My neuro recommended that I get more electrolytes. So, I drank a bit of Gatorade. Then I looked at the ingredients. Glycol ester of wood rosin? And that other stuff I can’t pronounce? No thanks.
So, I picked up some Pedialyte and juice, and I’ve been drinking that. It’s good, but there’s still all sorts of God-knows-what in there.
So, I did some research. And I found out what else I can use.
And the magic potion I whipped up yesterday, is exactly what I needed to stave off the mid-afternoon lull and the craving for junk food. Here’s the elixir of life that is both energizing and delicious:
1 can Goya coconut water (it has pulp, which is tasty, and I’ve read that it’s full of electrolytes) – or you can use any type of coconut water
1 small bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Grape (without that nasty fructose stuff)
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Distilled water to taste
Shake/stir it up to mix in the salt, and sip (if you can keep from gulping it down)
Not since I started drinking my rocket-fuel coffee, have I had this much energy from a drink. It’s absolutely amazing! Holy smokes! I got so much energy from it — and not that crazy wired buzz you get from energy drinks ‘n’ such. Plus, it cut down on my craving for snacks in the afternoon, which is big for me, because I’ve been snacking too much — need the energy — and I’ve been gaining weight as a result.
This is good. This is awesome. It’s not full of ingredients I can’t pronounce or spell, and it’s full of electrolytes. I can feel it. And it is so delicious.
I didn’t get out and hike yesterday. My business trip was catching up with me, and I also needed to catch up on some reading and writing I’ve been meaning to do.
So, I did that. And looked out the window at the world in my back yard.
Then I took a nap – 3 hours. That surprised me, because I wasn’t actually feeling all that tired, when I lay down. I just knew I needed to give it a try. And after lying there for 15-20 minutes, I finally drifted off… and woke up around the time I needed to go shop for supper.
Now I’ve got one day left in the weekend, and I absolutely have to get outside. It’s spring, dammit. And I need to take it in, already. The weather’s a bit cold, but that might discourage all my neighbors from rushing onto the roads. Or maybe it won’t. In any case, I need to at least take a quick walk on my “short” hike. That should take me an hour or less, and it will stretch out my legs, which have been quite cramped and non-active for some time now.
I’ll have my lunch, change into my hiking grubbies, and head out.
So, yesterday, I exercised twice — once in the morning, and again later in the afternoon at work. There’s an aerobics room at the gym at work, and it’s walled with mirrors. That’s exactly what I need, so when I’m doing some movement, I can work on my form and be mindful of how my body is actually positioned as I move it.
I picked up a lot of bad posture and positioning habits when I was younger, and that’s cost me valuable time later in life when I pulled or strained muscles, due to bad form. And then I had to sit out for a while, till they got better. And by the time they got better, I had forgotten about doing them at all. And I lost more time, till I got inspired to do them again.
So, keeping myself in good form is important. And I had the chance yesterday afternoon to spend about 20 minutes moving and watching myself move, making sure I wasn’t moving in ways that strained my back and hips and knees, and all the other connections that have given me trouble over the years.
I didn’t spend a ton of time on it, yesterday, but it was enough to wake me up, and also give me a bit more of a workout. I had been planning on getting an extra exercise session in, when I got home from work. But to tell the truth, I’ve got to make supper, and I’m so done with the day, by that point, that I just want to make supper, talk to my spouse, and chill out.
So, exercising for 30 minutes during the day is really a good option for me. It breaks up my afternoon, and it also wakes me up.
And last night I went to bed by 10:00 and I woke up close to 7:00 a.m. — nearly 9 hours of continuous sleep. Amazing. Just amazing. I’m still feeling a bit fuzzy and groggy this morning, but the fact that I got that much sleep makes it all the better.
Plus, this afternoon, I have no meetings, so I can do it again. I moved a little bit this morning, to work on my balance, and also get a sense for where my body is in space. With my balance issues — which are the one outstanding remaining danger for me and my physical safety — I have to do something. The neuro I went to see to help me with it, doesn’t seem to take my situation all that seriously. Hell, they don’t seem to take ME all that seriously. So, I’ll just have to take care of this all, myself.
I can probably do a better job of it, anyway, because I know what my issues are. I have no trouble articulating them, because I don’t need to — I’m walking around in a body that’s got movement and balance challenges. I already know first-hand what the deal is, and I don’t have to convince anyone of it.
And that makes it a whole lot easier to deal with.
Personally, I’m sick and tired of people not taking me seriously, not believing me, and dismissing me — or brushing me off with some bogus explanation, because they can’t be bothered to look deeper. Maybe it’s a function of the medical system (I won’t say “healthcare”, because there’s something else driving it than “health” and “care”), which routinely traumatizes and exhausts its members, and then expects them to turn in stellar performances. I have to factor in that I’m dealing with professionals who are A) impaired at a functional level — and have been, since they started med school, and B) honor-bound to flatly deny that lack of sleep, secondary trauma, and the pressures of the insurance companies could have a negative impact on their performance.
So, I have to take it all with a grain of salt. And just use them for what they’re good for — prescriptions, if I need them. IFI want to take them — which I usually don’t. They’re gatekeepers for insurance companies, and little else, from what I’ve seen. Just as many financial advisors are little more than highly compensated sales reps for financial services companies (I know, because I was recruited by a fin svcs company many years ago, and I got an inside look at how things work — and I opted out).
So, all that aside, it feels great to be doing something for myself. I forgot to contact that trainer at work again, to go over some complex movements and strength training approaches. I’ll make a note to do it today. I’m feeling a lot of anticipation about this spring… I think it’s going to be a good one. And an old project I had put aside, years ago, has now suddenly shown itself to be feasible, as a solution to one of the big conundrums I couldn’t sort out before has suddenly become obvious to me. So, that’s a nice thing. Very nice indeed.
It’s amazing, what 9 hours of sleep will do for you. I’ll have to try for this again… and again… and again…
I’m tired. I need to catch up on my sleep. I need to recharge my batteries. Not get so tired. Get back to where I want to be.
When I get tired, I start doing things like stressing myself out, so I feel more alert.
I’m not alert. I’m just stressed. Big difference.
And one of the things I do to stress myself, is slack off on my job, procrastinate, and think about leaving for greener pastures.
Oddly, the better I do at things, the more uncomfortable I am. Because stress makes me feel alert. And if I’m not stressed, then I don’t feel alert.
I may be alert, but I don’t feel that way.
I have a long history of jumping ship from good jobs, for no apparent reason. I just got so danged uncomfortable — but that discomfort actually comes from fluency, efficiency, being plugged in and capable. Somehow, being stressed and behind the 8-ball makes me feel more alive, more alert, more able… even though it’s undermining me and making me feel insecure and vulnerable.
It’s a fascinating conundrum. And the best thing to do, really, is keep an eye out for it when it starts to happen and not let it derail me.
I also need to plug myself into some positive stresses, some real challenges — not the ones my imagination comes up with.
I got the critical things done ahead of time, and then I spent all day yesterday with a buddy, going to see an exhibition of Japanese art and culture. It was pretty amazing – especially seeing things that real people made with their hands, instead of something that they made on a computer. The handiwork of some of the furniture was amazing.
I wish I had more energy to take it all in, but yesterday was a pure adrenaline day. I had to help my spouse the night before with a business activity (their back is out, so they need assistance), and not only was I pushed really hard to do a lot of things, but I was up past midnight on Saturday – and I rarely sleep in – so I did not get enough sleep for Sunday.
Yesterday was good. We checked out the art, the craftsmanship, the joinery, the materials… and then we got some lunch – late. My routine was completely blown away. We were near a neighborhood where I used to eat, and sure enough, the old taqueria was there, where I used to always get massive burritos for a very low price. The store burned down, during the years after I moved away, but I thought for sure they would rebuild, because they were so popular – and sure enough. Line was out the door. And the food was still amazing.
We ended up hanging out the entire day, and we had dinner at my home with my spouse, who is actually much better friends with this individual than I am. We’re all on good terms, so it was a good time.
I just had no time for myself, which is a problem on the weekends. I really need my downtime – space when I am only doing things that are in my head and my intentions. Or I pay the price.
I’m feeling it today. I started to get a migraine yesterday, but I got an hour-long nap, and that helped. Work, work, and more work. Not so great for my system, which needs balance.
This week I will balance. I don’t have a lot of appointments. Just two, compared to the past. I think I’m going to back off on my acupuncture and chiropractor, because I am really tired of not getting home till 8:00 p.m. and then having to make dinner, and not eating until 8:30 or 9:00. It’s too late for me. And I’ve been pushing myself for too long, trying to fit everything in.
I just want my routine back. I just want my regular schedule. I have to have it, or I am toast. And if others cannot accommodate me, too bad.
It’s actually good that I am getting to this point. I have been pushing myself very, very hard, for a long time, and it’s about time that I really focused on just taking care of myself in ways that are less rigorous — and are closer to home.
I re-watched an old Shark Tank episode where a Marine (former Special Ops) was pitching his energy drink Ruckpack.
One of the big selling points for him was the caffeine-free formula that did not produce jitters.
When I first saw it, I didn’t need a caffeine-free solution for my own personal energy crises. But now I do. Based on what the Marine said, this might be just what I’m needing.
I found a store that carries Ruckpack, and I picked up a couple of bottles (the caffeine-free mix), just to see. Today is a long day – I started at 6:00 a.m. with a support call for work, and I will be going till10:00 tonight, at least. I have meetings all day – booked solid from 9:00 a.m. till 4:00, when I need to drive an hour to my neuropsych for my weekly appointment. Along the way, I need to run some errands. And then I have a networking meeting in the evening.
So, I will need some extra help today, most likely.
I’m going to try Ruckpack to see how it works. If what they say is correct, that it provides steady energy and nutrients “for every battle”, and it does so without caffeine, then this might be something I can actually use.
I’m going to wait till later this afternoon to try it. I’ll report back.
If it works for me, it might work for other folks struggling with mental fogginess / TBI / headache / migraines, who have to steer clear of caffeine, as well.
I’m about a week into drastically cutting back on my coffee. I didn’t keep notes on when I started cutting back. I just did it. I think I’m a week in… though it could be 10 days but let’s call it Day 7 to put a line in the sand and have something to compare it to.
It’s going pretty well. Better than expected, actually. Instead of having 2-1/2 cups each morning, I’m down to 1/2. I did that gradually, going from 2-1/2 cups to 2 cups to 1-1/2 cups to 1 cup, to 1/2 cup. I’ve been doing that most mornings. Some days I’ll shift back and have a full cup, but I’m actually feeling better with a half a cup, now.
I’ve also been putting butter and oil in it to ease the withdrawal, but today I’m doing 1/2 cup of straight coffee. Black. No sugar. It’s how I used to always drink it, and it’s fine.
I had a full cup yesterday morning, and I have to say, it actually felt like too much. I only needed 1/2 a cup, and contrary to every usual habit, I threw out the last few sips instead of drinking them down. That’s unlike me. Especially with coffee.
Now I’m looking at my half-drunk half-cup of coffee, wondering if I really need to finish it. There’s something a little invigorating about the withdrawal process. I’ve got a headache, but I usually do, so there’s no change there. And I’m cranky at times, but I know what that’s about, so it’s not too intrusive or disruptive. I just keep my mouth shut and let the freak-out pass. It eventually does.
And when I’m really feeling frayed, I have some fruit or a drink of water. The fructose soothes that savage beast, and since the fruit is full of fiber, the sugar shock is buffered. It’s not like having a spoonful of sugar or honey. There’s fiber in there to give my body something to do while getting that sweet boost.
I also hit the roads, going for long walks to get my system calmed down. I took two walks in the woods yesterday, and it was fantastic. I had a lot of energy, although I was in a bit of a fog. That will pass, I’m sure. I just have to give it time and retrain my body to wake the heck up.
So, the whole thing about getting off coffee is a lot less odious than I thought it would be. I’m probably still going to have my 1/2 cup in the mornings. Or not, if I don’t need it. And I’m probably still going to use a shot in the early afternoons at work, to keep myself from falling apart in the afternoons. Ideally, I’ll find another way to wake myself up — get some exercise, perhaps? But there’s nothing like a shot of caffeine around 1 p.m. to carry me through.
So, I may or may not give it up entirely. Plus, supposedly there are benefits to coffee… they’ve done research (though I wonder how many coffee-abstainers worked on the studies). Who knows? All I know is, my neuro is telling me to get rid of it, so I may need to do that.