Joys of Insomnia


Sleep is something that I used to be able to do any time, any place, anywhere, Upside down, awkward like, on something uncomfortable. But not anymore. My brain has moved into quantum speeds and I find it incredibly hard to slow down enough to keep my eyes closed, let alone relax enough to sleep.

Now as is true for everyone, lack of sleep for long enough – means we derail. This last month has been the train wreck of the decade. For the most part I am okay with late night and I am on top of things, but this time around, I have experienced panic in a way that I have not felt in over ten years. Recently, it got so bad I was afraid to get into bed, in case I panicked about not being able to sleep. Silly, but true.

So after freaking out in true diva fashion about seeing a psychiatrist (been there done that many times – and NO, I wont do it again) I went to go see my neurologist. Such a nice man. Older, Greek man who thinks I am a gas and takes my prickly disposition in stride. He heard me giving the technician who did my EEG a hard time. I had my eyes closed and all I could hear was the unmistakeable sounds of a Samsung phone. I have done that test enough times to know that there aren’t supposed to be delays THAT long between instructions – especially not when the delay is filled with the sending and receiving of messages on a Samsung Tab.

So the neurologist was most pleased that I gave the technician a go because of all his patients I was the most likely to get off the chair with all the wires attached to my head and take the tablet away from him. Which is what I did.

So I we went through my meds. He was impressed that I remembered all the drugs from 8 years ago and the doses and why I don’t take them anymore. I am that awkward 1 in 500 who always lands in hospital because of the rare side effect that are uncommon but not impossible. I am also a pharmacists worst nightmare when they try to give me the generic of something and argue the side effects with me.

I should be a pharmacist based purely on my drug experience. First hand. Illegal and otherwise. Invented and accidental.

So I walked out of the neurologist’s office with a concoction that I approved of, and I slept like the dead last night for the first time in so, so long. I got up to pee and let the cat out at about 6am and them climbed straight back into bed until after 11. Even now I feel like I have smoked a joint the sized of a banana. I am chilled and not at all wired.

Moral of the story. I hate psychiatrists and I love my neurologist. It is nice when a doctor appreciates that you understand your own brain and body enough to contribute to the solution and lets you have your say. Also – he doesn’t have to over explain or dumb it down.

The last time I was in hospital (sedation – I was manic) under his care, they put me in the psychiatric ward – and the nurses told him I was a nightmare patient. He laughed and told them that they were just unhappy that they couldn’t sit on their asses as much because I used to be a nurse and I knew what was going on.

Anyway. I am just super happy that I am going to feel human again in a few days. I have been struggling to write and to be.. positive about much. Sleep… is medicine, and I wasn’t getting any.

Lessons Learned in The Last Week, while in tired state:

  • Just because you smile and try not to look desperate when asking a GP for sleeping meds does not mean he will smile and give them to you. The fact is, your smile likely looks like that of a rabid dog on heat and you are, in fact – desperate.
  • When you ask a GP to burn a wart off your finger, you can’t yank your finger away and change your mind half way through. Especially not if your doctor is built like The Rock and doesn’t appear to even notice that you made a move to pull your hand away. Sadist.
  • Always bring a beanie when having an EEG. After they have made a half arsed attempt to get all the rubbery gel shit out of your hair – you come away looking like Edward Scissor-hands and the more you try to get it out the scarier you look.

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