Friday, June 26, 2015

Melatonin: The Savior of Sleep

Firstly, I am  not a medical doctor and I am not recommending medical treatment this is simply my own personal experience. For those of you who are not familiar with melatonin  it is a hormone that is naturally found in the body and it is responsible for regulating our body's sleep cycle. Synthetic melatonin is usually taken to help to regulate a person's sleep cycle when they have trouble staying asleep and/or feeling rested in the morning. 

For me the problem was I was not feeling well rested in the morning. I've always been someone who goes to bed early. On average I am asleep by 10:30 or 11:00. I on average only wake up once a night, but wake up feeling like I didn't get any sleep. This is most likely due to my fibromyalgia; it is known that those with fibromyalgia and restless leg syndrome which I also have usually don't go through the full sleep cycle. I also have back and neck muscle pain due to the fibro and I just carry my stress there in my body and it's always worse in the mornings once I wake up and I think it is the way I sleep and just never getting a well rested night. 

I was looking up natural more homeopathic ways to deal with fibromyalgia because I've tried multiple medications such as gabapentin, baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, nsaids, tylenol and the only thing i ever even felt helped somewhat was the nsaids, which I still do take maybe once or twice a month, but I'm someone who I personally don't like taking prescription medications and would prefer something more natural. Also, I just want to avoid the possible but rare side effects of those drugs. I was going to try 5 htp because I also struggle with depression and anxiety and I used to take antidepressants and anxiety medication, but it was a little more expensive than the melatonin so I thought I would try this first. 

I've tried melatonin once before about three years ago and honestly I didn't feel it helped then, but I thought for some reason that I would give it another try. I decided to instead of getting the pills that you swallow I would get the ones that melt under your tongue so it will get in my system faster. I bought the 5mg ones because in reality your body doesn't need a huge dose of it, with melting ones more will get in my system, and I am just a small person so I probably don't need a huge dose. I had been taking ambien 10mg as needed, but I hate the way it makes me feel in the morning.

Surprisingly, I felt a difference after the first night of taking it. I've taken it almost every other night for almost two weeks now and I still do get worn out during the day, but I can definitely tell a difference in my energy levels in the morning. I know you shouldn't take melatonin all the time and they say not to take it continuously for more than two weeks. So I think I will stop taking it for a few days and see how I feel. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Day at SeaWorld

How many of you have been to SeaWorld? Well if you haven't it is basically an amusement/waterpark, the unique quality of SeaWorld is that they have the famous orca Shamu and other water animals such as sea lions (maybe you saw it on the documentary "Blackfish") I know I'm horrible for going, every time I watch a show there even though I enjoy it I find myself wondering how these animals live, asking myself if they are happy or not. Note to self: Work on living out your convictions.

Besides that sad note it was a fun day. I got to wear my new bathing suit that I only paid $6.48 for. You just have to love bargains! I went with my godparents and their three year old grandson. They had a bring your friend pass so I tagged along. We started out at Aquatica, the water park, and spent a little over an hour there. Then, we stopped to eat lunch. Unfortunately, it ended up being a pretty lame lunch. I got a kids turkey sandwich because I didn't want anything huge, well I soon realized it was not the same turkey sandwich that was described in the adult meal with cheese and spread instead it was simply a sandwich on a white bread that looked like a hamburger bun and just turkey meat and I got some grapes and lemonade. Kind of disappointing but at least we got food. 

After eating we went to see the show Sea Lion High. Basically it is a show with two sea lions. I'm blanking on their names and they are in high school, but can't graduate because they did not finish a number of classes so the entire show is them going through the final school day going through these classes to make them up and graduate and the sea lions do a bunch of cool tricks and dance moves throughout the classes. It was entertaining. 

After Sea Lion High we made one last trip to Aquatica and made three laps around the lazy river. It was really funny because my godparents grandson was wearing one of those kids life jackets and it had a long black strap thing hanging on it so he kept saying "Ashalyn (my name is Ashlynn) tether the rope" so I would grab onto it and he would just keep repeating "I will pull you back." "I can't do this by myself." "Don't let go, tether the rope." It was hilarious! 

So now I am definitely exhausted. I ended up eating 15 pizza rolls when I got home. I'm not sure how I'm not extremely full right now, but hey I will take it. So  now that I am all showered, in pajamas, and my parents aren't home yet I think I will start applying for college loans. Fun. Fun. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

This is Me and My Blog

If you are reading this, welcome! You may be asking yourself what is this blog even for? Well, it is for me and my thoughts. It is for me to document my journey, my struggles, and my triumphs. My goal is to become a certified Child Life Specialist. I will be starting my first year at Texas State University as a freshman majoring in Family and Child Development this coming fall.

Why did I choose child life? Well, I could easily go into a long story (ask anyone that knows me I do that frequently). The short version of why I chose child life is as a kid I spent a lot of time in the hospital whether that be for an admission or just appointments and I have now been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  So I grew up around doctors, nurses, and needles. In an environment where most children and adults usually are very tense and nervous I was content. Instead of being nervous I was curious. I was the kid that wanted to know the in depth details of every little object and test.

At the age of 14 I learned what a child life specialist was and ever since I've been fascinated. I've always been interested in psychology and I've always believed that physical health will affect your mental health either positively or negatively and vice versa and we can't just ignore one or the other. I believe that this becomes extremely important when one is in the hospital and for children this is when play therapy and education about illness, tests, and procedures are beneficial.

I hope I did not bore you too much. So this is the start of a journey for me. On this blog I will document my journey of starting college, striving to be a CLS, dealing with chronic illnesses, and just life in general. I hope you will follow me on this journey,