Underneath my yellow skin

Health on my mind

leave me alone.
Go away.

I’m better. I’m worse. I’m both at the same time. I don’t have a cold any longer. How do I know? Because I’m sleeping six hours a night again if that. When I’m sick, I sleep seven to eight hours, and when I’m really sick, nine. That’s extremely rare, however, and it’s not something I want. Why? Because when I sleep that much, I feel like absolute shit. Or rather, I sleep that much because I feel like absolute shit. It’s the bare minimum my body can do to remain somewhat upright. The fact that I’m back to six hours a night means that I’m no longer sick.

Side note: I fucking hate that being better means less sleep. There is so much evidence that getting at least seven hours of sleep a night is optimal, nay, necessary, and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s taken me twenty years to build up my sleep from four hours a night to six hours, and I don’t know if I have twenty more years in me to add another two. In addition, there is some evidence that we sleep better in chunks rather than one full slate of eight hours. Much like eating. It’s better to eat several times throughout the day than to have three big meals. Sometimes, I think of how different my life would be if I could actually be refreshed upon waking up. Alas, it is not meant to be.

My left ear has cleared up as well, so that’s good. Just yesterday, I was wondering if I was ever going to be able to hear in my left ear again, and now I can. It’s not fully cleared, but it’s about 90%, which I’ll gladly take. Those are the two positives, which I’m recounting in part to remind myself that my health isn’t all shit. It’s just mostly shit.

Side note II: I had a hankering for a burger last week. There’s a Culver’s near me, and they have a gluten-free bun. It’s ten minutes away. It’s not difficult to go and grab a burger and fries. At least that’s what I told myself, but minutes passed by, and I wasn’t actually getting off the couch. I was just sitting there like a dumbass, bitching on Twitter about how I wanted a burger. This has been a problem for me since I was much younger. Even when I wanted to do something, the effort to actually get up and do it was immense. I knew I would enjoy the event once I got there (or enjoy the burger in this case), but it still seemed too much for my brain to force myself to do it without arguing for twenty minutes. I know it’s a part of my depression, but it’s one of the most irritating parts.

I finally hauled myself off the couch, changed into something presentable, and hopped in my car. Just as I was about two blocks from the Culver’s, the road was closed. Shit. I forgot it was construction season in Minnesota. I had to detour, and it’s not something I’m good at. Even though it’s my neighborhood, I never go on the side roads. I probably could have looked it up on my phone, but I adhere to the ‘keep driving around it with the destination in mind, and you’ll get there some day’ mentality, which probably isn’t helpful. Why? Because I have spatial issues, and I’m horrible at directions.

I did make it, however, and I got a double burger with a gluten-free bun and no butter. I love that they ask if it’s an allergy or a preference, and I always say it’s an allergy because I know they take that more seriously. This time, he did ask if it was a sensitivity, but by the time he slipped that in, I had already said it was an allergy. I know the reasons for not saying it’s an allergy (don’t want to make it harder for people with actual allergies), but if my only two choices are allergy and preference, I’m closer to allergy than preference. Now that he’s thrown sensitivity into the mix, I may say that instead. Anyway, I Google-mapped how to get home, got my burger and fries, and went home. It was a damn good burger.

Back to my health. I know I need to clean up my eating, but I don’t know how to do it without getting into disordered thinking. I can’t count anything because that’s a trap for me–numbers are bad in this scenario–but I know that I can make anything a numbers game. I can’t use a scale, and I can’t fool myself into thinking the tape measure is different, but I also know that I need some kind of visible marker that I’m actually doing something good for me in order to continue doing it. Yes, there’s the vague marker of pants fitting better or something like that, but that’s long term.

I know I could do it for the intrinsic value, but I won’t. Or rather, I won’t do a complete overhaul without somewhat immediate gratification. And, yes, I know that doing it slowly and steadily, blah, blah, blah. I will say to give myself credit that I have made significant changes and stuck to them. Giving up gluten and dairy at the same time is a major one (and I’m lumping them together, even though they deserve individual recognition). I also gave up caffeine, which was infinitely harder. I’ve done it twice, and I learned from my mistakes. The first time, I gave it up cold turkey. I was drinking 6 cans of Diet Pepsi a day, and I did it when I was on break from college. I was a hot mess for weeks, which included an insane amount of sleep and hallucinatory states. It also included shaking and jittering, and me being a total bitch to everyone.

Second time around, I knew better. I wasn’t going to quit cold turkey, even though I drank perhaps half the amount of Diet Coke than I did Diet Pepsi back in the day. I cut it down in increments, and it was still pure hell. I was crankier and bitchier than normal, and my sleep was all over the damn map. I mean, more so than usual. It really is like a drug, and the withdrawal is no fun at all. I’m down to maybe a cup of caffeinated tea two times a week, if that.

I also gave up potato chips and other munchies, but I’ve gone back on that, unfortunately. I have added a small salad with cherry/grape tomatoes every day, which is a big step for me. I’m easing back into eating more fruits and vegetables, and that’s definitely a plus. I’ve said before that adding things is a better way for me to do it than to try to restrict myself too much, and adding things makes it easier to eat less of other things. I may have to build on that rather than try to go on a formal diet.

As for my sinuses, I hate them. The weather has been ping-ponging back and forth between chilly and rainy (yay) to almost uncomfortably warm. I still have my heater available, and it went on this morning. It’s now 59, which is decent. We’re supposed to get 70s and 80s this week. Ugh. As I said earlier, my ear is almost completely unplugged again, which is a positive. My nose is prickling, though, and I hate it. My throat is half-clogged, and there is some mucus draining. Sorry for being so graphic, but that’s what’s going on with my body at the moment.

I’m tired. I’m depressed. I’m dealing with fucked-up sinuses. None of this makes for a very happy time.

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