Tuesday, November 1, 2016

LUX Light for Circadian Rhythm Disorder

Been meaning to mention these people I knew in Arizona. Will do so when I get the chance.

Had a nice half hour walk in the fog this morning. Yesterday I met with the sleep specialist for the second and probably the last time. This is because, as I expected, there’s no cure for my type of circadian rhythm disorder and there really isn’t much more he can do for me other than recommend melatonin supplements and a LUX light box. Melatonin is only so helpful for so long, so I’m going to try the 10,000 LUX light he recommended I use for the first half hour of my day to help set my body’s rhythm. I don’t think it’s going to get me on a schedule, but it may help, and since it’s not a medication or anything going into my body, why not? It’s safe. :-) It’s similar to a SAD lamp that people use to fight seasonal depression. I could have used one of those up in Oregon not that I was “depressed.” I was just rather blah, though, and didn’t have much energy.

Come to think of it, though, when we were in the RV on Bly Mountain on the 2.5-acre parcel of land we so briefly owned up in Oregon, I slept alongside a huge window. I would awaken with the sunlight that would stream into it as soon as it rose above the evergreens and junipers. So I wonder… if I lived outdoors as if it were primitive times, would I be on a schedule? Maybe not, since this disorder was discovered in blind people, after all.

I learned from him that there are different types of circadian rhythm disorders. One of them is a delayed circadian rhythm disorder where people can’t help but fall asleep and get up earlier than they like, like 6 PM to 3 AM, for example. There’s a late one too, where people go to bed and get up later than they’d like. Those won’t prevent you from working outside of the house like my kind does.

I told him that I would sometimes use Benadryl to help me sleep, but never cared for how groggy it could make me the next day and how long it would make me sleep. Even though I may wake up at times, I still average eight hours of sleep, so that much is good. He said Benadryl is best to avoid because it can affect cognitive memory. Back when I used to use it more often I had memory issues, but untreated hypothyroidism can cause that as well. My memory has improved tremendously with thyroid treatment.

I’m not even using lorazepam anymore. In fact, I’m almost certainly going to cancel my December appointment with the new shrink. I haven’t had anxiety for the better part of a year now that my medication has been regulated, so there’s no point in seeing him.

The sleep doc said that those that end up with Hashimoto’s usually start off with hyperthyroidism, and even though they never tested me for some reason back then, both Tom and I would be willing to bet that I did indeed have hyperthyroidism 20 years ago. I’ve always been a rather animated person, but I was WAY more hyper than I was now and my heart raced more often back then, too. It will get racy if I stop my meds, though, because as my endocrinologist pointed out, your heart can race if you have too little or too much thyroid hormone in you.

I have had palpitations here and there where the heart flutters noticeably hard for about three or four beats. Sometimes it seems to skip a beat or double up on beats, but I can’t say for sure that it is. That’s why I’m having a stress test in December. He said that some palpitations are harmless while others could put you at risk for stroke or heart attack. When we first moved to Cali I had them all the time, but when I checked online I found that more often than not, they’re harmless. Family history says I could have problems later in life, but right now I would be willing to bet that my heart is still just fine. I’m still relatively young, I’m active, I’m not obese, and I eat right most days.

So we have the LUX light, a new hand vacuum, new batteries for the scale, a new felt cube for the rats to nest in and rat bedding on the way from Amazon since we’ll need it before the next bedding subscription arrives.

Yesterday’s traffic and landscaping were totally obnoxious, especially the landscaping. I didn’t hear any motorcycles yesterday, but I have today. Figured I would, too.

Not sure I want to continue on with NaNoWriMo as I just don’t have any exciting ideas. That’s something I can’t really force. I either have a great idea to expand on or I don’t. More than likely I will just edit my last book.

I’m also not sure if I want to continue with my monthly bio project because it is just so much work to go through so many years of journals, pulling out the main highlights, etc. I’ll leave what I have posted so far which is up to mid-1993. I can always decide later on to continue with that if I want to, but if I do, it’s a project that could easily take a year or two.

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