Random bits from bed (thoughts before arising)

I tossed and turned all night.

Well, not really. Tossing and turning implies far more bounciness and energetic mobility than I had. Rather, I woke up every couple hours when it was time to shift to another sleeping position. There were no comfortable positions to be had (there never really are), but with enough pyjama-straightening to remove the deadly little wrinkles pinned under my hips and shoulders, by shifting the spare pillows to completely pad between my bony knees and feet, and plumping up my head pillow again, I could reach a level of acceptable discomfort and fall asleep again.

I get plenty of REM sleep; in fact, it seems like all I do is dream because any disturbance wakes me from a dream. (An article in Scientific American describes just how more interrupted sleep results in longer and more intense dream periods.) I just don’t know that I’m getting enough deep, restful sleep. When I’m sick I’ll be in bed for eight to ten hours more-or-less sleeping, but I still seem generally stuck at six-hour nights. I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night, but it was several years ago.

The good news is that my OB/GYN put me back on the hormone patch again, and three weeks later, no more hot flashes — w00t! Half a year ago my GP took me off my HRT (hormone replacement therapy, as I’ve had a hysterectomy due to endometriosis & ovarian cysts), because he thought it was giving me hypertension. He also cut my arthralgia med dose in half. Shockingly, being in pain makes my blood pressure go up, so I went back to the dose prescribed by my rheumatologist. Well, after half a year of supremely crappy sleep due to hot flashes every 30-90 minutes all night (and day) I couldn’t stand the brain-deadness from such chronic sleep deprivation, and my rheumatologist told me to see my OB/GYN for another opinion. (Gee, if I had been getting more sleep, that might have occurred to me.) Well, my OB/GYN was unimpressed with my GP and put me back on the patch, saying, “Only a man would do something like that,” and made me promise that I would let anyone take me off the patch. Yes ma’am!

My neck is making that annoying grating-squeaking noise again. It sounds horribly loud from perspective of the control chair my homunculus occupies inside my skull (meaning, I imagine sitting inside my skull, like the captain of the Enterprise looking out through the twin viewing screens of my eyes). Someone ought to dispatch a Starfleet engineer to crawl through the Jefferies Tubes and apply some lubricant to my cervical vertebrae. Probably no one else can hear it, unlike when I eat something chewy and my jaw repeatedly pops, or when I kneel and my knees make cracking noises as though I had stepped one of my size 10 boots atop an egg carton.

Speaking of knees, Thursday last I skidded on an icy patch of sidewalk and was this close to crashing. Thankfully I didn’t as I was carrying my MacBook in my briefcase. (Carrying a computer or camera is like carrying a baby; you go through all sorts of ergonomically horrid contortions to protect it.) Instead I stayed upright by virtue of locking one knee, which meant bending it backwards more than knees are generally meant to bend. I don’t know how much hypertextension my knees and elbows have, as the doc has not formally done a Beighton score on me, but I’m definitely good (or bad, as it were) on the other signs. In any regard, the next day I awoke with such overall muscle and joint aches that I was very thankful that my current job does not require me to be in until 10:00; I simply would not have been able to clock in at 7:30.

Maybe I should find something different for breakfast. I need to eat before taking my meds, but eating means getting out of bed and going downstairs to the kitchen to make my oatmeal, which is daunting on a dreich* morning when it’s sleeting outside and just opening my eyes magnifies pain. (Don’t suggest keeping saltines at my bedside; the wheat does the Macarena through my kishkas**.)

I must say, some days I feel like I’m outsourcing my pieces-parts with all these docs. Even the dentist gets a piece of the action with the NTI bite-block that so nicely (and immediately) halted the TMJ-related headaches. So the bite-block is one definite improvement. So is getting back on the hormone patch. Getting my Clonidine dose doubled was also really helpful, as taking it before bedtime suppress the muscle tics that had for decades meant taking an hour or more to fall asleep. Getting to sleep in “just” half an hour is fabulous, for which I’m thankful to a previous psychiatrist who first prescribed it. (My half hour is still downright glacial compared to hubby’s zero-to-snoring in five minutes. How the hell does he do that?)

So, some things better, some not so much. Meanwhile, I have tutoring, so Onward!

* Scottish: cold, drizzly, miserable weather
** Yiddish: one’s guts

4 Comments

  1. qw88nb88 said,

    23 September 2008 at 12:04

    cheryl,

    I used to sleep well, yes. I used to sleep 8-10 hours (weekdays and weekends). Nowadays I sleep 6 hours a night. My shrink has given me a different kind of medication to help with the arthralgia pain, so I sleep better because I don’t wake up as often.

    andrea

  2. 23 September 2008 at 0:15

    Have you ever slept well? I have always had trouble sleeping as an adult even though I don’t seem to require as much sleep as most folks.
    I’ve drank enough cammomile tea to float a battleship not mention all kinds of over the counter and prescription meds. I have about decided I am just one of those people who just doens’ need much sleep and just learn to live with it.

  3. Ms. Clark said,

    28 February 2008 at 1:57

    I can hear my knees as I walk. And I now have plantar fasciitis (aka heel spurs). Fortunately it looks like all the treatments are basically OTC. I might need to get some better shoes for work. I have been fortunate not to have hot flashes, basically, since I stopped taking Prozac a couple of years ago. Some women take Prozac for their hot flashes… for me, it caused them. I think I’m still officially peri-menopausal. How nice.

    Anyway, I relate to the sleep problems. I think I’ve always had a problem with not hitting the deep sleep portion of the sleep cycles.

  4. 27 February 2008 at 17:06

    I hate that squeaky-grating noise.


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