Busy Day Today

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Thursdays are my busy days. In addition to being a shower and shave day, an activity that’s taking up more spoons than usual because of my knee, which is still kind of touchy for long periods of time, it’s CPAP deep cleaning day and radio show day, which means that all the things that I normally do with my day get pushed around to make time for the extra activities.

Showers take a little longer than usual because I shave my head and part of my face in the shower. It uses more water than shaving at the sink, but cleanup is considerably easier and the convenience is worth it. It doesn’t take me a long time to shave, maybe five minutes to make sure it’s perfectly smooth with no extraneous stubble, but certain parts of my head are trickier than others. The hair on the back of my neck grows in some weird configuration and I have never been able to find just one direction to shave to get it smooth. The back of my neck will usually have the lightest bit of stubble on it just because I can’t find all the grains I’m working against. Moving out of the shower and to the sink to shave the lower part of my face and the front of my neck also takes a while, since once again there’s no rhyme or reason to the grain of my hair on my neck. I have a system to get it mostly done, but it’s time consuming.

It should be noted that I don’t shower and shave every day. Even at my peak functionality, I’d never shave every day; my skin is sensitive and shaving every day does damage to my skin. But while I’ve been in a period of extremely low functionality, I got out of the habit of showering every day, something that just doesn’t feel important when you don’t care about yourself and you never leave the house anyway. I’m in the process of re-establishing that habit, so I have alarms set throughout the week to remind me that it’s time to hop in the shower, wash down, and take the stubble off. They’re working, although recent travels have tossed a bit of a monkey wrench in the establishment of the habit and so I’m basically starting over.

The CPAP deep clean isn’t that much different from a regular clean, which I do on Mondays. (I’d do it more often, but the Velcro on my head strap gives out sooner than my insurance allows me to replace it with a daily removal, so I’ve learned to space cleanings out across the week instead of doing them every single day.) The only difference is that instead of soaking my water reservoir in warm soapy water, I let a 1:2 white vinegar/water solution soak in it to descale the inside, then rinse in the soapy water to get the vinegar smell out. I also soak my head strap to remove oils from the neoprene, plus remove the hose nozzle and silicon seal from the machine itself to soak it. But it still takes a little time to do, and it has to be done earlier in the day than later, since everything needs to be dry before being reassembled for use that evening.

The radio prep is a topic I’ve gone into before in my blog, and while it’s not as time-consuming as it would be were I manually programming the show, it still takes a bit of time getting all the segments for the show laid out and ready for air time.

In the broad scheme of things, this doesn’t really add that much to my day, maybe an hour and a half total. But that’s on top of the other things that I have in my checklist to do for the day, and those things can run long on occasion. So Thursdays are a little hectic.

Three weeks from today will be especially hectic. On top of everything else I have to do that day, I’ve got an intake appointment with my new psych med manager, and that has the potential of eating two hours out of my schedule, depending on traffic and length of intake. Still looking forward to it, but that Thursday is going to be a logistical challenge.

That’s enough rambling about how busy I am today. Time to go get some of it done.

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Sleep Compromise

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Today is the first day of my wife’s new work schedule.

She’s had a lot of them, but most recently she’s been working 10 am-7 pm, a schedule that she’s had before and that worked out pretty well for us. Today she starts 7 am-4 pm, a move that will enable her to more readily find a therapist. So this is a long-term, more or less permanent change in her schedule.

My wife is not a morning person, it should be said.

I’ve changed with every one of her schedule changes, but this one I have not. I’m still up around 8:30 am or so to take my vitals and morning meds, I’m still going to bed around midnight or 1 am. But my wife will have long been to bed when I get there.

And that’s a weird feeling for me, someone who’s only rarely gone to bed at a different time than she does.

I like the feeling of cozying up to her for bedtime snuggles, and holding her while she drifts off to sleep. It’s a very comforting thing. But now I’m coming to bed some two and three hours after her, and waking up some three hours after she wakes, and it’s odd to me.

We’ve found a compromise, though. When it’s time for her to go to bed, I stop what I’m doing and go snuggle her for a little while, ideally until she’s asleep. Then I get back up and finish my day before coming to bed and snuggling some more.

It’s not a bad compromise, but it still feels a little weird to get up once she’s asleep. Last night my back started bothering me so I got up before she was asleep and got on my heating pad, something that could have happened any night regardless of when I would have gone to bed.

I hope this separate schedules thing works out in the long run. If not, I can always switch to her schedule – I’ve done it before. But I like staying up a little later, and I really don’t relish being up at 5:30 in the morning, either.

We’ll see how things shake out.

Another Sleepless Night

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I went to bed around midnight, read until about 1 am, then tossed and turned until about 3. I got up and opened the computer for a few minutes, not really doing much of anything, until I got sleepy around 4 and went to lie back down. I finally drifted off about 4:30 or so. I woke up around 10:30 or so to get on the heating pad, and dozed back off for another couple hours, finally waking up for good around 12:30.

I don’t think that it was the new mask that was doing this to me – it felt more natural than the old mask did and it was much quieter than it was in the fitting. Maybe I was just excited to have the thing, I don’t know. All I know is that I just could not shut my brain down.

I hate nights like that. They throw me off for the whole of the next day, and I can’t really afford to be thrown off that much today, since it’s a show day and I have a deadline to be on the air with a programmed show. Fortunately, I’m somewhat ahead of schedule with my daily checklist, so there’s that. There’s just not going to be that much time that I can devote to leisure and socializing outside of my interactions with my audience during the show. My wife and I are up at 6:30 am tomorrow morning to get the cat to the vet. She’s got a problem with discharge coming from her eyes, plus she’s way overdue for her annual checkup. It’s going to be an early night tonight.

Strangely enough, I feel fairly confident that I can handle the changes in the schedule (my wife’s work schedule is changing for the day to accommodate the vet visit) – that is, assuming there’s coffee in the morning. Not sure I would have been able to handle the change this easily even three months ago. So … progress?

Here’s hoping the rest of the day goes smoothly.

A Change in Schedule

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Tonight is going to be an early night for the two of us. My wife’s schedule is shifting from 2pm-11pm to 10am-7pm starting tomorrow. It means a lot of things for us, almost all positive.

One, it means that we’re going to have a more traditional sleep schedule – midnight to 8am. Two, it means that in that part of the night that my brain tends to wander toward darker things, my wife will actually be here instead of at the other end of sporadic text messages. Three, it frees up our evenings to be able to actually get out and socialize with people again, which will be good for both of us. Finally, having our evenings free allows us greater flexibility with regard to attending SCA events in the future, although the obstacles of social anxiety and finances are still firmly in place. It’s one less thing to worry about when it comes to getting out to play.

There are a couple of negatives, both with silver linings. Because her lunch hour would have her returning to the office at the beginning of rush hour traffic, she will likely not be coming home for lunch every day like she does now, but that longer separation is likely going to be good for me in the long run. Also, doctors’ appointments will either be early morning or done on my own, which is not something that I’ve got much recent experience doing. This is going to force me to drive again, something that I’ve largely avoided for well over a year.

Overall, the positives of this change far outweigh the negatives, so we are both excited about it. Changes tend to throw me for a loop, however, so I’m curious how I’ll do, knowing that most everything about this change is for the better. Time will tell …

A Change in Schedule

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I haven’t written since Saturday morning. Over the weekend, that was a decision to take the weekend and just chill out, not worrying about anything but my medications. I needed the time. I also wanted to take the time to spend with my wife, who started a new work schedule Monday.

I’m used to her working days. She’s been training on this new job from 9 am-6 pm, and that’s been all fine and good. But her shift is 2-11 pm, and that started on Monday.

I don’t do change well, especially changes in my eating and sleeping schedule. It’s not a big change, only a couple hours shift later in waking time, but the big difference is when my wife is home with me. I’m used to her being out of the house during the part of the day that it’s light outside and doesn’t feel so lonely, and having her at home with me during that part of the evening when it’s getting dark and people are starting to go to bed. Now that’s flip-flopped, and I’m alone as it gets dark and lonely. The later in the evening it is, the harder it is for me to keep negative thoughts at bay. (For those that follow my blog and have mental illnesses such as depression or bipolar disorder, do you find that to be the case for you as well, that the later it gets, the harder it gets? Let me know in the comments or over on Facebook or Twitter if that’s where you get my feed from.)

The end result is that the first two nights of her being out of the house in the evenings has resulted in minor breakdowns both nights. Going to try and be strong tonight and remind myself that it’s not all night; plus, she’s coming home for dinner at 7, and that will help break up the loneliness.

Does anyone have any suggestions for something I can do to keep that feeling of isolation at bay, especially in a situation where I’m stuck here at the house while she has our car? I’d appreciate it.