Sleep, Interrupted

My sleep is getting funky again.

This hasn’t happened in quite some time, so the reemergence of sleep problems has taken me by surprise. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been going to bed later and later, and last night I was awake till after 3. On top of that, my sleep is frequently interrupted by Will getting up to check his blood sugar (or vomit), so I seldom if ever sleep straight through the night.

It does no good to go to bed; I just lie there for hours with my thoughts darting around like mice in a cheese factory.  I usually sleep long enough, but of course that means getting up around 9 or 10, which makes me the butt of jokes from my early-to-bed-early-to-rise family members. I’ve never been a morning person and to be honest, this sleep pattern is more my style, but after three years of going to bed at 11:30 and getting up by 8, the sudden change is suspicious.

Now, I’m sure the fact that I’ve been a little hypomanic lately has something to do with it, even though I’m back to ‘normal’ for the most part. I take my meds faithfully every morning and night, yet the nighttime ones don’t make me sleepy until well past the witching hour. I don’t do myself any favors by playing on the computer and watching TV until I do feel sleepy, but anything’s better than lying in bed staring into the dark and wondering when Will is going to awaken and throw up.

It’s become almost a nightly routine; we even have barf bags in the bedroom because sometimes he can’t make it to the bathroom in time. I know what’s causing it, and I also know it’s only going to get worse. However, the hospice nurses have told us that Haldol, an older anti-psychotic, is good for the nausea, and so Will is now taking a psych med (not that he needs one for mental health reasons) in addition to his anti-nausea pills and his “medicine” (AKA marijuana). It helps to a degree, but he still has his good and bad days. Today is not so hot. And every time I hear him get sick, my heart hurts.

Strangely enough, none of this seems to have affected my overall well-being. I haven’t cried in weeks, and most of the time I go around in an absurdly good mood. Spring is on its way, even if it is still cool and damp, and I’m not really experiencing anything out of the ordinary except for the sleep thing. You can almost set your calendar by the appearance of my hypomanic symptoms, which coincides with the arrival of the cherry blossoms near the end of February.

This is one reason why mood charting is so valuable. I use Optimism Online, plus a pencil-and-paper one, and they show clearly when my mood shifts happen. With the exception of last spring’s hypomania and the mild depression I had from mid-December to mid-February, I’ve been pretty steady since the beginning of 2015, so there’s not a lot of fluctuation on the charts. My last full-blown manic episode was in October of 2013; my last bout with bipolar depression came in October of 2014. I think this is called success, at least where I’m concerned. Gone are my rapid-cycling days and the wild mood swings that I never saw coming. That’s not to say that those things will never happen again—I know better than that—but with my current medication regimen, it’s a whole lot less likely.

Speaking of which: Dr. Awesomesauce’s office called Thursday to set up a med management appointment with him early next month. He’s been prescribing for me all along, so I guess he wants to see me before handing me off to another provider. Hey, at least I get to see him one last time and give him the Thank You card with the big ol’ toucan on it. I’m happy enough with my currnet providers, but I’ve been with Dr. A for four years and it hurt to be cut off at the knees by my state insurance. In fact, I’ll be surprised if they pay for this visit. But I’m keeping the appointment, barring anything unforeseen, because I need closure. I need to say good-bye, have a nice life, and thank you for everything. And if truth be told, I think he needs it too, because we’ve been as close as a doctor and patient can ever be within professional boundaries.

In the meantime, I’ll just continue to deal with my sleep issues and try to get back on track. I don’t have a PRN to take so I’ll have to tough it out. Plus we’re losing an hour of sleep tonight, which ought to make getting to church in the morning interesting, especially if I don’t get to sleep before 2 or 3 AM.

Of course, this is a problem only because the rest of the world operates on a 9-5 schedule. Otherwise, I’m not doing anything that requires me to go to bed at 11:30 and get up by 8. I don’t have a job, there are no kids to get ready for school, and I can always get appointments in the late morning or the afternoon. I can’t do anything about waking up two or three times a night with Will, and I’ve always been a night-owl, but even I think going to sleep before 1 or 2 would be a good idea.

So I guess I’m going to try unplugging a little earlier at night; if I get bored enough, I’m sure I’ll go to sleep. Haha!



Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

4 thoughts on “Sleep, Interrupted

  1. Man oh man, I feel for you. My wife is going through her “not sleeping consistently” phase right now and I can see how tough it is on her. Hope you get back on track soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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