Bloody hell, I hate insomnia.
Tweeting about it earlier reminded me of the stupidest thing anyone’s ever said to me re: the brain party that is not sleeping for days on end.
It was when I was working for the NHS, and on the worst sleep-deprivation-bender I’ve ever been on in my life. At this point it was four days and counting (on day six my boss walked into my office where I was sitting, unable to move, staring at the wall without blinking. She put me in the armchair in the staff room, went to the pharmacy, and then drugged me into sleeping in a cubicle. Apparently when I was staring at the wall my eyes were twitching so fast it looked like my eyeballs were vibrating. Insomnia is a potentially life-threatening medical condition, kids! Don’t let yourself get stressed out to the point that you don’t sleep for almost a week, okay?) and I ran into a nurse that I kind-of knew because it was 8am and I was standing at the coffee vending machine buying a cup, knocking it back like a delicious caffeinated shot, and buying another one. I drank four before she stopped me, and we chatted about why I was one step away from stealing a cannula and injecting coffee straight into my veins.
Which was when she said the stupidest thing anyone has ever said to me about insomnia:
“Oh, I wish I could get that, you must get so many things done with the extra time!”
I’m pretty sure I just stared at her until she left, because those are the words of someone who thinks that sleep deprivation is staying up all night partying. Or pulling an all-nighter to write an essay. Things that you might do several nights in a row, but you certainly wouldn’t expect yourself to be a functioning human the next day. Like, maybe for the first night I have the energy or brain power to do shit (mostly I read, or knit, or meditate, or do yoga or listen to audiobooks- you know, things that might HELP ME SLEEP), but by night two pretty much all I’m good for is staring at the ceiling and trying to set it on fire with the power of my hatred for the universe.
Obviously this is for the really bad bouts of insomnia, the ones where I literally do not sleep a single minute for more than two nights which is not a common form of insomnia, even for me. Mostly insomnia is “interrupted sleep” where you just don’t get more than a few hours spread over the whole night, usually for much longer than the more extreme version (you know, the one that can kill you). And you don’t get much free time to do shit with that version, you’re mostly wishing & hoping & thinking & praying about sleep.
Insomnia bad & unproductive.
Sleep good, but equally unproductive.
Pick sleep. #teamsleepTags: health, insomnia, sleep
Yesterday my consultant stuck quite a large needle under my kneecap and squirted some steroids in that bitch. That felt weird, but not as weird as getting liquids shot through an IV. Honestly, the effect was almost instantaneous, although I did still use my crutches to get from the hospital back to the car, because the steroids may have made it 100x better, but it still hurt to put weight on. A lot.
(Aside: I deffo no longer have a needle phobia any more. Thank you, massive amounts of pregablin. You have done many things for me, but this might just be my favourite of them. This was another change brought about by the miracles of modern medicine. I still get nervous when people approach me with needles, but I think that’s mostly because I spent 21 years having phobia reactions, and only 6 years not having them, so it’s like my body remembers ‘this is how we’re supposed to react to the thing’ and tries to make me have a panic attack, but then I take a few deep breaths and it’s fine. I am super excited that this is thing that has happened.)
Blah blah, went home, had a nap. Knee did not lock or seize up while I had nap for the first time in two years. I woke up after 80 minutes and didn’t have to move my knee with my hands to get it warmed up or anything.
Then I did some walking around town WITHOUT MY CRUTCHES. It hurt, but it was more of an ache from the steroid injection than the constant screaming agony that walking was before. Oh, and I lasted through the whole of seeing Legend at the cinema without having to resort to a) opiates, or b) leaving the cinema.
Last night I slept for seven whole hours. Uninterrupted, blissfully un-painful sleep. Previously I would only get an hour or so before my knee seized up, and then I tried to move in my sleep, and then I woke up swearing and sweting from the pain. Rinse, repeat, get very cranky from long-term insomnia.
This morning I sat on the edge of my bed, and then I stood up. With a bit of stiffness, bit of soreness, but no actual pain, and more importantly, I did it without having to push off the bed with one hand and the desk with the other. And then I walked normally across my flat to the bathroom and back. No limping at all.
When I got to Hove for my eye test fifteen minutes early I just wandered (WALKED, WITHOUT CRUTCHES) around the shops, and did it a bit longer afterwards JUST FOR THE NOVELTY.
Then I came home and did thirty squats. THIRTY. And my knee feels fine. It hasn’t seized up once while I’ve been sitting around reading for the last five hours. AT ALL.
Because of the Hypermobility Syndrome it’s possible that the steroid injections effects will wear off a lot sooner than intended, so I am going to try and keep an update every few days of any progress, regressions, or side effects so that I can go prepared into my next consultants appointment.
Because giant knee needle every few months is WAY BETTER than a knee replacement before the age of thirty.Tags: anxiety, health, knee update, medical, needles, pain, phobia
Except you can’t show a topless woman on TV – and you can’t defibrillate a woman in a bra. So victims of heart attacks on TV are *always* male. Did you know that a woman having a heart attack is more likely to have back or jaw pain than chest or left arm pain? I didn’t – because I’ve never seen a woman having a heart attack. I’ve been trained in CPR and Advanced First Aid by the Red Cross over 15 times in my life, the videos and booklets always have a guy and say the same thing about clutching his chest and/or bicep.
And people laugh when I tell them women are still invisible in this world.
Things I did not know, but should.
They put up some awesome billboards in austin a few months ago showing the signs of a heart attack that women will feel. And I know they were effective because I was in the car when mando saw the billboard and said “Man I had no idea women had different symptoms for heart attacks!”
Way to go city of mine 🙂
Even better? A woman having all the “classic” (read: male) symptoms of heart attack is more than twice as likely to be sent home from the ER than to be checked out, EKGed, and examined.
Because we’re just hormone-addled hysterics. 🙁
i do not endorse feministing but factual quote.
Let’s talk let’s count all the times that my grandma was having mini heart attacks but they sent her home with a diagnosis of severe acid reflux tho… Let’s count em… three. And this was only discovered after the big kahuna heart attack came.
It’s so aggravating especially in my experience, with what i know about how women in my culture are raised, we tend to be able to tolerate far more pain than men because we are taught to grin and bear it. So they can miss me with the hormonal hysterics BS. This bs is why I am talking to the women in my family about advocating for themselves, and advocating for them until they can for themselves.
REBLOGGED FOR LOVE AND JUSTICE
woah I had no fucking idea
reblogging partly because of the feminism, partly because the medical information is so incredibly important that everyone needs to know the difference between the symptoms of male and female heart attacks
Reblogging because of facts, and because it makes me feel a bit sick that the media’s aversion to boobs could be killing women. Nice. Thanks, TV executives. Thanks a lot.