I had a miserable night last night. The air conditioner was on, which made my room cold enough for my liking, and I fell asleep fast enough, but I woke up over and over again and when I finally woke up for good, it was in full-panic mode.
I just cut down to the lowest dose of Klonopin before I go off of it, and I think this may have something to do with it. I hope it's just my body adjusting to the removal of the nightly medication or perhaps a mild form of the DTs. That, I could handle. Going back to nightly wakeups every twenty minutes or so would drive me insane.
I'm going to give it another few nights, but if it doesn't get better, I'm going to have to call Dr. B. and ask what I should do. I don't want to be on Klonopin for the rest of my life, and I know it's physically addictive, so he may tell me to sweat it out or use the other medication to sleep for a couple of nights. I really don't know right now.
Or it all could just be a stressful night. I don't know what I have to stress about right now, but the mind is a very odd mechanism; it kind of does what it wants.
At least, that's the way it's always worked for me.
Today, Chris and I (mostly Chris) finished opening the pool. We needed shock and possibly some other chemicals to make sure the water was conditioned right. I went to the pool store on Route 1, which always has good prices and the staff doesn't pressure you to purchase what you don't need.
Unfortunately, everybody in North Suburban Boston with a pool seemed to want to open today, because there was a line of cars leading to the parking lot of the pool store. I drove by it and counted at least 20 cars in a row, and their parking lot is fairly large, so I decided to go to the pool store in town, which isn't any pricier but is staffed with people who are urged to upsell and try to get every customer on their non-chlorine system of water purification. (We're an HTH family. Chlorine works great, and everybody with a pool I've ever known that uses a non-chlorine product seems to have some sort of algae problem at least four or five times a summer...your experience may differ.)
I went in with my water sample and saw there was a line of about seven people ahead of me. Better than waiting for 20 cars to park and gods know how many people in line for a water test, but I decided to take a different tactic. When Dad opened the pool, he'd throw in a bunch of shock and algaecide and then see if anything else needed doing.
I pulled aside one of the younger salesclerks and asked him if it was necessary for me to get the water tested right now, since the pool was less than half full and we were basically filling it with tapwater. He got this conspiratorial look on his face and said, "Just put in shock and maybe some algae killer and then test it in three days."
I brought four pounds of shock and a bottle of algaecide to the counter, where the manager asked me if I needed anything else. I said no, and he said that I should really buy a "season's worth" of shock. I asked him what he meant, and he said that pools needed to be shocked every other week. I told him that was news to me, and I've had a pool for over twenty years. He asked (of course) what product I used for my pool, and I said, "good old chlorine," with a big smile.
He didn't try to sell me the ninety-step system; just rang me up. I'm sure that he thinks I'm a fool, but I've never heard of anyone dying of pool chlorine overexposure (my grandmother used to throw in chlorine while we were swimming...if she hadn't passed on, I couldn't tell half the things my grandmother did, because she'd be hauled away by social services), and we've had a sparkling-clean pool every season so far.
I did damned little with what seemed a good portion of the day. Mom was at Heather's baby shower in Maine and it was really hot, so I stayed inside, away from the sun.
Around 4:30, I decided that it was late enough to go for a bike ride without risking my delicate skin (I did apply sunscreen, just in case). I pulled on my bike shorts and another long t-shirt (I dress like George Michael in his Wham! days, with the big t-shirts) and headed out the door for a pleasant Sunday ride.
For some insane reason (lack of medication?), I decided to see if I could find a back way to work that also had minimal traffic. I managed the direct part, but the traffic on Sunday is much, much less than it is on weekdays, so I probably won't be biking to work anytime soon.
The other reason I won't be biking to work anytime soon is that, despite the illusion I've created for myself that I'm somehow "in shape" with all the running, I'm a wuss on the bike. Every hill seemed to get taller and longer whenever I pedaled up, and switching gears only seemed to make the pain extend, since I had to pedal twice as much to get where I needed to go.
I'm sure it'll come with time. I need to get used to biking on the road, since the stationary bike isn't much of a problem for me. I should also set reasonable goals, instead of deciding that I'll ride 22 miles (11 miles to work and 11 miles back) during the hottest day of the year so far.
I made it, but I must have looked like death warmed over when I got home, because Mom (back from the shower) said that I must have pedaled to New Hampshire. I told her that probably would have been easier than Cambridge.
I was under the impression that Massachusetts is mostly flat. I was wrong. I need to find a good bike path. I know there's one in the Lexington area; when I told Laurie that, I said, "I just have to find a way of getting there."
"Drive your bike to the path," she said.
The thought never occured to me. Yes, I've seen cars with bike racks, even carrying bikes, but those are reserved for "cyclists," and not sweaty, big t-shirt-wearing out of shape dopes like me.
Still, it makes sense. Next weekend, I'll find out where the path leads, how long it is, all that stuff. Until then, I'll stick to the roads I know won't turn me into mush.
Mush in bicycle pants.
After many, many glasses of water and a shower, I dragged the bathroom scale out and weighed myself.
That means I've lost 10 pounds in about 3 weeks, which is kind of fast, but not so fast that I'm worried about it. Usually the first few weeks of any diet work pretty well for me; it's the pesky maintenance that gets to me.
Still, I was happy to see it. I'll have to re-check the gym scale tomorrow, but the two have been pretty consistent so far. If I keep up like this, I should be at or below 200 pounds by the time I hit the train for Texas.
I have no earthly idea how I'll keep up with my "fitness regimen" (such as it is) while I'm on vacation. I can't really imagine running in Austin or Cancun in the middle of June, and I'm sure as hell not going to avoid good Texas or Mexican food for the week. I guess as long as I don't gain anything (or anything much), I'll be happy.
Of course, that assumes I won't wig out and start drinking fully-sugared soda and eating Moon Pies every day from now until then. I've been known to do that, too.
Laurie and I went to Chili's for dinner. I was "bad" and got the steak, but I ordered rice and broccoli with it, so it wasn't a terrible meal. Besides, I only ate about half of it. Laurie joked that my stomach is shrinking already. I told her I had fashioned myself one of those gastric "lap bands" out of an inflatable pool toy.
We had the perkiest and most inefficient waiter ever to wait tables. He had those ear-discs that make me feel like someone's grandfather ("You're going to regret those stretched-out earlobes when you're fifty!" I want to scream at people who wear them in the same tone of voice as an old man yelling, "Get off my lawn, punks!") and a tight black t-shirt that all the waiters are apparently made to wear.
He managed to forget our salads, charge us double for our sodas, and lose Laurie's credit card. Chipper through it all, though. He finally did recover the credit card and we got out of there, but he was so slow in a fast sort of way that when Laurie said, "What do you want to do with the rest of the evening?" I answered with, "Hanging out at Chili's, apparently."
We left, deciding to go to Laurie's house and watch the season finale of Lost (recorded, of course). Laurie called her Mom to give her a heads-up that we were coming, and her Mom asked Laurie to buy her some soft-serve ice cream from a shop in Saugus.
Evil. Pure evil. I was so good all day today, even at Chili's, and Laurie's Mom has to send us to a place where resistance is futile, calorie-wise. I got a frappe, because somehow it seems that all that ice cream should have fewer calories if it's liquified.
We were there for awhile, since it was busy. If Chili's made all their male waitstaff wear too-tight t-shirts, this little ice cream shop apparently made all the female staff wear shorts that were much too low-riding for anyone but Demi Moore to wear.
It's great being an 18-year-old girl and all, I'm sure, but if you wear your shorts below your hips, then it looks like you have big fat hips, no matter how in-shape you are. Now, maybe that's the fashion, and we're just behind the times. Perhaps high-school boys are all, "Baby's got hips!" but I don't think so. I think these young women thought they'd show off their abs, and this was the best way to do it.
Mostly it was fascinating to see how they all managed to get around without their shorts falling off. None of the guys behind the counter seemed interested at all in any of the girls. As we left the shop, I said to Laurie, "I think the dress code has turned all the boys gay."
What do I know? They're probably so stunned at the gorgeous hips of their co-workers to say anything flirty.
All the girls wore flip-flops, though, which, no matter what you're wearing on (or below) your hips, is just plain wrong in an ice cream shop. Besides the close-to-naked-footed health risks, they must go home and have to immediately soak their feet in hot water to get the drippy ice cream off. When I worked at Friendly's, I was followed home each night by a group of cats who would be attracted by the ice cream that had dripped onto my shoes. Flip-flops would have turned that scenario into something out of a horror movie.
Maybe my bad night of sleep wasn't caused by a change in medication, maybe I was just transforming into an old man. I got crotchety about buying the newfangled pool products, extremely tired by a bike ride, annoyed at a perky waiter and criticized the fashion of "kids today."
40 may be the new 30, but I think 36 might very well be the new 70. At least today.