Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ribs and Sleep and My Heart

Went to physical therapy Monday. I mentioned to my therapist that I was trying to pay more attention to exactly which ribs hurt, which were painful to the touch, as it can be hard to tell without investigating -- sometimes I can even press in one place and the pain response is somewhere else. And I think maybe when I have a really bad Episode there could be multiple ribs involved.

She said that yes, right then my two upper ribs and three lower ribs on the right side were all involved -- out/frozen/seized up, whatever.

The, um, "best" part? Even at my worst on Monday, it wasn't all that bad. Maybe medium bad, certainly not an Episode. With almost half my ribs on one side out. So... yeah. Certainly seems possible that it could be ALL OF THEM when I have a Rib Episode, and/or they're farther out. Fits with the way the pain moves around when it's Bad according to the different positions I try.

EDS problems.*

At any rate, she gave me some things to self-treat my lower ribs that really seemed to help when I tried them yesterday, so that was good. I'd share for my fellow zebras, but honestly I had a hard time learning them even with my hand laid on top of hers, so I don't think I'm up to teaching anyone via words alone. Sorry. But apparently my allergies could be part of why they keep going out? (Besides, um, having EDS. That seems like a sufficient reason to me.) Because apparently when they freeze up it could be because they're trying to protect my liver. Which is unhappy because allergies. *shrug* So that's another possibly helpful avenue...? Longer-term, anyway.

The neck treatment I could maybe share, though. It was simpler. Uh, let me know if you want that. I found it was helpful for the very top ribs as well as the neck.


We ordered me a FitBit and it arrived Monday! A FitBit Charge 2. It's very fun and helpful and I love it. But. Also sometimes it makes me laugh.

Now, also on Monday, before that, I'd started watching this awesome video, "Dr Pocinki discusses Chronic Pain, Poor Sleep, Depression, Dysautonomia and Fatigue in EDS." (Looked it up because earlier I watched this EVEN AWESOMER video, “Psychiatric Misdiagnoses in EDS: When is Anxiety not Anxiety?”, and now I want to read and watch everything by Dr. Pocinki ever and ever amen. Seriously I almost cried. Which on my more sleep-deprived days isn't saying much but STILL.) One thing he says is that it's very common in EDS to not get nearly enough deep sleep, and/or to have many sleep interruptions. And that because you don't remember wakings unless they're at least two minutes in length (IIRC), most people don't remember the interruptions, and the only relatively obvious symptom of either of these is fatigue upon waking in the morning. (And if you're fairly alert later on, well, that's just adrenaline kicking in, most likely.)

My FitBit has automatic sleep tracking, but I figured hey, it's only a little wrist sensor. It clearly won't be able to see brain waves and tell me whether I'm sleeping deeply or not, but hey, maybe it'll catch a few of the interruptions, if I move around. Maybe. Could be interesting, but won't expect it to show all of them. We'll see what happens.

Heh heh.

First night: It said I was awake once and restless seven times. 25 minutes awake or restless.


Um, I fed Joy (codename) twice that night. Got out of bed four times -- twice to go get her, and twice to go put her back in her crib. I went to the bathroom after the second feeding, and based on the time on the graph, it looks like that's when it noticed I was awake.

So that was confirmation that it isn't catching everything!

Second night: I figured I'd give it a little boost, a hint, by pushing the button on the FitBit to turn on the display every time I got up, or if I woke up other times. Not to look at the display, just to tell it I'm probably awake, not simply restless. Got up and fed Joy three times, so that's six times getting out of bed, though I'm pretty sure I dozed off during one of her feedings.

FitBit: Awake once, restless seven times, 31 minutes awake or restless.

C'mon, now you're just trolling me. :D

[ETA: I found a place in the desktop settings to change sleep tracking "sensitivity to movements" to "sensitive" rather than "normal," and between that and manually telling it when I'm going to bed or getting up, it seems to be working decently well and I have more info to work with. Though I don't know how much restful sleep a normal person on the sensitive setting gets or needs.]

Oh well. There are heart rate graphs, with the points on the graph representing five-minute averages, and I figure these might be a little more informative as to how I'm sleeping.

I... think this looks like NOT The Most Restful of All Possible Nights' Sleep. I could be wrong. I do wonder what it would look like if I weren't getting out of bed. I've had some vivid dreams in the last couple nights that would probably indicate adrenaline spikes, but the most obvious spikes here all line up with getting the baby. I think. I think the slightly smaller ones on the other night's graph might be dreams, though. Oh, and that's right, probably the first spike here is a dream or something. That one should be around 1 a.m., and the first feeding was at 2. Which I know because I track feedings in a separate app. In my sleep, apparently.


Along these more helpful FitBit lines, well, no wonder cooking often makes me tired.

Yeah, that highest area is me throwing together French bread pizzas -- with homemade sauce, but dead easy, just mixing a few ingredients. (If you go to the link, I like to halve the amount of sugar, it's a bit on the sweet side otherwise.) Fat-burning zone the whole time.

Then I rested on the couch, thus the dip. The spikes after that were dinner and leaning against the crib trying to get the baby to sleep, I believe. There was no "exercise" yesterday, not as such.

And then again today, the baby's very full overnight diaper leaked on her sheets, and when I put them back on her crib after washing them? I was back in the fat-burning zone! \o/ Which, you know. It's kinda hard to change her sheets because crib bumper pads... <.<

This is with my resting heart rate at 61 bpm, "good to excellent" for a woman my age. Which is, um, good, but I'm pretty sure it isn't good or normal for someone in good shape to get in the fat-burning zone so easily, or to fatigue themselves so easily.

*I don't believe I've talked here yet about having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, EDS. It's... a long story. Another time.

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