Are you sleeping enough?

One of the services that I use to monitor the “world” of the internet is Stumble – I click on the Stumble icon in my browser, and it randomly jumps to a new website based on general categories I’ve indicated an interest in. I also periodically get a newsletter where they highlight some sites I might like based on reviews I have written on their previous recommendations.

One recent newsletter caught my attention with an article about SLEEP. Probably because the last couple of years I’ve had a real problem with getting enough. I am certain that I haven’t slept 7 consecutive hours in over 3 years, and there are whole months that go by (especially in spring) when migraines and arthritis pain tag-team to force 2 or 3 tries at sleeping to reach an accumulated total of 6-7 hours.

Anyway, this article was worth a careful reading to me, and I thought some of you might like it as well.

http://time.com/4672988/the-sleep-cure-fountain-of-youth/

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While I still can . . .

I have a confession to make.  The reason I haven’t been posting much the last few months is that I am having a rough time with this arthritis in my left hip.

Remember a while back when I posted the story about how the bone tumor in my left leg was found?  It was caught VERY early because I am so tuned in to how my body feels that the onset of the tumor was enough to trigger severe pain and keep me from walking on the leg.

So, imagine being that sensitive, and living with actual problems that have shown up on x-ray and MRI tests for a couple of years.  Ok, those problems wouldn’t normally bother even me so much, but for the last 3 months we’ve had rain or storms in this area every day – except 4.  I’ve counted.  Sometimes they are east of us, as far away as Springfield, Missouri.  Sometimes they are south of us as far as Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Well, you get the idea.  Keep drawing a circle – Broken Arrow, OK, Chanute, KS, Ft. Scott, KS, Nevada, MO.  Any storm that has yellow and red coloring on the Weather.com radar image and is as close as any of those places will cause me enough discomfort that I can’t sleep.

Here is what the VA said about my hip when I (finally!) got the results of an MRI that was done at the beginning of this month:

1. Mild degenerative changes in the left hip joint.  
        
       2. Minimal inflammation involving the proximal vastus lateralis
       and gluteus maximus muscles adjacent to the greater trochanter.  
        
       3. Mild cellulitis in the subcutaneous fat overlying the lateral
       hip.  
        
       4. Subcortical lesion in the posterior left femoral head is
       stable in size back to May 2012 CT with signal characteristics
       suggestive of a small enchondroma. Consider followup MRI in one
       year to insure stability.

See – according to them, even though there are 4 problems going on in the same hip, they are all mild and merit only being monitored.  But, as I said before – my sensitivity is such that these are interfering with my sleep.

And that is my real problem.  I’m down to only sleeping about 1.5 to 3 hours at a time.  Add to that this – I absolutely can’t sleep at night because the heat has been so bad during the day that I am forced to do laundry at night, and only 1 or 2 loads per night.  As I’m writing this, it is just past 0500 (5:00 am) here – and the temperature is 79F degrees with a heat index of 83F.  The sun hasn’t even started to come up yet.

I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be thinking clearly enough to do these blogs, so this is a head’s up.  I’m going to pre-schedule as many Saturday Posts as my WordPress account will let me, and then hope for the best.  But, to keep from sounding like a broken record, I won’t keep updating you all the time about how bad the weather is or how my arthritis feels.

 

Keeping it real . . .

I have a confession to make; I have a bad habit.  When I get a new idea, I get so enthusiastic about it that I tend to forget that it might not work out like I want.  For example, when I first started seriously thinking about the femur replacement, I was so thrilled about being able to do serious exercise again that I didn’t stop to realize all the other things going on that won’t be fixed by that surgery.  So, to put my feet back on the ground, I thought I should make a list:

arthritis and bursitis in shoulder

bratwurst sized hernia along the center of my abs

migraine headaches

bad teeth (seriously, I should just get them all pulled and get full top/bottom dentures)

This does not mean that I shouldn’t get the femur replaced – in fact, I am still trying to move forward with the VA about it.  At this point, though, I don’t even know for sure the VA will agree that I should get it, so optimism is premature.  I just want to be realistic about how much my life will change once it’s done.  Yes, I will be able to do more weight lifting and eventually work back into distance running, but I’ll still be curled up in a dark room 1/3rd of each month on average, and I won’t be exercising my abs at all (except indirectly).

Medical Mystery . . .

Sorry I haven’t been writing much the last couple of weeks.  My body hasn’t felt right for a while.

Besides the arthritis acting up with every change in the weather, I’ve also been coping with lack of sleep, low energy, and a few other minor things.  I was happy to attribute this to the process of trying to lose weight, but then my wife found something that pointed in a different direction.

It seems that one nutrient has some sort of affect on all of those symptoms.  Pantothenic Acid – which is one of the B Vitamins.

Here’s where the mystery comes in, though.  Pantothenic Acid is in virtually everything.  If you eat it, and it’s a whole food, it probably has this vitamin in it.  So the question becomes – how does one become deficient in a vitamin that is everywhere?  My best guess is that something is causing my body to not metabolize the vitamin properly.  But, having no training in biology or chemistry, I have no clue what that would be.

Still, we got some supplements and I’ve started taking them.  It’s too soon to know how much relief this will eventually give me, but it has already helped some.