Mental Health Monday: Sleepless in Memphis, Flu Shots and Other Boring Stuff



It’s after 4 p.m. and I’m just now writing this post…. Truth is, I’ve got a headache and I only got three hours of sleep last night and I just want to watch TV, eat, drink, or sleep. That’s pretty much what I’ve done this afternoon. My morning was much more productive—doctor visit, drug store and grocery shopping. I’m already bored with my own writing here, so I’ll try to make this short.

19-Ring-Vibrate-Toggle-Switch-Repair-570x488But if you’re curious about the three hours of sleep, here’s what happened. My husband’s iPhone kept making a buzzing sound, starting around midnight. We can’t figure out what it was… no messages, texts, alerts, etc. Finally he put it in another room just before 4 a.m. and we slept until 7. Weird, right? (And no, they were not phantom buzzes, like the folks who came up with the Signal Detection Theory say!)

We both had doctor appointments this morning, so we dragged ourselves out of bed and headed out the door into the 10-degree day. He was going to see two surgeons for a final decision about his torn rotater cuff (surgery is now scheduled for February 13) and I was having an initial meeting with my new internal medicine doc. She’s wonderful and took lots of time with me, but it was somewhat like a lifetime confession. Starting over with a physician who knows nothing about your 62-year medical history takes some time. But I think it was worth it. She’s got a fresh take on some of my issues and I just like her, personally. (And she was impressed with the two pages of typewritten information I had put together for our first visit—medical history, specialists’ names and phone numbers, prescriptions, pharmacy phone numbers, etc.) Did some lab work. Gave me a flu shot. Encouraged me to make some gentle (not drastic) lifestyle changes that might result in a reduction of some of the meds I take.

workstressAnd yet, when I got home I began to slip into a depression. I’m sure the sleep deprivation didn’t help. But I began to picture the coming months and what we have on our plate: husband’s surgery and recovery; my endoscopy and colonoscopy (also in February); my follow up with neurosurgeon (tomorrow) where I learn if I can quit wearing the neck brace and whether or not I’ll begin physical therapy for my neck; a MOVE (to a different house in our same neighborhood, but still all that a move requires); continued visits to Jackson to see my mother in the nursing home; our family’s annual beach trip in May; and…. these are the months I had “set aside” to finish revisions on my novel. Yes. But now the early months of 2014 look a bit overwhelming to me.

rsz_ow_365So I’m taking a deep breath and telling myself that mental stress can only make my physical challenges worse. I’m remembering that my “word” for 2014 is MINDFULNESS, right? When I’m exhausted and sleep deprived I’m tempted to overeat and drink or give in to sloth. So… I’m going to stop now and get on my elliptical machine for a bit and then cook some healthy veggies to go with the deli chicken I picked up at the grocery earlier. This is NOT what I want to do. I want to eat unhealthy food and watch TV. Right now. But I know that I’ll feel worse (mentally and physically) later so I’m going to try and make the right choice. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Please forgive the whiny post. Come back on Wednesday and I promise you something better.