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Catch some Zzzzs

I haven't been sleeping much at all this week, and I can really feel the effects on my body and mind.

When I first started dealing with my anxiety disorder MANY years back (about 6 actually), I would go days without sleeping, and when I did sleep, I would wake up with night sweats - the sheets were SOAKED. I was also hallucinating at night. I would see things moving in the dark and hear things. We got it quickly under control with medications and started working on learning cognitive therapies to deal with my stress and anxiety.

Over the years, I've had my anxiety levels ramp up a bit, and we up my meds for a short while and all is well. This time, it seems like it will take a bit more.

Now, I don't know what is in my head and what actually happens. I mean, there is some weird stuff in life, so you never know. Last night, about 2 am, I was laying in bed and I KNOW I was awake. I started hearing this hooting outside the house. All I could think of was an owl, but I've never seen an owl around here! The Great Plano Shopping Owl? Anyway, for a good 20 minutes straight, I heard this hooting. It would last about 5 seconds, then stay silent anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Sometimes it was close to the house, like between our house and the next. Other times, it would sound for a while like it was a couple of houses away.

I told Scott about it and his first response was that I dreamed it. I told him I knew I was awake, and he just gave me this look like..."Yeah. Ok". I mean, he lived through my hallucinations and he knows I haven't been sleeping for a while.

Was there really an owl or some other bird outside at 2 am, or was it actually in my head?

Bigger question is - will I make it until November 2 for my psychiatrist appointment?

On a related note, my dentist fitted me today for a bite guard. I'll have to wear it most of the time to keep myself from biting my cheeks. He thinks that is why my jaw locked this week. However, it will be 10 days before it is ready. It sounds like it will be much cooler than the over the counter one I have now. The one I have is HUGE, fits in my upper mouth, and puffs out my lips so I look like a wrestler or football player with a mouth guard. The one from the dentist (thousands of dollars - thank GOD for insurance. Only $350 from me) is custom fit to the bottom of my mouth, locks in place, can be customized to be more comfortable, and will let me sleep and talk comfortably (with only a slight lisp, I'm sure!).

Come on! Join me as my mind shatters. This journey should be fun!


( 8 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
Oct. 22nd, 2005 02:58 am (UTC)
"It's okay; I'm a doctor."
I prescribe a dose of Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches, grilled (not stirred). Oh, you've already tried that? Let me consult my medical journals and get back to you ...

-Dr. GeBo

PS: you really should blog about any kewl hallucinations!! A couple years ago, I made a conscious effort to remember my nightly dreams. I found that, while waking up, if I made an effort to remember the dream, I could hold it in my head long enough to write it down. Then, when I'd read this an hour or so later, it was as if I'd fabricated it all .. nothing sounded familiar. But ohhhh .. some of my dreams were Most Entertaining. Eventually, I'll put them in a Tell All book, sell it for millions, and retire. :)
Oct. 22nd, 2005 03:23 am (UTC)
Re: "It's okay; I'm a doctor."
GB - your WAKING thoughts are entertaining enough :)

It's so hard to put words around a hallucination in the middle of the night. I clearly remember them, and they make total sense while they are happening. They seem so REAL. But later, you wonder how you could have ever thought it was real. For instance, one six years ago that kept happening one night was this long, fluid black arm - not an arm like ours with a hand, but more snakelike. It was always near the ceiling or the wall, and wound its way around the lamp as if it were coming for me. I would just lay there rigid WATCHING it, while it got closer, telling myself it wasn't real and then when it got close to me I would freak out, jump up and turn the lights on to find...nothing. (like I knew I would).

I've felt a spider crawling on me, and swept it off my body, then chased it across the floor.

I've seen people standing in the hallway outside of the room.

I'm not crazy (but would you realize if you were?), but once I've passed about two or three nights with little or no sleep, my mind starts playing these tricks on me. It's almost always at night, when there is no stimulus except for your mind.

Needless to say, Scott is getting up in the morning and I'm taking Tylenol PM tonight. I don't actually have sleeping pills, but maybe the shrink will give me some next month when I see him.
Oct. 22nd, 2005 03:36 am (UTC)
Re: "It's okay; I'm a doctor."
you say "It's almost always at night, when there is no stimulus except for your mind" .. so, have you tried adding a stimulus? something as simple as a bedside radio, with gentle tunes*. your mind may latch onto that, and the hallucinations go away! (if this works, just drop me a check for $1M and we'll call it even)

* unless, of course, you pick a station that changes format in the middle of the night. one that starts as jazz, and changes at 2am to Heavy Metal Satan Worship.


PS: what's the "your WAKING thoughts are entertaining enough" comment supposed to infer? Huh? :-)

PPS: next time you have insomnia, IM me and we can shuffle over to Waffle House/Denny's/IHOP and watch the night traffic. Pity there's no White Castle in the area .. I truly miss the "guy in the corner playing his harmonica" ...
Oct. 22nd, 2005 07:08 am (UTC)
would you realize if you were crazy?
"I'm not crazy (but would you realize if you were?)"

and the answer is .. probably yes, but you may be helpless to deal with it.

I've had occasional Out Of Body Experiences where I feel as if I am watching myself in an encounter with someone else. These are invariably passive; it's like I have become the proverbial Fly On The Wall and it's simply curious to watch whatever's happening. It's like I have created a copy of myself as a voyeur, but there's no communication back to The Original Me (does that make sense?). It's like I'm whispering in my original's ear, saying "can't you see what's happening? try this, or do that!" but the message never arrives. Does this make me crazy? Depends on your definition.

Sure, I know how to change things: just make this-or-that tweak in the situation! But it happens anyway, and I'm left to watch, fascinated-yet-helpless. Maybe I'm subconsciously trying to relive Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day?

Guess I should call The Nice Man With The Cattle Prod, and tell him that it's time for another of my "treatments," huh?
Oct. 23rd, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
Re: "It's okay; I'm a doctor."
Re: sleeping aids

Ambien ROCKS! I took it the last month I was pregnant. It works like a charm
Oct. 23rd, 2005 11:41 am (UTC)
Re: "It's okay; I'm a doctor."
i know, right?!?! you write down that exciting, very surreal-yet-somehow-plausible dream the instant you wake up, and then two hours later when you come back to it, you're thinking, "um, what??" i must have been on crack.

i believe the owl story. i wasn't even there, but it's the least crazy hallucination i've ever heard =) wouldn't it be great if tonight, while you're all knocked out on tylenol p.m. that the owl keeps scott up. then the next morning, even though you'll be soooo tempted to "i TOLD YOU!", you can just act like he's insane =) "owl?? what owl? honey, i really don't know what you're talking about..."
Oct. 22nd, 2005 02:32 pm (UTC)
goodness, i believe you when you say there was an owl out there? it could happen, i heard them before too.
Oct. 25th, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC)
Owls are entirely plausible. We're closer to downtown Dallas than you and we have owls around. It surprised one of the complex maintenance guys when he was accompanying a city inspector last year; we were all out on my patio looking in the water heater closet when we heard one hoot.

Bigger question is - will I make it until November 2 for my psychiatrist appointment?

Should we bet on it?

I hope the custom bite guard works for you.
( 8 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )