Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Challenge that is Insomnia

I woke up this morning and actually cheered myself.  I was just that happy that I had slept until from 11-3am.  The sad thing is that it took an extra Neurontin and an extra Tramadol to my already heavy cocktail of pain meds and muscle relaxers.  I will take it any way I can get it.

I have a pretty high pain tolerance.  You have to be able to tolerate the pain if you are going to live with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia and keep on working and being productive and conquer all of the obstacles that come along with the roller coaster ride of these two illnesses.  My Achilles Heel is insomnia.  Many, many nights I am awake-wide awake- several times throughout the night before I give up and just get up.  This week alone I have been up for the day between 1:30 and 1:45 every morning.  That is not conducive to being productive at work- and it is especially not conducive for dealing with customers.  Being tired makes me very cranky.  Let me emphasize:  VERY CRANKY.  Being cranky every single day is not good for me or anyone else around me.  I try very hard to not let it come through but when I am super tired, I am just one step away from having to close my door to my office and shut myself off or just plain blowing up or having a melt down.

I had a mini-melt down last Friday.  We had a pretty important task that had to be done.  It was a part of a task that my staff had been working on early in the week but when I discussed the next steps- you could hear crickets. I honestly felt like I was losing it.  I actually asked out loud "Am I crazy or were you not working on this for two solid days this week? You CANNOT tell me you don't know what I am talking about!"  I was so agitated that I could hear my voice (and feel my blood pressure) rising- something I try to contain.  I finally got up and walked away.  I had to cool down for a few minutes before I said something that I shouldn't.  That is a very uncomfortable place to be in; being so angry that you are seconds from verbal diarrhea that would be impossible to take back.  In general, I am pretty good about controlling that impulse, but when I am in the midst of an insomnia cycle, it's only seconds away because everything (and most everyone) irritates me.

When I am in this cycle, positivity is incredibly hard to acheive.  Gratitude is equally hard because it feels like it is not genuine when I am struggling so much.  Ironically, being in this space gives me more opportunities to actually BE thankful.  Thankful that I was able to get up and walk away.  Thankful that I can push through the brain fog and thoughtfully accomplish a task.  Thankful that I am not quite to the point that it is fully debilitating yet.  Thankful that I made it through another day.

I know down deep that this is just another challenge to be conquered in the world of living with a chronic illness.  I know that down deep I will find a way to turn this into a blessing in disguise- I just have to find that one thing that will flip that switch and turn around my mindset.  

1 comment:

Kim said...

Hang in there- I am the queen of insomnia and know what it feels like. UGH!