It always surprises me. I don’t know why. But it does.
What is it?
The human brain, specifically my brain.
Here I am deprived of adequate sleep night after night. Finally it seems that perhaps I’m not sleeping because I’m in more pain than I realize. I had prescribed medications taken as directed at bedtime. About an hour passed I suppose when I felt my breathing changing, growing slower and slower. Finally sleep seemed to over take my manic brain.
I panicked. One eye opened. Then the other. What the hell!? I want to sleep. I have to sleep. I really really need to sleep. Yet here I was relaxed and falling asleep… and I kept waking myself up apparently on purpose. Oh not consciously on purpose, but as I lay there reopening each eye as they slid closed time after time it became clear that I was beginning to panic.
I don’t allow health care givers to give me morphine. The reason is simple, or so I thought. I have asthma and when I feel like I can’t breath I panic. Morphine slows breathing. It is a normal response to the drug. It causes me to panic.
Enter tonight’s medication regiment designed to relieve my physical pain and put my busy brain and body into a good night’s rest. Unfortunately it is this very response to the medications, the expected response, that freaks me out. I don’t have sleep apnea if you’re wondering. I snore quite a lot sometimes and I’ve had the sleep study just last summer. I’m completely normal. At least, when I sleep. Strangely I feel right asleep when they told me to even though I was hooked up to all sorts of wires and sensors.
Tonight I finally fell asleep. Somehow, for some reason I don’t really understand, I wake myself up…. I think I’m dying.
I don’t know why. Perhaps it relates to the experiences I’ve had with morphine. I can’t control my breathing. It slows way beyond my normal rate. I feel myself sliding out of control. It seems to me to be too deep. Too final. I don’t understand.
After keeping myself awake and feeling rather foolish and yet stubborn and determined to stay awake lest I sleep to death, I decided that instead of assuming that my breathing was slowing to a stop and my pulse was probably doing the same thing that I would get up and look it up on my Chrome. It would only take a few minutes and then I could be reasonable and sleep or stay awake.
Although I can’t very well take either while sleeping, which if you remember I’m not letting myself do anyway, so I tried to breath as shallowly and slowly as I thought I was fighting. I also looked up the popper rate for a sleeping adult. As expected they were normal for someone completely asleep. Very asleep. Oh they are both on the lower side of the counts, but not abnormal I think.
That’s the problem, at least part of it. “I think.” And I’m afraid.
My body and brain are so out of control that losing control of myself while simply sleeping is freaking my subconscious out. Then it wakes me up so I can panic properly.
Writing always helps me relax. Blogging or writing in my diary especially. I hope that by putting pen to paper as it were that I have convinced myself that it’s okay to sleep. That all is normal. All is well. I will not die in my sleep tonight.
Still… I am afraid and I don’t understand.
I see my counselor in the morning and my med provider after that. You can bet that this will be the first thing I’ll mention after the Fibromyalgia. Adding the new diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis to my alphabet soup of BP, ADHD and PTSD and I’m a bit whacked out. I’m going to put this down now and sleep. It is okay to sleep. I will sleep like a normal person. I suspect too that the Tramadol makes me a bit dizzy and makes me feel like I have a slight headache which is ironic since it’s a painkiller. I seem to recall that I’ve responded to it like that in the past but I’m not certain.
Add it all up and I have this terrifying feeling that if I sleep when I feel this precise way… I’ll die.
And that, isn’t something I want to do. Yet, round and round my head is still arguing with itself about the whole thing. Besides writing about it my other solution is to have a glass of milk. And I wonder that since I’m panicking maybe I should take my prescribed Diazepam. Or, maybe it will also make me freak out that I’ve relaxed too much.
This is ridiculous.
I’m going to close my eyes now and try again. I really gotta sleep. . .