Rose, counting sheep just won't work for me! How bout an episode of our favorite show instead?
I have insomnia! I've been a night owl for as long as I can remember. It even seems to run on my dad's side of the family. My dad stays up all night & my 80 year old Grandmother stays up all hours of the night. I remember how much I LOVED spending the night at my Grandmother & Granddad's when I was little b/c I got to stay up as late as I wanted. My Uncle Geoffrey had Down's so of course he lived w/ my grandparents. I loved staying at their house on Saturdays b/c my uncle & I always stayed up & watched SNL. Back then (the 90s) after SNL went off, there was some thing that came on NBC afterwards & it always showed an episode of The Addam's Family followed by an episode of The Munster's. So, I usually was up until at least 1 A.M. on Saturday nights. I'm now 29 & I am still up at God awful hours. It's not quite as enjoyable as it was back then b/c in my house, nobody else stays up late with me... seriously, even my cats are zonked out next to me as I type this! Apparently, one of the "side effects" of Meningococcal Meningitis is dealing w/ insomnia after you've survived it. Pretty much every other survivor I know has trouble getting to sleep at night. I don't know what exactly Menigococcal physically does to the body to have this effect. Then again, it's bad stuff & it does all sorts of weird things to the body that you get to live with for basically the rest of your life. So, I'm sure a lot of people are wondering why I just don't take Ambien or some type of sleep aid. Well, I have! I wasn't one of those people who takes Ambien & starts sleep walking (I guess in my case it would be sleep crawling) or eating or whatever else people have done while on it. The reason I hated it was b/c it gave me HORRIBLE dreams. They weren't necessarily nightmares but they were just so damn weird. I always woke up feeling more exhausted than I had before going to sleep. When I first told my mom that I was going to quit taking Ambien b/c I didn't like all of the weird dreams I was having, she didn't understand. (she takes sleeping meds too) She figured "weird" wasn't scary so it was no big deal. Then, I informed her about one of my dreams & she immediately understood. I guess I'll give an example of one of the dreams just in case someone is curious. After my Nana (Mom's mother) died, I had a dream one night that my Nana was still alive but she knew she was about to die. So, she wanted to be cremated (although, in real life she was devout Catholic & would've NEVER wanted that since it's against the religion) but the thing that made it so bizarre was that if you wanted to be cremated, you had to go to the crematory & basically be euthanized to have it done. So, what I'm getting at is that in my dream, you go to the crematory while you're still alive, knowing what's about to happen. See!!! I told you I had weird dreams on it! I just hated how I felt when I'd wake up from dreams like that so for me, Ambien just didn't work. Then, I tired Lunesta. I did better with that one as far as dreams went but of course, I ended up with one of the common side effects: HORRIBLE taste! The day after I took Lunesta for the 1st time, I noticed things weren't tasting like they usually did. Even water had a weird, almost sweet taste. It really got bad that night when I took Lunesta for the 2nd time. About a 30 minutes after I took it I was drinking a glass of OJ... OH MY DEAR LORD!! I thought the juice had gone bad b/c it tasted rancid. It still took me another couple of days before I figured out that the Lunesta was causing this. So, that was the end of my brief affair with it. I basically have just accepted that for now I just have to learn to live w/ the insomnia... not that it's been hard for me to accept, like I said, I've been like this most of my life. It does get a big lonely staying up all night by myself but I do have one serious form of comfort: Hallmark Channel!!! Seriously, that channel is God sent. I used to watch Discovery ID & Tru TV all night. I still watch it some but when I was watching it hour after hour, night after night, it got to be a bit depressing. I mean, most of their shows do revolve around crime & murder. Now, I have Hallmark Channel! I can stay up as late as I want & take comfort in knowing that: 1) A really good show will be on & 2) It will be a show that's going to make me laugh. They show: Frasier, Cheers, Empty Nest & of course, my absolute favorite, The Golden Girls!! AND, if I'm having a really bad night & still happen to be awake at 4 A.M., I Love Lucy comes on. It's as if someone made this channel just to cater to my needs. It still gets lonely being alone night after night (um, someone needs a man!!) but I'd rather be lonely & happy then lonely & freaked out! I do have one other way of coping w/ Insomnia. I read! I subscribe to about a million fashion/beauty magazines so I usually have at least one magazine that I haven't read yet. While I do love reading magazines in bed, I'm not a big fan of reading books in bed. Sounds crazy, I know. The problem w/ reading in bed is that if I'm really into the book I'm reading, I won't stop! So, I'm not one of those people who reads in bed (books) to help myself fall asleep b/c it ends up doing the opposite for me. Hopefully, one day, something will come along that can help set me on more "normal" hours but I've accepted that for now (& most likely several years from now) I will just have to live like a vampire. Believe me, if vampires were real, I'd be out on the prowl for one right this second! I would love to find my very own Cullen family. Until I do find one, I at least have 4 old, reliable, & hilarious friends to help me get through! Dorothy, Rose, Blanche & Sophia... THANK YOU for being such great friends!
I am a VERY lucky survivor of meningococcal disease. I contracted it in June of 2001. I was in a coma for 6 weeks & for the 1st week, my Dr.s weren't expecting me to survive. If you haven't been vaccinated for it, DO IT! You have no clue how fast meningococcal disease can destroy your body & your life! Within 48 hours of contracting it, I was in a coma on full life support! I have been in & out of hospitals ever since. I've had at least 30 surgeries due to complications from the disease.