“Eclectic yet classic with a playful bohemian twist is how I would describe my style” – Alice Temperley
I will borrow Alice’s quote posted above to kick off this little write up. It’s five o’clock in the morning and I’ve been awake since 4:30. It is not uncommon for me to wake up once or twice a night but that is generally to deal with one of those aging things (increased nightly urination bouts) or to reposition from an uncomfortable position. However I generally get back to sleep quickly. I am not one to toss and turn for a long time before I get out of bed. I find it mentally frustrating and that is what was happening tonight.
The sky is still dark and one of the things about living 3500 feet above sea level is longer sun days. Usually, this time of year morning light comes early. However we are 6 weeks into the summer solstice and have begun the slow crawl towards the fall equinox so later sun rises can be expected. I’ve been up almost an hour and the blue is (actually a little grey) just starting to appear in the sky. May be an overcast day, I haven’t checked the weather yet.
Two potential culprits to be awake this early: 1. my chronophysiology needs adjusting or 2. the tautness of my shoulders are at a level of discomfort that is counterproductive to restful sleep. Years ago, when I was doing some sleep therapy, I often had to explain chronophysiology to my patients and how it impacted their circadian rhythm.
This changes as we age and often we have to adjust our body clock. It’s like a personal leap year, adding an extra day to realign time. Very few people function on the traditional 24 hour clock we are so use to. Some are on an 18 or 20 hour system, others a 22 hour system but very few people actually have a body clock that matches up to our traditional concept of a 24 hour day. Every now and then we have to reset that clock which may mean a change in sleeping patterns for a night or two. Just a scientific tidbit however I don’t want to bore you with science so lets to get to the meat of my early morning tirade. It is now 6AM and the sky is bright enough that I could probably turn off my computer desk lamp if I wanted but I might still stumble on the keyboard so I’ll keep it on.
The second options is my shoulders. The rotator cuffs in my shoulders are so shredded from years of misuse that I almost have Popeye arms. I have tendons that are bunched up more around my elbows and forearms than my shoulders. I notice this more when I have a lot of running around to do and have to transfer my wheelchair in and out of my car repeatedly. The video below should help you understand what I mean by transferring my wheelchair into my car and the impact on, primarily, my left shoulder.
The parents of a 19 year old wheelchair user had asked me if I could teach their son how to go about learning techniques so he could get his drivers licence (another small thing, try and find a driving program that has hand-controlled cars). So I had a friend help me make a short YouTube video on one way to load your chair into your car (I don’t use a transfer board). The more things we learn to do for ourselves the less dependent we are on others. However the more transfers I make into my car the more my shoulder reacts. That is the one this morning with shoulders/arms very taunt and feeling like what I imagine an out of tune piano chord would feel like. Continue reading