In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Now I lay me down to sleep

It's hard to describe sometimes just how dehibilitating it is to not be able to sleep because of pain. You spend a good chunk of your time exhausted and in a daze, but you just can't manage to fall asleep. Almost worse is when you do sleep, the pain usually wakes you up before it becomes truly restful. I manage to snatch a couple hours here and there but it's been a bad spell lately and it's really starting to wear on my resources, both physical and emotional.

The entire thing reminds me of that family with the genetic defect where once they hit a certain age, they simply stop being able to sleep at all. Fatal Familial Insomnia.

The disease has four stages, taking 7 to 18 months to run its course:

1. The patient suffers increasing insomnia, resulting in panic attacks and phobias. This stage lasts about four months.

2. Hallucinations and panic attacks become noticeable, continuing about five months.

3. Complete inability to sleep is followed by rapid loss of weight. This lasts about three months.

4. Dementia, turning unresponsive or mute over the course of six months. This is the final progression of the disease, and the patient will subsequently die.

Sounds like an absolute hell. Even going through a week or so of this at a time is hardly pleasant and at least I can sleep for short periods here and there. It just becomes hard to function like anything close to a normal person.

One pet peeve of mine about this whole situation, besides the entire situation itself, is that I feel like the pain is playing games with me. There are plenty of times where it dies down, exhaustion rises, and I'm sure that I can get to sleep. Like right now for instance. Just over the course of typing this I'm feeling like I can doze off and actually sleep. What I know by now though is that if I go to bed and actually try, odds are much better than not that pain will jolt me awake again. Lucky for me the early symptoms listed are panic attacks and phobias rather than paranoia.
Tags: chronic pain, insomnia, sleep

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