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sleep struggles

One curious thing that's been happening this week is the evening sleep struggle. Generally speaking it's been about an hour or so after I've had dinner. I shift back over to sitting on the couch, which is more comfortable, and very shortly I find myself trying to fight off an overwhelming urge to doze off. I probably spend ten or fifteen minutes fighting it, finally give in and doze for maybe another fifteen to twenty minutes, then suddenly snap out of it and am awake again, although maybe feeling kind of tired still. I don't really recall that happening last week, but it definitely kicked in this past Sunday night, when I actually had some work to do and needed to stay up for another couple hours to do it. And it's happened again pretty much every night this week.

Now, it's not radically unusual behavior. I've certainly had that happen often in the past, but usually it'd be a mid-afternoon event while at work—always problematic, as managers for some reason never seem happy with the idea that I just need a twenty-minute nap and I'll be good for the rest of the day. And that was generally due to not getting a full night's sleep each night, as my late-night nature clashed with the requirement of being in the office by mid-morning.

So I'm guessing that this sleep struggle is a sign that I haven't been sleeping well at night, which is true. With my leg still in the leg brace and my middle torso still aching when I have to lift or move my body in certain ways, such as trying to roll over in bed to another comfortable position, I'm not getting as restful sleep as I ought to. My instructions from the doctors said to keep the leg elevated to reduce pain and swelling, and therefore to put a pillow under it when sleeping, so I did that during the first week. But that was rather awkward and uncomfortable, and my leg hasn't been hurting and doesn't seem to have any swelling, so I decided on Sunday that I could dispense with using the pillow at night. Since the first sleep struggle happened that evening hours before I went to bed, I doubt there's a connection to removing the leg support, but it is a funny coincidence. And I did think that dispensing with the pillow support would help me sleep better, but I'm not sure it's made a difference. 

Of course, I've also been a little more active this week, going out and about on my crutches more. Sunday I hobbled over to PCC to get some groceries; it's a fairly short walk, I knew I could carry what I needed in my backpack, I didn't want to spend a while on the phone trying to find someone who happened to be free to come pick me up and drive me that short distance, and I did just want to get out of the house for a bit. But that was a bit strenuous I suppose. Monday afternoon I got a ride to my doctor's office for a check-up, but then took the bus home; again it involved just short walking distances. Tuesday I stayed home. Wednesday I went down to KEXP for a short visit to say hi to people and also to deal with some necessary paperwork (insurance and submitting my timesheet for work I did), and today I made two trips, first to my optometrist's for an eye exam and then to Tony and Farida's for dinner, with a stop along the way to get some cat food. 

So it's probably just the combination of still recovering, being more active, and being uncomfortable in bed that's resulted in me not getting as much sleep and thus having brief attacks of sleepiness in the evening. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before I can get back to normal. I did end up with my orthopedic appointment scheduled for November 3, so I should find out more then. My instructions indicate that a patella fracture can take four to six weeks to heal, but as they told me the fracture didn't go all the way through the bone, I'm hoping maybe the leg brace won't be needed that long.


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