I'm sitting here in the living room, uncomfortable as all get out, aware that tonight is going to be another sleepless night in a long line of sleepless nights. You might have heard me mention it before if you were paying attention - or you might not have because I kind of just throw it in posts and don't really elaborate on it - but I have something called GERD. Basically, it's the worst kind of heartburn you can imagine. GERD has several different levels - there's your basic, everyday, run-of-the-mill GERD that you can take Tums for. Then there's the kind that requires an over-the-counter medication like Prilosec. Then there's the kind that you get the hard core prescription medications for. Then there's the kind that is impervious to hard core prescription medications - that's the one I've got, and it's always worse at night.
Unfortunately, in addition to GERD, or because of my GERD (I'm not sure which), I'm also suffering this weird insomnia that has me up most nights until 3 a.m. (or later). As I settle in to sleep, I can feel the acids in my belly churning and I start to feel like I have an elephant standing on my chest. As my eyes get droopy and I start to nod off, I experience a shot of adrenaline course through my body and my brain does this rapid reset where the most random thoughts flash through my mind at warp speed. My heart rate accelerates and sometimes my arms and legs get all tingly (and stay that way for hours).
In a nutshell, I'm an effing mess.
I know that GERD is exacerbated by many things - things I love. It's also made worse by obesity, and let's be honest, I'm not a fragile little lady. In ten years I've gained about 50 pounds (give or take). After having a particular bad case of GERD about a week ago - my heart was racing, my chest was hurting, and my arms were numb - I decided that since I've gone the medicine route and it hasn't worked, I'll go ahead and give the diet and exercise route a shot. I've signed up for Weight Watchers and a week in I'm down four pounds. I'm also constantly hungry. And two nights this week I've been up past 3 a.m. and it looks like if something doesn't change for me tonight I'm gearing up for another late night.
It's gotten to the point where I dread the night. Around 8 p.m. or so I realize that there's just a few more hours and then it'll be time to "go to bed" and I'll be back to battling my insomnia and physically hurting again. I hate night time now.
Sleeping? I love it. I need sleep. There are some people that can function on 3-5 hours a night. I am not one of those people. If I don't get a steady 7-8 hours of sleep every night, I'm not at my best. Last week I was in Seattle on a business trip and had to give a presentation to a group of 60 high-level executives on two hours of sleep. I think I might have been delirious through most of it. I know it wasn't my best work, but what was I going to do - ask to be excused three hours beforehand for a two hour power nap? I think not.
I'm at the end of my rope. I've mentioned this to my doctor a couple of times but either I'm not explaining it properly or with enough gravitas, or she doesn't really think regularly feeling like you're having a heart attack while your belly on fire is much to be concerned about. At this point, I'm going to chalk it up to a combination of both. I haven't been thrilled with the care I've gotten at this particular doctor's office so I'm thinking about switching and seeing someone else. If ever there was a reason, I think feeling like you're at the end of your physical rope is a pretty good one.
I'd be lying if I said that this turn of events isn't one of the things that's led to a slowdown here on the blog. I just can't be bothered. We went camping a couple of weeks ago with the family and I haven't even bothered to pull the pictures off the SD card. I just don't care. Truthfully, I think I'm kind of depressed over this whole thing.