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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ups and Downs

Sleep continues to elude me in one way or another:

Last night I felt so sleepy, for no reason I can figure, given I had slept well the night before. So I went to bed early and I stayed in bed beyond the time listed here, still feeling a need for rest.

I woke again and again, as you can see. Some of the time it was my left leg feeling uncomfortable. I have had fewer and lighter episodes of restless leg syndrome lately, but had a bit of it with my left leg. When I get uncomfortable now I simply sit up on the side of the bed. Usually this helps. As I sat there last night I looked at my right leg and realized that it was not bothering me at all. Just the left.  In addition to the left leg issue my mind was whirling. Thoughts turning into dreams, dreams going beyond sleep time. Parts of the television program Being Human intersected with thoughts about what I should be doing and am not. It is often hard to turn off my mind.

Since my last post I have taken two more little hikes. The second was into the Irish Hills at the end of Madonna Road in San Luis Obispo. I was almost stopped at the beginning: the start is fairly steep and the soil is clayey and therefore slippery. I was afraid of falling. But I grabbed some shrubs on the side of the path for a bit for more stability and made it up that part. From there on there were no too-slippery parts. I went only twenty minutes in, to the second bridge, and then turned around.

Somewhere in the middle of the hike in Irish Hills

Yesterday, my third little hike, was the world's shortest hike: Terrace Hill here in SLO. From the sidewalk on a street not far from where I live the trail climbs rather steeply up to a terraced top, from which one can see all of San Luis Obispo, 360 degrees. The short steep climb did get my heart rate up if briefly.

My near-constant companion is the fitbit. This little guy tells me that I climbed 19 floors during the Irish Hills hike and 11 for Terrace Hill. According to the fitbit website, each floor is equal to about ten feet in elevation gain, so I climbed 190 feet on the Irish Hills trail and 110 on Terrace Hill.  Having this gadget on me really does motivate me to take more steps or climb more stairs or hills. I come back to my base (my iMac) to sync up and eagerly look at what I've done.

There is a clear difference in surfaces for me. I was in Palm Springs from the 19th to the the 24th and walked on the sidewalks every day. And every day I felt enough hip pain to make the walk uncomfortable. When I hiked, however, the hip pain disappeared almost immediately. Clearly hiking is a better activity for me right now, given that without the pain I can walk more consistently, more correctly. It continues to be difficult to walk without a limp much of the time (I am not using my cane these days, yet at times perhaps I should be).

In sum: I am having fewer and shorter incidences of both RLS and intense leg pain. My hip continues to bother me but not all the time. I am walking more and starting to hike. My legs are still not straight (sigh).

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