If it weren’t bad enough that the beast meets me as I am falling asleep each night and before most naps, add to it the treatment rituals that make my bedtime routine laborious to say the least.
Here’s my brain dump to maintain my sanity, my health . . . Such as it is, that is!
- Turn on the electric bed warmer pad ahead of time to warm the sheets then turn it off when going to bed. Warm sheets decrease the shock of otherwise cold sheets that have triggered episodes in the past.
- Adjust the thermostat if the weather is cooler so we don’t overheat when sleeping.
- Remove the comforter and 2 decorative pillows from the bed and place in guest bedroom.
- Position a pillow where my knees would go and another where my back would go and another to hug in front of me. This allows positioning for what therapists call “back precautions.” Knees slightly bent with “neutral spine” alleviates pressure on my low back.
- Foam pillow top over the mattress cushions the bony prominences and joints. So comfy!
- My Pillow-brand pillow contours to the head-and-neck nicely for switching from side to back overnight without pushing my head too far forward off of the mattress.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt over my bed clothes to keep my neck and shoulders warm overnight.
- Take nighttime supplements and hormonal creams but not too close to bedtime for the former.
- Moisturize with various products for various body parts!
- Now apply an eye cover to create darkness for better sleep.
- NEW: pack of ice wrapped in a hand towel placed mid-sternum. Calms vagus nerve to actually decrease convulsive episodes!
- Temporary addition: cardiac event monitor control pack tucked into a pocket for 7 days. In the event of an episode or worrisome symptom, get up and go into the bathroom to record the incident. (The unit has no night light!) This is one of SIX tests in a workup going on right now before seeing a cardiologist who specializes in electrophysiology. This all came about when I noticed some heart rate variances during episodes. More clues towards a potential cure? We shall see.
- Apply nighttime specialized dental appliances for optimum TMJ positioning. Reduces jaw pain.
- Get up in the middle of the night (or morning) to complete sinus rinse procedure if I wake up with annoying sinus drainage. Go to the front bathroom if Steve is still sleeping. Attempt to go back to sleep or do a passive activity until I am tired again. Eat, take care of the dog if needed.
Do you see a typical nightly skin care routine in there? Nope. I guess I am a “high maintenance” woman of another type. Exactly what type is that? A very odd one perhaps! Such is life. Better go start the routine . . . It’s nearing 5:00 a.m. and my bedtime is approaching. Yes, things are nearly reversed again in an attempt to wait until I am exhausted before trying to sleep. Seems to help, except when I have an appointment the next day. Then I spend the next 24 hours trying to catch up. Ugh. Sigh.
Our pup is so very confused by this routine! Good thing she has furry eyelids to keep out the light. Maybe I need them for my nightly mayhem too? JJ