Aberrant Crochet’s Gratitude Challenge – Day 2…

In keeping with my 5 day Gratitude Challenge, I’m to pick 3 things that I’m grateful for every day.  At the end of my 5 day challenge, I then pick 3 other people to take the challenge and keep the gratitude flowing.

I could keep this simple.  Just bullet point it, leave it at that and bam – I’m outta here.

But I’m not likely to.

It’s hard for me to see the worth in the time.  Because to be grateful, you’re supposed to spend a little time on that feeling, right?  Marinate a bit, let it sink in, and maybe let it transform your attitude a little.  And also because I’m starved for writing for the love of it.  (Someone please just hire me to write interest pieces like this all day long.)

Well, so here goes….

Today – after 19 hours of errands and work yesterday – I have some very specific things in mind to be thankful for.

1. Sleep Number Bed – I love you. 

Aberrant Crochet - I have a date tonight with my bed - Gratitude for Sleep

Truly.  Hook, line and sinker.  I wish there was a perk for me to write about this, because I’d absolutely take a new pillow top.  Hell yes.  But there’s not and the fact remains, I can sleep thanks to you and I’m grateful.

Back in 2005 I was in a terrible highway collision.  One of those events you aren’t supposed to walk away from and yet somehow you do.  I was on a road trip to see my grandparents.  Thank God I decided at the last minute to leave the kids home with my husband, because the entire backside of my car was destroyed.   Within two hours of being hit by a construction/demolition truck, with a demolition hitch on the front (which looks like the front of a snow plow), I was completely numb on my left side.  You never realize what a gift being able to have sensation in your hand is, until you don’t have it.  The truck was so big and so high up, it missed my bumper altogether.  It center punched and ran over the back-end of my car, slamming me into the guy ahead of me.  My air bag never deployed and my shoulder and neck sustained major injury.  And without a normal grate on the front of his truck, none of the energy was defrayed like it should have been.  It all channeled right through the center of my car to my body, which tried to fly out of my shoulder belt.

Two surgeons wanted me to have spinal surgery, but I’m allergic to a lot of the stuff used in the surgery, including most antibiotics.  One of my surgeons believed it was worth exploring other options.  So I spent over a year in physical therapy, chiropractic care and massage therapy just working to regain feeling and strength in my left arm and hand again.  I couldn’t crochet for months.  It hurt for my kids to lean on me, much less sit in my lap.  It sucked, in so very many ways.  Not to mention, my husband deployed for overseas duty right after it happened.  And I still have problems with my left shoulder and arm from it today.

But Sleep Number – you were there for me.  Towards the end of my therapy, I was blessed with a prescription for one of your beds.  I finally began to sleep, not just pass out.  And it still cradles me to sleep today.

2. Melatonin and the people who discovered you
– I salute you!

It’s probably because I’m exhausted, but I have to be grateful for the knowledge and availability of melatonin as an important factor in quality sleep.  Did you know that melatonin governs the quality of your sleep and has a relationship with serotonin?  That it may boost your immune system and help prevent/treat some cancers?  And that light destroys melatonin in your body, especially the blue spectrum of light?  Yeah.  All that late night computer work is not helpful.  So melatonin supplementation can be a very useful thing for someone like me.

You really need to be able to sleep at least 6 hours if you’re going to take melatonin though, because it helps you get into deep levels of sleep that you need time to wake from.  It’s not about making you sleep longer; it’s about regulating your cycle and getting to a deeper level of sleep, which is more effective than light sleep.  It also increases dreaming, especially if you haven’t dreamed (or recalled one) in awhile.

Melatonin supplementation is a modern convenience I am very grateful for.  And those people who study that stuff – you rock!

3. F.Lux – You are amazing!

F.lux™ is a computer app that helps your computer screen simulate sunlight according to the time of day, removing the blue spectrum for a warmer glow at night.  It gradually fades the light into a more relaxing warm tone and it definitely makes it easier for me to disconnect from my work and sleep better when I use the app.  It also has an option to delay its launch, say when you have graphic work to do, etc.. But it’s a great little tool, a free one at that and I’m grateful for it.  Again, I’m not gaining anything by telling you about this little invention, but I appreciate that someone thought it up!  Thank you! 🙂 

Oh, and F.Luxalso has a nice little page full of research articles about light and sleep here.  You should totally check it out.  I only just noticed it when I was grabbing links for this article, so I’m just looking through it too.  Sweet!

Sensing a theme here? 

Yeah, 4.5 hours of sleep last night is kind of on my mind.  (But hey, not only is the project done, but I rocked it.) And while in a perfect world I’d be sleeping 9 hours every day, these guys above help me along when I can’t.  What would I do without you?

So thanks Mr. Sleep Number Melatonin F.lux™ guy. I salute you!

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:

Regulating Your Sleep Cycle

Aberrant Crochet’s Gratitude Challenge



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5 responses to “Aberrant Crochet’s Gratitude Challenge – Day 2…

  1. Gina

    Great information here, Julia. I was working in a health food/natural products store when Melatonin came out in the 1990’s. We were swamped at times.
    Insomnia is a terrible thing for some people. The light app sounds interesting. And I am one of those people who are allergic to so many drugs including narcotics and antibiotics. Thanks for telling us about your experience. It’s often hard to find a doctor who will work with us. Acupuncture is very helpful, too, in case you ever want to try that. Boy, am I grateful for my acupuncturist!


  2. Thanks Gina,

    Actually acupuncture is one of those things I do want to try and haven’t. Very much want to try. I get it on the allergies though. I’m also allergic to narcotics and other drugs. When you hear of those oddball people who can die from almost any kind of medicine, and wonder if they exist, think of me. Maybe you too? Maybe we should be poster children together. We may not be the norm, but we do exist. I have found that younger doctors usually can’t appreciate it well enough. My doctor was so frustrated working with me. Standard treatments that most people can use can kill me. And I dutifully tried things my doctor thought best, but when the rash stage began he wouldn’t let me try further. “But I feel better, I’m willing to put up with the rash for a little while,” I told him once. Boy I got a lecture out of that.

  3. Gina

    Yup, I’m right up there with you on the “reactions to everything”. I don’t blame your doctor for not letting you stay on that drug if you got a rash. That’s a warning sign to them. My experience is that the age of a doctor wasn’t an indicator of if they’d listen. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. My worry now is that I’ve been reading that doctors are more pressed for time than ever and have shortened that common time frame of a 15 minute scheduled appointment to 10 minutes. It’s so not fair to them OR the patients.

    I have really been helped by acupuncture for over 15 years. I’d be happy to chat on the phone sometime if you’d like to get some detailed feedback. I also highly recommend trying Qi Gong practice (like Tai Chi but more “medical”). Use my email that goes with these posts and let me know.

    Syracuse, NY

  4. Pingback: Aberrant Crochet’s Gratitude Challenge – Day 3… more or less… | Aberrant Crochet (TM)

  5. Pingback: Aberrant Crochet’s Gratitude Challenge – Day 4… | Aberrant Crochet (TM)

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