Hibernation and Hydration
The worst night of my life ensues:
It's 2 o'clock in the morning; in 7 hours I have a huge meeting with a potential customer to lock down almost $10,000 in business. I can't miss it. I also can't seem to get any sleep because of this cramp in my shoulder.
What is going on?
We have all experienced this before, a cramp in the middle of the night. So I roll over to my opposite side and try to fall back asleep. It surely will go away soon enough and I'm foggy enough to fall back asleep almost immediately. But for some reason rolling over isn't working. My shoulder is killing me and I HAVE to get some sleep. After enough time passes I'm now forced to exit my foggy state and actually wake up enough to find a solution to this annoying cramp. So I sit up in my bed, and immediately collapse to the ground. Immediate and extreme pain shoots into my shoulder. What I quickly realize is that this is much worse than just a cramp. My shoulder is out of socket.
What can I do?
It takes me almost 5 minutes to maneuver myself back up and onto my bed. Ok breathe, no problem, you have popped this back into socket before by yourself, you can do it again. In fact, other than the first time that it came out, I've been able to pop it back into socket by myself every time. So now I just have to execute this again but in the middle of the night. I mean, how did this even come out of socket while I was sleeping in the first place?!?!
I give it my best attempt. No dice. My shoulder is still out and now I'm in even more pain. Attempt #2, failure again. Ok now this is getting really painful. But this problem isn’t going to fix itself so I muster up enough willpower to try one more time. Attempt #3 and this is my last. Another fail and I'm lucky to even maintain consciousness. The pain that I caused myself almost made me pass out. Putting this back into socket myself obviously isn't happening, and the pain is only getting worse.
Who can I call?
This isn't the first time this has come out so I’m doing everything possible to avoid calling 911, they are expensive. But it is 2 o’clock in the morning so they might be my only option. I try to call my mom (to her detriment she's the first person that I call in a time of crisis) and this qualifies, however no answer. The pain continues to increase. The only clothes that I'm even wearing are my boxers. This is bad. Do I call 911? My sister is upstairs, I will try her and if she doesn't pick up 911 is my next dial.
By now it's 2:30 am and I know that my sister has to work early the next morning. For whatever reason, when I called she actually heard her phone ringing (that never happens), it woke her up, and she came to the rescue. This may have been the biggest miracle in my entire story. My sister never answers her phone the first time that you call. Anyway, she needed 10 minutes to get dressed and come downstairs.
How do I get dressed?
A pair of pants I somehow manage. (Desperation can drive us to do amazing things.) The shirt however isn’t quite as easy. In fact, it proves to be impossible. All that I am able to manage is a sweatshirt thrown over my back. Give me a break; I'm in extreme pain because for 30 minutes now my shoulder has been hanging out of socket. Oh and I tried 3 times to put it back in myself with no avail.
So the shirt didn't happen but I did manage a pair of pants and some Sperry’s. I make it into my sister’s car with her and her fiancé, now on the way to the hospital at 2:45am. After what seemed like an old wooden roller coaster ride over the terrible roads of my community, we finally arrive to the hospital at 3am. Every bump that we hit only made the pain worse.
This is when everything is supposed to get fixed and the doctor happily sends me on my way. Nope. Remember that I arrived to the hospital at 3:00am? I'm not kidding you; it was after 5:00am that my shoulder was finally put back into socket. I could write a whole article about the broken hospital system.
As members of my poor family members occasionally arrived to the hospital throughout the course of the 3 hours that I spent there, I forced them to rotate shifts propping my shoulder up in an effort to relieve the pain. My sister’s boyfriend (new to the family at the time) failed to maintain the proper angle and thus was on the other end of a harsh verbal abusing. A 3 year old child could have beat me up in that moment. But it took over 2 hours to put back into socket?!? Really?! And I have a huge appointment at 9am!!
After a scene that I'm sure looked like the exorcism of Emily Rose, my shoulder was finally back into socket and home I went, over 3 hours after my shoulder first came out of socket. Oh and just a side note, I made that 9am meeting and locked down the sale. So maybe it wasn't the worst night of my life?
Fast forward to a couple years later now. I’m now having trouble sleeping on a regular basis, because of my shoulder. Don't they always say? “You don't know how good something is until you lose it?” Well now I’m losing sleep and now I’m realizing how important it really is.
So I’m having trouble getting a full night’s sleep and I’m starting to feel the effects on my performance during the day. And it reminds me of another basic, simple and easy area of my life that always needs well maintained, and that is hydration. If you can maintain these two amazingly simple areas of your life, it will lead to a much better version of yourself.
Now you know why I can't get good night sleep, but let me explain the importance of it. Not having a full nights rest is similar to being slightly drunk the next day. From my experience, when I don't get a good night’s rest, I’m not the same person the next day. My mind just isn't quite as clear, similar to when I’m in an alcohol buzzed state of mind. I may THINK that my decisions are just as effective as when I'm fully rested (or sober), but from my experience, they simply aren't.
If I am tired, I'm not able to accomplish as much as when I'm rested. Sleep is essential. Being fully rested is just as important as being sober in the workplace. I'm not kidding. A tired version of yourself is a dysfunctional version of yourself, and a dysfunctional version of yourself is the same person you are when you're drunk. You think that you are just as effective, but you aren't even close. Your sleep controls your mood, which controls your attitude towards others. And if you don’t think that your attitude towards others matters, think again. It all starts with sleep.
Along with a great nights rest, comes being properly hydrated. And coincidentally enough I can use the same drinking example to parallel the significance of staying hydrated.
The best hangover advice that I could ever offer is to chug a bottle of water right before you go to bed the night of drinking. My brother taught me this trick a few years ago and it never fails. A hangover is nothing more than your body being dehydrated. And being dehydrated also affects your daily performance and mood.
Think about it like this; the worst hangover that you have ever had is ‘100’ and when you are completely sober is ‘0’; Without drinking any alcohol at all, but being very dehydrated, is like being somewhere between a 30-40 on that scale. You aren't drunk but you aren't effective either. The problem about being dehydrated versus being drunk is that you don't even realize how ineffective you actually are when you are dehydrated. At least when you're drunk you know it!
Try to translate the feeling in your body when you become dehydrated into your brain. That’s essentially what happens without you even realizing it. You are depriving your brain of the proper hydration which renders your mind ineffective, just like when you can’t run anymore because your body is so dehydrated and thirsty.
I’ve found that staying properly hydrated and getting enough sleep on a consistent basis are critical components to leading a successful lifestyle. If you are constantly tired and dehydrated then you’re fighting an uphill battle and making life harder than it needs to be. Create the best possible version of yourself to take on all of the difficult challenges in the world. It’s hard enough to be successful, don’t make it even harder by depriving yourself of the best version of you. It’s like the Snicker’s commercials, “You're not you when you're hungry. Snickers satisfies," except with sleep and water. Make sense?