Hi again, DB. I waited to respond to your post until I got back from my gyno appointment so I could ask him about that. He says Evista has no effect either way on fibrocystic breasts.
When I do the self examine, I always find at least 5 lumps
For what it's worth, I never even had a lump. My tumor was caught as microcalcifications on a routine mammogram. I can only imagine how it would feel--emotionally--to discover an actual lump! I would definitely freak out.
I don't have any 1st generation of relatives with breast cancer (sisters, mom) just aunts, and uncles on all the other types of cancer.
Neither do I. I don't have many female relatives (no sisters, and only one aunt, who died of pancreatic cancer) but the closest one to have had breast cancer is my great aunt, and she was in her sixties when she got it. I was 44. However, I think my extended use of birth control pills was a contributing factor.
DesertBloom and others- Just wanted to start off with saying how much I love this board. Everyone chimes in with their experience and knowledge in an effort to help.
About the Simply Sleep - my experience was that while for an OTC it did work for awhile , it wasn't a real solution to my long standing problem. And, for those with long standing sleep issues- these quick fixes do turn into problems because of the psychological dependency that is inevitable. I don't think there is a quick fix.I think we "learn insomnia" and then we have to re-learn the process of falling asleep. Which is I think aptly called "falling" asleep because of that letting go process that has to happen. To me it's that loosening up on the daily mind set, and body set, and slipping into some other zone. And, it is very tricky-too much effort, anxiety , and it doesn't work. And, for me I had to approach this letting go zone not just in bed at night- but also during the day by taking one or two breaks , laying down and doing a relaxation technique to let go. I like progressive relaxation -starting with tensing muscles at the feet first, then calves, then thighs, then butt, then chest , then shoulders pinched together, then shoulders up to ears, then face scrunched. The method I use involves tensing- so laying down tip your toes towards your head and do 5 slow deep breaths, on the last out breath release the tension, then do 5 slow deep breaths without tensing anything , then repeat with the toes toward head and do the 5 slow breaths again while tensing, do the release, do 5 slow deep breaths without tensing and then move to your next section. I just work my way up to my head and start again. I do this for awhile till I either fall asleep or feel pretty relaxed. DesertBloom I hope that maybe you could just give this a chance- I know that you mentioned that you had tried some techniques before- but maybe not this one or maybe this time could be different and help. Even in the presence of pain this could be helpful I would think.
Hi Osteo: Thanks for the ideas... I definitely feel that I have a problem with relaxation, and letting go!!! My personality is such that I feel like I have to be doing something all the time or I go nuts. So this idea of yours is probably the key to my problem. Have you ever tried the white noise therapies? I haven't tried those but have often wondered if it would help.
We have neighbors with barking dogs that drive me nuts, and the slightest noise will wake me up, so that's why I thought of the white noise machine, but found them to be quite pricey.
I'll give your idea a shot and let you know how it works. I have tried this in the past, but I don't remember if it worked, I probably didn't give it a chance I need more patience and the ability to let go of "control" if you know what I mean??? Do you know of any good meditation tapes. I've seen some that look okay, but I don't know enough about that be able to rate the person doing it.
Last edited by DesertBloom; 01-22-2008 at 02:33 PM.
Hi DesertBloom; I'm a little late in responding but I tried something and I think it might help you too. For years, I would wake up between 3-4AM and not get back to sleep until around 5:30 (which is a problem if the alarm goes off at 6:30). Then it worsened so I had the above plus it was taking an hour to fall asleep. I saw a sleep specialist who ruled out apnea and gave me a prescription-which allowed me 5 solid hours but left me groggy and with a bad taste. I went on the sleep boards here but they didn't give me the time of day. Like you, I'm a very light sleeper.
Finally, I found a product in a health food store, made in VT by New Chapter; it's called Tranquilnite Plus. All herbal; you can take 1-3 capsules depending on your needs. I figured I needed at least a month of it every night just to re-establish a sleep schedule that had been screwed up for years. During this entire time, my husband was kind enough to use the guest bedroom so I didn't have any tossing/turning/snoring to interfere with my efforts. And guess what? For the first time in years, I'm averaging 7 hours a night and I actually feel rested and refreshed in the AM.
As for the night sweats etc. for some reason mine were over with in a matter of months. Don't know how I got lucky on that one; maybe the weekly acupuncture??
DesertBloom-I have tried a number of meditation cds. And , for me dealing with this past yr. or so it is the Martin Rossman MD-Anxiety Relief that worked very well. It is actually guided imagery exercises rather than meditation ,there are 3 different approx 20 minute sessions. The cd definetely involves the "letting go " aspect. I also have the Self -Healing With Guided Imagery - by Martin Rossman &Andrew Weil. For me somehow the Anxiety Relief was better. The two are so very similar though . If your library has either maybe you could try them first.I am convinced that this letting go thing is really at the heart of the matter.And, interesting that you think so too. Yet, knowing that letting go is key doesn't solve the problem. It's something you need to let yourself do by getting yourself to the place where it can happen. So for me the cd helped to take me to that place . And, the progressive muscular relaxation with slow , deep breathing-I hope I didn't make it sound too formal or rigid-just tailor it to suit yourself. Then it is yours. But, like watering a plant you love or taking care of your cat or dog, you need to take the time to do this stuff.And try not to just do it at night , give yourself a deep relax moment during the day too. Everybody will probably find something that just clicks for them. I have met several times with the woman who is going to teach the Kabat Zinn- Wellness class and this is what she says. For her, she took to meditation "like a duck to water" just following her breathing. For me there is something claustrophobic and even anxiety provoking about just noticing the breath in/ then out. But, I also think that what works now for me may not be what works at another time. So, she recommends people experiment with- progressive relaxation, guided imagery and visualization, and meditation on the breath-or on a phrase of your choosing tied in with the in breath and the out breath. Her name is Carolyn McManus and you can find three or four of her cds on line.Some of them have harp music accompanying her voice. I think she is wonderful and her cds very helpful. I like the Progressive Relaxation and Autogenic Training best but personally I wish the harp music wasn't there.She said some people love it, and some want no music. But for learning a technique the cd was helpful . I still go back to the Rossman cd alot and never seem to tire of that. His voice is hypnotic to me. Sometimes when I am in bed first and use the cd, and then my dh gets in bed and we talk- I have to tell him slow down , speak quieter , because the cd just gets me into a different time/space.And, my husband is a quiet , gentle person so it is odd . If it would help at all, I can tell you a little more about the Rossman cd- the first session involves quieting your body, and mind then he asks you to go to your special place and so you follow his voice and develop/imagine/go to that special place that is a comfort to you and you make it real to all your senses. And, of course you can always change what is your special place or have several regular special places-it is up to you. The second session involves a dialogue with your inner(wisdom) advisor-this is the one that I most love. The third is called evocative imagery and you identify and strengthen qualities you feel that you need more of to deal with things that provoke or stimulate your anxiety.I have tried a number of other cd's to meditate /relax. If you find something your thinking of , I might have heard it and can give you my opinion. Some seem very hackish ,even grating and unprofessional. Dr. Rossman and Carolyn know what they are doing . Carolyn said her best seller is the Progressive Relaxation at Amazon. She thinks most people take to this well. I have seen that Dr. Rossman has other Cd's -including one for sleep and for pre-surgery or pre cancer treatment. I am sure the sleep one would be great , but I didn't see it when I first bought the cd's and the Anxiety Relief has hit the spot. But, I would think the sleep one would be great- I just had a hard time finding it after having seen it once.
I have a white noise machine that I purchased about 18 yrs. ago from sharper image. It didn't cost much thenI do leave it on a very low level. We have a real quiet home situation now so I don't need to block anthing , I think I am just used to it now. I previously needed it to block out other sounds which it does pretty well. So you may find the masking aspect helpful with the neighbors dog-that is so annoying . I don't think that a white noise machine alone can solve a long standing sleep problem though it is just a small help in my experience to mask noises. It is somewhat similar to just using a fan in the room to block external noises. Although a fan with the air blowing is not always needed/wanted. But the effect is similar. It is not a magic solution to the issue .
This has gotten quite long but if it helps you in anyway then I am glad. Take care.
Starfish-I had to laugh when I read your comment about the sleep board . Really there are no other boards that compare to our osteo board!! Also your sleep experience was interesting! Glad to hear you re-established your normal sleep pattern- have you let your husband back in the bedroom and if so , are you still sleeping ok?
Only me again, montesflus, just to bore you a little more
Remember I suggested a cup of warm milk at bedtime, in an earlier post? What you could also do when you go to bed is put one of those eye-masks over your eyes (you know, the kind they give you on long-haul airplane flights). Then, turn on your radio real low to one of those talk radio programmes. The sound of one of those boring voices droning on and on used to kind of send me into a weird sort of hypnotic state, eventually making me fall asleep I don't have a prob sleeping now, but I still do leave the radio on very low - almost a murmer - and I just drop off!!
Another thing you could try, too, is read a book. This sometimes has the effect of making one's eyelids just kind of drop
Osteoblast-no I haven't let him back yet; actually, I think he likes the current arrangement because when I'm well-rested I'm not near as crabby to deal with! Good thing we have a solid marriage eh?
Desertbloom-you know what the sleep specialist told me?(I never followed the advice, but here's what he told me to do): he said "Calculate the total amount of sleep you're getting (which for me was about 5 hours). Then determine what time you're going to get up. Then subtract one from the other (for example, 5 hours sleep with a wake-up time of 6:30 equals 1:30AM). Then, force yourself to stay awake until 1:30AM, go to bed then and get up at 6:30 no matter how tired you are. When you can stay asleep the whole 5 hours (or whatever you decide), you can add 1/2 hour to your sleep time i.e. you can go to bed at 1AM. Then, when you stay asleep for that 5 1/2 hours, add another 1/2 hour. And so on, until you can sleep 7-8 hours straight."
This is what I posted on the sleep board, and like I said they didn't give me the time of day. We osteo board contributors are truly the best !
Montesflus-I too have done the radio trick on occassion.I think it's the letting go thing again- letting go of your thoughts and going with the flow of the radio program. It's like falling asleep watching tv-generally pretty easy but then you get up and try to go to sleep in bed and not so easy sometimes with a racing mind. When I listen to the radio in bed I use a small walkman radio with head phones so I don't disturb my husband.
Last edited by osteoblast; 01-22-2008 at 08:13 PM.
Starfish- So, you have given him the boot and he ran with it. That seemed to work out ok, I guess. You may however be setting a "new normal " where you may have trouble sleeping together again. Just something to think about. You are so right about cooperative sweet husbands! Thank heavens there are a few out there.I wondered why you didn't try the sleep specialists advice??
DesertBloom- About this technique that starfish was advised to do--this is exactly what my husband read about recently with one minor modification and that was to advance in 15 minute increments rather than 1/2. It sounds like a good technique actually, and one I wish I had known about back when my sleep issues were really bad. Maybe you could try this. Good luck and sweet dreams tonight!
Last edited by osteoblast; 01-22-2008 at 08:36 PM.
Hi Monte: It's interesting you mentioned the eye masks, since I've been using one of those for years. They do really help since we only have shear curtains in our room. I use the type that has a magnets in it, because it's suppose to help open your nasal passage-don't know if it really does though. I've been wondering if the magnets could have a negative effect on your eyes because I've developed some new probs with my on going eye probs. I have a lot of trouble sleeping because I can't breathe through my nose so I've started using a netti pot, and believe it or not it is really helping all the congestion, you just have to get used to putting water/saline up your nose till it runs out the other nostril-but it really isn't bad and it's helping so much that I don't have to breathe out of my mouth, which I've been doing for years-NOT FUN.
I haven't tried the radio, but I do find that some t.v. will makes me fall asleep, it just depends on how "boring" the show is. And you hit the nail on the head I definitely have a racing mind, which always hits at bed time. To counteract that I try praying, doing yoga breathing or reading and that sometimes helps.
Starfish: I'm also going to try your suggestion since it was the exact same thing I learned in college psychology to regulate your circadian rythms.
Osteo: I'm going to look for the tapes/dvds you suggested since I have gift cards, at various stores for Christmas presents which I haven't used yet. I really want to find a dvd that I can pop in and follow just before going to sleep like I used to do with my Rodney Yee PM yoga routine which I really miss
One last thing is you aren't suppose to use your computer within 2-3 hours of bedtime, and right now I breaking that rule and do it all the time. It has something to do with the energy that's emitted from the screen and the fact that you don't blink much while reading the screen, which is a factor in my new and fun eye disorder, that really hurts
If I left anyone out on their suggestions, don't worry I'm trying them ALL!!!!
Thanks everyone you're all just GREAT!!!!
Angels describe all of you. Aren't I really lucky to have all of you?
Last edited by DesertBloom; 01-22-2008 at 08:55 PM.
DesertBloom-this morning I did some research and found an excellent source of information that you may find helpful at University of Maryland Medical Center (all you need to enter is UMM) and sleep disorders. So it was "umm" "sleep disorders" . There is a discussion there about sleep hygeine, relaxation techniques, and treatment. I am sure you have already thought of this but are there any meds that you are on that could be contributing to your sleeplessness? Also, they did note how important it is that the room is dark. I know you said you are using a sleep mask. We made our bedroom super dark with black out curtains. They are just very heavy white cloth that you can get at a home store like Bed Bath and Beyond. They are not attractive curtains , you would put them behind your regular curtains or behind blinds. Also I have seen the black out fabric at fabric stores, so it can be sewn as a lining behind curtains.
I also have trouble breathing at night, due to having a deviated septum, so I use the nasal strips. I don't care if I DO look like a football player, it makes a HUGE difference for me! I use the ones for sensitive skin, which are a little easier to peel off. I started wearing them after complaining about the dark circles under my eyes to an aesthetician who was giving me a facial. I always have dark circles, even when I sleep well! She said it was because my sinuses weren't working properly. That's when the light bulb went off in my head. It is such a relief, to be able to breathe through both nostrils. I wish I could wear one all day!
My husband, who has chronic sinus headaches, does Jala Neti every evening on the advice of his ENT. The doctor calls it "nasal irrigation".
I don't wear an eye mask to bed because our bedroom is quite dark but I do wear ear plugs and they also help. So does my husband, because we both snore. Well, since I started wearing the nasal strips, I don't know if I still snore, but we're both used to wearing them now and believe we sleep more soundly (or should that be soundLESSly). BTW, we can still hear the smoke alarm quite well. That's something we were concerned about at first, but believe me, the alarm gets right through to our eardrums!
Hi Aleta: I've never tried the nasal strips, but I'm going to know. No one ever told me that the dark circles under my eyes were from nasal congestion, but I knew that it was, I also had surgery for a deviated septum, but it didn't solve this problem of not bein able to breathe.
The jala neti must be the same thing I'm doing. Does your husband pour water and saline into his nostril? That's what a netti pot does. Your pour it up one nostril while you head is tipped to the side and it comes out the other nostril. I know this sounds weird, but it does help, it just doesn't completely open my nasal passage. My husband is gross and calls the netti pot, nasal douche-disgusting.
My mom had the same problem with polyps, and she had the dark circles, but not as bad as mine. It's so embarrassing
Thanks for asking your Dr about the fibrocystic question, I still don't know what med I'll switch to after forteo, but I like the idea of Evista the best. I wish there were other choices out there, because I don't really want to do the iv bisphos, but they say it causes less gi probs.
I'll let you know how the strips go, it sure would be nice to breathe at night. I tried many different ear plugs to block out our neighbors dog, but I couldn't get any of them to stay in, they would pop out when I move. I'm really learning a lot from this thread the good advice just keep going...
Last edited by DesertBloom; 01-23-2008 at 01:48 PM.
Hi Osteo: I'm sure there's probably something I'm taking that causes sleeplessness, but according to the dr she doesn't see anything that would cause it on my list of meds. I can't blame it on forteo since I've had this problem all my life. I still think it's the relaxation thing. I tried the muscle tensing last night, and I did fall asleep pretty fast. I'm still sleeping through the night, but I thought it was having the hormones still in my body.
I also took B complex (sublingually) last night and right after I did that my husband said, what did you take that for it's going to keep you up. He claims you can only take B in the morning, and I say that if B works on your nerves, why wouldn't it relax them???? Anyway I'm still sleeping for now and won't worry about it until the hormones are gone completely and/or if the problem returns.
I'll read the article you mentioned to see what they have to say about all this. I was looking at the sleep board and they have some good suggestions on a "sticky" over there. Both my brothers have sleep apnea, but my prob is completely different. Also both of them are easy sleepers. When my youngest brother goes to the dentist he jokes that he always falls asleep as soon as his head hits the back of the chair and they literally have to wake him after the procedure-he's probably exagerating but I know he can fall asleep ANYWHERE.
Boy I could write a book with all these good ideas
Last edited by DesertBloom; 01-23-2008 at 01:47 PM.