Overwhelm Mode

Jul/16/2016 14 Malia Lane
Arizona, Fulltime RVing, Health Issues, RV Repairs

Overwhelmed - brain tabs

Since I’ve had so many questions lately about why I’m still in Sedona despite the oppressive heat and wonderful pictures and invites from my friends in cooler Colorado, I started working on a blog post about all the beautiful things I’ve been experiencing here and how I just wasn’t ready to leave because I hadn’t seen everything I want to.

And while that’s certainly true, the rest of that story is that I’m also in overwhelm mode and I think it’s time that I deal with some things I’ve been trying to push aside and ignore, just hoping they’d magically go away.

I won’t go into details about everything that has me stressed and worried, but I feel like it’s finally time I seek some professional medical help for issues I’ve dealt with for years now that are not getting any better.  I think insomnia is the biggest contributing factor to my feeling of declining health and decreasing energy.  Since about 2007, I’ve tried all kinds of medication and approaches to deal with it, always hoping I’d find some natural way like meditation and sleep hypnosis CDs, etc., but nothing has really worked.  And even though I can get to sleep ok, years of not being able to sleep for more than two hours straight at a time is catching up with me.  I definitely have an increase in aches & pains and decrease in stamina and know it’s not good for my overall health to let this continue.

Sleep StudyJust the idea of doing one of those sleep studies where I’m supposed to go sleep in a strange place somewhere other than my own bed while hooked up to wires and machines all night long is the stuff of Clockwork Orange type nightmares to me!

CPAPDo I have sleep apnea and need one of those CPAP machines?  OMG, from what I’ve seen about them, even if they actually work, I absolutely detest the thought of needing one of them.  That also looks like a torture device to me!

Are my adrenals fatigued or thyroid tired out?  I was tested for those things last year in Austin and was told that all looked normal.  But I’ve heard that the basic testing used doesn’t always pick up on the problem.  And once that is figured out, what do I need to do to boost those babies back up? Is there anything natural that could really work without it being something totally weird or putrid tasting?

To top it all off, I now have developed TMJ and also need some dental attention.  We won’t talk about how much weight I’ve gained since I quit smoking two years ago and how I know I’ve got to do something about my ridiculously self-indulgent diet habits, also.  Just thinking about it makes me want massive amounts of ice cream!

doctor-pharma cahoots

Watching what my mom went through during all the doctor visits I took her to looking for answers, I have a basic mistrust of greedy modern medicine and big pharma on general principle (of which I think they are lacking).

I also know that many times the side effects of the drugs prescribed to treat a condition turn out to be worse than the condition itself.

But strictly esoteric energy healing or clearing approaches have not worked for me, either, so I’m going to look for a doctor here who accepts Medicare but takes a holistic mind-body-spirit approach to treatment.  If I can’t find that in Sedona, I don’t know where.

That’s probably another thing that has me freaked out.  In my teens I can still remember being convinced I’d never live to be a 30-something, but to be 65 and Medicare age now is almost unthinkable!

I was going to wait until I got back to Austin, but 5-6 months seems a bit long to wait at this point and it’s not like I have a regular doctor there anymore anyway since my favorite doctor retired.

I just had to replace the tires on my car and had some other unexpected expenses with more to come in needed RV repairs and maintenance, and I still haven’t done my 2015 taxes, so I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better for me to stay here to tackle my life for the moment and just take the heat – in more ways than one.  So I am going to extend for yet another month and am currently thinking it probably won’t be worth heading to Colorado at that point since my next destination is Austin for the holidays.

So if I don’t write or post much lately, it’s because I just feel the need to be bored and boring for a while.

But of course being in Sedona is still amazing so I will be getting out and exploring some when I can and will try to always keep this in mind…

Me at Airport Vortex - writing

Me at Vortex – June, 2016

…knowing that if I truly can keep that kind of faith and recognition of the divine incorporated into my life, nothing could shake me this much.  I’m just not that evolved yet, I suppose, but I’m working on it…

  • Rochelle

    Sedona is a wonderful place to be stuck! 🙂 Have you tried increasing your exercise? I know when I walk regularly I feel much better. I feel your pain on turning 65. I’m doing the same July 18 and if I didn’t have the paperwork I wouldn’t believe it! But let’s face it…not everyone gets to grow old. Hope you get things worked out while enjoying more of Sedona. Hot in Sedona is much better than hot in Sacramento. I’ll be taking my first solo trip in September…finally… Whenever I start feeling anxious I think of you and all the miles you’ve logged and then I feel more confident.
    Rochelle

    • Yeah, it’s hard to use the word “stuck” when it comes to Sedona since I really love it here! I totally agree about the benefit of exercise and I do enjoy walking. However, no matter what I’ve done in that regard or how tired I get tired it, sleep is not improved. Hey, thanks for relating to my comments on getting old and I agree with your conclusion there, too. Very nice of you to take the time to comment and sympathize – I appreciate it!

  • Sharon Penney-Morrison

    Well….71 is no picnic either! My mantra is, (regarding Meds) if it works for now, and it makes me feel better, I take it. I have decided at my age, every year I can squeak out another day…then I am ok with that.
    Polymyalgia Rheumatic is a wicked disease without any cure. It comes and goes. When it hits you are almost paralyzed with the big muscles in your body tightening up. Arms, hips, calves. The only relief is Prednisone, so I take out the bottle I had put away a year ago and promptly took 10mg. In an hour I could move. In 2 hours I was fairly normal and moving around. I will probably go to 20 mg. tomorrow after speaking to the Dr. and then weaning down over the year. It last anywhere from 2-4 years. I hate it. I thought maybe it would never come back again.
    Well Malia…start working on your taxes one paper at a time. At least you will feel like your are beginning. Exercise will not make you any younger, but it will keep things stretched and flexible. I started a routine before I get out of bed of stretching those crappy calf muscles and knee to chest stretch. Then to the chair for more stretches. I hate to exercise. I need to loose wt. too.

    Thinking of you and sending good juju your way…always.

    • Sharon, I totally understand what you’re saying and believe me, if there was a medicine, prescription or not that would actually help my symptoms without horrible side effects, I’m all for it! But years of trying this or that recommended by doctors or friends, etc., it’s hard to believe nothing has really worked for the sleep issues which are just getting worse.

      I know my problems are not nearly as bad as so many others, but it just got me down and I was just posting honestly about what is going on with me at the moment. Taxes are just extra complicated this year because of selling house and now can’t find all the papers from the original purchase in 1999 and nobody else has a copy. I didn’t know I’d need all that!

      I actually ordered a DVD with some stretches for both morning and evening and I am committed to at least try that because I know I need more flexibility. And I’m still not wanting to talk about the weight I need to lose, either. LOL

      Thanks so much for the good juju and nice comment!

  • LoriLuke Kelley

    I just thought of this (grin) but you should smoke pot!! Get your Dr to give you the OK. Really, what they have available now-a-days is incredible! make you sleep with a smile on your face! ((( Hoping this makes you smile)))) but really you should give it a go, worth a try.

    edited to add. although this might not get your taxes done!

    • LoriLuke, your “prescription” did make me grin. As an old hippie, I definitely don’t discount the benefits of pot, that’s for sure! I won’t go into the illegal smoking of it here, but when I was coming through Colorado last year, I did get some edibles and strains that were designed for relaxation and sleep. Didn’t do that trick for me, unfortunately!

      If I find a holistic doctor who takes Medicare, I will talk to them about a prescription for it in Arizona, so I’m definitely open to that. Thanks!

  • Dan Benson

    Malia, try Melatonin , its legal , sold over the counter. The side effects are possible vivid dreams, and you may wake up groggy . I know a young doctor that gives it to his children on occasion. Its safe.

    • Thanks, Dan, I didn’t list all the things I’ve tried over the years for this issue, but Melatonin was definitely one I tried for for an extended period. No bad side effects or vivid dreams because it never helped me stay asleep long enough to dream and that’s the big problem. I literally think I have tried everything, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Valerian products, sleepy time tea stuff, etc. I’m starting with blood tests today to see if thyroid or adrenals are part of the problem. I do appreciate your trying to help, though! 🙂

  • Crystal Evers

    Hi Malia, I saw your post about TMJ and thought you should know I went in for treatment of TMJ and now they think I have sleep apnea. I guess TMJ can be caused by sleep apnea. who knew? Now they want me to get one of those overnight tests but I have been dragging my feet for the same reasons you mentioned. If I have it it doesn’t seem like there are any good options for treating it except the machine…totally not thrilled about that! I may go do the test eventually. Good luck with finding out your issues. So far chiropractor and acupuncture have helped a bit for me. All meds just make me worse. though I did try a great tincture in seattle..it was called deep sleep with cannabis, valerian and other herbs. Slept like a baby for a couple nights. Take Care, Crystal

    • Crystal, yes, I have heard of the connection between TMJ and sleep apnea. I have a custom fitted mouth guard but don’t notice any difference when I wear it.

      At this point I’m so desperate for a decent night’s sleep, I’d go for the CPAP deal if that’s the only way. I’m going to check into that to see if there’s a place I can do that here in Sedona or if I wait until I get back to Austin this winter.

      Like I said below to Dan, I am confident I’ve tried every natural remedy there is, including chiropractor and acupuncture for extended periods.

      Valerian is the only thing I’ve identified that I won’t take since it always gives me bad headaches – and besides that it didn’t help me sleep, either. And of course that’s an ingredient in many natural sleep remedies. 🙁

      I’ve tried to just accept this is my new lot in life, but I know I just can’t continue at this pace with such crappy sleep patterns, so I’m starting again with trying to identify the physical root.

  • Just Dave

    Sound like you have sleep apena. I had the same symptons. Do the sleep study get the cpap machine and start getting real sleep every night. It’s the answer. And yes, the sleep study is a pain and the electrodes will really mess up your hair, but you won’t care in the morning cause you’ll be too tired. But your used to that cause your not sleeping well anyway. And yea the mask is something to get used to but you will. Hint, get an 8′ tube and you can roll around all you want, sleep on your side whatever. Just clip the hose to your underwear or pj. Or one of those tube handlers that hold the hose up. i was waking up over 300 times a night, with the cpap none. I’m sorry I suffered from insonmia for so many years when there was this treatment.

    • Dave, I have resisted that, but I am pretty much resigned myself that I at least have to check it out by doing one of those sleep studies. And believe me, my hair being messed up is the least of my concerns these days! I am going to wait until I get back to Sedona area since that’s where I’ll be for the longest amount of time once I leave Texas again. Thanks for the info and encouragement!

  • CJ

    Hi Malia, I recently discovered your blog as I am making plans to become a full-time RV’er a few months down the road. I know this post is a few months old so it may be an old issue now but I just wanted to say that they do have at-home sleep tests you can do now …you just check out a portable machine, wear it at home for two nights, and turn it back in for evaluation. MUCH easier than going in to a sleep center (which I also did a few years ago). Find a doctor who does the at-home tests! I now sleep with a CPAP but it’s a small, quiet one without a face mask…just a little “nasal pillow” that goes under the nose — and while I wish I didn’t have to use it, it’s really not that bad, and the difference it makes in my sleep quality is *substantial*. I have so much more energy and no longer wake up with horrific headaches. I’m now working on bringing my weight down a bit more in the hopes that I can eventually give it up, since weight gain contributes a lot to the severity of sleep apnea. I confess the need to wear one in an RV lifestyle seems like it might be a bit more challenging since it requires being connected to electricity every night). Anyway, just thought I’d try to reassure you a bit as neither the test nor the machine are quite as scary as I think you are envisioning – and they really do work wonders for sleep quality! Good luck!

    • Hi CJ, My post may be old, but I still have the same issue with not being able to stay asleep all night. I like the idea of what you describe much better than what I’d been anticipating. Once I settle a bit longer than I have been lately, I’ll check that out. Thanks so much for the info! Oh, and best of luck with your own fulltiming plans!