Doctor Sleep

I had my latest check up with the sleep doc last week.

I was late.

The office had moved to new facilities near the new hospital (or so I thought…) and while I knew this and knew where the new hospital was, I failed to make allowance for the additional morning commute drive time.

So I was already running late when I got to the hospital complex, then I added another 10 minutes to my lateness while driving around looking for the building at 500 Hospital Dr. I found a 200, a 600 and eventually a 400, but no 500.

Naturally I had not brought my appointment reminder or anything else that might have their phone number on it, so eventually I went in the Urgent Care & Medical Imaging building and asked them.

Turns out 500 Hospital Dr is the HOSPITAL ITSELF.

Who knew? Not me.

Possibly that little fact could have been mentioned in the auto reminder call I received that did tell me they moved, and gave me directions & an address all without mentioning that it was in the hospital. Hospitals don’t display street addresses because they are *hospitals* & everyone looking for them can clearly tell they have found them without needing a street number to do so.

So I turn up 20 minutes late & beg not to have to make a new appointment because she won’t be able to see me until January & I am not sleeping again NOW. I had to wait 45 minutes but she was able to see me because one of her other patients arrived really early & was given my slot, so I got hers.

Good thing too.

I had been having a hell of a time falling asleep lately, starting right before we went to Great Wolf Lodge & I didn’t sleep at all there. I was having to go back to getting out of bed & read after 30 minutes and I *hate* that. I hate it because I am physically uncomfortable when I do so. I cannot sit still, cannot find a non achy position to sit in, or stand in. I’m ok when I do yoga but it starts right back up if I then sit down.

We talked about the situation and it seems the problem is I had been sleeping in until the late late hour of 8am on weekends when I ought by rights be getting up by 7:15 at the latest. Seems my circadian rhythms are very sensitive and really can’t cope with a time swing of an hour & a half between wake ups.

Yes, the wake up time affects the amount of sleep you get more than the going to bed time. Consistent going to bed time is all well and good but consistent wake up times are what actually sets your sleep clock. Most people can cope with that 90 minute change, but I’ve been struggling with insomnia for 9 year and my body clock is badly screwed up. 6 months of sleep regimen is not enough to fix it.

I also have restless leg syndrome, which actually can affect the whole body & is the source of all those aches & pains I have when I have to get out of bed, and often in evenings around 10pm or so. I’ve been on meds for that since the start & they are tricky to manage because it’s up to me to decide if I need 1 or 3 or even 6 on any given day. I’d started at 3, ended up with 6 then worked my way back down to 3.

Then I started not being able to fall asleep again. I didn’t realize that when this happens I need to take MORE pills because the two are linked, as it the other aches & that by sticking with 3 I was adding to the problem.

So I spent last week, doing an easy 20 minute evening yoga routine, staying up 45 minutes later than usual, taking 2 pills at 10pm and then another 2 when I went to bed and getting up at 6:45 or 7:15 depending on the day of the week and by the 3rd night I was falling asleep within 10 minutes of going to bed.

And the late evening muscle aches have stopped

So yay for seeing the sleep doc!

Sadly though this means I will *not* be sleeping in while on vacation because my body clock cannot stand it, especially when you add in that I will be in a strange bed the whole time. While all the other adults in the house get up at 8am or 9am yours truly will be up at 7:15. The sleep doc said I probably could choose one day to sleep late, but JUST one.

*sigh* I’m packing my running shoes & clothes and will go power walking every morning while everyone else sleeps.

I was just adding my next appointment to my calendar today & I noticed what it said on the bottom.

‘4 month f u insomnia’

Now, I know that it means follow up, but I read it as F-you insomnia. Which is pretty much how I feel.

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3 comments to Doctor Sleep

  • awww Stacey, I was sad to see that the insomnia was back but happy by the end :) A good doctor is a wonderful thing (as long as they let you know exactly where they are lol) Sounds like you have a great plan for filling that early morning time and that will probably help you sleep better as well :) I read the f u insomnia the exact same way!

  • Oh poor you, what a time you’ve been having. Not sleeping at all when you’re staying away from home… I’ve had sleep problems from time to time, but recently things are ok. Interesting then, to read what your Dr. said about wake-up times, as mine are much more regimented in school time – and it tends to be Sunday night-Monday morning that I have issues. Guess what, weekend, so I sleep in!
    I am glad she was able to give you some more help – and that it seems to be having results already. If you’re like me, it’s so hard to function when you haven’t slept properly – especially if it goes on for any length of time.
    I do hope the improvement continues, so you can live more happily!

  • STacey
    This is fascinating. It’s been really interesting to follow your sleep journey. There’s so much about it that I didn’t know. Glad there’s a “fix” for your current issue.
    Rinda