Back to the normal routine.. Getting to bed by 10, waking up around 6 or 7, doing a quick check on production, taking my morning “meds”, getting to the gym for some cardio, giving some love to myself by writing out what is on my mind. But the time 9:30 rolls around, I typically feel pretty great about my day.
I adopted this routine last year when I quit my job and it’s been great. Fortunately I’ve been able to retain this schedule with the job I took on in January. Having most of the team on the west coast (and beyond) is great!
Not only am I a serious creature of habit, but I’ve also figured out what works for me, which is more than half the battle in life. I think everyone has a different formula and it takes a lot of messing around and experimentation to nail it down. Of course there are other variables besides sleep and exercise and ingesting the right things (like having financial security and a supportive relationship), but even before I met Jim I had transformed from an exhausted stress ball to a happier, less stressed, more fulfilled human being.
It’s important to reflect on the changes and recognize what the major players on. Here’s the breakdown:
Sleep (still priority #1).. Prior to 2017, my average sleep was typically between 5 and 6.5 hours per night which often included some 4 hour nights sprinkled in. Ouch. Now I’m getting between 7 and 8 hours a night. That’s more in line with what science says a human being needs to have healthy recovery.
“Meds” .. This one I’m still always tweaking and thinking about, but things are so much better now. I used to take pain meds for headaches almost daily. I would wake with a headache and pop some pills. If I had any ache, I’d immediately take ibuprofen too. I also experimented with a lot of sleep aids to try and fix my insomnia. I also often took a daily allergy pill and other vitamins/supplements randomly. My medicine cabinet was full.
Now I rarely take pain meds and don’t get headaches anymore. I take one circumun in the morning which is a natural anti anti-inflammatory. I sometimes take the lortadine which is an otc allergy medicine that does not make me drowsy. I’m trying to ween myself off caffeine and am cutting a pill in half each day which turns out to be about 100 mg. That’s equivalent to about a cup of coffee or energy drink. I’m therefore getting that dose without the extra sugar. That’s important to me. And, as a byproduct of my sleeping better, I rarely take any sleep aid.
Now is the Circumun better than tylenol better for me. The answer is a resounding yes. Even if they have the same anti-inflammatory properties, one is reactive and one is pro-active. On Tylenol still had a headache almost every day, I’d take it and it would go away. With this new regimine I don’t even get the headache. I actually take the circumin 2 and 3 times a day if I remember to but even if I forget, I’m still good.
I’ve stopped taking any vitamins and just trying to eat healthy instead. The trouble with vitamins is that I can’t really tell any difference when I take or don’t take them. Take biotin for example. It’s supposed to promote healthy hair and nails, but I’ve never detected any difference.
In the last week I’ve started taking a new supplement, DIM, which is supposed to help the hormones in the body. I was instructed to from a healthcare provider which I went to see for a minor procedure last week. Like I said, the experimentation is ongoing. I don’t expect to feel anything specific from this supplement, but I will most certainly feel differently from the accompanying treatment, namely hormone replacement therapy.
Last Thursday I went into my OBGYN to have an insertion of testosterone pellets. Wait.. what? Isn’t testosterone a male hormone. Well, yes, but it’s not an exclusive club. Women have a certain level of testosterone too and the levels being correct are just as important as estrogen and progesterone. As it turns out, I have low testosterone. The resulting symptoms are fatigue, lack of focus, poor memory, dry skin, and more. The fatigue is my number one.
Despite the great sleep and caffeine, I still get so tired in the afternoons, by the time 9 or 10pm hits, I’m literally falling asleep where I sit. I discussed this concern with my doc and she suggested testosterone supplements. They did labs as a part of my regular check up and included a testosterone level.
The good news is that my labs look great. Cholesterol, thyroid, and even iron (wow), look great. I’m a healthy person. The testosterone was still in the normal range but on the low side and might explain my fatigue. She therefore recommended this course of treatment.
Unfortunately it’s not a pill I can just take every day. It’s a pellet that they insert under your skin (ouch). The give a shot of a local anesthetic to numb the area and then make a small incision where the insert the pellets up under the skin. This was basically done on the side of my booty, which is why I’ve been sore for 3 or 4 days and have not been able to do the elliptical.
Today is the first day I’m back to a full set. According to the doc I won’t feel any different for a few weeks. I’m hopeful it’s going to have a positive affect with minimal side effects. I’m hoping that this is also a proactive solution, as opposed to the caffeine being more reactive. We’ll see.
As for a retrospective on other aspects of my health, that’s worth a deeper dive too, but I’ve run out of time. That will have to wait for some future day.