Archive for the ‘sleep’ Category

Things Making Me Happy

Since going on my leave, I’ve been able to focus on ME as much as possible, and it’s been a) very weird and b) awesome.

It’s very rare to get so much time to focus on your own life and happiness, and it was difficult in the beginning. It induced guilt, of course, because I’m used to putting the needs of others before my own (as with many of us).

I know I’m very privileged to get the opportunity to work on this, so I am trying to take advantage as much as I can.  I have been continuing to do the things in my initial post about my leave, and have achieved some of the goals I listed there (baking, new recipes, making phone calls).

The good thing is this inner focus seems to be working to “fill my cup”. A month ago, I was in a deep pit of despair, would break down in a sobbing mess over the simplest things, and I was worried that my heightened anxiety/panic state would lead into a deep depression, as it had in the past.  Now, I am feeling more relaxed and calm regularly, and even have ever-extending moments of happiness.

Here are some things lately that have been making me happy:

  • YOGA is amazing. Even if I go to class in a horrible state of mind, I come out feeling grounded and happy
    • meditation does the same thing!
  • I got tickets to see U2 with two awesome friends
  • I signed up for a knitting class to learn how to make socks (I’ve been wanting to do this for years)
  • I bought a new purse on Etsy, that was exactly what I’ve been looking for (something else I’ve been meaning to do for a long time)
  • READING! I’m on my 4th book already since starting my leave
  • Today, after waking up to help DH get the kids out of the house, I went back to bed and slept until 11am…11 AM!!!!!!!! It was glorious!

Another reason I know this is all helping is the fact that I am able to think about going back to the classroom without panic or anxiety. Last night, I was able to organize my notes/assignments/tests from the last couple of weeks, and I felt neutral about it. It was just a task, not something that was choking me or sending me into tears.

So, onward I go. I know I’m not fully ready to go back, but I am confident I will be able to. In fact, I think I might be in a better mental headspace now than I was in September.



It’s Taken a Year

It’s been just over a year since I had a bleed in my brain and required emergency brain surgery.

One of the biggest deficits I have been dealing with right from the beginning is extreme fatigue. When I was in the hospital for the first month, I needed to sleep 10-12 hours at night, and took 1-2 long naps during the day.

When I went home a month after my stroke happened, it was a struggle for me to get the sleep I needed and to get anything else done. I literally had to choose between having a shower and sleeping. It was frustrating! I just wanted to be normal.

As the weeks and months went on, I required slightly less sleep, but it did not change quickly.

Six months after the stroke, I still needed 9-10 hours at night and 1 nap during the day to function properly. At that point, I started having both kids at home a few days a week, and it was exhausting. I would go to bed at 8:30pm every night.

Once I started school in September, it forced me to cut my naps out. It took me a couple weeks, but I realized I didn’t actually need them anymore.

Just this past week, I was waking up at 5am EVERY morning and it was driving me nuts that I couldn’t get back to sleep. After thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that it actually wasn’t a problem. It was that I was trying to get TOO MUCH sleep. Going to bed at 9pm each night, and trying to sleep until 6:30 or 7am…that’s more than 9 hours.

I was so used to needing so much sleep for so long, it was hard to understand that it was changing. Now my sleeping needs have normalized and getting 8ish hours at night is perfect. It only took a year.

One big thing I’ve learned through this process is that sleep is one of the most important things for recovering from brain damage/injury.

Yikes! Rough Weekend

Holy moly –  l feel like I just ran a marathon through a hurricane without eating the week before.

Yesterday, I was on the verge of tears all day (and went over the edge a number of times). I called and emailed as many people I could to just to talk too. This has happened a few times in the last couple of weeks. It’s to the point where I’m wondering if I have some PPD, if it’s something physical, or leftovers from the stroke (I’ll be going to my family doctor today to hopefully figure this out).

What I do know is lack of sleep is my trigger every time. If I get one bad night of sleep, then I’m grumpy and easily annoyed, but if I get two bad nights in a row, I crash. I become a sobbing mess. I just can’t handle anything.

Then, when I get one good night of sleep (like last night), I feel so much better. I can go about my day relatively normally, with a few hiccups here and there. Even better, if I get two good nights in row, I feel amazing and ready to conquer the world! This is when I put together Evan’s 3rd year book in 1-2 days, or get the energy to do 5 loads of laundry, walk Evan home from daycare, cook dinner, do bedtime for Evan, and not blink an eye – and am happy most of the day.

So, regardless of what label we’ll end up putting on my “lows”, I know sleep is the biggest factor.

I’ve known since my stroke that I can’t deal with lack of sleep nearly as well as before. I don’t know if that will ever recovery fully. It’s also hard to measure, since things are just busier now with two kids.

DH has been amazing through all of this, and is offering to basically do Carter-care every night so I can get a good sleep. It’s working and I’m feeling better, but I also feel guilty about it (of course :P). I just need to remind myself that if I’m feeling better, then our house will be happier. Hopefully either Carter starts sleeping better*, or I can start handling a bad night here and there better so I can help out more at night.

*I’ll be taking Carter to the paediatrician tomorrow to get a few questions answered about his eating, sleeping, and other things. Hopefully that will help too.

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