Monday, 15 August 2011

Challenge Accepted


I've been inexplicably tired lately. Run down. Worn out. Beat.

Now granted, I've got an always defiant 8-year-old son, who has a severely autistic twin sister. Did I mention the three-year-old too? So I guess it's not entirely inexplicable.

Still, these little soul extractors cherubs haven't just arrived -- they've been around a while. But my fatigue has been much more pronounced lately and I don't know why. It's been a little concerning.

So much so that I scheduled a doctor's appointment to see if there's a medical explanation. The night before my appointment, I slept 8 1/2 hours. And still felt the need to take a 15 minute nap later in the day. That'd be fine if I were 78 years old. I'm 40.

The good news was that I really liked my doctor. I had yet to visit my new primary care physician since moving to NC a year ago. The doctor spent more than five minutes with me, made eye contact, and listened, which is more than I've gotten from a doc in many a year. He didn't try to throw a prescription sample at me as a sort of trial-and-error school diagnosis. He didn't seem distracted or overworked. It was almost as if he actually cared about trying to help me. Crazy, I know.

At any rate, the gist of it was that I didn't have enough symptoms of any of the various possibilities to raise a red flag. They're doing some blood work to see if anything abnormal comes up. And in the meantime exercise and weight loss are the prescription. I've put on about ten pounds this year, which could be a factor in all of this.

One of the problems I've found with being tired a lot is that I can never get any reading done. If I sit down with a good book, no matter how interesting, after about ten minutes my eyelids start to feel heavy, my respiration slows, and suddenly it's 3am and I'm lying fully dressed in a puddle of drool on the couch, wondering where everybody went. For somebody who likes to read, it's a teensy bit frustrating.

So here's my 30 day plan: Ride the exercise bike for 20 minutes, and read a book while I do it. Flock of Birds, meet Stone. I can get 20 uninterrupted minutes of quiet, guilt free reading time. No kids allowed. No chance of the reading making me sleepy. And something to turn the workout from a boring 20 minute chore that must be endured and is easily procrastinated, into something I'll look forward to. And the exercise should, at least for some window of time afterwards, banish my lethargy.

Also, I've signed up for the Triangle 5k Run/Walk for Autism that happens on October 8th, so I really need to get my butt in gear. (Anybody want to sponsor me?)

My goal is to do this EVERY DAY. No alternating days or skipping weekends, or mixing up workouts. No free passes for headaches or tiredness or illness. No rationalizing. No excuses.

But then I'm really good at rationalizations and excuses. So that's where you come in. Doing this in a sort of public way will hopefully keep me honest and accountable.

Now to pick some reading material....

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4 comments:

daisyfae said...

Yay! E4 is IN THE HOUSE! i'm going to hold you to it, brother!

SOMSmom said...

Wow do you have your hands full!

I think your idea of combining the two (reading and biking) is a great idea.

The accountability of this blog really helped me stay on track last time and hopefully it works as well for you.

Welcome!

e4 said...

daisyfae - Thanks, I may need it.

SOMSmom - I hope so too. I need to make this happen. And the fact that I'm looking forward to it is a good sign I guess...

Gnu Kid said...

glad to see you join in, e4. heard much about you (i have my sources [snicker]).

i've got some great 'reading' material i can send... oh, wait... you mean you actually want to read (but the pictures are really great!).

good luck!