This time next week, I could be Iron (Wo)man – update on my insomnia

I swear to G*d, if I come across one more article that talks about the benefits of getting enough sleep, I’m going to turn into a screaming lunatic!!!

Of course, if I don’t get some sleep soon, I might turn into a screaming lunatic anyway.  So, no, I still haven’t slept more than 4 hours in a while..BUT…I am now actively doing something about it.

Adventures in a Sleep Clinic

Finally, after months of saying that I would do it, I booked an appointment at a sleep clinic.  After my initial intake interview, the doctor told me I had insomnia.  As you can imagine, I wasn’t really blown out of the water with this diagnosis…not having slept a full night in what feels like years…actually is years… But, they booked me in for an overnight observation. Which just in case you think this might be a glamorous experience, please check out this picture:sleep clinic

Not my finest moment. G assured me that he still loved me, but he wasn’t looking straight at me when he said it…

Overall, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and it was way worse than I thought it would be.

Being hooked up to all the wires and electrodes wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it.  I was actually able to sleep for a few hours..enough for them to do a diagnostic on what was preventing me from getting my beauty zzz’s.  And the people at the clinic were lovely.  The food on the other hand, was hospital food, which means no salt!! Anywhere!! Salt is my vice (well red wine is my true vice, but salt is a close second..I don’t plan to give up either until I’m 90…and even then… but I digress) and the food tasted like paste. But I wasn’t there for the cuisine so I manned up, ate my glue and went to bed. the middle of the night.

I had trouble falling asleep, but they let you take a sleeping pill which definitely helped.  I also had trouble breathing, because I’m usually congested at night and THEY MAKE YOU SLEEP WITH A TUBE UP YOUR NOSE!!!!!!! That was the worst part of the equipment they made me wear. I really did not like having that thing up my nose.  In fact, I pulled it out twice in my sleep and the poor night intern had to wake me up to put it back in.  If you’ve even given a cat a bath..that’s about how happy I was to be woken up for this – but such is the plight of medical interns.  One day they’ll be surgeons and will get even by being mean and superior to’s a circle of life thing.

But, to be honest, the whole experience wasn’t that bad, what was the worst is what it did to my head after it was done.  So essentially after you sleep, they feed you breakfast (again, no salt..and don’t get me started on the coffee) and then send you on  your merry way telling you that they will call you with the results.

For some reason, after years of me laughing off my inability to sleep, having the test made it seem like a really big deal.  I started to worry about all the things that could go wrong.  And to be fair, this fear wasn’t based on nothing, a close family member of mine lost her memory about 15 years ago due to a sleep disorder (she got it treated and is doing fine now, but not until after it completely disrupted her life). So I had some experience to fuel what turned out to be complete melodrama.

After what seemed like weeks of waiting (36 hours total), the doctor called me.  The verdict – I have Restless Leg Syndrome (stupidest name ever) caused by an iron and B12 deficiency.  How I can be deficient in iron and B12 with the amount of beef and eggs I eat (Paleo baby!!!!) is beyond me, but it is what it is.  He explained that the iron deficiency was why I was so fatigued and the restless leg was preventing me from getting into deep sleep.

Fortunately the path forward is pretty clear, I need to go get an iron infusion (drip??) next week, where essentially they hook me up to a bag full of iron and saline solution for about an hour and try to bring my iron levels up. The doc (Dr. Sleepy) says that I should see some improvement within a week after the first infusion.

OMG, there is an Iron Woman..and look at her thighs..she totally crossfits.

That’s right Crossfit b*tches at my gym, watch out! I am going to PR everything!!!!!  Actually, probably not, but in my head, I definitely develop super powers after my first 7 hours of solid sleep.

So, I’m cautiously optimistic.  While I might not be ready to conquer the world next week, I will definitely be ready to continue my quest to conquer the pull-up.


3 Responses to “ This time next week, I could be Iron (Wo)man – update on my insomnia ”

  1. […] pants. It seemed like last year I was always pushing or fighting against something -work stress, insomnia – and this just made me work harder and dig deeper in order to be able to keep meeting my […]

  2. jennifer says:

    Definitely an interesting diagnosis given your diet!

    do you take any vitamins on top of your diet? While I love to think I can eat everything that will give me all of my nutrients, I know I don’t.. but vitamins seem to help.

    Since I started Crossfit and eating better, all of my sleep issues have disappeared, but everyone is different.

    I hope that your issue really is such a simple fix!

    • Rae says:

      Just started taking a multivitamin that is high in B12, but that’s about it at the moment. Sometimes I find all the information about vitamins and supplements so overwhelming that I just avoid the whole thing all together, lol.

      Am really hoping the iron infusion (which I had on Monday) helps with the energy levels….and of course, my quest for the pull-up!

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