Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Stress

Lately I've noticed that more and more, I feel like crap. I almost never feel completely good physically. If I don't have a cold that lasts forever, then I pulled a muscle somewhere, or there's some other physical ailment bothering me. I mentioned this to my husband the other day and he said it was probably because I was stressed out.

That may be the case, but what am I supposed to do about it? Everyone says to meditate, but you know what? Meditation is boring. It seems to take tremendous discipline to do, and I don't think I have that kind of discipline.

Exercise is probably another option, but aside from not really having time for it, every time I start to launch an exercise routine, I come down with some sort of flu or sprain my ankle. Then I start to get stressed out that I can't exercise.

Honestly, I am starting to see how people become addicted to sedatives.

34 comments:

  1. First since you mentioned sedatives, discuss with your doctor SSRI trial.
    Second, you mentioned you have no time. You are doing too much. Either scale down on activites you can reduce (thank you cards come in mind), or hire help even if few hours once a week. And I hate to tell you, maybe ask your husbund to do some of the things you are doing. I, being a full time physician with two young children, have no time either. Yet, I dedicate 1-1,5 hours for myself every day (at night when kids in bed): TV, evening walk, reading, chat with a friend (I found a pal who walks with me at night after our children are in bed). I do not exercise streniously, I walk or ride bikes with my kids. I attend dinner lectures regularly (once a month) where I meet collegues, have relaxing time while my husbund stays with kids. I go to the concerts and shows a few times a year with a friend and/or kids. I must say I am able to have all this because my husbund covers the kids (we have no family, do not have babysitters), I am able to stay late to unwind, because my husbund gets up early and gets children ready and takes them to school. I get up after they leave. I hope you find a way to unload some of your duties. Everyone needs time to replenish their energy.

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    1. I tried an SSRI a number of years ago, and unfortunately, I had a life-threatening reaction to it. Definitely wouldn't risk trying it again.

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  2. stress sucks. working out is hard and it does take time. I always try to walk, even if I don't feel like it, and even if I don't have a lot of time. Plus, it is hard, though not impossible, to injure yourself when walking.

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  3. Meditation will develop discipline in you over time. Few (none?) start out with discipline. One easy way to start is just to observe your breath. Mentally say "in" and "out" in concert with your breath. Start by doing it for a minute. When you notice yourself thinking, don't beat yourself up and just come back to the breath. Work up to a few minutes. It may seem like a small step, but small steps add up. Our brains really benefit from the time out / relaxation. Thinking and planning all the time takes a lot of energy.

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  4. 8 hrs of sleep to start. After that, shedule yourself some fun - take a class in jewelry making, painting, writing for fun etc.
    Then, treat your adrenals - B complex, ashwaghanda, licorice - makes a huge difference. You likely have relative adrenal insufficiency - lower cortisol to the same stressors makes you achey, tired, blood sugar irregularities, mood swings, eczema and overall blahness. Try it it works.

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    1. You're recommending quackery to a doctor? Interesting. (The "adrenal fatigue" thing, not the sleep and life balance thing)

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    2. For some perspective, she told me that if only I'd had my pelvis adjusted by a chiropractor during my daughter's birth, I wouldn't have needed a c-section.

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    3. Adrenal fatigue? Is that your presumptive diagnosis? Have you done a total
      work up of the patient? What are your credentials? Just curious.

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    4. I never said that pelvic adjustment would prevent c-section - don't be ridiculous. Relative adrenal insufficiency would be on my differential AFTER checking out CBC, thyroid, ferritin/iron and assuming those were all normal. Its something that no one thinks about. Do a pubmed search on the topic and you'll find over 800 articles. Just because you don't know about it doesn't make it not real. Cartoon doctor is pretty conservative - just giving her another option to check out. Quackery is a sales pitch, I'm talking physiology.

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  5. make sure your tsh/cbc/etc is checked so there is no medical reason for your fatigue/stress

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  6. A different kind of medicine has been introduced to me, the Cleveland Clinic just opened an entire department based on what is called Functional Medicine. Makes a lot of sense to this layperson, instead of throwing pills at each symptom that pops up, start by looking for the root cause of what appear to be non related problems.
    I told my PCP during my annual physical that I am taking too much medication at 58. The bottles fill a large baggie. She just gave me this kind of blank (I'm the one who knows better) look and said, "they're working", as a matter of fact, I am going to increase the dosage of this one.
    She's fired. Going to look closer at the functional med doc who actually treats all of the person, no more being parted out to various ists!

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    1. You are also recommending quackery to a doctor. Just kind of doctor-flavoured quackery. Also interesting. And disappointing that big guns like the Cleveland Clinic are embracing it.

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  7. This is gonna sound bananas, but get fish. When you watch them swim around... it's a form of meditation. They were recommended for me to help with PTSD and they have made such a difference.

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  8. Get an older, small dog that is very trained and super chill and low key, and then walk it around the block when you need to get out of the house.

    Or just go on walks (listen to music or a podcast). Seriously, walks are the mo-fucking jam.

    Or take up smoking....

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  9. I'm in vet school. I feel very similar. I've wondered if I have it in me to be one of those who abuse the access to drugs I will have.

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  10. Sometimes I feel like my life is a movie, with no sound. People, who I have no connection to, coming and going. Perhaps I'm losing my mind, one neuron at
    a time.

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  11. I really like using calm.com. It allows you to have guided meditation in increments of 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, or 20 minutes. You can pick your background music and background setting. Put it on full-screen for greatest impact. It's a great source to use even if you have just a few free minutes :) I love it :)

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  12. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's hard to be stressed when you're laughing.
    Find some comedian on you tube that makes you laugh. Watch prn.

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  13. Humor me Dr. Fizzy and take Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C at the first sign of a cold (scratchy throat, sniffles). I have no interest in it other than to help others. See
    for yourself if I'm not right. In addition, find a good massage therapist who does
    deep work. It may take you several tries before finding someone who knows how
    to get those knots out. You'll be glad you did.

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    1. I've tried anything that people tell me prevent a cold, so I have tried high vitamin C supplements when I get sick, like airborne. Has never helped even the slightest bit.

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    2. I've tried high vitamin C supplements too, airborne and the like. Didn't touch
      my cold either. I was suspicious of Lypo-C too. I spent 30 dollars to prove
      myself wrong. You don't have to believe me. I understand. If I'm wrong,
      you're out $30. If I'm right, though, you'll never be without it.

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    3. Yes but if I take the advice of every anonymous commenter on the Internet, I would be out a lot more than $30.

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    4. I can't argue with skepticism, Skeptics will always have an argument to the contrary. I can only speak of my personal experience and friends. Why would I tout it? What do I gain? I don't make a red cent off of it.
      I wanted to do something nice for you as I've enjoyed your blog and reading your two books. That's all.

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    5. I don't mean any disrespect, I just have found that most of these natural remedies don't work for me. Believe me, I've tried.

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  14. A little witch doctoring OMT will fix you right up! :p

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  15. The placebo effect of all these supplements can be very strong. My mom takes a fist full for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

    It is hard to find work/life balance. I think it is something we all struggle with. I wish you the best finding the solution that works for you.

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  16. Vitamin C and zinc works for me. Sometimes. But that probably isn't what's wrong. Speaking only for myself, after 24 years of private practice of medicine (radiology/nuclear medicine) I'm burned out. Sometimes that feeling somatizes, leaving me achy and tired, sometimes even a bit dizzy. I've known for a long time that I need to get out of this business, but only recently have I been able to convince Mrs. Dalai that it's time. As of 10/31/14, I will be working on a half-time basis, and I doubt I'll be working into 2016. To be honest, I would quit right now, but there is no one to take over my specialty areas, and I would be leaving my NM techs and my IT people in a heck of a bind. So one more year it is.

    Fizzy, I advise you to carefully assess your finances, and to explore other avenues of work. If you are miserable to the point of projecting the pain onto/into your body, you need to do something else. Trust me.

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    Replies
    1. my life is definitely very stressful, but my job is by far the least stressful aspect of my life.

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    2. Well, that's either very good news or very bad news....

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  17. Something as simple as not enough sleep may be the culprit. To be on the safe side,
    have your Vitamin D level checked. I was feeling tired all the time ( my Vitamin D level
    was 12). Now I take 800IU/day and my level is 29. It's still borderline low but I feel
    much better. It's a simple fix.

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  18. You are a doctor, wife, mother of two young kids, write books, sustain an active blog, are currently holding a writing contest, and do god knows what else. I would say you do waaaaaay more than the average person, and it's no wonder you are stressed and worn out. Try letting a few things go for a short while to see if it helps. I suggest it be something other than job, hubby and kids, LOL. But seriously. I couldn't figure out the right balance and completely ruined my health. It ain't worth it.

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    1. I'm not sure if letting go of the few hobbies I have that I actually enjoy is going to lower my stress level.

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  19. I've been going through a lot of the same things lately and I remembered when I used to run more and do yoga often, I felt a lot less achey and less headaches. I work in HealthCare IT, so I also have the luxury of working out at lunch so I've been making sure to get away from the computer for an hour a day to take advantage. I also started trying to cook more and eat better- drink more water and less caffiene and alcohol. Thought I'd recommend this Yoga app that I found - it was on a Ted Talk Top 10 list recently and it's awesome - they have 15, 30 and 60 min sessions. I had a hard time going to the yoga stuido after work when I hadn't seen the baby all day. So my husband and I do it a few times a week after she is in bed- helps us get off the couch and do something together too while being relaxing. I've been sleeping and feeling a lot better lately too. The App is called Yoga Studio - it's $3-4 but has 5 start reviews - it's worth it. Hope you find some relief!

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    1. Great idea! I will give it a try.

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