sleep much either. I was a wreck by Friday. So tonight I am cooking a good dinner and sitting down to eat , no matter how late, and then I am going to bed.

miss*R said...

gawd, i know what you mean.. sometimes when I don't get enough sleep, I get really sad.. and very snappy...

I remember when I had major surgery a few years ago.. ya just gotta give yourself time to heal and yes, sometimes you do learn alot about yourself while convalescing.... just go easy on yourself... soon, you will look back and see how far you have come xo

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

I love sleep and sleep research. If I didn't go the plant genetics route, that's what I would have studied. I'm sure you will soon revert to your normal sleep pattern.

Oh, and read a novel called The House of Sleep by Jonathan Coe. You'll be glad you did - it's terrific!