Sunday, March 9, 2008

How do you do insomnia?

(This post has been edited to add photos now that Blogger is cooperating!)

To add to the craptastic adventures in my uprooted love life, I haven't been sleeping for the past three weeks. After not getting any sleep for roughly two weeks, I took to visiting the coveted primary care physician and asked for help. She kindly gave me a prescription for Ambient. At first I was a little excited thinking I was finally going to get some sleep. That was until I read up on the drug and learned how addictive it is. I know that my body has a high tolerance for drugs - meaning I usually need more than the average person of my size in order to get an effect. So what does this mean for me? It has potential to be a dangerous combination for me. Obviously I hesitated at filling the prescription. But after two more winkless nights I gave in. Let me share with you all a short passage from the patient education slip that the pharmacist gives you:

"Some patients taking this medication have performed certain activities while they were not fully awake. These have included sleep-driving, making and eating food, making phone calls, and having sex. Patients often do not remember these events after they happen."

Ok... anyone else see a problem here???? Do I need a babysitter while I get a little shut eye????
I decided YES!

Two darling friends decided to give a gal a fighting chance at some beauty sleep and camped out in the living room. Both nights resulted in a full 2 1/2 hours of sleep. I don't get it. This stuff is supposed to knock you out to the point of performing crazy acts. All I got out of it was 2 1/2 hours of recharging sleep. (For those of you keeping track here, we're now up to 15 days = 5 hours of sleep! Not a winning equation.) It would appear that I'm not going to be one of these patients performing strange tasks in their sleep... hell, I still wasn't sleeping!

But I pressed on hoping that maybe a bit of a build up in my system would give me the bliss I was looking for. Two more nights and I was up to a whopping 4 hours per night. Desperation was setting in. After a week of the 'magical pill' I was still only getting 4 1/2 hours of sleep for a total of 22 hours of sleep over 3 weeks (as a reference, 1 week usually contains approximately 56 hours of sleep). You don't need to be a math teacher to see that things were still not adding up.

During these nights of insomnia one might think that a lot could get done with all those extra hours of wakey-time. But no. I've been so exhausted that things aren't even getting done during the typical non-sleeping hours. Even knitting has fallen by the way side for the most part from either non-interest or a lack of being able to concentrate even on mindless patterns.

A few things have gotten done though and I think we'll switch to the good news of this post.... two FOs!!!

Both projects were easy enough to be able to follow while under the influence of sleep deprivation. First up was Calorimetry. Made with the remaining skein of Noro from the Fall Bag, I thought it was the perfect colorway for me. (Unfortunately Blogger photos are broken or something so you'll have to visit Ravelry for visuals - My Calorimetry.) I do love the colors but by following the pattern, it's a little too wide for my head and doesn't stay on very well. It may just become a gift for someone more suitable.

(Photo added - yeah!)

Second up is Stolen Moments knit up with 5 skeins of Rowan Linen Print that I got for $1 per skein. What a deal!!! It didn't come out to be as wide as I would have liked it, but then again I haven't blocked it yet either. Maybe that'll make a huge difference. (Again blogger isn't allowing photos so you'll have to visit Fall Moment on Ravelry.) This was actually knit over a period of two sleepless nights. At least something good came out of them.

(More photos added - double yeah!)

So my question is, is there anyone else out there suffering from extreme insomnia? And if so, what do you do to steal away a few moments of blissful shut eye?

9 comments:

Rachel said...

Sorry to hear you are having such a horrible case of insomnia...no suggestions unfortunately. I go through periods of it and nothing seems to help until I reach a point where I just crash. But I've never reached the point you are at. Here's hoping you get some relief soon.

On the good news...both your projects look great. I really like the color in your fall moments!

Robin said...

This is going to sound way out in left field....but have you tried Yoga? Particularly the relaxation techniques? It's worth a shot...
I don't do drugs very well myself!

dropstitchknitter said...

That's awful! I'm so sorry. I have trouble sleeping and an underlying health problem that requires that I get sleep or else. I used to take the occasional tylenol pm, but after having too many bouts with it - I take a 1 mg melatonin before bed. It does the trick most nights. I've thought of asking my rhematologist for something like ambient but I'm totally scared of prescription meds - I do not do well on them. Good luck and I hope you sleep well tonight!

sherriknits said...

Yes, I have been going through the same kind of thing and I keep thinking at SOME point, one does have to sleep!!!!
Lately I've been trying GABA and 5HTP and it seems to help some. The 5HTP you take when the day starts dimming, it is supposed to cause you to start producing melatonin. It helps me some...

I tried Ambien but it really scares me. I tried Sonata and hallucinated.

I really feel for you!

Megan said...

Just wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU for the absolutely wonderful final swap package you put together for me. I'm incredulous that you actaully were able to put together something (and finish a pair of socks!) with everything that's going on. Thanks again!

Bubblesknits said...

Poor thing! I've battled insomnia most of my life and the most help I've ever gotten is the Ambien. I don't have too many side effects from it (sometimes I have weird dreams, but not too bad). I'm betting that your stress is just winning over the ambien. Have you tried taking the Ambien and then reading something relaxing or funny till it starts kicking in? That way your mind is on a more peaceful note. Anyhoo, just some ideas. I hope you feel better soon!

chanknits said...

I have a bedtime tea that kicks my butt. I'll send you several bags tomorrow.

Love your FOs!

Virtuous said...

Ooh my goodness I hope you get some sleep too!! And that Chan's tea works!!!

Great quick F.O.s and what a STEAL on your linen wrap!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looks great gurl! Work it!!! :oD

Donna said...

I am sorry to hear about your insomnia-my daughter used the Ambien and it did help her get some sleep. But she was so afraid of the side effects too. She started a night time routine just like when my girls were little. Hot bath just before bed, cammomile tea, no tv, low lights and very soft music set to go off. She also would visualize a beautiful quiet spot and picture herself there. She is back to getting around 6-7 hours a night. Hope this will help. Hang in and sending good thought your way.