I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this much in the past, but I have sleep disorders. Two, to be exact. One is a variation of insomnia called ‘delayed onset’, which means I have trouble getting to sleep to begin with. The other is called ‘alpha wave intrusion into delta sleep’ or ‘alpha-delta sleep’, which means that my brainwaves switch from delta waves (deep sleep) to alpha waves (normally awake) periodically through the night.
Typically, my sleep disorders are mostly a nuisance. I really can’t do things before noon anymore, my body just isn’t capable of it. Even with sleeping pills, I typically can’t knock myself out until between midnight and 1AM, and I need a lot of sleep. Before the inflammatory stuff started, I needed 9-10 hours pretty consistently; once it started, I typically needed about 12 hours sleep.
Lately, and I don’t know why, my sleep disorders have gone downright haywire. I’ve been having more trouble getting to sleep – 4AM, 5AM, 6AM, sometimes even 7AM roll by and still I’m wide awake. My sleep doctor tells me it’s important to wake up at the same time every day, so I try. Really, I do. I try my normal noon wake up time, and I’m so tired it hurts, so tired that I feel like there’s a lead blanket on top of me weighing me down. I go back to sleep, and wake up a few hours later because of the pain. Once again, I try to get up. Sometimes I make it to the bathroom and back. Yes, back – back to bed. Still so tired that I feel like I’m wading through molasses. Everything is slowed down or sped up, nothing feels like it’s moving on normal time, and it’s so hard to understand sounds around me. I’m sure my fiance’s sounds are words, but what words I do not know. Even when I know what words I’m hearing, it’s hard to make sense of them, hard to figure out what the sentence means. So I go back to sleep again.
I know I’m not supposed to, but here’s the thing: if I try to stay up, if I get out of bed so that I’ll have less temptation to fall back asleep, I just fall asleep wherever I am. I’m more prone to having night terrors when I’m sitting up, and I’m also much more prone to jerking awake. When I have night terrors (which are not at all the same thing as nightmares), I flail in my sleep. I hit and kick hard enough that I’ve fractured a finger hitting the wall and given many a black eye to people sharing my bed (I may have broken a friend’s nose when we were kids, but we’re not really sure – her nose had been broken once by a baseball a few years before that). I’ve had them ever since I was 10 or so. I suppose that means I have three sleep disorders, really, but that one hasn’t been officially diagnosed. It kind of surprises me that I don’t remember my parents asking anyone about it when I was younger, as they were quite violent and frequent.
I digress. Anyhow, if I try to stay awake, it doesn’t work until I’ve had enough sleep. And right now, my body is requiring somewhere between 12 and 15 hours. I don’t feel refreshed, I feel exhausted. Worst of all, I’m out of my sleep medications. I saw my sleep doctor on Tuesday, and he said he’d write for Rozerem for me. Rozerem is not the best of the sleep meds I’ve tried, but the sleep doctor is now concerned that I may have developed sleep apnea in addition to everything else, and the other drug I have tried can make apnea worse – quite dangerous. Anyhow, he didn’t remember to send the prescription, so my fiance called Wednesday, and again on Thursday, and finally the doctor sent in the prescription. Unfortunately, my insurance company requires a prior authorization, so I won’t be able to get my medication until Monday at the earliest (it theoretically could have gone through on Friday, but it appears my sleep doctor is not exactly on top of things, and the part of the insurance company that does prior authorizations isn’t in on the weekends). Meanwhile, I’m a wreck, and exhausted all the time. My pain levels are worse, and I know that the two negative cycles are feeding off each other.
I have the exam for my summer course on July 15th, so I am hoping that things are straightened out ASAP so I won’t be trying to take an exam in this state. I’d be worried about me falling asleep; as a matter of fact, I think I will make sure I have alarms set on my phone every hour or so to make sure that I don’t doze too long if I do fall asleep. Because of my disabilities, I have accommodations for exams (time and a half, special chair, etc) so I take my exam in a little room all by myself instead of in a lecture hall like everyone else. It’s a weird set-up, but it really does help with exam taking.
All this is to say, I feel terrible, and I haven’t been able to catch up with or do anything. I had hoped to work on writing this summer; I have novels that float at the back of my head, and I haven’t gotten to write them yet. I’ve only written two pages this summer. A pair of mages battling an evil defeated but not destroyed long ago await me in one piece that has twenty-some pages written; the avatar of the god of the sea is ready to set sail in another; contact with an alien race and a re-interpretation of a mainstream human religion (particularly as it pertains to love, gender, and sexuality) as understood by aliens lurks in another quiet place in my mind. There’s also a young adult novel that waits there, one about honor and duty, sword and king and country, and discovering oneself and love. I like all of the stories; I think they’re good enough to get the full length treatment. I just…I don’t have enough me to go around lately. I go to class, I read, and I watch TV, because just now, doing the reading and going to class is taking almost all of my ‘me’, and there isn’t enough left over to write. It’s frustrating, to have all these pieces just gathering dust. Hopefully, the 6 remaining weeks of the summer, after my exams are done, will be enough to get some serious writing done. And then, well, back to the grind for one fucking final goddamn semester (you can tell I’m frustrated, eh?) and I’ll be done with this damn degree. Then it’s just studying for the MPRE (multi-state professional responsibility exam) and the Bar exam, and…well, I guess that will be that. It looks like I have the option of taking the MPRE in August, which might be smarter, as I’m taking Professional Responsibility now and that’s all the MRPE tests on.
There’s another thing I want to talk about, regarding family, but I think that will have to be another night, as writing about THAT will wind me up and upset me, and it’s late enough that doing that might keep me up longer tonight. I can only hope I get to sleep before dawn comes.