Get the CPAP. Yes, it is expensive. Everyone I know who needed a CPAP and got one swears it is life-changing- you wake up feeling rested, and far less stressed out. Your liver gets to work properly, leading to weight loss. Your mood improves, because you aren't tired and cranky all the time. Everything becomes easier.
Once you are sleeping properly, it is much easier to fix the other issues. Really.
It is so good to see such thoughtful, common-sense responses to a really whacked rant.
I wrote it at the end of two of the most stressful weeks I've had at work in the past two years. I got thrown someone else's stuff to do while she was on vacation, and I got no training to speak of. I had to chain myself to my desk to get it done on time; I had to miss lunch, shorten it, or eat it at my desk; I went home every night with a headache and barely able to walk from sitting all day.
Thursday of last week, after work, I was rushing down the street near my house, desperate to get home and collapse. I caught the toe of my shoe in a sidewalk crack, and my usually helpful hip flexors and other stabilzing muscles did . . . nothing.
I pitched over and heard a crack when my head hit the sidewalk. Didn't black out; I said, "Oh, shit," scrambled up, noted torn stockings and a scraped knee, felt a half-dollar sized lump in my hairline above my left temple. I got home, applied ice, ran through the day's date, the president's name, my birthdate, tongue twisters, counting backward from 500 until I got bored. I spoke with a friend from church who is an M.D. who said that, unless I developed certain symptoms within the next six hours, I probably could just do ice and anti-inflammatories.
To make a long story not so long, I'm generally okay, except for being tired. I'm sort of coping, except that today I took a bite of lunch and was surpised to have a big chunk of one of my molars snap off. Dental appointment day after tomorrow . . .
It's made me more than a little cranky with a tinge of despair.
I have to have my stressful job; I can't afford to lose it. At age FIFTY-EIGHT, I have a resumé that reads, "she has wasted her working life and her degree trying to survive from day to day, so she doesn't have a career that would impress anyone." I am STILL eighty pounds overweight and cannot compete with the hordes of savvy, attractive college grads who are also desperate for work.
I have nothing that would impress anyone, and asking around and posting my work history online has yielded nothing.
Regarding sleep, I do have a CPAP machine that I have religiously used for five years. It has done . . . not too much for me. I can fall asleep anywhere (except in bed of course, though sleeping on the floor for the past few months has made things better). I also have a sleep mask which helps. And I have been sleeping on the floor, which I like.
I go back and forth about what I eat. When I eat really well, I feel good, if tired. Give me a boneless pork chop, greens, and a sweet potato. In fact give me three or four boneless pork chops, a whole pot of greens, and two or three sweet potatoes. There are times when I can eat that much in one sitting. Which scares me. Because clearly my body is saying, "You need this!" AT the same time my brain is saying, "What the hell are you doing to your budget???"
Maybe it's leftover paranoia. Back in the summer, budget-cutting at work got me demoted, and my pay dropped. A couple of months ago, bean counters recognized they did "too much," and I got my old title and pay back--along with additional stress.
I am most pleased with exercise. I am doing more than I was a year ago, but I really need to do more.
So, I'm just having an existential crisis. I'd love a pork chop, but I don't have any.
Thank you again for kindness, suggestions, and support.
Much more complicated for me than primal food is the whole issue of how one exists in the world primal style in order to maximize nature's intended functions of the human body and minimize effing the body up.
I went to the dentist today because two days ago I bit into a piece of coconut and snapped off a big chunk of a molar. Turns out I will need a crown on the tooth. Other molars with fairly large amalgam fillings appear to have cracks in them and will need crowns to stabilize them.
My taking a fall and cracking my head on the sidewalk a week ago probably contributed to the broken tooth. But according to various things the dentist detected, apparently I have also been clenching my amalgam-filled, structurally weakened teeth at night . . . for years.
Part of it is work stress I am sure. Part of it is probably an unconscious attempt to keep my mouth closed when I am using my CPAP machine. Part of it is probably also bad sleeping posture (I have always had bad posture in general . . .)
People talk about eating the hunter-gatherer diet as one way to avoid dental problems. I have come way too late to that party. I ate so much junk food in high school and college, and I got so many fillings. I can't heal my teeth with butter and carrots. I will need probably five thousand dollars' worth of dental work.
I have just started going to a "biological dentist" who really seems to know her stuff, so I'm sure I'll benefit from her work.
Nevertheless, as I try to figure out the primal way to "get myself back to the garden," I keep discovering how physically messed up I am and how little I seem to be able to do to make things better.
Change takes time, improvement takes time, but at the rate I'm discovering problems, I wonder if there will be any time left in my life to discover healthful, practical, and lasting solutions.
It's not quite two months since I posted in a funk about my discouragement about ever getting truly on the ball with the meat-veg-good fat-bit of fruit-move-and-groove way of doing things.
I think I am much more there than I was in April, but it is has not produced anything even close to the bragging rights that so many people are aiming for when they give up their Doritos.
Living in a primal fashion is so much more than losing weight, so much more than gaining muscles. There are so many other components to living a truly healthful existence, and at my age, with my health history, I have--in some ways--so much crap to get out of the way before I can even take seriously the idea that I might be able to lose a really significant amount of weight and stop jiggling for good.
Sleep and energy are my personal obsessions right now. Teeth. Teeth, too. I broke a tooth in April, got a permanent crown this week. But for whatever reasons, I'm actually feeling very positive about those things right now.
Maybe it's the May sunshine. Maybe it's the fact that they finally fixed the HVAC at work, and I"m not spending my workday sweating in a corner that's often eighteen degrees higher than the temperature at home.
Anyway, here's the stuff that's really good in my life right now:
1) Sleeping on the floor--very relaxing, very simple, something that makes sleep so much more REAL for me.
2) Havving a sort of aha moment a while ago about a few things in Esther Gokhale's advice on how to sit, stand and walk . . . it's probably nothing close to what she's really talking about, but even overweight I find myself at times truly gliding down the street when I walk, and it's a remarkable feeling.
3) Discovering that there are truly helpful things I can do about my oral health. Xylitol, yay. Coconut oil and baking soda toothpaste, double yay. How freaking simple and how amazingly effective.
4) Being confronted by a friend at church about how hypervigilant I am about everything in my life (and how much I need to let a whole lot in my life just hang, go to hell, go to sleep, or whatever). It's good to have friends.
5) Getting to know a guy at a volunteer job who is nice to talk to. I look in my mirror and see nothing that is attractive at this point, except my beautiful blue eyes, so I harbor no illusions about him becoming interested in me. However, it's just damned nice to be reminded that there are men in the world who can "get" me and what I'm about.
So, generally, I'm feeling--for me--fairly relaxed about stuff. How nice.
Okay, I am a little excited, too. Couple of days ago, I was coming down my street and saw the bus to work pull up across the main road that my street leads to. I ran a block and caught the bus. I prayed like crazy while I was running that I would catch it, but I ran a block. Even at my weight. I ran and caught the bus. Ho-lee mackrel, that was cool.
Hey entwyf, good to hear that you're finding some positives. You're in Rochester; I'm in Rochester. I'm definitely rooting for you. It is SO possible to eat Primal here. Do you have the ability to visit the public market? We do have the best public market in the nation, you know! You can get good prices on fish, beef and chicken and buy in bulk - just don't strain yourself carrying stuff home! And we have the Genesee River and the Erie Canal and Ontario Beach - the weather's supposed to be gorgeous this weekend! Get outside and soak up some vitamin D. So good! Remember, I'm rooting for you - and saying a prayer, too. Let's be healthy together!!
Last edited by carlh; 05-25-2012 at 08:08 PM.
I was very pleased to read your update of your story. We certainly all have our ups and downs and periods of discouragement or even despair, but I was happy to hear that things are looking brighter for you and that you are regaining your sense of perspective and positive attitude. Keep up the good work!
Hi, carlh and BratKat,
Thanks for such encouraging words.
I love the public market and hope to get there frequently this summer. I also hope to get out in the sunshine on a regular basis and work in my yard (sadly neglected for a couple of years).
I don't think I'd say I've REgained a sense of perspective; I'm actually struggling to gain one to start with.
Living a life fueled by years of SAD and a philosophy of "no pain, no gain" made it impossible to think clearly and rationally. Even now, when I have moments of focus and clarity, I think, "Wow, what's wrong with me?"
Looking forward to getting my brain and body more in gear. And maybe soon I'll have a good handle on how to get some real sleep.
Again, thanks for the support. Hope you have a good Memorial Day--with LOTs of juicy hamburgers!
There's a PDF here:
Or try googling "constructive rest". Alternatively, you can support your knees with bolsters or cushions.
Yeah, the sleep apnea.And maybe soon I'll have a good handle on how to get some real sleep.
This is a shot in the dark ... but I've just been reading Volek and Phinney's The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. Now they say that sleep apnea is one of the conditions for which ketogenic diets have been found helpful. In fact, it's one of two conditions not linked with metabolic syndrome -- the other is epilepsy -- for which they say that's true. They don't say why it works, or why they think it works, and they don't actually say much at all. However, they're certainly very knowledgable people with a ton of clinical experience and published papers. Here is Phinney:
Low Carb Living - YouTube
Maybe that would be worth a shot? You could try researching it, and see what others have to say on the matter. If you're eating Primal Blueprint style you're already eating low carbohydrate. All you need do to go ketogenic is drop carbohydrate consumption to less than 50 grams per day (while making sure you get enough fluids and electrolytes, especially sodium (e.g. as broad-spectrum seasalt), since the kidneys aggressively dump water and sodium when going ketogenic). There seems little to lose: it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to go ketogenic. It only means a slight adjustment to your current regimen, and if it doesn't help you can just go back to where you were again.
Anyway, maybe neither suggestion is helpful, but best wishes at any rate.
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