Yes, I really needed my nap today. After taking a nice long & hot bubble bath I dried off, let my hair get almost dry, then, about 3 PM or so, knew I needed to nap. So, I crawled into bed & got up just before 5 PM. Just in time to tune into NPR’s Weekend Edition on the local NPR radio station. I feel more rested. Between the sleep apnea & the bipolar it is hard making sure I am getting the sleep I need everyday. The sleep deprivation can take weeks to worsen to the point that it begins to be a safety issue for me. Luckily, I have gotten very good at tracking how long I sleep & whether or not it was plagued by racing thoughts & the frequent need to shift from sleeping prostrate versus sleeping on one side or the other in order to keep breathing.
Medicare coverage starts on March 1st. Just a little over a month away. That is good news. Also, the fact that I am achieving REM sleep & beginning to dream again is a really good sign that I am still headed in the right direction with my DIY care plan. The sleep apnea will be one of the issues high on the priority list once I get in to see a Primary Care Physician. I am leaning toward one of the many I see listed locally who is a basic Family Practice Physician with an M.D. but also a Hospitalist who will understand quite well the Ins & Outs of the surgeries I will require once I am fully onboarded & actively pursuing care plans for the top 3-4 somatic issues that I have.
But I have also been making progress managing the sleep issue with a calming period late at night. An hour with no music or TV playing & staying off the Internet. Meditation. Nutrition. Structuring my routine to give me a stable sleep start & stop window & leaving room during the day for a nap or a healing bath or both. The hot baths are working wonders for me. So is the better nutrition, making sure I don’t skip that morning breakfast.
As we get older we tend to need more down time during the day & we should plan for it & adapt to it rather than repress it or deny it. It is a part of the natural life cycle. And we must recognize how our day-to-day responsibilities toward family & employer can sometimes work against us & require us to negotiate change in our lives more artfully than we have before. We should view the growing old phase of our lives as the “Growing Wiser” phase that we have always Treasured & wanted to achieve.
Because, NOTHING is more important to a Dragonist than being a “Friend of Wisdom” & a big part of that is learning how to “Graciously Surrender” Youth as Old Age Takes Hold.
Do not be afraid.