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Unintentional Night Owl: Painsomnia

I've tried to keep up with two posts a week but this week has been crazy. I don't even have a nice lead in to bring you up to the main feature. I am recovering from a car accident that happened on Wednesday on a major highway in my area. The person caused three of us to crash and ran away. Thankfully, I am fine and I have insurance to take care of the whole thing. The horrible lead up to this is my serious bout with insomnia. This isn't your run of the mill can't sleep blues. I was dealing with incredible nerve pain from the recovery of the previous two weeks events. This caused me to suffer with, what is often referred to as painsomnia. It is the lack of sleep due to extreme pain.

I actually wanted to write this post three weeks ago but I was sleeping pretty well and didn't have the recent memory of sleeplessness to convey. However, I worked very hard prepping for our meeting on Memorial Day and my son's graduation and I didn't realize how busy I was. I ached for the last two weeks and my legs felt like they were full with lead. There was much swelling and tenderness in my legs. However, when it came time to sleep at the end of the day I would go to bed ready for sleep and my eyes would just pop right open and there I remained for hours. HOURS. I listened to my heart beat in my ears in the darkness and to my neighbors as they walked around their apartments at night. I tried to listen to Youtube to distract me because the low constant voices would hopefully distract my mind from the pain and allow me to sleep but no chance.

This is yet another symptom of my chronic illnesses. It sort of reminds me of my anemia, I have Thalassemia minor. When I am terribly tired I need to lay down and once I do I am wide awake. The body is tired but the mind it wide awake and it likes to ramble far and wide. Imagine doing that and you still have to get up in the morning and work a full time job be an attentive mom and still handle outside responsibilities. After a few days I am dead on my feet and nothing really helps.

My Neurologist, who finally diagnosed me as having Neurocardiogenic Syncope, suggested that I tried Amitriptyline for the nerve pain of my Fibromyalgia and a by product is that it would help me sleep. I gave this recommendation to my Rheumotologist and he wrote a prescription. I was on cloud nine within two weeks. I could both sleep at night and I could go about my day without pain. Everything was great until I started having heart palpitations and my resting heart rate, I later found, was over 140 bpm. I'll probably give you a post in the future but I eventually had to stop the medication. I suffered yet another casualty of my Dysautonomia and I was diagnosed Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. I chuckled a bit because I didn't think that my heart would ever be referred to as inappropriate. I think that it should be called inconvenient instead of inappropriate. Since Amitriptyline failed, I tried Cymbalta and Lyrica but they made me feel odd and gave me the heeby-geebies. I stopped them right away. I tried licorice root tea and that proved successful but can raise your heart rate and I don't need that.

These posts are to give anyone searching for answers two things: knowledge that there are others just like you and that you are not alone and a bread crumb that may lead you closer to your truth. Dysautonomia and other chronic illness blogs are all over the internet but due to the severity of the sufferer, they have stopped or are not often updated. I have gleaned so much from these dormant blogs and I just wanted to return the favor. Painsomnia doesn't play fair and if I really have to, I take a Benadryl to help me rest. For me, it is not habit forming and I want to also try melatonin. Consult your doctor to see what works for you.

One day at a time.

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