(Well, this's called a JOURNAL for a reason, no? D: It's a place for catching people up on goings on, no? XD; *self-conscious*)
What's Been New With Me:
Anyway, I guess the last time I wrote here, it was early June and it was a few days after I came home from babysitting my sister's new puppy for a week, and my health was in UTTER shambles.
I had been dealing with sleep issues in general for most of this year, but a week of consistently getting 4 hours of sleep with a rambunctious puppy that woke me up by biting at me and me trying to nap for the rest of the morning on a couch while watching said puppy.. ...Yeah it REALLY took a toll on my mind and body.
As I mentioned, I was taking a certificate program in C# with the local university, and with each quarter of the program, I did worse and worse. In hindsight, I took on too much work too soon, given the state my health was in. It's sad too though, because I really wanted that class because it would help me better understand the differences between C++ and C#, so I could better help with the group making my game project.
As for the class itself...? Well, I ended up finishing both remaining assignments AND the final project, a week before the final project was due.
I thought that'd be when my "smooth sailing" and "recovery" would begin, but noooo... Then Late Spring / Early Summer began, and the mice moved in! o~o;
OF MICE AND SLEEP
I had been dealing with an annoying gnawing sound inside my walls for about the last week before I finished the assignments, starting at around 2:30am. (..~15 minutes after I went to bed, and it takes me ~20-30min to fall asleep at night )
Probably a day after I finished the final project, the sounds in the walls changed.
I heard a much louder, more "rustle-y" sound. And it sounded more like it was IN MY ROOM than just "in my walls".
Because of my failing energy levels as the quarters went on, I hadn't properly cleaned my room since probably September of last year, so the critter (whatever it was) could DEFINITELY have been running through the garbage on the floor in my room. It would enter my room at around 2:30am, and leave my room at around 4-4:20am. I had a LOT of trouble sleeping in these times, because it creeped me out that EVERY LITTLE SOUND I'd hear the fucker >_>; Because of my already bad sleep ruined by being continuously woken up for an hour and a half+ period, it took me the next 2 days to clean my room to a point that I could take care of the problem.
I moved furniture away from the walls. I piled everything from my floor (except for garbage, which I threw away) onto my furniture, to stop the little fucker from having anything to make noise crawling on. And, importantly, I tried to verify if any of my furniture housed a mouse nest, and otherwise (by moving everything away from the wall) I wanted to find where it was getting in and seal that entrance.
On the second night, I heard a metallic sound when it entered or left my room.
I had just finished cleaning out the areas around the walls and nothing seemed immediately obvious HOW it was getting in my room, when I remembered that metallic sound and checked the exposed wall outlets (because two of them didn't have covers)
...Sure enough, when I pulled at one of the outlets, it made that metallic sound! Soooooo I took some outlet covers from the bathroom upstairs (I live on the ground floor) and used them to cover those outlets! The mouse attempted to get in my room again. IT DID NOT SUCCEED >: |
So.. with that problem out of the way, I kind of left it for a few days to try to recover on my sleep, which wasn't really happening. Eventually, I took the opportunity to rearrange my bedroom though, which was nice. (Y'know, pulling furniture in the middle of the room DOES give that opportunity XD)
OF STRESS AND SLEEP
So... After classes ended and a few weeks passed by, I was getting really bothered that my sleep wasn't improving at all!
So, I went to my acupuncturist who I've been seeing sometimes, and he pretty much immediately pointed out that my stress was BY FAR the worst he'd ever seen it!
It was to the point that he felt a little dumb for not seeing it sooner, that the problems he was helping me with earlier this year, while often root problems on their own, can ALSO be symptomatic of out-of-control stress, and he HAD noticed I was getting more stressed out each time he saw me this year, but those times were NOTHING compared to how bad this was! D:
So from that point onward, he was JUST helping me with stress.
He had thought my sleep should start improving soon, and in each session, we talked about different techniques for sleep, ranging from vitamins I might be missing, to herbs that I REALLY should avoid in the latter parts of the day as they might impede sleep, to even simple practices like trying to adjust my sleep schedule. (I was noticing that my sleep would get fucked up if I went to bed after a certain time, but once you start, it's hard to break the cycle because I literally don't go to bed until I feel tired enough to sleep, but if I'm so tired that I lose the ability to feel when I'm sleepy because I was resisting the urge to take a nap all day, that is NOT GOOD XD; )
Little by little, my stress went down whenever he checked it, and my sleep improved. I was starting to hit a point where I actually had good sleep SOMETIMES. But the thing is, at BEST I'd get ONE day of sleep, and every other day was a bad sleep night. At worst, I'd go 4 days without a good night of sleep, so it was certainly a tough fight.
It kept dragging on to the point that my acupuncturist pretty much thought my stress would go away the moment I could start sleeping, because good sleep IS one of the best medicines for fixing up what he was helping me resolve.
Still, it WAS going down slowly.
OF JOURNALS AND SLEEP
It was such a frustrating process, because honestly I have wanted to write this journal since maybe in the middle of July as a follow-up, but I could never get two consecutive nights of good sleep! So I kept telling myself that I'd write it once I got two good nights in a row, because even after one night, I just didn't feel up for writing it, and I sort of wanted to spend that time doing something else productive that I had missed on. (like cleaning, or taking care of my mom's fish)
OF HERBAL FORMULAS AND SLEEP (is this pattern getting old yet?)
Finally, a little over two weeks ago, my acupuncturist had this brilliant idea, after I asked him if there was any better herbal formula I could take for what we were trying to deal with here.
He had this moment of "EUREKA, THE PERFECT FORMULA! 8D" because every once in a while there's an herbal formula in his catalog that covers all the things we're trying to work with, and none of the things we're not.
Normally, whenever he finds something that treats ALL symptoms directly instead of just trying to attack the root but not the problems it causes, he's like "This WOULD be perfect for you (to his patients in general) buuuuut I don't have any of it =A=;". This time, he came back from his storage room and was like "WE HAVE IT FOR ONCE!! >8D"
...Honestly, it worked REALLY well. Stress melted off a LOT faster, and after two weeks of taking it, I felt quite a bit better.
Which kinda leads to where I am now.
OF MORE RECENT SLEEP
Two weekends ago, my parents just left on a camper trailer road trip from here (greater Seattle area, Washington) to greater San Diego area, California for my mom's high school reunion. It'd be a two week trip, and they'd spend about a week in each direction, and the reunion was on Saturday of this last weekend.
My most recent appointment with my acupuncturist was on Wednesday of last week, and it was Tuesday night when I FINALLY figured out how to sleep with our dogs in my room, because the little one wants to sleep on my bed (but I'm afraid of crushing her with my legs) and the big one wants to sleep on the floor, but every time she moves, she makes a scratching sound that wakes me up again =__=;
Tuesday Night, I had the big dog on a dog bed, and I put out a blanket for the little dog to sleep on, because she was cold and was previously trying to nuzzle against me, pinning me on the side of the bed. (which, on Monday night, caused me to wake up on Tuesday pinned to the side of my bed with me with 20% of the bed and her with 80% XD; A 12lb dog does NOT deserve 80% of a Full bed D: ) She stayed in one spot that night, and I had the rest of the bed comfortably to myself XD;
STRESS AND HEART FIRE
So, at that acupuncturist visit, he said that my stress was COMPLETELY gone, but my heartbeat was "OFF THE CHAIN", in his words. Strong heartbeat, like most other overactive symptoms in Chinese medicine, is indicative of an agitated organ system. The Heart, when agitated, causes anxiety, agitation, jumpiness and an easily "triggered" personality.
..Honestly, I had been in a fighting mood the previous day, so I could certainly see it in his description of it XD;
He had me switching to taking an herbal formula for "cooling" instead (since the Heart thing he refers to as "Heart Heat"), which also still dispersed stress since he wanted us to "keep a pressure" on keeping stress low, in hopes of training my system how to live without stress, "since "stress" can become kind of a lifestyle", in his words.
Sure enough though, just as he's said, the "Heart Fire" thing really was doing a number on me.
As claimed by Chinese Medicine, if you have spicy food in this time, it would cause the effects to flare up stronger. ...I had a bratwurst with barbecue sauce, and within 10 minutes I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. (I don't normally feel that after spicy food) Same thing happened again the next times I ate something with barbecue sauce, and since I seemed to be able to recreate the phenomenon pretty consistently, I stopped eating barbecue sauce until I felt like my agitation was entirely gone. (for record, today for lunch I had it again, and no bad symptoms! : D)
ACTUALLY SLEEPING (it had to happen sometime, right?)
Every day from Tuesday Night until now, I have had restful sleep.
Sleep filled with vivid dreams that felt like I was awake sometimes, but sleep none-the-less. (I don't normally dream. Also, Chinese Medicine considers remembering your dreams a sign that you weren't sleeping deeply enough)
I haven't really felt like my "energy" has come back yet, but..
I've been sleeping.
I remember browsing a chatlog of me with a friend of mine a few days ago, and I was talking IN MARCH about how I wanted to break this bad sleep cycle!
So... it looks like finally, on September 21st, I finally broke the bad sleep cycle! This cycle started in the second week of January! (which, perhaps uncoincidentally is when the second quarter of the certificate program started )
(As an addtional side-note, it looks like it was the night after I posted my journal talking about Patreon that I started sleeping well)
Because one of the symptoms of Heart Fire is an inability to sleep until after 3am, I hadn't been able to get to sleep until then for the first four days. BUT I WAS SLEEPING.
The fifth night, I tried to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier because I didn't feel like I had "much of a day", because I felt like I woke up from deep sleep, ate some food, played some games and then it was night and I had to eat again and then go to bed XD; But, I think that's just psychology from getting out of bed at noon after reading manga from my phone for 45 minutes I naturally feel sleepy at night, so it doesn't "feel" like I had many "waking hours", y'know?
So that fifth night I tried going to sleep an hour earlier and waking up an hour earlier. I fought the STRONG tug to fall back asleep, and sort of won, but then spent the next 3 hours wanting to fall asleep again. I finally just took a nap, and the rest of my day was fine, if short.
Today I think I succeeded in getting up an hour earlier, and we'll see how my day goes tomorrow! ^-^
The only problem with "fixing" my sleep though, is that now that my body's "awake" enough, it starts to feel when I need to eat. >_>; So I feel like I've been starving these last few days, and that ALSO messes with my body XD; I do NOT eat much fat in my diet, so usually my body's just screaming for fats or some sort of oil (which is fat), but I never know EXACTLY what it wants until I eat it, because within seconds, it stops screaming at me. (I call that "icy, adrenal" feeling my body "screaming" at me )
So... Yeah! That's pretty much where I am now. Hopefully my sleep's in the clear from now on. (Totally not signing up for another certificate program that would start next week though... I've done too much damage in recent years, and I need to FIX things! Not ADD to the damages! DB )
TO WRAP THINGS UP
Recent, hopefully Future posting
Also... I'd been holding off on posting the sketches and miscellaneous things I've drawn in the past few months. Honestly it's probably been mostly because I couldn't work up the energy to "finish" them to my desired level of polish, or have enough energy to give them "proper descriptions" for context of what they're meant to be.
I had also been telling myself that I would post them once I have energy again. Maybe I will in these next few days, we'll see!
A project : 3
I also have some project-related info that I'd like to share with you all, relating to a couple of projects I might like to start, as well as some long-awaited game info that I've been meaning to share about the game project my people have going. That's all too much to put into this one journal, so hopefully I'll write a follow-up soon.
That being said... I think I need to get some food, so I'll hopefully post another follow-up soon, for those of you not interested in sifting through all this health mumbo-jumbo XD;
Thanks for reading!! ^_^