Standing on the tram with my eyes closed: rehab weeks 3 & 4

I am exhausted!

When I started this rehab program I was told that by the week 4 mark I’d be likely to feel worse than normal. Well…they weren’t wrong! Whilst the program hours are less than if I was at work, it’s still somewhat tiring. But not in an overly bad way. It just hasn’t helped that I’m still juggling work alongside the program.

I think that for the most part my exhaustion is mental rather than physical. Not only am I trying to absorb as much as I can in the rehab sessions,  but I’m then getting home and doing 2hours of work before I head into the office the next day for a full day at work. Generally I have enough trouble getting to the end of the day and trying to remember what I’ve done, but with everything cramming into my head I’m mentally exhausting myself!

So a friendly tip for anyone out there considering doing the program…don’t overload your plate with additional work or activities. This just happened to be a main theme in week 4 of rehab.

All my life I’ve been told that I do too much. Problem is, I can’t see that. Financially I HAVE to work full time and the profession I’ve chosen requires me to work in the city which equals a long commute. Having been raised in the “country”, living in the city or suburbs closer to work is not an option!

Then there’s family. I’m a step-parent to 2 teenage boys. Whilst they and my partner are exceptional around the house with the cooking and cleaning, I still need to pull my weight now and then.

Socially, I consider myself to be a bit of a hermit. But in saying that, I do still get out occasionally.

Physically and recreationally I have theatre and dancing. I’ve cut my losses with dancing, but theatre is still there. I’ve learnt to cut back on the shows I’m in, but I think it’s safe to say I’ll still attempt 1 show a year. This is for my sanity, social life and of course my ego!

As far as I can see, I have an average and fairly well rounded life. As far as my friends and specialists go…they all think I’m insane in the amount that I do. The only way I can see a solution is if I create a daily timetable for myself so that I can ensure that each day contains rest and/or relaxation time. May need some more help here from my specialists, but I’m trying.

Going back to week 3, we talked “sleep”. I pretty much have a love affair with sleep and the science of it. Through a mixture of the week 3 classes and my own research I found that our brains don’t only put us to sleep and wake us up, but it also prepares us for bed, much like we do physically with brushing our teeth and getting into our pjs. Apparently as the sky gets darker, our brains start making changes to our body to prepare for bed. Not only do we begin to get sleep and start winding down, but our body temperature also drops. While we’re asleep our temperature fluctuates depending on what sleep stage we’re in. If we’re in REM our temperature rises, if we’re in non-REM it drops again.

Annoyingly because I have narcolepsy, my brain doesn’t do that properly. For example instead of cooling before bed, I burn up. I also get really hot and sweat a LOT in my sleep. I’m guessing I’m spending a bit too much time in REM sleep so my body isn’t given a chance to cool down.

So in a (large) nutshell…that was weeks 3 & 4 of rehab. Stay tuned for week 5.

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