All posts tagged “health

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Insomnia

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This is what insomnia looks like.

 

I’ve never had this problem before. I may not be the best at sleeping normally, but I’ve never been not able to sleep at all ever before in my life. I’m the person who can sleep just about anywhere for 12-14 hours at a clip. My cat naps are 4 hours long.

 

This is not to say I get to indulge in this behavior regularly. In the days and weeks leading up to the wedding I was averaging 5 hours or less a night. Therefore, armed with stories of post-wedding exhaustion, I was fully expecting these kinds of bad habits to backfire by the honeymoon. But what I was prepared for was too much sleeping, guilt-ridden lazy days on the beach with lots of naps.

 

Not adrenaline-filled, panic-stricken, lonely insomnia.

 

It started on the third night of the trip, just as I had concluded we’d escaped unscathed from the evil clutches of jetlag. At our secluded little house on a cliff face in a tiny village on the Amalfi Coast, we fell asleep around 10pm, much as we had the night before. Being on a geriatric sleep schedule didn’t bother me, because it meant getting up earlier and doing more during the day! Except then I woke up at 1am, feeling as alert as if I was waking from some kind of enchanted slumber.

 

So I read my book, which was just the kind of edge-of-your-seat-disaster-movie-thrill-ride to render it totally inappropriate for a relaxing honeymoon. And then it was 3am, and I finished my book. (The only one I’d brought with me!) With no TV, and the wine finished too, I started to feel a bit anxious.

 

This is when the noises started getting to me.

 

First it was the church bells which, ringing every fifteen minutes like literal clockwork, reminded me of exactly how long I’d been attempting to sleep. Then it was the remarkably persistent owl. Finally somewhere around 4:30am, after a solid hour of Angry Birds, and some reading of guide books which only deepened my panic about “how are we going to get things done if I’ve only slept 3 hours!, a rooster took over for the owl.

 

A fucking rooster.

 

I was disgusted at myself for being deprived of sleep by such aural monstrosities as church bells, an owl, and a rooster. Even the constant rush of the river down the valley to the ocean had gotten under my skin. (As well as the kids playing soccer and whinnying horses that later bothered me during a daytime nap.) Put me next to a freeway and it serves as a free white noise machine, but play some mountain village noises and I become a city girl losing my shit.

 

This pattern repeated itself on several nights throughout our week there, and as some days we had actual plans, I did wind up running on 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Not a great recipe for a relaxing honeymoon. It’s continued on and off since we got back, leaving me lying awake with racing thoughts about things I *have* to do the next day that aren’t generally all that important anyway.

 

In fact, according to Martha Beck (can I just say that I love Martha Beck) in November’s O Magazine, I have all the symptoms of burnout:

 

Me Pre-Wedding: “Driven: You’re working flat-out, in a non-stop blur of accomplishment. You feel you can go on like this forever! You can’t!”

 

Me Between Wedding and Honeymoon: “Dragging: You’re sucking up sugar and caffeine to fight fatigue…”

 

Me During the Honeymoon: “Losing It: You’re visibly tired, visibly plump (or alarmingly preskeletal), and perpetually grumpy. You lie awake nights, thoughts racing, longing for sleep. At work and at home, you’ve developed a charming habit of biting people’s heads off.

 

Me Post-Honeymoon: “Hitting the wall: You’re racked by aches and pains, gaining or losing weight, prone to temper tantrums or crying jags, hard-pressed to remember things like computer passwords or your children’s names.”

 

I don’t usually take magazine advice seriously, but I think maybe I’ll follow the steps in this one. Not surprisingly, it says to eat better, sleep more, exercise gently, and avoid sources of stress.

 

Anyone else ever take a relaxing vacation that backfired?

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Wedding : My Face

Now that our invites are in the mail (what what), I’m hoping for a vague return to focusing on more than one thing at a time, including this blog.

 

Today I really need your help and input.

 

Tomorrow morning I am scheduled to have a patch allergy test to help to determine why my face looks like this:

 

P1000036-1 What? It was Christmas, a new camera, and “funhouse” settings…

 

And I really just don’t feel like dealing with this on top of everything else right now and am probably going to cancel.

 

The redness and tiny bumps that sometimes turn into tiny pimples started at the beginning of 2007, about six months after I moved back to NY. By May, it had spread from one cheek to both, and a little while later the bridge of my nose joined in.

 

I thought it was the shitty air in the bar I worked at, or the shitty air in Scott’s apartment, but by 2008 I had left both and the redness stayed.

 

In 2009, I finally got health insurance and my ass to a dermatologist, who has since been throwing lotions and creams at me with little to no effects.

 

At one point I had a blood test for allergies, and the positive result for dust mites seemed to answer the question. The house was a mess and we had quite a bit of organizing/cleaning to do. I know dust makes me sneezy, but hypo-allergic bedding and lots of cleaning in the past  hasn’t made a lick of difference in my face.

 

Recently I stole Scott’s acne medicines, and actually saw some improvement, and so got my own Rx for it. This was when the derm suggested a patch test. It consists of missing 2 half days of work for them to affix my entire back with testing patches and tape (which I am definitely allergic to) for 48 hours in the middle of the hottest, muggiest summer I can remember where I can’t shower or “sweat it off.” Even if an allergen is found that means I’d have just 7 weeks to figure out how to avoid it and maybe see some results…

 

Or I can just actually wear makeup on my wedding day.

 

I know there was some conversation on Twitter about good, green, beauty products that flew right over my head, so if someone could direct me to any of those suggestions, or their own ideas for redness reduction, they would be my face’s personal hero.

 

Thanks ladies, and know that those of you who also have skin conditions—I’ve seen your pics and they’ve given me great hope.

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What I’m doing these days…

(Because I don’t really travel that much, that’s just what I get off my ass and blog about…)

 

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1) Finding and emailing every potential beach wedding venue this side of the Jersey Shore…

[this one’s blissfully all wrapped up, but I’m leaving it as a reminder of how long it takes me to finish a blog entry.]

 

2) Designing a kitchen we can’t afford…

 

3) Watching tv, especially HGTV with which I’m hoping our snark can be one day be turned into a blog…

 

4) Entering the last 3 years of financial data into quicken…

 

5) Online shopping

 

6) Lots of personal reflection/growth time (including Mondo Beyondo, tons of books, and APW’s well-timed things to think about)…

 

7) [Mostly avoiding] Selling off the contents of my house on Etsy and Ebay

 

8) Squeezing in some kind of exercise in the increasingly colder and darker days…

[thanks Jackie Warner for lighting a fire under my ass this summer]

 

9) Taking an acting class…

 

10) And trying to write this damn blog.