Archive For The “SUNNY” Category

Review: GlassesShop

Review: GlassesShop

Review: GlassesShop.com by TheSunnyShadow.com >> Click to Read!


In exchange for my honest review, GlassesShop has compensated me with a pair of glasses. But you can benefit too! Purchase glasses online with GlassesShop and use the code GSHOT50 to receive 50% off on eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded)! Continue reading to learn more about my experience.


When this opportunity presented itself, it just so happened that I was overdue for an eye exam. I was also battling trigeminal neuralgia pain on a daily basis.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a condition that typically causes intense pain on one side of the face, and it has triggers. My biggest trigger is squinting. Bright light is my enemy! As are computer and T.V. screens. That is, when I don’t have the correct eyeglass prescription. Thank you GlassesShop!

VIRTUAL TRY-ON

I have to say, initially I was a little weary about ordering glasses online. I mean, it’s hard enough to pick-out glasses in person. But GlassesShop has a nifty Try-On tool that allows you to upload photos of yourself and try-on glasses virtually. However, it appears that they’ve simplified this tool since I’ve used it.

Review: GlassesShop by TheSunnyShadow.com

The virtual try-on tool allowed me to get a fairly good idea of what different glasses looked like on me. There was scale to consider. But since their website offers the dimensions of each pair of glasses, I simply got out my ruler and measured my previous pair of glasses to use as a comparison. There’s no way to be 100% sure, but this tool gave me a good idea of which style and fit of glasses looked the best on me. I suggest uploading a few different pictures of yourself to use with the GlassesShop virtual try-on tool.

This turned out to be a fun process. I involved my family. My daughter enjoyed helping me make my final selection.

FAVORITES

Something else that made my shopping experience easier was the ability to add glasses to “Favorites.” As I scrolled through the pages, I’d simply click the little heart to save a pair of glasses for later. I collected like seven pair before going back and virtually trying them all on.

DELIVERY

I was stunned by how fast my new glasses arrived! I prepared myself to wait a month but they arrived in less than two weeks! This may be due in part to my minimal prescription. According to their website, production and delivery times vary. 

GlassesShop_Review_Krista

RETURN POLICY

GlassesShop does have a return policy. I hope they reconsider it regularly as they grow. GlassesShop offers a one time, no questions asked refund within 14 days of you receiving your glasses. However, they also require a 50% restocking fee and shipping and handling is not refunded. Their policy is quite detailed. Find the full GlassesShop refund policy here.

IN CLOSING

Overall, I’m happy with my glasses and can see myself using GlassesShop for my family’s eyeglass needs in the future. I’m pleased with their aesthetics, delivery time, and my overall shopping experience. I also like the eyeglass case they arrived in and the fact that they came with a microfiber cleansing cloth.

I recommend GlassesShop. They’re well-priced. I believe you get more than what you pay for.


Remember, purchase your glasses online with GlassesShop and use the code GSHOT50 to receive 50% off on eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded)!


Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer

Bipolar Disorder and Menopause

Bipolar Disorder and Menopause

Bipolar Disorder & Menopause | TheSunnyShadow.com >> Click to Read!I recently had a birthday. A year from now I will be forty years old. Thankfully the prospect of aging doesn’t get me down. But unfortunately when you’re a woman, and especially if you’re a woman living with bipolar disorder, aging can impact your mood greatly. This is thanks to menopause.


“Times of increased reproductive hormonal changes, such as the menopausal transition (MT), are associated with greater mood symptom severity in bipolar spectrum women” – according to this 2015 study published in the International Journal of Bipolar Disorders.


And Dr. Jim Phelps shares that bipolar symptoms can worsen in the five years before the end of menstrual cycling, sometimes even ten years before. This period is generally referred to as perimenopause.

What Is Menopause & Perimenopause?

*More definitions at bottom*

A common misconception is that menopause itself is a process, it’s not. Rather, it “is reached at the point in time at which a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Therefore women have either reached this point (are post-menopausal) or have not (pre-menopausal). — However, the process of declining hormone levels prior to menopause has been referred to as perimenopause, or the menopausal transition (MT).”

The average age of menopause is 51 years, although this can vary widely.

Symptoms

Some bipolar and perimenopause symptoms overlap. An estimated 20% of women going through the menopausal transition (MT) experience depression. And insomnia, a hallmark symptom of perimenopause, is also a common symptom of hypomania, mania and bipolar depression. Other overlapping symptoms include anxiety, irritability, fatigue and cognitive complaints.

Yet other symptoms of perimenopause can be mistaken as side effects of bipolar medications. Such as reduced sex drive, hot flashes, night sweats, migraines, weight gain and even heart palpitations and dry hair.

More symptoms of perimenopause include irregular or heavy bleeding, worsening PMS, breast changes, thinning of the skin, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and urinary incontinence.


“Hot flashes and adverse mood tend to improve post-menopause. Whereas sleep complaints, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and cognitive complaints tend to persist or worsen in association with aging” – according to this 2015 manuscript published by Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America.


Solutions

MT treatment is a personal decision to be made between a woman and her health care provider. And just like with bipolar medications, it can be a trial and error process.

Hormone therapy may help, but there are many options available. Treatment plans are often multi-faceted.

Mood Disturbances

There are conflicting reports on whether depression risks are greater in early menopause or late menopause. But it appears clear that perimenopause poses a greater risk than premenopause or postmenopause.

Estrogen may help some women and can be used to combat such things as mood disturbances and hot flashes. I even came across an oral estrogen medication called Ospemifene. It’s used to treat dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse) encountered by some postmenopausal women.

Like all medications, estrogen should be prescribed with care and monitored closely.

Another option is psychotropic medications, such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and antidepressants. But antidepressants increase risks of mania. So they’re rarely prescribed alone for bipolar.

Non-pharmacological approaches are valid options as well.

Exercise is still an underutilized cost-effective mood stabilizer. Its benefits were mentioned in much of the literature I read on menopausal treatment. Dr. Jim Phelps shares an article about Exercise and Mood I think everyone should read.

Eliminating contributing stressors can help too. Many women around menopausal age are experiencing life changes that contribute to mood destabilization. Stressors, such as empty nest, divorce and others are risk factors for mood destabilization. Disrupted sleep is a risk factor for bipolar symptoms whether you’re perimenopausal or not. And not getting enough of it will make anyone cranky.

Sleep Disturbances

“Hormonal changes alone are not likely to provide the complete explanation for the relationship between sleep difficulty and menopause. Chronic poor sleep hygiene habits and mood disorders contribute further to sleep problems” – according to this 2015 manuscript published by Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America.

Often the solution is in changing our habits. The root causes of our sleep disturbances may lie in our evening routines and sleep hygiene. Otherwise, we can always work with our health care providers to develop a plan of action.

Sleep apnea risks increase with age. And restless leg syndrome (RLS) is another possibility. Treatment for RLS include dopamine antagonists and gabapentin. Hormone therapy may be considered if disturbances are due to hot flashes or night sweats.


Free Workbook: 5 Steps to Help Reset Your Circadian Rhythm | TheSunnyShadow.comGet your sleep routine on track with this Free Workbook. Available to subscribers in the Free Download Library.

Not a subscriber yet? No problem!

Subscribe Here!


The most important thing here is to always keep our doctors in the loop and on the same page. For example, let’s say my gynecologist were to prescribe me estrogen. I’d run that by my psychiatrist first. Hormone therapy would obviously affect my mood in some way. Plus, I’d want to know of any possible medication interactions. It’s best to always err on the side of caution.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

See Your Psychiatrist & Gynecologist Regularly: GYNs have differing recommendations for how often we should get pelvic exams and Pap tests (definitions below). The standard used to be once a year. But now some say every other year is okay if you meet certain requirements. To ensure an educated decision I suggest checking with your doctor and insurance company.

If you have questions and/or concerns, share them with your health care providers. Don’t be afraid to call them between scheduled visits either. Be your own advocate. Speak-up, make sure you’re heard and get your questions answered.

Make sure that everyone is on the same page and that all providers are aware of what the others are doing and prescribing. Be sure to keep a medication list on you.

Keep a Menstrual Calendar (track your menstrual cycle (periods)). There is a printable Monthly Calendar available in the Free Download Library. Or, here is a list of 9 Period Tracking Apps from Refinery 29. Besides tracking your start and stop dates, also note any symptoms you experience. Most mobile apps offer this option. Compare it with your Mood Calendar (below) and share your results with your health care providers.

Keep a Mood Calendar (track your moods). You will find a downloadable/printable version in the Free Download Library. But if you’d rather use an app, you’ll also find a PDF in the Free Download Library that includes 10 Mood Tracking Apps Ideal for Bipolar Disorder. Many of them chart your results in a format that makes it easy to share with your health care provider. Note how much sleep you get and its quality, contributing stressors, anxiety, etc. My printable tracker provides spaces for this, as most mobile apps do as well.

Practice good self-care. I’ve written a blog post outlining 10 Basic Self-Care Steps We Should Be Taking for Bipolar Disorder. You will also find a downloadable version in the Free Download Library, attached to 10 Mood Tracking Apps Ideal for Bipolar Disorder (making it a 2-page PDF).

In Closing

My own worsening bipolar symptoms prompted this blog post. Add to that symptoms that seem eerily menopausal and the fact that my mom went through MT early. Granted, there are a plethora of reasons I can attribute them to. But with the big 4-0 around the corner, I’m a bit curious about where I am on the menopausal timeline.

It’s quite possible that my bipolar symptoms are worsening due to perimenopause. But the only way to know for sure is to talk to my health care providers. If you have concerns, you should speak with your health care providers as well.

Signed: An aging woman with bipolar disorder.

Definitions

Dopamine Antagonist: a chemical, medication or drug that prevents the actions stimulated by dopamine. Dopamine is a naturally produced chemical in the body that binds to regions in the brain to help regulate emotions and movement. Dopamine antagonists disrupt the activity of dopamine by blocking dopamine binding sites without activating them. These medications are used to treat a variety of disorders.

Early Menopause: Menopause that occurs earlier than the normal range of menopause. See also Premature menopause.

Estrogen: A variety of hormone chemical compounds produced by the ovaries, influencing the growth and health of female reproductive organs. They are active in many cells throughout the body by interacting with estrogen receptors. The three main naturally occurring estrogens in women are estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Estrogen levels fall after menopause. Several types of estrogen therapies are available for menopause indications. Also available in some contraceptives but at much higher doses than those used for menopause treatment.

Gabapentin: A non-hormonal prescription drug government approved for the treatment of seizures from epilepsy, sometimes prescribed off-label for treating hot flashes.

Gynecologist: A doctor who specializes in the care and health of the female reproductive organs.

Hormone therapy (HT): Prescription drugs used most often when treating menopause symptoms. Includes Estrogen therapy (ET) and Estrogen plus progestogen therapy (EPT).

Hot Flash: A condition resulting in a red, flushed face and neck, perspiration, an increased pulse rate, and a rapid heartbeat, often followed by a cold chill. This is the most common menopause-related discomfort, thought to be the result of changes in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates the body’s temperature. If the hypothalamus mistakenly senses that a woman is too warm, it starts a chain of events to cool her down. Blood vessels near the surface of the skin begin to dilate (enlarge), increasing blood flow to the surface in an attempt to dissipate body heat.

Late Menopause: A vague term used to indicate menopause that occurs later in the normal range of menopause.

Menopause: the time at which a woman stops having menstrual periods. It is defined as the absence of menses for 12 consecutive months. The average age of menopause is 51 years, although this can vary widely. 

Menopause Transition: See Perimenopause.

Pap Test: A screening test in which a sample of cells is taken from a woman‘s cervix and examined under a microscope for pre-cancerous conditions. Named after George N. Papanicolaou.

Pelvic Examination: Clinical exam of the vulva (external genitalia), vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries. A speculum is inserted into the vagina and a Pap test is usually done during this exam. See also Pap test, Speculum.

Perimenopause: A span of time that begins with the onset of menstrual cycle changes and other menopause-related symptoms and extends through menopause (the last menstrual period) to 1 year after menopause. Perimenopause is experienced only with spontaneous (natural) menopause, not induced menopause. Also called the menopause transition.

Postmenopause: The span of time after menopause (the final menstrual period).

Premature Menopause: menopause occurring in a woman younger than 40 years. About 1% of women experience premature menopause.

Premenopause: The span of time from puberty (onset of menstrual periods) to perimenopause.

Surgical Menopause: menopause induced by the removal of the ovaries. Women who have had surgical menopause often have a sudden and severe onset of the symptoms of menopause.

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SOURCES: NIH | PsychEducation.org | eMedicineHealth.com | bp Magazine | NIH | Medscape | The North American Menopause Society | Livestrong.com

Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer

Stop Chasing Happiness, <strong>Fulfillment</strong> Is What You Want

Stop Chasing Happiness, Fulfillment Is What You Want

Stop Chasing Happiness, Fulfillment is What You Want | TheSunnyShadow.com >> Click to Read!It seems that everyone is in search of happiness. The token phrase we often hear is, “I just want to be happy.” Or, “I just want you to be happy.” We’ve come to view happiness as the ultimate “life goal.” Like obtaining it will somehow solve all of our problems.

But why is happiness so elusive and difficult to find?

Because happiness is fleeting. Because happiness is a moment-to-moment emotion. And because happiness is not a long-term state of being.

We all find happiness from time-to-time, hopefully multiple times throughout each day. Sometimes these moments get strung together to give us the elusion (or delusion) of “finding” happiness. It’s in those moments that we wish we could bottle them up and keep them with us always. Going on vacations often string together these moments. But even joyous occasions can be anti-climatic, leaving us with a feeling of disappointment.


The real reason you haven’t found happiness is because you’re searching for the wrong thing. What you’re truly seeking is fulfillment.


I think many people simply got the two confused along the way, or never learned about fulfillment in the first place. Okay, so perhaps I’m describing myself. But maybe you’ve done this too?

How is fulfillment different from happiness?

Fulfillment is more permanent. When you’re fulfilled, your life consists of people and things you’re passionate about – a cause, meaningful work and loving relationships. To reach fulfillment, you need to feel as though your life has meaning.

You deserve to be fulfilled in life. You deserve to live a life you feel passionately about. To do work you feel passionate about doing. To be surrounded by people you love, who have your best interests in mind and who push you to be your best. You’re worthy and deserving of love and respect.

You deserve all the good that life has to offer, just like everyone else.

Of course there are still unhappy moments and even days in a life of fulfillment. But they become easier to weather when you’re happy with your life as a whole.

The mindset of seeking happiness is problematic because you believe that you should always feel good. When you seek happiness, you focus way too much on how you FEEL from one moment to the next. We must learn to live with some level of uncomfortableness. Life has many unpleasant, tedious, and monotonous moments. The sooner we accept this, the sooner we can stop the misguided search for happiness and focus on the true life goal, fulfillment.

The ability to withstand discomfort allows us to achieve our goals faster.

It’s never too late for a change of perspective.


Identify Your Core Values: A Workbook by TheSunnyShadow.com↓ FREE DOWNLOAD ↓

Something you can do to work towards fulfillment right now is Identify Your Core Values. Consistently living in alignment with your core values is essential to life fulfillment.

Core values act as a personal guide directing the behaviors and choices you make. They’re kind of like your personal rule book for living life. We all have them, even if they’re a bit loose. But defining clear-cut values makes life much simpler. For example, clearly defining your core values minimizes indecision.

Download Your Free Workbook!

Available to Subscribers in the FREE DOWNLOAD LIBRARY.

Not a Subscriber yet? No problem! SUBSCRIBE HERE!


What are you passionate about? What brings you meaning in life?

 Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer


Identifying Bipolar Disorder Triggers

Identifying Bipolar Disorder Triggers

Identifying Bipolar Disorder Triggers | TheSunnyShadow.com >> Click to Read!Bipolar disorder triggers are stressors, or really anything, that bring on or worsen bipolar symptoms and mood episodes. People with bipolar disorder tend to be more sensitive to various stressors and triggers than people who do not have bipolar disorder. And different things trigger different people.

When I think about identifying bipolar disorder triggers, it reminds me of when my daughter got diagnosed with migraine headaches. She’s fourteen now, but when it all started she was in third grade. Because she was so young, and the phenomenon was new to her, she was unable to clearly articulate what was going on within her.

She wasn’t able to recognize her migraine until it had reached its final stage. By this time she was nauseated and vomiting.

Initially we thought she had stomach issues and attempted to treat those, even taking her to a G.I. specialist. Because that’s what we saw and what she complained of. But eventually an E.R. doctor diagnosed her with migraines and finally that nasty symptom all but stopped!

My point?

When our bipolar symptoms become severe, they take center stage and we have no choice but to dedicate all of our attention to treating them. There’s no time to look for what triggered them in the first place. But if we employ self-awareness early on, often we can identify warning signs and triggers.

Why Is It Important to Identify Your Personal Triggers?

Identifying your triggers provides you with the opportunity to eliminate triggers all together, to minimize them, or to find ways to cope with them. In turn, this may help you avoid a mood episode or reduce its severity and duration. That’s pretty empowering.

Of course there will still be times when it seems that bipolar symptoms hit us out of the bright blue sky, but over time, we grow to know ourselves and our bodies better. It takes practice. Self-awareness is key.

Common Bipolar Disorder Triggers

  1. Disrupted Sleep Patterns and/or Sleep Deprivation: Insomnia, jet lag, or falling out of your normal sleep/wake schedule for any reason can contribute to an increase in bipolar symptoms. Sleep deprivation can increase risks for hypomania while increased sleep can sometimes be followed by depression.
  2. Disruption to Routine: With bipolar being a circadian rhythm disorder, keeping a daily routine is important in order to maintain mood stability and consistent energy levels. A typical bipolar routine may consist of staying on a consistent sleep/wake schedule, taking medications at the same times daily, eating and drinking regularly, building in personal and social time, exercise, and so-on.
  3. Season Changes or Transitions of Any Kind: For some people, season changes bring about mood fluctuations. Winter commonly triggers depression and spring and summer commonly trigger hypomania and mania. But if a person becomes aware that this is one of their triggers, precautions can be put into place. It starts with awareness. You and your psychiatrist can develop a plan of action based on this knowledge. If you so happen to get depressed in the winter, as I tend to do, perhaps your psychiatrist may discuss with you a light therapy lamp.
  4. Stressful or Positive Life Events: Bad and good things, big and small, can trigger mood episodes. Like marriage, death, childbirth, the loss of a job or the beginning of a new one, moving into a new home, etc. It’s always good to work closely with a therapist while going through a life adjustment.
  5. Alcohol and Drug Use: Alcohol and drugs are mood-altering chemicals that carry with them the potential of interacting with prescribed medications. They can trigger depression, mania and even psychosis in some people.
  6. Overstimulation – from within or without: Caffeine and nicotine can be potentially triggering. As can the excitement and passion that go along with taking on a new project. Lots of noise, clutter, crowds, conflict, and/or pressure can also be triggering.
  7. Physical Illness can also trigger bipolar symptoms.

Identify Your Bipolar Disorder Triggers

  1. Practice Self-Awareness. When we’re tuned into ourselves, we’re able to notice subtleties within ourselves. Such as the early warning signs that we’re becoming triggered.
  2. Track Your Mood. Keeping a thorough daily mood chart will also help in identifying triggers. Make sure there is room for not only mood, but also things like the quantity and quality of sleep, and what stressors may have contributed to your mood each day (like the free printable mood tracker pictured below!)

FREE DOWNLOADS ↓

Available  to Subscribers in the Free Download Library. Not a subscriber yet? No problem! Subscribe here!

Mood Tracker by TheSunnyShadow.com

>> Also available in the Free Download Library: 10 Mood Tracking Apps Ideal for Bipolar Disorder

Warning Signs

Warning signs are milder forms of typical bipolar symptoms and, like triggers, they vary from person-to-person. The longer you live with bipolar, the more familiar you become with its effects on you and it will become easier for you to spot warning signs. Remember, some of the warning signs may overlap.

Examples of Depression Warning Signs:

  • Disrupted sleep, insomnia, or increased sleep
  • Sadness
  • Tearfulness
  • Lethargy and apathy
  • Decreased interest in activities you enjoy
  • Desire to isolate
  • Anxiety
  • Etc.

Examples of Hypomania/Mania Warning Signs:

  • Disrupted sleep, insomnia or decreased need for sleep
  • Elation
  • Increased energy
  • Taking on new projects
  • Fast, pressured speech
  • Increased spending
  • Increased interest in sex
  • Etc.

10 Ways to Reduce Stress

  1. Exercise.
  2. Minimize physical and mental clutter.
  3. Learn effective coping strategies
  4. Develop and stick to a routine.
  5. Get plenty of sleep.
  6. Set boundaries.
  7. Maintain healthy relationships.
  8. Keep your finances in order.
  9. Eat a well-balanced diet and stay hydrated.
  10. Learn relaxation techniques.

 How do you go about identifying your bipolar disorder triggers? What are some of your biggest triggers?

Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer


How to Increase Clarity and Minimize Indecision

How to Increase Clarity and Minimize Indecision

How to Increase Clarity & Minimize Indecision | TheSunnyShadow.com >> Click to Read!For months now I’ve been stuck in indecision regarding which way to go on a blog-related project. Okay, let’s be honest here… I have bipolar disorder, so it’s more like project”S” (plural). When I returned home from my trip to Vegas I had a fleeting moment of clarity, but confusion soon returned.

Do you ever get stuck in indecision?

But enough is enough already! I’ve allowed this to drag on for way too long. Yes, I’ve allowed it. Because the thing about clarity is that, despite what we think or how we may feel, it’s always within us.

I thought that “getting away” helped me. But it didn’t because my problem wasn’t a geographical one. My problem was that I wasn’t truly – truly – listening to myself. Instead, I was treating every idea as if it were equal to the idea I felt most passionately about. Not all thoughts are worthy of being entertained, I know this. But that didn’t stop me from ignoring my truth and considering every single idea that entered my mind. When we do this we confuse ourselves!

Clarity is a decision.

When it comes down to it, clarity is a decision we make for ourselves. Are we going to center ourselves so that we can hear the answer? Or are we going to continue to battle the ten voices in our heads saying, “yeah but what about this one?” It’s natural to question ourselves, but when we’re faced with indecision, we have to dig through the noise to reach the truth. Ask yourself what you keep going back to? Which option do you feel passionately about?

Line_Black6 Tips to Increase Clarity

  1. Meditate: Sit alone in silence with your thoughts each day for a few minutes (10-20). This will help center you and bring you closer to your truth. It will help you sift through all the noise.
  2. Use Visualization: Once you’ve narrowed your options down to two or three (perhaps using a pros and cons list?), visualize what your life will look like in six months and a year if you were to choose each option. How do each of these options make you feel?
  3. Come Back to It: Walk away, take a break and come back to it in a day or two (or a week) with a fresh pair of eyes. You’ll have a different perspective and be able to view the decision or project objectively once again.
  4. Remove Clutter: Mental and physical clutter make it more difficult to concentrate. Take a little time to free-up mental space and clean-up your immediate surroundings. Participate in some more centering activities, like meditation (above), yoga or deep breathing. What clears your mind?
  5. Give Yourself a Deadline: There comes a point when enough is enough and A direction is better than NO direction. So if you’ve been stuck for a while, you may even consider implementing a deadline for yourself.
  6. Ask a Friend: Ask someone close to you for their honest opinion. Since you already know the answer, if their opinion differs from yours, you’ll likely feel an uncomfortable twinge. And if it agrees with yours you may feel relief. Pay attention to your reaction.

BONUS PRODUCTIVITY HACK ↓

The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique was developed in the late 1980’s by Francesco Cirillo. The Pomodoro itself is a tomato shaped timer. It’s used as a time management system breaking work down into intervals with short breaks in between. It’s proven to be an effective productivity method. (These are affiliate links, please see my Privacy Policy for more information on how I use affiliate links.)

What do you do when you need to gain clarity? And what’s your biggest productivity hack?

Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer


Vegas: 5 Things I Did Not Anticipate

Vegas: 5 Things I Did Not Anticipate

Vegas: 5 Things I Did Not Anticipate by TheSunnyShadow.com

This week I had the honor of accompanying my husband on a work-related trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. When he invited me about a year ago, he made it clear that I wouldn’t see much of him due to his union obligations. But that was no problem for me! The uninterrupted quiet time would allow me to get loads of work done on the blog-related projects I’d started. (Or so I thought) Sure, I planned on doing a little gambling and sight-seeing, but my main intention was to get lots of work done. One could say that I had high expectations for myself.

Vegas: 5 Things I Did Not Anticipate by TheSunnyShadow.com

Okay so, maybe my expectations were a bit unrealistic. There were certain things I simply did not anticipate, good and bad.

Vegas: 5 Things I Did Not Anticipate

  1. Vegas: 5 Things I Did Not Anticipate by TheSunnyShadow.comThe exhaustion. The type of exhaustion you cannot fight. The type of exhaustion that coffee and energy drinks do not fix. I slept most of the first few days of our trip because I had no other choice. Is it because bipolar disorder is a circadian rhythm disorder, therefore I’m more susceptible to jet lag? I’m not sure. But if you have bipolar disorder and are planning on traveling to a different timezone, I suggest allowing wiggle room in your schedule for at least the first few days. Maybe you won’t need it. Great! You can always find things to fill your time. But if you do need it you’ll be so thankful it’s there, and it may just prevent a mood episode.
  2. I missed my daughters A LOT. My brats are 16-3/4 years old and 14 years old and I still miss them like crazy! I did not anticipate sitting in a puddle of tears three days in because I was homesick. Not cool. Granted, I was likely still adjusting to the time difference a bit, but good grief, what am I going to do when they grow-up and move out?! My suggestion is to figure out how you’re going to chat face-to-face with your kiddos BEFORE you leave town, instead of trying to figure it out on the fly.
  3. “Vegas Throat.” Every morning my throat is more painful than the one before, but it seems to get a little better as the day goes on. There was a period when I was seriously considering calling my general practitioner to see if he would call me in an antibiotic to a nearby Vegas pharmacy. But I found this article mentioning that it’s common to get “Vegas Throat” upon your visit. Besides a sore throat, other symptoms include post-nasal drip, scratchy throat, loss of voice, coughing, having to clear your throat often, bloody nose, stinging eyes, itchy nasal passages and a feeling of being hungover. The article suggests several different solutions. But if you’re visiting Vegas soon and can fit your humidifier in your luggage, go for it! You may also want to bring along some throat lozenges, your favorite herbal teas, lemons and honey (or just buy them once you get here).
  4. Vegas can be overstimulating. It’s the end of the week and I’ve warmed up to it, but at the beginning I just didn’t get the appeal. There are SO many people ALL THE TIME. Vegas NEVER sleeps. Just walking through the casinos is disorienting. I feel physically unbalanced as soon as I step foot inside one. There’s just so much going on, in every direction. I just have to be in the right mind-frame to appreciate what Vegas has to offer, and that’s okay. If you’re like me and tend to get overstimulated easily, I suggest taking things at your own pace. If you can, ease into the bright lights, crowds and casinos. Start with short periods of time and work your way up to longer bursts. If for some reason that’s not an option for you, I suggest working closely with your therapist before your visit to develop Vegas-specific coping strategies.
  5. I LOVE the casino smell. (Particularly Bally’s and Linq.) According to air-aroma.com, “The right fragrance will encourage players to relax, stay longer and spend more.” Air Aroma uses a technology that allows it to scent large casinos at the same time via casinos’ HVAC systems. I’m not sure if Bally’s and Linq are scented by Air Aroma, all I know is that they smell so good.

↓Eat Here → Hash House A Go Go (inside Linq)

Vegas - TheSunnyShadow.com

Oh, and one last thing, dry heat my butt! Vegas is HOT! At 10:30 pm one night we checked the weather out of curiosity to find that it was still 105 degrees! The good thing is that a lot of the hotels link together, so you can minimize your time outside if you want.

All-in-all, I’ve had an enjoyable time and I’m grateful for the experience. And I hear that my husband kicked butt at his convention, so I’d say it’s been a good trip (minus me not getting loads of work done).

Have you been to Vegas? Where did you stay and what were your favorite things to do and places to eat?

Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer

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