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05 March 2010 @ 04:35 pm
Sleep dep  
So, since Thursday of last week, I haven't had more than about 2 nights of steady sleep. I have these massive sinus headaches that start in my skull, spread down to my left ear, and then to the front of my head via the teeth. Then my neck starts to hurt, my glands swell up, my ears hurt, it's hard to swallow... I started having these in December, and I took some antibiotics, and it went away. Then the came back in late January, so the doctor gave me stronger antibiotics, and they went away. They came back after Katsucon, but not as strong at first. Now they are even worse than the first time. So I guess go back, and I know the drill: X-rays. I am experienced with this because I have had some serious lung issues where the third time I get the X-rays and they go, "Oopsie daisy, you have pneumonia!"

But now a week without steady sleep has given me some insight into some bizarre effects and I felt I should write them down so I can read them later.

  1. I write stuff down to read later. I started doing this a few years ago when I was out of it. I felt if I didn't e-mail myself certain notes, I wouldn't remember events at all. The eerie side effect is about one third of all notes I write myself I have NO recollection of writing. So it's like getting notes from a Punkie in an alternate universe. Thankfully, alternate universe Punkie is the same as... non-alternate universe Punkie. I am very kind in my notes, expressing things only I'd understand in a kind way. I say, "Hello" and "thank you" like I am speaking to a small child I'd like to encourage.
  2. I see black furry worms. I have had this since I was a kid. From time to time, I'd see what looks like furry, teardrop-shaped slugs about the size of a cat dart around corners and hide between objects at the corner of my vision.
  3. My vision gets grainy. It's like I can see the individual molecules that make up air.
  4. I get "Alice in Wonderland syndrome." People suddenly get far away like down a tunnel or looking through the wrong end of binoculars.
  5. I feel like my center of consciousness is about one foot to the right of me. Most of the time, I feel like I am in my head. But when I get tired, this perception of my center of consciousness shifts around.
  6. Parts of my body's system shut down. Notably the stomach. It simply stops working, and so food goes in and comes out, often very unaltered from the mashed up form I swallowed. I get heart palpitations, and sometimes my sense of balance gets so screwed up, my mind thinks the walls are "down" and gravity is somehow holding me to the wall (which is really the floor).
  7. I black out long periods of time. Like, I'll be active, and on autopilot... but have no memory of what happened.

The thing is, my head does not hurt at all when I am upright. It's when my head is tilted for long periods of time, like about half an hour or more, than the pain starts. Finally, it gets so bad, the swelling pushes up on my left eyeball, and then I get double vision because it can't quite swivel fast enough with the other eye. So I sleep in small, exhausted bursts for 20-40 minutes before I wake up, and have to wait about an hour before the pain has subsided enough to sleep. So I can't lie down for very long. I tried sleeping sitting up, but as I fall asleep, my head tilts, and it starts all over again.
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Jasenjastengel on March 5th, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
Have you tried sleeping in a chair? I use to sleep in my chair because of the sleep apnea I had... its difficult to get accustomed to... but once you do you may be able to sleep...

because of the SA I am also very accustomed to sleep depervation, I too see things moving in my perifferal vision and my vision looks pixilated and grainy. I don't really get number 6 or 7 but 4 and 5 I get to a lesser degree... the floaty feeling is very disorienting.
If you can't win the game, change the rulesbadmagic on March 5th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
The black fuzzy things are a side effect of having bits of your retina shut off. The interesting part is the mind knows that black fuzzy things don't appear and disappear, so it tries to interpret what it's seeing. Most people see cats or dags. You saw slugs, which is unusual (the "dart behind corners" thing, to explain why they fuzzy spots disappear when your retina turns back on, is typical though.)

Me, I'd see all-black versions of the Cookie Monster.
Aurienne: marvinaurienne on March 6th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
at least you're NICE to yourself in your notes -- I seem to yell at myself about the problems I'm having, so then I don't want to read them, because I remember meanness. (But not the content). I don't tend to want to write note when things are going well. Or I decide to not write at all, because everything would be whiny and suck (which explains long gaps on my LJ). This is not good. I should communicate more nicely with myself. (Trying to cut off another self-destructive rant here)
wolfdancer on March 6th, 2010 07:14 am (UTC)
try ice on back of neck
sounds like swelling.