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To Sleep Or Not To Sleep


I’m betting half of what was wrong with Hamlet had nothing to do with his family issues and more to do with lack of sleep. It couldn’t have been easy, finding a comfy bed in a drafty Danish castle in the olden days. Then when you add in all the stress of murder, suicide & having to remember all those soliloquies, well, no wonder the guy was crazy!

Me, well, I’m not nuts. Yet. No murder. No suicide. Slightly crazy family, but that’s nothing new!
I am sleeping, in a way. But I’m not sure I care for the way I’m getting this sleep. It feels…wrong.
Let me explain.
The other night, as I explained in my last post, I stayed up way past my normal bedtime, hoping to upset my inner alarm clock & trick the RLS demons so I could sleep. When I hit the hay at 2 a.m., I did my usual bedtime routine: washed my face, brushed my teeth, slathered on lotion, took my nighttime dose of meds. I also took a benadryl, because I’d been feeling kinda itchy. I read in bed (Hey, that rhymes!) for about half an hour, then fell asleep–and stayed that way until ten the next morning!
(In my head, Barry Manilow is singing “It’s A Miracle!”)
But it really wasn’t a miracle. Last night I went to bed at my usual time. I was totally relaxed, having taken a warm soothing shower, sprayed the sheets with lavender, and taken another benadryl. But I still woke up at my usual time, all twitchy, and frustrated.
Extra frustrated, in fact. Because by last night I was supposed to be on medication to fix this damn problem, and instead, I’m still twitching. All because of stupid traffic.
Again, let me explain.
I live in Vancouver, WA. My doctor’s office is in Portland, about a 30 minute drive away in normal traffic. I started seeing this doctor when I lived on that side of tow, and haven’t wanted to change. Until now. Yesterday Steven & I drove all the way across town in the rain for an appointment with this “doctor.” She’s actually a nurse practitioner, which is fine. We got stuck in traffic in downtown Portland, and then again in construction near her office, and I ended up being 15 minutes late. So they wouldn’t see me, and had no one else who could see me. Now every time I’m there, I wait at least 15 minutes, but they won’t see me because I’m late?! Unbelievable. I was so ticked off & frustrated I almost cried. Just wasted an entire afternoon, not to mention the end of our tank of gas driving over there, and for nothing.
This “doctor” has been getting on my nerves anyway, so clearly it’s time to find a new GP. I loved the woman I started with, Dr. Donohue, but she left, and OHSU stuck me with this chicky, who we’ll call AM. She’s nice enough, but she’s very young, and keeps second guessing me. Seriously, there are some times when I know what it is that’s wrong, and what it is I need. The insomnia/depression issue is one place AM & I have clashed over & over.
I am 42-years-old. I have suffered from bouts of insomnia since I was in college, and bouts of depression since junior high. Trust me, I know when I’m not sleeping because I’m depressed, or when I’m not sleeping because I just can’t sleep, dammit! But last summer when I was not sleeping, having fierce migraines & was scared I’d have a seizure because of it (which I did), she refused to give me more than a weeks worth of any kind of sleep aid, saying I was depressed, and that was why I wasn’t sleeping. Depressed, no. Angry, yes. And after I had that seizure in August, totally pissed, both at her, and myself. I’d gone almost a year without one, and then, because I was having such horrid wrenching headaches, I missed 4 days worth of meds, and BAM! Then I was a bit depressed.
Anyway.
So last night I scrambled to find something that would put me back to sleep at 3 in the morning, and finally discovered a few more benadryl in the bottom of a purse. It should be enough to tide me over until I can talk to my neurologist, or get in to see new doctor for that RLS med. Either way, I guess I’ll be staying up later, since it doesn’t appear to work if taken at 10. So I’ll be watching Craig Ferguson late, instead of with my morning coffee. Should be fine.
If I start mumbling lines from Shakespeare, though, lookout!

5 thoughts on “To Sleep Or Not To Sleep

  1. Don't forget to goto Google Places and look them up. Once you find their pop up, leave a nice "Review" for others to watch out for. That's the beauty of the internet, to give people a heads up so they don't have to go through the same crap you (and also give them a chance to have a heads up and fix their problem of poor customer service – especially since they are the ones who keep you waiting 15 minutes later)

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  2. Several pharmacists have told me that benadryl can make RLS even WORSE, so avoid it if you can. I did not find the same effect from unisom – just make sure if you get unisom that it's the original little blue pill, not the "sleep melts" or "gel caps" because all those fancy ones are just diphenhydramine (benadryl).If you are getting truly desperate without the RLS meds, and it's going to be a long time before you can see your stupid doctor, call me.Oh, and about Hamlet? Well, nothing makes you lose sleep like those ol' family issues.

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  3. I know a lot of people with insomnia. I just feel fortunate that I'm not one of them…I'm usually able to sleep through the night pretty well. Hope you find a more caring doctor who will listen to you and not cancel your appointment because you're late due to traffic.

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  4. @Karen: Once upon I time, I was taking unisom to sleep, and in the last year, discovered that it really did make the RLS much worse. Not sure if it was the gel caps or not, but most likely, since I always go for the bottles, not the blister packs, and they're the ones that come in the bottle, right?I haven't noticed much of a difference with the benadryl, but I did only take it for a few nights. With any luck my neurologist with have some compassion and write me a scrip this week. @Mark:Lucky duck. Next time I can't sleep I'm calling you & making sure I'm not the only one awake. ;)~

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  5. Yes, the original unisom is the one that comes in those pain-in-the-a$$ blister packs. The stuff that comes in a bottle is diphenhydramine (benadryl).Glad you have another doctor to go to. RLS is definitely a neurological issue.Keep us posted.

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