Just Another Blog
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
A Little Bit Better

I feel like I've turned a bit of a corner over the past two days. As part of my check-up on Monday, I got some muscle relaxants. A big part of my discomfort and frustration had been from my inability to sleep. My lower back has been so unbelievably tight and knotted from spending so much time flat on my back and sitting squared with my leg straight out in front of me. At the suggestion of another doctor, I had originally raised the question as to whether an anti-depressant might be a good fix for me. Apparently, anti-depressants are sometimes used to treat lower back pain. My grandmother had some success with Zoloft for just that thing. My doctors said that they really only used anti-depressants in cases of long-term, chronic pain. They recommended a muscle relaxant, flexeril, instead.

While it seems to require a fair bit of lead time to ramp up, the stuff is great. It's strong enough to not only loosen my back up enough that I can doze off but to also knock me into a nice state of wooziness. It's a nice feeling while I'm riding it, though it does invariably takes a good deal of effort and concentration to snap myself out of it when the time comes. But it's totally worth it. I've slept better the past two nights than any other two nights since the injury. I know that as I sleep more and better my healing will begin to accelerate. As I get stronger and more flexible, I'll be able to move and do more and need the relaxants less. I also find that I'm in a much better mood with more sleep. No surprise there, I guess.

Before my accident, I had always appreciated my ability to sleep soundly, long, and well. I know there are a lot of people in the world with sleep difficulties. Given the proper bedtime, I could count on my ability to consistently sleep 9 full hours in a night. (In actual practice, I rarely cashed in on that ability as I tend to not adhere to the bedtime that would be necessary to facilitate such a snooze.) I tend to sleep soundly and to not have any recollection of any dream activity. It is most restful to wake up feeling as if your mind was at complete rest for the duration. The pain, discomfort, and restlessness that came with the recovery process really stunted my sleep ability. I am most grateful to be inching my way back to restful nights.

So, I'm popping one now, doing my last hour on the CPM, and getting ready for, hopefully, a third consecutive good night's sleep.