Sunday, November 16, 2014

SLEEP: "I don't want to function. I want to live!"

Earnest Hemmingway said it best when he said: "I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I'm awake." And I couldn't agree with Earnest more!

Sleeping isn't exactly my problem with Lyme. I take sleeping medication to help me go to sleep. But getting enough is my problem. No matter how many hours of sleep I get I am exhausted. I take medication to help me function. And that is what I do most days is just function. I don't live anymore. I function. Because I am so tired. Some days are easier than others, and the meds work better. But Lyme is kicking my butt in the lack of sleep.

I have always loved sleeping. And I have never really had a problem sleeping either. And on the mission I was pro at it! I would be asleep before my head hit the pillow and I wouldn't hear a sound until the alarm went off. And when it went off I was awake. I never, in my life, pushed a snooze button. I heard 1 alarm and I was up and going. But as time went on in the mission it was harder and harder to wake up, I already talked about needing to slam my knees into the floor in the mornings to pull myself out of sleep, and to motivate myself to get out of bed. But waking up became a struggle.

Me and my last companion took turns driving. I volunteered most days because I knew I would stay awake in the car if I was driving. At night I would hear my companion talk in her sleep (which wasn't as much as she told me I talked), which I had never in all 20 years of sleeping, heard things at night. I started getting dark circles and bags under my eyes, and they have become permanent. I wear glasses to try and mask them.

Lack of sleep is almost tied with depression in the race of who can debilitate me the best! I saw an article on that used pictures of dogs to describe the life of someone who is "Eternally Exhuasted"... And I'm going to go through it.

1)Showing up to work Monday morning.

Everyone always talks about how Mondays are bad and they complain... well for me, Mondays are so hard! I can't sleep in, and it is so hard! And I know I'm probably explaining everyone's Monday here, but for me and how I used to be the intensity level is dialed up to about a 7 or 8 here!

2)When you show up to work every morning.

I will occasionally get to work early and just sit in my car. Not to talk myself into getting out and going. But to just go brain dead and sit.

3)When you get home and you are too tired
 to even get out of your car so you just sit for a while.

I will sometimes sit in my car at home so dazed that my mom will text me and ask if I wanted to come inside or not.

4)When you are exhausted but forced to interact with people.

It's not that I'm ticked off at you, it's just that I'm so tired I could cry and probably will after I get home.

5)When you realize that you slept through your alarm again!

I told y'all I would hear my alarm and get up. I would never push snooze. Well now my alarm goes off and I still refuse to push snooze, but I won't wake up and get out of bed for a half hour or so later. I literally can't get up. My brain won't turn on, and I run late every morning. No matter how early I set my alarm clock for, I will not get up.

6)When you are waiting to meet up with your friends
but start falling asleep instead.

HA! What friends!? My weekends are spent watching a movie and going to bed. I just like this picture because it is so cute. Look at that puppy trying to stay awake for his buddies. Poor pooch!

7)When you meet those people who are full of energy and refreshed after just 5 hours of sleep.

Jealousy is what I feel when I see people like that.

8)When you are starving but too tired to get up and get something.

My life used to be food before sleep. But now I'll take sleep over food any day, anytime and anywhere!

9)When people tell you that you "look tired."
I get this a lot. I usually just say, "yeah thanks." I don't explain. Because I know how I look. And I know how I feel. And if how I look reflects how I feel than I must be pretty dang sick. And if I look better than I feel on one day out of seven than I am doing fantastic!

There are a bunch more sleepy puppy examples, but these are the few that reflect my life the most.

Sleep is the body's way of healing. You can find tons of articles on how sleeping can help you heal. And Lyme is linked to lack of sleep. But with that my body is also trying to heal and wants sleep. So it is like double the amount of tiredness.

I am not trying to say I am more tired than someone or that I have a harder time getting up in the morning than someone else. What I am saying is that this isn't the normal me. This is a real Lyme symptom that is debilitating and frustrating. And I dream of the day when I can wake up and not feel tired, or think about when I can go back to bed again. Or not count the hours until I can take a nap. Or not have my eyes droop as I'm reading a book to kids at work. To just not be tired That is the ideal goal. I don't want to function, I want to live!

-The Lyme Warrior