unexpected improvement

Posted: January 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

I woke up at 2 AM this morning, awake, alive, and ready to interact.  2 AM is a strange time to be like that; G was a good sport as I woke him up before stopping to consider thoughtfully letting him sleep.  Per what is becoming “usual,” I was up for awhile and then relaxed back into sleep again.  This is the way my energy is beginning to return to me – at odd hours, in strange ways.  I might wake up at 8:30 PM (I know you’re not in bed yet at that time, but I’ve been in bed for an hour and a half at that point) and suddenly be wide awake and fully alert.  I respond to that by reading for an hour or more; sleep returns to me.  But every round of sleep interruption like that encourages me – I think my energy is coming back to me.

It’s a strange rhythm, but I don’t expect that it will be permanently so odd.  My wild hope is that my body is healing and I’m working toward being able to get away with just 8 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis, without paying for it with the severe problems I’d been having before I transitioned to the 10-hour night.

Along the way, I’m encountering other unexpected developments.

When I first talked with my chiro, she had required me to fill out a very complete health background in advance – something like 26 pages, if I remember correctly.  We spent about an hour and a half that first time, talking through what I’d written there, with her adding notes as she listened intently to my answers to further probing.  She noted that I had commented about my unnatural appetite – that I’m basically always down for more food.  She offered an interesting explanation for this:  perhaps my body is trying to solve an energy problem.

Last year my dad was having some health challenges; in his interview with some medical superstar, he was answering questions about blood disorders in his family.  When he and my mom shared that I’m 50 and have been anemic since I was born, the doctor questioned them strongly.  My whole life?  But WHY was I anemic?  His demand was for an answer that my parents don’t have; none of my doctors has ever even demonstrated any interest in the question of why.  We didn’t even know “why” was a relevant question!  I always just thought it’s the way I am.  I never wondered why.

My chiro had a similar response when she learned of my anemia.  “But WHY are you anemic?”  She’s adamant that the cause matters.  She has some theories about it, and some of the supplements she’s chosen for me are shaped by those theories (mostly:  it may be a “gut health” issue.)

In the midst of that conversation, she pointed out:  the appetite might be my body trying to solve the life-long energy crisis of anemia.  I might be craving food because my brain is seeking instant energy.

In the days that followed her sharing of this possibility, I was wrecked by it.  It is such a merciful and gracious possibility.  Maybe I’m not just an exceptionally greedy, pathetically ill-disciplined, contemptible person, which is of course what my condemning inner voice has frequently alleged, with seeming agreement from some voices in our culture.  Maybe there is a biological thing happening there that is sabotaging me.  I wept more than once, processing the notion.  I’ve felt vastly less condemned on this front, since that one conversation.  Sure, the problem has to be solved, but maybe it’s not just Karen’s Giant Character Defect.

As I’ve faithfully followed the regimen given by my doc, a most unexpected thing is happening:  my appetite is decreasing.  I keep discovering this by accidentally eating too much and finding myself overfull, when the amount I’ve eaten isn’t really all that much.  It catches me off guard, and I’m continually readjusting my portion sizes down to accommodate the new reality.  I remembered that my chiro said one of the supplements helps to regulate my blood sugar.  I emailed her to ask (yes, EMAILED, because I get to do that as much as I want/need at zero extra charge!) if this might be the case; she confirmed it may well be.

The other development, unexpected to me, is that I think I’m having less arthritis pain.  That one came sneaking up on me; I just suddenly this morning realized I can’t remember the last time pain in my feet has interrupted my sleep or left me nearly in tears during waking hours.  THAT’S IMPROVEMENT.

I’m getting excited about 2017, as this thing rolls along.  A friend prayed for me today that I might get to return to running this year, and I had a giant HECK YEAH reaction inside, which caught me off guard.

It’s getting better.  It really is!

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