You know what they say: A silent blog is a sign of a busy life! Well, that's sorta true in this case. What happened is that I was pounced upon by a very nasty flare, one that lasted somewhere around a week, give or take a couple of days. In the midst of that I've had doctor's appointments, medical tax stuff to hunt down and appropriate and relocate to our tax lady, a trip to Tucson for to see a cardiologist, a Celebirthsary/going away party dinner, and my second wedding anniversary. Even with all of that, I'm still pulling out of the flare, so thank goodness for that! In all honesty, I was worried that it wasn't just a flare, but rather my new mode of existence. That would have been horrible, because I was in such terrible pain that the painkillers would do nothing but blunt the edge of it a little bit, enough to keep me from going crazy and screaming while I hobble down the streets of downtown naked and slicked up with mayonnaise, which I'm allergic to.

Clearly, that didn't happen, or else the government is really good about redacting highly amusing incidents. I would say that I would remember if that happened, but that's not actually the case. Something else I've been up to in this interim (and before, if I'm being honest) is that I've been having some major troubles with sleep and sleepwalking. First the waves of overwhelming fatigue so I'm sleeping 18+ hours a day and exhausted down to the pores of my bones (y'all know what I'm talking about!), and then BAM! Insomnia. Sort of. For a day or two. But now I'm being hit with really bad sleepwalking, something akin to narcolepsy that pulls me into these dream trances when I'm tired, but when I am deep enough into the standing-sleep I go limp and collapse, usually forward, which jolts me out of sleep and usually I can catch myself on whatever counter or corner is nearby. Not always-- I hit my face on the metal shelving of the pantry last week, and my head on the bathroom mirror.

I also do scary stuff, like get into my pain medication thinking it's Benadryl or something else. I recently woke up with six 100 mg morphines in my hand, thinking in the dream that it was Benadryl I needed to take, but thankfully I was lucid enough upon snapping awake that I realized what was going on and put them back. I get food out and leave it.  I open windows and surf Facebook and all kinds of shit, and it TERRIFIES me. What if I buy stuff without waking up or remembering? I don't have any spending money! That could be bad.and screaming while I hobble down the streets of downtown naked and slicked up with mayonnaise, which I'm allergic to.

In a "dream sequence" that I vaguely remembered upon waking, I had--for some very legitimate reason, I swear--gone into the kitchen, pulled out my husband's new package of bratwurst, opened up the plastic covering, then left the whole thing sitting on the cutting board. If Corey hadn't checked the kitchen before going to bed they would have been out all night and spoiled! (He woke me when he came to bed with a forceful yet bewildered, "What's wrong with you, woman?!?") Two days ago I found a strawberry in the pot and pan cupboard. Fortunately, it had only been there for a day or less. I'm not sure when it got there, or why, but it was there all right… and it was delicious! :)

 So there you have it.What might I possibly do to myself during these "episodes"? I'm scared to sleep, but the more I stay up and try not to, the worse it gets. I called my neurologists office, and when I explained the situation to his assistant A, she was freaked out and said that she'd talk to the doctor immediately, when he was done with what had him busy at that time. So she sent him a note, and now I've got a referral to some place here in town to do a sleep study. They want to see if I have narcolepsy, because these symptoms are awfully similar. In a perverse way, I was glad to hear the concern in A's voice and to see how seriously she took my phone call.  Corey has been annoyed by it, sometimes even amused, but he doesn't seem to think it's that much of a big deal. I had been minimizing it as not so bad, but I knew, I knew, that it is not something to ignore. It's a scary thing, and I could get seriously hurt one of these days. A recognized this a well, and obviously my doctor did too, because the call from A informing me about the referral came only 2 or 3 days after my initial phone call. For those of you who might be professional patients, you know that this time frame is practically unheard of when dealing with the medical system! The cogs move ever so slowly, but this was rapid fire. I'm grateful. The symptoms of this sleep-problem, however, wax and wane, so I'm really anxious about the test, hoping that I'll be malfunctioning during the test so they can see exactly what's going wrong instead of sending me home with a clean bill of health, as so often happens. (On paper, I'm really quite healthy! Oh EDS, you so stealthy!)

The extra-exhausting fatigue appears to be returning, as I slept the entire afternoon and evening away, after being awake for only 2, maybe 3 hours this afternoon. I've been up since 12:30 a.m., and Corey and I took a walk together, which was so nice! Work tires him out so much that he is in no mood to walk anymore, mostly because he's been on his feet and moving around all day. I don't blame him a bit. His feet hurt when he gets home, and I totally understand that. But we walked tonight, and it was very nice. So anyway, back to the fatigue. Yes, it's here, at least for today, but I doubt that it'll confine itself to only one day. I've been tired down to my bones for a long time, and now I just feel… heavy. Maybe the cycle of fatigue and sleepwalking is starting over again, and I just gotta hope that the timing is right for that sleep study to see what they need to see.

Other than this weird medical stuff going on, I'm doing okay mentally and emotionally. I am honestly excited for the challenge of growing up and into myself while so many diseases attempt to thwart my efforts. I mean, when I was relatively "healthy" (been sickly all of my life, and now that I know about the EDS a lot of my childhood makes so much sense to me now), it was pretty easy to express myself in my outward appearance and my activities. Now both of those have been compromised, and I must find new avenues with which to not only express my true self, but to have fun in life and to help other people who are hurting very badly. I tend to think of hurting people metaphorically, but maybe I'm supposed to help the literally hurting as well. I've gotten much encouragement on that subject. We shall see. Life will unfold at its own pace, and not before. I know it sounds all trite and cliched, but it really is all about taking life one day at a time. How can I know that I'll be alive in 3 months? There is no way. And if I try to think about the future and what I can or feel that I need to accomplish, or if I think a certain way about the past, it is then that I feel hideous and lazy and basically an awful specimen of humanity. I can't let myself think like that or send those messages to my psyche. It's twisted and tormented enough from all of the abuse I endured until I was old enough to move on by myself, and I don't need to make myself hurt even more. I would never say the terrible things that I think to a loved one, or even to a random stranger on the street (though I have a few nemeses that I totally would heap the verbal abuse on! *grin* The point is, if I can't say those things to other people, where do I get off abusing and harassing myself like that?

I practiced that "in the moment" stuff today. Day two of strictly couch time (though I did do dishes last night), and the temptation to lay into myself was strong. There was so much I could be doing, I have this many things on my checklist, god I'm lazy, I'm being a wuss so I need to suck it up and go achieve something, I'm not really that sick, etc. etc. So basically I made the decision to say "fuck that noise", and I continued watching my movies and taking my nap that turned into an 8 hour sleep. The urge to hate myself for not just pushing through feeling crappy is so strong, especially because it's not some cold or flu that I can nurse for a while and then return to the world perfectly refreshed, restored, and ready to rumble. Nope-- this'll be here for the rest of my life. So why coddle myself? And yet… there are times when I do push through and get stuff done, but it's because I WANT to, not because I've guilted or hated myself into it. Hating myself into doing something will generally lead to resentment, and that's just the first step onto the merry-go-round of Hell. 

What I've discovered is that, basically… I'm a grown adult and can do what I want! Whether that's spending the day on the couch with movies and tea and my cats or doing laundry and sweeping the house before answering mail, it all comes back to doing it of my free will and not letting myself lose my boundaries or letting them be breached--breached by my own self. How weird is that?! I'll tell ya, it's hard to find the balance that you need to be happy and productive while still being "lazy" because you need to be. And trying to find that balance is exactly the sort of thing that has led to a silent blog. Well, that and fingers too stiff and painful to type. That's a sticking point for sure.

Oh, quick side note: I have a mental health evaluation for disability on the 10th of this month, so I'm kinda nervous but mostly happy. This means that they didn't just reject me out of hand! Yippee! But I've also heard horror stories about how these things go, with obviously and legitimately disabled people being turned away without receiving the help they need. Most everyone has told me to lie, embellish how sick I am, because otherwise I won't get disability. I shudder to think that the system is so far gone that this is standard advice from experienced people. When I say that I won't and don't lie, they backpedal to "Well, just exaggerate then". That… isn't as repulsive, but I still don't feel comfortable doing it. I say that if I am exactly myself and they turn me away, then I will just appeal again and again and again until they are sick of me and give me the money to get me to go away ;) (Shawshank Redemption. Who says movies don't teach you anything?) I have strong speaking skills, and I know that I can be very descriptive and good with words when trying to communicate a point, so I'm counting on that to tip the balance in my favor. I'm told that I'm quite charismatic. Here's hoping it works! The inspector is a woman, and I have this mental image of an older blonde woman in a navy skirt suit, thin, wrinkled face, no trace of humor anywhere, lips pursed, very observant (hawk gaze) and totally crisp and pointed in conversation. I imagine her to be very intimidating. I wonder if my imagination will prove true? I'll have to let you know, of course :)

3 thoughts:

  • Anonymous | April 4, 2015 at 8:30 AM

    Chickadee, you are one tough cookie. I would have strapped myself down permanently if I was sleepwalking. And congrats on heading forward with the disability thing! That's excellent news!!!

  • Catherine | April 5, 2015 at 6:39 AM

    This: "What I've discovered is that, basically… I'm a grown adult and can do what I want!" Yes! Yes! Yes! I am realizing this too and it feels so great! We are coming into ourselves and that is an amazing feeling.

    So sorry about the sleepwalking. Have you thought about locking up your meds or something? That really worries me.

    You are kicking booty girl! Proud of you!

    C

  • Chronic Mom | April 5, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    Sorry about that sleepwalking that's so hard! I don't sleepwalk but my husband does and the stories I could tell you...but I won't since you know what it is like. I hope they can find a way to help. I was laughing at the visual of you walking down the street slicked up with mayonnaise, I've been there!

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