Posts Tagged ‘insomnia’

There really does need to be a sarcasm font. No, seriously.

Since my surgery in January I have been thrust into menopause. I have been peri-menopausal since I was 21, that’s 30 years in a state of peri-menopause. Some of the symptoms PLUS periods. Yay…not.

Now, I have symptoms. The most common for me are hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia. My doctor, in consultation with my surgeon prescribed me estrogen patches. For a month I was on 37.5 mcg twice a week. Last week then went up to 50 mcg twice a week. So far I’m not noticing much of a difference…which I suspect is okay?

Then there’s the insomnia. Given the heightened state of awareness we are all in, I was having periodic insomnia prior to starting HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Manageable…I guess.

I thought I had a lot more to say about this, but for whatever reason can’t remember.

Wait! Isn’t that another symptom of menopause?

Oh Yay!

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Again?  Didn’t we dance this dance the other night…

I thought we had an understanding, you and me.  I would take better care of myself, exercise every day, get outside every day, limit caffeine, eat real food, drink water.  Okay, I’m not perfect but I’m better than I was.  Yes, yes, I had coffee today, which for the record, was gross and I only drank 1/3 of it.  It was SUPPOSED to be steeped tea.  What happens when you go to the drive-thru…you get SCREWED at the drive-thru…

I’m not drinking as much water as I should…but I’m drinking some.

So, how about your end of the bargain, eh?

If I do the aforementioned, you are supposed to blanket me with deep, restful sleep for at least 7 hours.  I’ll even get up to use the bathroom if I can slip back into sleep.  But not lately.  Jackass.

I don’t understand the problem.  Room is cool.  Relatively dark.  Bedding and pjs are clean.  To Do list is made for tomorrow.  Clothes are laid out.  WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

WHY can’t I shut off this brain of mine…no wonder it’s addled…can I get a dimmer switch installed?


Well, as I’m not getting answers from you, I think I’ll do some research…maybe about dimmer switches…  I’ll read my daily meditation and once I get my shoulders to come down from around my ears, I’ll go upstairs and try this blasted sleep thing again.

The problem is, if Insomnia decides to stick around…what’s my recourse?  Afternoon nap?  Back to sleeping pills?  Ick.





Okay, insomnia.  I’m not (that) angry anymore…can we call it a truce?  At least until the next full moon?


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I am less than a week away from two glorious weeks of vacation. And of course, we are in the midst of a horrendous heat wave in the part of the world where I live. So instead of bustling about, I’m sitting in front of a fan, praying for the weather to break.

I’ve got most of the big things in place to be away. I have the bulletins finished, just need to pick up one set from the printer. I have the readings selected and ready to go for the weeks I’m away. I have pastoral calls prepared for this week.

What I’ve not done yet is prepare my clothes, plan the itinerary and start packing. All of these things are fun but I need to get other things done first, including cleaning my house. Ugh. If only the weather would cooperate, so I could get up and do something without dissolving into a puddle, that would be awesome. C’mon Mother Nature, help me out here.

I am looking forward to two weeks of travel, leisure, yoga, stretching, fabulous food and drink, sleep and nature…not necessarily in that order. I have a new journal that I’m taking with me. I’ve not yet started writing in it, and I’m not sure why. But I’ll get there.

So, for the next couple of weeks, blog posts will be non-existent, but I promise to share all kinds of loveliness when I get back.

Can’t wait to get off the treadmill of “busy” for awhile. To redirect my rhythm and finally start to feel better. I am excited to feel better, for what will feel like the first time in a long time. But I can do it. I know I can. I have to.

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It seems that since Easter, things are not slowing down, and yet I am.

I am in a state of perpetual exhaustion. I’ve been to the doctor and she has sent me for blood tests. Something is wrong with the blood tests and I have to and get more done. On Monday afternoon I am scheduled to have another mammogram with “bonus” screens, and an ultrasound to follow.

My beloved and I are overdue to see our Marriage Counsellor and I think it will be a good thing for us to do. I am worried about my health and my body is beginning to tell me that I cannot continue at my usual pace.

Tomorrow there is a special vestry meeting at the Church and I was supposed to get some stats together. I have not. And I will deal with the fallout tomorrow. To be honest, I don’t really care what is expected of me tomorrow at the meeting. My Wardens are in charge, I need to be there. And if I get asked about stats, I will tell the truth. They aren’t done…and won’t be for tomorrow.

The month of May is going to be full of engagements. Some will be good, some will be difficult and most I am approaching with dread. What I am is tired. So very tired.

I don’t know how much time I will find to write. I think I hear my bed calling me now…

Until soon…

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There is a phrase in the Church “Christ is risen, the clergy are dead” and this sums up most clergy I know, myself included. We labour (with love) to make sure the bulletins are done, homilies are written, congregation is cared for. We fuss and fret over the liturgies, trusting that those who attend will be fed.

By the time Easter Sunday rolls around, we are usually pretty tired. The Alleluia may not have as much verve and pep as it should have, but it’s the best we’ve got.

I spent three hours, the Saturday before Easter, in the stylist’s chair, getting my hair done. This is highly unusual for me. My usual time in the chair, including chatting is 30 minutes. Five to ten minutes more if I get my hair washed first. I was experiencing something I’ve never done before; a hair tattoo. It’s a labour intensive process, but incredibly amazing.

My stylist and I had talked about a resurrection hair tattoo for Easter Sunday. The tattoo itself didn’t take very long, but the colouring and shading took plenty of time. By the time he was done, he was very pleased, and so was I. And so were the customers in the salon. It’s certainly something that stands out, but as I can’t see it, I don’t worry too much about it.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and I was especially pleased at the children’s reaction on Easter Sunday. I have been stopped while out, so people can ask about it. And I explain that there are three crosses, a tomb and a pair of wings. And they “oooh” and “ahhh” and tell me how awesome it is.

The three hours I spent in the chair I should have been relaxing, but I was thinking about all the things I had yet to do to get ready for Saturday night’s service. Everything did get done, but I did not take good care of my sprained ankle. And come Sunday morning it was swollen and paining. By the time the two services were finished, I couldn’t feel my left foot. I took off the brace, iced my foot, rested it and tried to nap.

We went to visit my in-laws for supper, which was awesome, and I elevated my ankle as much as I could. Since then I have slept as much as I can, while returning to the pre-Easter craziness. I took Monday off, but on Tuesday I had three home communions. I was supposed to go to a meeting in the city, but I was too tired and ankle was too sore. So I sent my regrets and stayed home.

Friday is traditionally my day off, but the church is having a bake sale tomorrow, so I spent most of the morning baking cupcakes, scones and cookies. The cookies are staying at home as I scorched the bottoms. The cupcakes and scones are at the Church. My Beloved brought supper in and tonight I am catching up on laundry that should have been done two weeks ago.

What I need to do is take three weeks off and rest. But there’s too much to do for me to make that happen. I am anxious about some upcoming doctor’s appointments and medical tests. Something inside me tells me that I will be taking time off to deal with my medical issues, whether I want to or not, and that will be what it will be.

So for now I struggle through, doing the best I can, taking it as easy as I can and trying not to beat myself up about not getting everything done.

The lesson I really need to learn is to let go and let God. If the bulletins don’t get done, it’s not a big deal. Right?

One step at a time. One day at a time.

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Here in the small Southwestern Ontario community in which I reside, there have been thunderstorm warnings all week. And yet, aside from a brief 10 minute shower yesterday, we have not had one clap of thunder; one bolt of lightning; one stiff breeze.

I have been “blessed” with headaches since puberty. Most recently they were pinpointed as primarily stress-related headaches due to clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth. I wear a guard at night (which is INCREDIBLY sexy) so I don’t clench while I sleep, and yet there are times, especially when I am driving, that I catch myself clenching my teeth. Then I end up with jaw pain and headache.

Also, I was recently diagnosed with barometric pressure-related migraines. Nothing will make them stop until the storm comes. So for five days I’ve been in increasing amounts of pain and for five days I’ve been disappointed. I just stopped typing to stretch my arms and jaw and realised I’d been clenching. Again.

There is a lot of work to be done on the outside of the rectory. Two dogs have more or less killed the lawn by the front porch. The pup has decided he likes to eat flowers, so we have to be careful where, and if, they are planted. I’ve decided to move the gravel path we have in the front, which is not particularly usable, and replace the gravel with organic mulch. It will still have cement stones, sort of “stepping-stones” but there will be a softer place to walk, and it will be much better for the dogs.

Our female has decided she doesn’t like gravel, and she will do a complicated dance to step around the gravel and onto the hard packed dirt rather than step easily from the gravel to the steps. She’s also had a couple of infections in the pads of her front paws, so we need to make the path more dog friendly. The pup seems to have stopped eating the gravel, which is also good.

So the past few days, in the middle of the night, actually; while I’ve been waiting for the storm to come that doesn’t; I’ve been thinking of what I want to do to change the appearance of the outside of the rectory, using the resources we have (repurposing them) and purchasing a minimum of new resources.

It’s one of those projects that will awesome when its done, but will take some time to get there; as one thing depends on another to get finished. While I want the rain to come, I also want to get the projects started, but I don’t really have the time to start them until Friday.

SO, with my luck the rain will come as my spade hits the ground, and providing there’s no lightning, I may solider on. I’ve worked in the rain before, why not now?

I pray for the rains to come, the earth to cool and the humidity to leave. I also pray for the people of Alberta; who have had the rains come and forget to stop. We live in a world filled with oxymoron and while we may get frustrated we still soldier on.

I have had the lyrics to a song that the counsellors at the Diocesan Church Camp sing during communion. “Let it rain, let it rain, open the floodgates of heaven, and let it rain”. Its hypnotic when the song starts and often someone will rap “Jesus loves me” over top of the chorus. I am due to be there next week and am very much looking forward to hearing that song…

And in the meantime, I’ll get some more sparkling water, and draw yet another diagram of the proposed “after” picture of the side yard.

“Open the floodgates of heaven, and LET IT RAIN!!!”

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It seems that over the past year I’ve been in a process of change. It seems that everything around me is changing. And while some of the changes are difficult and some are downright awful, there are some that are uplifting in nature.

Our congregation has been in a great state of change for the past year. We have had four significant losses to the community and there’s another one that will be happening sooner, rather than later. To be completely honest, hospital visiting is not something I enjoy. I am grateful for a long walk from the parking lot to the hospital room as it gives me a chance to psych myself up for conversation. I don’t do small talk very well.

Most often I sit in silence if it’s the parishioner and me. If there is family present I will chat with them. And then turn my attention to the parishioner. There is always prayer, and the family as well as medical team are invited to participate. Sometimes there is anointing or communion. And at the very centre of it is God.

Lately there has been a great deal of pastoral care needed in the congregation. On Tuesday alone I did four pastoral calls, usually I do one or at the most two in a day. But Tuesday it ended up being four. By the end of the day I was absolutely wiped out. And I have been having difficulty sleeping since then, most likely because I’m not decompressing properly. I know I need to focus more on my yoga. And as soon as I get busy, my self-care takes a back seat. And that has to stop.

I am determined, this summer, to make healthier choices for myself. Healthier choices in what I eat, what I do, how I move my body, how I care for my body. And it will be awesome. I need to move myself up on the list, because right now, I sit on the bottom of the list.

The struggle I often have is whether or not I “deserve” to take the time for a massage, a pedicure or highlighting my hair. And while I know it’s appropriate and necessary to do those things, there are times when I think I should be spending that time caring for others.

*sigh* Just when I think I’ve got my perspective back, it changes. And it means that I need to change and be gentler with myself.

It is true that I am my own worst enemy and harshest critic. And that’s okay, I guess? I think what I need to do is to silence the criticism, and stop beating on myself. I am in a process of reinvention of myself, my home, and my life.

This afternoon I’m going to spend some time outside, doing some clearing up, moving some planters, filling them with soil and getting ready to do some planting, which I plan to do tomorrow afternoon.

I work hard and I am good at what I do. God has given me strength that I never knew existed, to care for people, to love them (even the difficult ones) and to connect with them.

There will always be one more email to send, one more phone call to make, one more floor to sweep, one more person to visit. So I need to be militant with myself, that I deserve to have this time as much as anyone else.

And I need to give myself permission to say no to things that are not life-giving or necessary. I need time for me. And that’s okay.

It’s almost time to tidy up my desk, put things away for my next office day and get ready to have lunch with a colleague. Today is going to be an easier day then the first part of the week. And that is truly awesome.

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The first anniversary of my Dad’s death is next week. I’m now getting emails reminding me of his “passing”. I must say that I really REALLY dislike euphemisms for most things, but especially for death.

You don’t “pass” from life, you die. You pass a test, not death. ARGH.

Pass away is only marginally more acceptable in my humble opinion. At least there is a Biblical reference point for that.

As a clergy person, I hear euphemisms for death all the time. I listen carefully to the family, but I will not engage in downright stupid euphemisms. I heard an elderly lady tell her 3-year-old grandson that “grandpa is sleeping”. I don’t think so. Dude is NOT waking up any time soon. Try and get that little boy to ever nap again. I don’t think so!

I received a phone call last night from a parishioner whose mother-in-law is in hospital and is not doing well. She’s 84 and had open heart surgery that went really well. Then she developed abdominal pain and further testing revealed a mass in her bowel. So it was removed. And she’s not responding well. And that really sucks because I like R a lot.

I find myself weary as of late. Really, really tired, even when I’ve had a full night’s worth of sleep. And I’m not sure why. I suspect some of it is the weather, very overcast, gloomy, light rain, and cold. I suspect some of it is the realisation that things continue to change. And I suspect some of it is that I still miss my Dad and always will.

Tomorrow afternoon is our local Legion’s Decoration Day service at 2:00 p.m. There will be a small gathering of us who join together to remember those who laid down their lives and we will put crosses on their graves. The gathering gets smaller each year. The gentleman who organises the service has been diagnosed with ALS and he’s really annoyed with that. His body won’t do what he wants it to do and I can’t even imagine how that feels for him.

He has been told his life expectancy is 5 years. He’s REALLY unhappy about that. And I don’t blame him. He was active all the time. Now he can’t even drive. He can’t dress himself. He can’t teach line-dancing anymore. And he’s annoyed at that. Can’t say I blame him.

I’m at a place where I’m thinking about a change in my life. Not sure what that will look like, but I’m definitely feeling itchy feet.

In the process of planning my summer and fall vacation, which I am definitely looking forward to. The five days of retreat was good, but not long enough.

It’s time to shake off the dust from last night, get dressed, heal the sick and change the world.

Once I finish this cup of coffee, that is.

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I’m caught in a cycle of insomnia currently. Part of it is a brain that needs a dimmer switch. Part of it is my body be going through detox and part of it is the need I have to be organised. My office at home is a catch-all area where things get tossed that have no other place to be. I’ve been promising myself I will do something with this room as I tire of stepping over empty boxes, and other miscellaneous “stuff” that has piled up.

So last night while my husband and daughter were at choir I decided to spend “just one hour” to see what I could get done. I spent nearly three hours and hauled three bags of garbage, two bins of recycling, and two boxes of ‘stuff’ for the parishes upcoming yard sale. I was proud of myself. I did some deep breathing and meditation exercises, I said my evening prayers and got ready to sleep.

One mississauga, two mississauga, three mississauga and the brain was replying “click, click, whirrrrr”. So after half an hour I got up and tackled the kitchen cupboards. I threw out spices that are older than my daughter (she’s 12). I pulled everything out of the fridge and freezer and disposed of anything past its expiry date. I even cleaned out the “junk drawer” and felt awesome!

And bone weary.

I climbed the stair again to attempt sleep about midnight. I was feeling cold so I stayed put where it was warm. and when my hsubands alarm went off at 4:00 a.m., I woke him up but could not go back to sleep. So I got up at 4:30 and started on my dining room.

Today is my “day off”. I have an appointment in the city, and then the rest of the day is mine. I’m expecting that a nap is in order, and then maybe I’ll tackle my bedroom closet and sweater chest…hmmm. I have a basket of fresh laundry to put away…perhaps its time to take a clothing inventory…perhaps that nap will have to wait.

But right now I’ve got dishes to wash and have to be out of this house in 20 minutes. I should probably get dressed too as I think it’s too cold for my nightgown and bathrobe.

The gift of insomnia is that it frees time to organise, something that always brings me peace and calm. So today I may indulge my mental health and do what feels good to my psyche. I will sleep tonight, I may sleep this afternoon. And in the meantime I will have a fairly well-organised house.

That, in itself, is a gift to me.

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I have never been a huge fan of grocery shopping. I make a list, and get what’s only on the list, but I find the grocery store daunting. Even moreso now that I am aware of my addiction to food.

I’ve been told that if I stick to the outer aisles of the grocery store, I’ll do better, as there’s very little processed food on the outer aisles. While this may be true, there’s also plenty of end of aisle temptations with weekly specials etc.

My pantry is close to bare and my fridge is full of half-eaten leftovers that needs to be cleaned out. Today is the day. I’m having company for lunch tomorrow and don’t have the ingredients in for what I need. So, instead of overwhelming myself with a list for a week, I’m going to menu plan for the next 3 days, get us through the weekend and perhaps go again on Monday.

I’m finding that the liver cleanse is going well. But I have a pounding headache, dry mouth and ringing in my ears…all signs of detoxing. I’m told it will go away. And I hope it does…soon!

I’m going to get a garbage bag and clean out the fridge and freezer of expired food, half-eaten food, and take out/leftovers that are not edible. Then I think I’ll clean the fridge itself and start fresh.

At the same time that I’m learning to deal with food addiction, I’ve switched from my paper planner to a virtual calendar in my new smart phone. A GIANT step for me, who is daunted by technology and anxious about new things. But I will learn and I will succeed. Because I have to.

I have a clean bright, spring-like tablecloth on the dining room table. I have fresh flowers in a vase in the middle of the table. There is a placemat at each seat and a cloth napkin to match. I’m going to savour each and every food experience. Especially food I make myself. I have the ingredients in to make fruit smoothies in the morning and I’m excited about that venture.

Overall I feel quite disjointed, unable to properly focus and finish one task before beginning another. I believe that is the artificial sweetener leaving my system. And my sleep has taken a turn for the worse. But it will get better…it has to.

This afternoon I’m going to buy my first pair of proper running shoes as I now have a walking partner for two days a week. That’s exciting! And once the pup is better trained for walking (he starts obedience training on Friday night) I’ll bring both dogs with me.

One step at a time. One food choice at a time. One day at a time. It will get better.

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