Check out

Monday, February 23, 2009

My memoir - UPDATE!

My book is nearing completion! I'm just waiting for the publisher to finish the cover and the manuscript formatting! Check this blog or my website for another update. The book is POD (print on demand) so you must order it online, but you can also download a copy.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sleep Disorder Round 2

I just read my last post, where I wrote "everything is normal in my sleep cycle" which is not true. What I meant was that everything is normal in the sense that I don't have Restless Leg Syndrome nor Sleep Apnea. But it is NOT normal in the sense that I spend hours awake when I'm painfully tired.
Last night, for example, I had a hard time sleeping.

I recorded my schedule:
9:29 p.m.Start getting ready for bed
9:43 p.m. Lay in bed
3:50 a.m Wake to use bathroom
5:40 a.m Still lay awake
6:30 a.m Still lay awake
8:00 a.m Alarm went off for church (I was sound asleep when it went off)

Needless to say, I had to take a nap this afternoon, thus, I'm anticipating having a difficult time sleeping tonight also. I guess 11:00 p.m. until I get tired, but we'll see.

AFTER ALL THAT, MY POINT IS TO SAY THAT I MADE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A SLEEP SPECIALIST ON MARCH 2. I hope she can help me, and will tell me more than "go to bed at the same time every night etc" which is the sleep hygiene stuff I already know!


(okay admittedly, I did eat Indian Food last night and it was spicy. That was probably completely the problem).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My sleep study results (are worthless to me).

So today I received a voicemail message from my doctor because she received the results back from my sleep study. And the results are . . . DRUM ROLL PLEASE . . .

. . . Everything is NORMAL in my sleep cycle!

I do not have sleep agnea or restless leg syndrome. She did say that the sleep specialist said, and I quote, "It probably has something to do with her previous Traumatic Brain Injury."

Talk about disappointment. I'm back to my own drawing board about my sleep disorder. Unless there is no cure for it. There is no quick fix. Maybe I just need to be even more religious about my sleep hygiene. I need to go to bed at the same time every night and eat healthy and exercise (not in the evening). I guess I'm kind of frustrated that there is no QUICK FIX for brain injury related anything.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I experienced brain exhaustion today

I've been taking ski lessons up at Park City Mountain Resort for the last five weeks. My confidence as a skier has improved tremendously (I still hesitate to refer to myself as a skier because I'm still learning how to "not fall, plant my poles, bend at the ankles, lean forward, be dynamic" etc).

Today was my final lesson this season, and I made a huge leap. However, it seems like whenever I make a huge leap in anything (try anything new), my brain always makes a bit of setback. This is my biggest hurdle living with TBI and one that I'm still trying to deal with (even after 14 years).

So last week I skied three blue hills, and today I wanted to try a BLACK DIAMOND (double Black Diamond is the hardest), just to say I did it.

And I did! My second to the last run was a Black Diamond. It wasn't pretty. I fell. I side-stepped. I took breaks. But I will say that I made a couple turns without falling, and without side-stepping. The important thing was that my goal was to try a Black Diamond and I did it! The whole falling and side-stepping is typical for a new skier.

But what was not typical is how my brain felt after at the bottom of the Black Diamond hill. After already skiing for a couple hours (body tired), and after trying to multi-task so much down the hill (knees bent, lean forward in your boots, don't fall), and ski in a way that I've never had to before (stay in between the moguls), my brain was exhausted, spent, empty, gone, foggy (those are all the words I can think of to describe how brain exhaustion feels). Even skiing the easy, almost flat hills down the mountain felt tiring after the moguls. I couldn't focus or think of anything. Literally, my brain felt empty. It's scary and unnerving.

But such is the life of a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor. The only way around this is for me to learn my triggers and avoid such triggering situations. That being said, I think in my ski experience today, the trigger was not the Black Diamond, but rather that I did it at the end of my lesson when I was already tired. Maybe next time I will try it towards the beginning.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Well, I had my sleep study . . .

They hooked up me to all kinds of wires (by sticking gel into my hair which made the wires stay on my head and on my legs and all over). Everything is monitored through these wires, even your brain waves. The nurse also set some wires in my nose. I don't know how they expected me to sleep, but alas, I did. I slept slightly better than I do on most nights.

The above photo is of me before I hit the pillow.

I remember waking up twice in the middle of the night (once because the nurse came in to readjust my nose wires). I woke up at approximately 4:30 a.m. and laid there, begging myself to fall back asleep, until 5:30 a.m. I must have slept fairly well, however, because I felt great for the rest of the day. And I even went skiing after my sleep study! Okay, I have to admit that I did take a one hour nap after I returned home from the study. I often wonder how I'd manage my life with out my power naps and quick breaks.

I'll get the results of my sleep study in approximately three weeks.