Sleep? What’s that?

I’m exhausted, I always have been. I have never (for real, not an exaggeration) had a restful nights sleep. I don’t know what it’s like to wake up, get out of bed and not feel like I need another 6 hours of sleep. When I was a kid the first thing I did when I got home from school was crawl in to bed and take a nap, this continued until grade 7 or 8 or high school, I’m not sure.

I can at any point lay down and fall asleep. Fun times.

I would imagine a good portion of those reading this will be like “ME TOO!” We are kindred spirits you and I.

In addition to this I snore, like a really big chainsaw. This also has happened since I was a kid. As a 30-ish pound under 4ft girl I could snore as bad as a guy over 6ft whatever he weighed. I’ve kept my poor sister from sleep any number of times. I’m told I can be heard through walls as well as on multiple levels of a home.

Most people would assume that because of the snoring they would have some form of sleep apnea. As a kid I was never told this was something I needed to be worried about and my mom didn’t pursue this as a something that should be looked in to.

I’ve had now three sleep studies and they all have pretty much determine that I don’t have traditional apnea. At no point do I stop breathing while I sleep. That is both really good and really frustrating. You hear a lot of people who search, and search for a diagnosis express relief at finally knowing what is wrong. Even if it’s bad, they have something tangible, can take the next steps. So although I’m glad I’m not at risk of dying in my sleep I’m frustrated that I can’t have that as my answer. Not sure why I’m at all surprised, that’s been my norm, to be so far from norm. The phrase my sister and I always say, that seems to be our mantra NOTHING IS EVER EASY. Ever, for us.

What I did learn is that the mechanism that exists for those with apnea is the mechanism that I’m experiencing. Essentially what that means is that for those with apnea they can get a CPAP machine and/or make some lifestyle choices and they will see a huge improvement in their quality of life. Because my problem isn’t tied to that the solution isn’t as quick and easy. In fact as I write this I don’t know what the solution is. I am trying the CPAP machine and at the very least it’s giving my sister a much deserved break from hearing me snore but other than that it’s doing squat.

The mechanism I’m talking about is one that happens in the brain. The signals are getting mixed up. One doctor once told me I go through the cycles of sleep in the wrong order. You get your restful sleep in REM sleep but for me I tend not to even get there, my most recent sleep study revealed that on average my brain “wakes” between 15 and 40 times an hour. In these instances I’m not conscious, but the signals firing make it so my brain is.

What I fear and suspect is that this isn’t something that can be fixed. I’ve taken medication that has made me “sleep” but I’m still bloody exhausted, and wake up feeling like an exhausted zombie with dry mouth. To grapple with the ramifications that I may forever be exhausted is something I’m struggling with. I worry that my sister will get tired of hearing my comments about it.

It does explain a shit ton so i am glad for that. But I will need to learn how to live with this. It’s one thing to have always been tired and joked about it. Just figuring that it was just life figured that the last 6 years of stress was just that, stress. To know that I have a medical condition on top of all my other ones that leaves me chronically exhausted… man that SUCKS.

I look around my house at all the stuff I let go because I have zero motivation, zero energy and I’m kind of glad I’m just not lazy. But I am lazy, just because I’m exhausted doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to push through it but I’m just so tired. This is the stuff that goes through my brain. Nothing has really changed except now I know I’m not crazy, that there is a legitimate reason for me feeling like I do. I have no doubt the past 6 years have added to it but like everything I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Because at the end of the day, what choice do I have? Unless I win the lottery I still have to get up and work everyday, still have to make sure the needs of my family are met, still have to make sure there is food on the table and bills are paid. Which on that note I’m $663 lighter after paying my property taxes today! Go me, adulting!

I hope I will find something that works, or at the very least I find some coping skills to deal because not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel is scary AF.

What I hope you get out of this is a sense that you are not alone, that if you’re always exhausted due to your circumstances it’s ok to let somethings go.

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