Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Chronic Illness & Sleeplessness

Hi Honeys 
Do you have trouble sleeping?  I certainly do.  Almost everyone has probably experienced the occasional night where they can't easily nod off or just can't seem to settle but in my case it's so regular as to be the norm and has been now for many years.

Chronic Illness & Sleeplessness - When You Just Cant Sleep

I've been told at hospital that this is not unusual in arthritis patients. There are many reasons for this, the obvious one of course being pain whether in the joints or in the muscles. Both very distressing and more than able to deprive anyone of sleep believe me.

I've had so, so many nights where I wake up in pain and am then forced to sit upright on the edge of our bed for possibly an hour or more because I simply cannot lie down due to the dreadful pain through my spine/shoulders. There are no words to describe this pain. None.

Equally distressing though is what the Doctors refer to as "restless leg syndrome." Any sufferer will tell you this is a very silly name for an incredibly irritating, and incredibly painful, complaint.  Basically the sufferer will experience involuntary spasms through the muscles in their limbs. It's not restricted to legs believe me! Personally, I experience it through my legs, but also through my arms and hands.

As anyone with fibro knows there are (many) other reasons that sleep can be so elusive. Some of them incredibly frustrating. I've spoken before about fibro fog  and its ability to steal away any ability to concentrate, but it does so much more including, unfortunately, occasionally causing a sort of "brain chatter" preventing any possible chance of rest.  In short dear reader, sleep is kept away because my brain simply won't shut up! "what to make for dinner tomorrow, do I have any appointments? Drs to have bloods done? physio?..... why won't my eyes stay closed!" 

The result of this torment by your own body is to wake up every morning feeling drained, unrested, simply exhausted.  By Lunchtime all you want to do is lie down, pull the duvet up over your head and seek the oblivion of sleep but by then you either can't nap because you're at work, or pain has started to bite taking any hope of sleep away. It is a horrible way to live, and becoming depressed as a result is understandable.

Understandable, but NOT permissible.  Can't let it win you see dear ones, because if you give up, it's won.  This nasty insidious evil disease can simply not be allowed to win!  So, how do we fight back? By taking its power over us away. By finding lots of little coping mechanisms that make life easier because even a little easier makes such a difference!

In my next post I'll share some of the ways I've found to cope with all of the annoyances and even how to make (some) of the pain a little less bothersome. Till then, honeys, sending you a thousand gentle hugs and wishing you a surplus of spoons always xx

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