Saturday, October 31, 2009

Festive Music

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Something about getting to dress up like an animal and having it be not weird, most likely. It's been several years since my last trick-or-treating expedition- I eventually admitted to having grown out of it, and when you can't eat the candy anymore (because there's soy or gluten in pretty much all of it) it kind of loses its purpose.

The other side of Halloween- the horror film, blood and gore, scary music, dead rotting people side- has never been something I've enjoyed. I think it has to do with the fact that these things tend to show up in my dreams, which are creepy enough to begin with without any encouragement, thanks. I could write horror films by simply recording my nightmares back before Xyrem. Also, being afraid has never been something I enjoy, even though I know people who actually like it. The weirdos.

All this week I've been watching tv- with all the horror movie previews- and I've ended up coming across the usual stupid fake skeletons in people's yards a lot. At the same time I've been sleeping steadily worse every night this week. So of course last night there were creepy rotting people all the heck over my dreams, and I kept brushing up against them on accident and feeling them- at one point I was swimming in an inky black cave that was completely underwater, and they were all over the floor, and there was a current in there that kept me from easily swimming out. It was a tiny part of a whole lot of complete nonsense that lasted all night, and besides that mostly wasn't creepy. But I woke up dead tired because I had spent all night in REMland instead of getting actual rest. I didn't dare try to sleep in because I knew it would just be more crazy dreams, so I ended up taking a nap right after breakfast instead. It took caffeine to get me through my class okay.

So I get to my class in the afternoon. It's Introduction to Audio, so it's basically about music. So of course our instructor thinks it would be really awesome to play us some creepy music so we can talk about what makes it creepy.

As soon as he announced this I started to tense up. The last time I got talked into watching a horror movie it was the music that really kicked my ass. I was creeped out for months after that. So even without the visual I knew I was pretty much screwed. Still, it didn't occur to me to just leave. I can be stubborn about these things in kind of a bad way.

From the first note of squealy, screechy music I was totally freaked out. And as I was expecting, even after it was turned off, it kept playing in my head. On the way home I blasted bad pop music, but when I got home and turned off the car it was back, screeching away in my brain where I couldn't escape from it. It took lots of happy music and watching Kung Fu Panda to finally get it out of there. So I went upstairs, feeling the inner peace and totally doing fine again.

I'm sitting next to the tv (with it off) eating dinner when my dad comes home and sits down. He turns on the tv, and there's the music again, in a stupid preview for yet another new horror flick. I ask him to mute it. He doesn't hear me. I ask him again. I finally yelled, and he heard me and muted it, looking like I was totally weird for being that insistent. And then he ends up watching this spoof horror movie- probably one of the Scary Movies- and it has the same damn music. I was so out of there. I grabbed my dog and ran for it. When I got downstairs I was shaking.

I decided I needed out of the house. So I got my dog leashed up and we went for a walk. As soon as we got outside I felt better. It's a cool, clear evening, and the moon is beautiful tonight. Walking down the street, looking up at it, I remembered why I like Halloween so much. There's nothing quite like walking around after dark under such a nice moon.

Friday, October 30, 2009

College Visit Car Trouble

Last night I was on a roadtrip. I had driven to another city to visit a college for some reason. I had just gotten finished with whatever it was I was supposed to do there and was completely exhausted. I was also hungry, so as I got in my car (it was exactly my real car for once) I decided I was going to go find a grocery store and get something to eat back at my hotel. I thought I had seen a grocery store on my way to the college so I thought I would try that.

I was having some weird driving issues. For one thing, my brake wasn't working as well as it usually does, so I had to be really careful. As I navigated the large and busy parking lot, I kept almost scraping cars when I turned around them, but then I would just get by without touching. It was pretty nerve-wracking, but I got to an exit and was just congratulating myself on not hitting anything when the car pulling into the same entrance misjudged and scraped into me. I heard this horrible scraping sound and my car shook. I sighed, put my car in park and got out.

The guy was actually really nice. He looked a lot like (but not exactly) one of the people who works at Petco and chats a lot while I'm checking out. I went rummaging around for paper to get his insurance information written down.

I was feeling pretty light-headed and confused because I was so tired and hungry. I looked at the cars. From what I had experienced inside the car, I thought I would just have a scrape along the side, but instead it was quite different. The front of his car had somehow smashed the back of mine, though it wasn't bad enough that I couldn't still drive it. His car looked really bad though. Pretty quickly a couple of people came to tow away his car and we moved out of the way by sitting down at this table that was randomly in the parking lot for some reason. This part of the dream got really frustrating because all I was trying to do was write down the man's information, but I would write his name only to lose track of my stack of papers and then not be able to find it again, or I would be trying to write his phone number and it would turn into crazy symbols so that I couldn't read it, or I would write something down and the wind would blow the paper off the table, and when I picked it up it would be blank.

I was convinced it was just me being confused and tired. I seriously didn't figure out that I was dreaming because I was too busy being worried that I wouldn't get the important information down. I told the man (and his father, who was suddenly there randomly) that I was hungry and that was why I was having so much trouble, and they started offering me various gluten-containing things which of course I had to refuse. Finally the man just wrote it all down for me and handed me the paper. I thanked him and went back to my car.

It was gone. Apparently it had been towed with the other car. I sat down on the grass, and out of nowhere my grandparents showed up. I explained to them what had happened and got in their truck, and we were on the way to the grocery store when I woke up. And was very surprised (and relieved) to find that it hadn't really happened.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Professional Porch Napping

This morning I actually slept okay for the first time in awhile. I had a cool dream in which I was travelling around inside a vast dormlike place via subway trains and buses, hanging out with two of my close high school friends. It occasionally made itself frustrating, but for the most part was a good dream. And after that I actually slept as far as I could tell when I woke up later than usual, feeling somewhat refreshed (or at least less run over than the rest of the week).

So I figured, since we were going to have a substitute in my class today and therefore it would most likely be shorter than usual, that today wouldn't be so bad. Maybe I could get away with two naps instead of like five, and by the time 7 PM came around I wouldn't be ready to keel over and give up on that staying awake nonsense.

Well, driving to class actually wasn't that hard for once, as I felt like I could pay attention without having to focus every ounce of brainpower on it. Class was fine for about the first half hour, and sleeping during the twenty minute break did help, though I got weird looks from my classmates again. But by the end of the three hour class I was pretty dead. Driving home was difficult and when I had finally pulled up safely into our driveway I just sat in my car for a few minutes, summoning the energy to open the door and get out.

I decided it would be a good idea to let my dog out into the yard for a few minutes and then take a good solid nap. My body decided, however, that that wasn't going to be soon enough. And I ended up falling asleep sitting on the front porch. It was at least ten minutes of nap and it was definitely not planned. I was aware for most of it, so it's not like I was completely out, but that was my first accidental nap in awhile. Though I still think it's kind of funny (add that to my entertaining list of strange places I've taken a nap) it really just highlights the trend I've been experiencing lately. The not so great for any future plans I might have trend.

At this point I'm starting to doubt everything I had thought about before- about how animation is really something that would suit me as a career. It's not that I don't like it or that I'm not good at it, but it requires energy. Which I don't have. And I really don't know what to do about this as my lack of energy seems to be getting alarmingly worse. My doctor is out of medications to add at this point, after the Ritalin made me depressed, and I'm pretty sure he's as frustrated as I am with the situation. We can't increase the Xyrem either; we tried and my side effects came back, and besides that my stomach can't really handle it anyway.

So right now I'm in a pretty angsty state of mind. I keep having to cut back on my daily activities in order to avoid completely flattening myself for days at a time, but every time I think I'm done cutting stuff out of my life I end up having to cancel more. I'm sick to death of being in this house, but leaving it takes more energy than I have to spare most of the time. I keep trying to decide what to do with my life, but everything I want to do takes more energy than I have, so I find myself stuck without plans at all. I just don't know what I'm going to do.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Job Garage Art Frilly Reunion

Weird dreams this morning. o.O

In one dream I was working for this company that apparently helped people edit their papers. It was a kind of fancy looking office and we all had to wear suits. All the furniture was shiny polished hardwood. A client would come in and check in at this library desk, and then the receptionist would send them back to one of our editing cubicles.

It was apparently my first day on the job and my first ever client turned out to be an acquaintance from high school, only in the dream I thought I knew her from Japan. I was relieved to have someone I knew because that way I wouldn't have to be all formal and nervous. We talked for awhile and she gave me a research paper for grad school to edit. It wasn't that hard but I was starting to get sleepy sitting in my comfy armchair. I started to move around, finding excuses to stand up because I needed to wake up again. Unfortunately this strategy backfired and I got really tired and started having trouble pretending I was fine.

The next dream I had took place at my house except that it was still my senior year of college. Our garage was the Carleton ceramics studio, and if you went into the actual house it was nothing but twisting hallways with these framed bold graphic poster-sized drawings hanging neatly on both walls. Apparently I had just finished my senior comps project and was pulling it out to look at everything in the garage. The last person to be in there had left a slide projector and a lamp across the street in a park for some reason, and I was annoyed because it could have easily been stolen. I took both back into the garage but left the garage door open because even though it was foggy outside there would be better light in there that way. I had laid out all of my work on a table and was looking at it. It didn't look great, because the glaze had come out kind of weird and not how I'd planned, but I figured it would work anyway. I had lots of different sizes of dinosaurs and other animals, and the really big ones had lots of detail. The lighting in there was pretty bad and kept getting worse until it occured to me to turn on the light. At one point a giant ceramic owl fell from the rafters and half-smashed on the floor, and I was relieved that it had missed the table and hadn't broken any of my art. People kept coming in and looking at my stuff or just randomly wandering in and out, and one of them was a friend I had in elementary school who I haven't spoken to in many years, only in the dream I apparently still knew her pretty well because we were discussing art stuff. We got onto the subject of making jewelry and she showed me a couple of rediculously impressive little metal pendants she had found somewhere. One of them was shaped like a tiny domed building, and if you opened the little door and looked inside there were tiny metal people dancing (literally moving) under a tiny chandelier. The whole thing was made of gold and on a gold chain.

That dream melded into another one in which I was at a family reunion showing off the little metal building. My grandparents and cousins were all there and we were sitting in chairs around the edge of a small square bedroom with a big fancy bed in the middle. Everything from the curtains to the carpet to the fluffy comforter were pink and frilly. No one thought it was weird to be in there, lol. I mostly listened in on conversations for awhile but people kept talking about things I didn't really understand. Eventually I decided to go home. I was walking around and saying goodbye to everyone when I woke up.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Every Time is Naptime!

Well, the day after my failed Ritalin experiment was awesome. It was like night and day, haha. I still had my usual amount of no energy, but it was so much better than the day before that I felt like I was doing great. I'm really glad the depression wore off so fast. It was also nice because the weather was awesome for my photography homework.

A couple of days later, though, and I'm back to the every time is naptime routine. On Friday my mom was home, and since she had lots of errands to run I went with her. It worked out really well, actually, because we would chat about stuff as she drove, then when we got somewhere she left me in the car to nap while she went in. So I didn't get too tired and so got a lot done, haha. There were a couple of parking lots where I felt kind of self-conscious sleeping. I mean, it's not like we were in a bad part of town or something, but it is kind of weird to be napping in your car, especially when you're pretty obviously over the age of 10. Luckily I've now officially mastered the ability to nap while still aware of my surroundings, so it wasn't unsafe. I bet I confused some random passersby, though, haha.

Speaking of confusing people, lol, last week in my photography class another student kept questioning me on why I take naps during every break. That class is pretty intense, so in order to get through the entire four hours without missing half the information I have to put my head down when I can. He kept questioning until I finally just told him that I'm really tired all the time. I don't like pulling out the word Narcolepsy. Either people think it's something it's not or they've never heard of it. I know I'm not helping to educate people and spread the word, but it's a pretty personal thing to me and I'd really rather not spread it around that I have this disabling illness. It's like, too much information to people I don't know. Plus there's the fact that I'm just too damn tired to explain all this crap. So I brush them off instead and let them wonder why I'm constantly napping.

Today I've taken two significant naps (more than five minutes, haha) already, but I think it's time for one more. Otherwise walking the dog will turn into napping while walking the dog, which is probably something that I should avoid.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

And That Would Be a No

I took Ritalin this morning, and at first it seemed like it was going to work. I was more awake, but then I got really really tired. As in worse than the usual Narcolepsy thing. I've been on the couch all day, dead tired, a little depressed and completely lacking motivation to try to do anything. I was excited about doing my photography homework this morning, but now I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen today, which is bad because if it rains tomorrow I could end up with hardly anything to turn in.

Mainly I'm just really frustrated. I planned carefully this week just in case something like this happened so I could still get by anyway, but it still sucks when the experiment doesn't work out, the small amount of hope you had allowed to build up gets dashed and you're back to square one. I'm definitely not taking this tomorrow, and I'll probably just call my doctor on Monday and see if he'll prescribe a different one. Then Thursday can be another experiment. I wonder if any of them will end up working out.

Oh well. Back to the endless napping.

Photography Homework

Last night I dreamed I was working on my photography assignment. I really do have one to do over the next two days, and yeterday I was having trouble thinking of things to photograph because I used most of my good ideas up last week, haha. But in my dream I was having no trouble coming up with lots of crazy but awesome ideas. I kept waking up enough to jot suggestions down in my notes. In the dream I got so preoccupied by setting up cool ideas that it got dark before I had time to actually photograph anything. Plus people kept getting in my way. A friend I haven't spoken to in awhile was at my house, trying to do a puzzle with her eyes closed. She wouldn't even open her eyes while I was trying to get around the giant table she was working on. My dad kept following me around distracting me by asking me to do other things. There were a bunch of other people wandering around too. It was a pretty interesting dream, and when I woke up I jotted down a couple more ideas for my homework. Then I looked at the list. It was hilarious because half of the stuff involved parts of the house in the dream that don't exist in real life. I can't get on this house's roof, for example, and we definitely don't have a waterfall in our front yard, even though that would be awesome. There were still some ideas I can use though, if it stops raining. It was also nice to have such a coherent dream again as they've been disjointed lately.

Today I'm starting Ritalin. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Even More Drugs!!

I haven't been sleeping very well for about a week now. I had three or four mornings in a row where I woke up paralyzed after almost-nightmares, which had not been happening more than once every month or two before. After going back to sleep it's been whacky dreams and then I wake up early, feeling exhausted. Yesterday morning I was feeling okay- I actually slept some after my third dose- but by the afternoon I was more exhausted than I've been since the failed Nuvigil experiment. And this morning I'm way out of it and zoning out.

So I called my doctor. He wants me to try Adderal or Ritalin as a last resort of sorts since I'm really struggling to stay awake at this point, even though they could make me lose weight- which would be a very bad thing for me. But we've both decided that it's worth a try at this point since I can't take Nuvigil. I'm having a really hard time keeping up with my classes, which don't even have that much work.

So it's more drugs for me. I wanted to go pick whichever one he gives me up at the local pharmacy, but apparently you either have to pick them up from the sleep center or have them mailed to your house. I decided I'd rather wait a couple days for it to arrive here than drive for half an hour to pick it up. Yes, I am that tired.

In the meantime I just have to hang in there and try to get everything done. I really like my digital photography class, but it's hard because going around with a camera and snapping pictures from all sorts of angles is really exhausting. I managed to do this last assignment around my house, which was lucky because I only had the camera for a day and had to rest a lot. I'm a little worried that this week I'll have to go farther afield. At least nothing this quarter is really difficult so far.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Class

Last night I dreamed about going to class today. Oddly enough, this quarter I really do have a class on Saturday, and it's no mystery why I dreamed about it because I've been dreading it all week. It's not that the class is all that bad. It's just Saturday. I mean, come on. I ended up stuck with it because I forgot to register until after the good times were taken.

In the dream I was sitting in class and getting very annoyed at the instructor. In real life he's very pompous and it's difficult not to roll my eyes at him, so this kind of made sense. So I got this fluffy blanket out of my backpack and put it over my head. Then I got out my ipod and was listening to the usual bad pop music. I also somehow had a cup of hot tea I was sipping. No one around me seemed to notice, even when I started singing along loudly, hahaha. Eventually I decided to poke my head out and see what was going on.

The prof was writing something in code on the board. Apparently he had just explained what it meant, but I hadn't been paying attention and had missed that part. He started calling on random people to answer questions that I didn't even understand. He called on me and I felt pretty guilty for getting distracted and not being able to answer. Then I woke up into another dream in which I told all these people about the dream I just had, lol.

It was pretty funny because even when I don't really like a class I always pay attention and get as much out of it as possible, even on a Saturday, and I definitely don't sing loudly in class. XD

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Earrings Saga

Just over six weeks ago I got my ears pierced. This was a pretty big feat for me because I have a pretty serious needle phobia. I survived the first piercing and was really proud of myself for not fleeing in terror (which I was definitely in danger of doing at the time). I figured that I had gotten through the worst part and the rest of this would be easy.

Well, the first six weeks passed and I was pretty excited to be able to change out my earrings. On Monday I decided to go ahead and do it in the morning. Before I knew it it was half an hour later, my feet really hurt (how dare I stand up for half an hour!) and my fingers were all sore from gripping the metal backs of the earrings, which were showing no sign of budging. My arms were even sore from holding my hands up, haha. I gave up for the day.

Several days and several attempts later I was seriously wondering if I was stuck with these earrings for the rest of my life. I started talking to friends about it and found out that I probably needed someone to help me. With my only friends in town really busy and both parents away on business I pretty much had to wait. I kept at it anyway though.

Yesterday morning I finally got them out. I was really happy that I had managed to do it all by myself. I got a new pair that looked easy enough to put in and then I found out that the worst was not, in fact, anywhere near over yet.

It was terrifying. I could get one earring halfway in, but I couldn't find the hole in the back. I had no way of seeing it. The scary part was that the digging around in my ear I had to do while trying to find the hole felt way too much like a needle to me. I ended up having a panic attack right there in my bathroom. I refused to give up, which admittedly was pretty impressive at the time, but it ended up just making me feel worse because it just wasn't going to be possible without help. I got really good advice to use neosporin on the earring to dull the pain, but that wasn't until after my disastrous first try to get it in.

I was panicky all day. I was concious of the fact that if I didn't get the new ones in before I went to bed the holes would start to heal shut overnight and all of this would be for nothing, because after how frightened I had been I was pretty sure I wouldn't have the courage to get them pierced a second time.

Luckily my mom got home last night and agreed to help. I ended up on the floor (because when I was standing up I felt like I was going to faint), crying because I was afraid, with my mom leaning over my ear trying to find the hole. It didn't hurt because of the neosporin- it just felt like a needle and I didn't like it. I managed to stay still and finally it went through. Thank god for moms.

I've decided these are staying in for awhile, haha. I'm proud of myself for going through with this though, and I hear that the first time always sucks. And as scared as I was I think next time will be better, and that this will help me to eventually overcome my phobia. Take that, needles!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Really Weird Night

Wow, last night was bizarre. And I'm still feeling it. o.O

The first two doses went just fine. I slept deeply with no dreams. At the end of the second dose I overslept my alarm by like half an hour, which has happened without anything weird before. But last night I had an interesting hallucination.

I woke up in my dark room and looked around. There was a ladder leaning up against my bookshelf, which made perfect sense to me at the time- I remembered needing to change a lightbulb yesterday and leaving it in my room so I could hang a couple of pictures up today. Then, suddenly, a bag of really tall golf clubs fell on me. It was startling because I hadn't seen them at all until they were falling towards me, and they were very long. When they fell against my arm they were really cold and smooth and it hurt a little. I sat up and leaned them back up against the ladder, suddenly remembering that they had been in the closet with it and that's why I had to bring them into my room, too. I decided to get up and go to the bathroom before going back to sleep.

When I stood up my door was open, and there was a cold white light coming in from the skylight over the entryway. I looked up at it as I came out of my room and started freaking out because it was snowing. I was really excited and ran to the front door to look out.

I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, but I could see there was a thin blanket of really fine snow over the grass. I was very impressed. I watched the small flakes fall for a few minutes until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore.

As I walked into the bathroom I suddenly knew that I was in a hallucination. Then I felt hands grabbing my arms and hands and I couldn't move. I fought the paralysis until it went away and I could sit up and turn my lamp on. I was suddenly back in my room, with no ladder (I didn't actually do anything with a ladder yesterday) or golf clubs (my parents have never had anything even vaguely resembling golf clubs, haha). I went to the bathroom without passing any skylights and it certainly wasn't snowing- it snows lightly here maybe once every couple of years, and certainly not in October. I was pretty creeped out by the dark corners, but I figured leaving my light on would help me sleep the rest of the morning.

Unfortunately I was wrong. I took my last dose and read a book until I figured it was safe to go back to sleep, only to get plunged right back into serious REMland. I had dream after vivid dream, and every time I woke up I fought paralysis. I went through three different half-dream, half-hallucinations that way. In the dreams I had all of my senses so it felt almost like real life. I would wake up to find my eyelids closing again of their own accord despite my light being on, and then in an instant I was back to dreaming. At least one dream was Harry Potter related (not surprising as I'm rereading those), and in another one I was on a football team (which is hilarious because I'm the biggest wimp ever). I woke up late and got up to avoid going right back under again, and I'm still fighting my eyelids after being up for half an hour. I'm thinking I need caffeine this morning.

I figure it might be food related. I did try a couple new things yesterday. Hmmm.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Flying Solo

So today was my first day with no parents around. I'd like to say that it went well... except that it didn't.

Well, okay, so I didn't crash the car yet or anything. I still have all of my limbs intact even if they tend to have a mind of their own. The house is also, in fact, not burned down. So far so good?

I had a short class today, and I planned on going to the grocery store because- and this is a pretty good reason- I was literally out of food. And I can't exactly head for the Taco Bell, haha. So I decided yesterday that I would just go after my class.

After class I wasn't too tired because of a couple of strategic naps. So far so good, I thought as I drove out of the parking garage. But that's pretty much where that thought ended. First off, it started raining pretty hard. And then I managed to turn too early and had to backtrack. When I did get to the grocery store it was pouring and it was busy so I couldn't even park nearer the door. I got to the line with my food and realized I had forgotten something, so I ran down an aisle to get it. Big mistake. The running was the last straw. When I got back to the cashier I was completely drained. I didn't even run very far or fast, but it was still too much. The guy tried to make conversation while he was checking me out, but I just brushed him off and leaned on the counter and tried to muster the energy to get out to my car.

Of course while I was in there it had started raining even harder. I got soaked loading up my groceries. I sat down in the driver's seat and shut my eyes for a minute. But I knew I had groceries and even though it was raining it was hot, so I had to get everything home.

When I pulled up in my driveway I found that my dad had left his car in the garage, meaning I would have to unload everything in the rain. It was coming down harder than ever now that I really needed it to stop. I got wet and so did everything else, and my car alarm kept going off because it thought I had accidentally left the trunk open when actually I just had to carry each bag one at a time with both hands just to lift it at all. I pulled the bags into the house and shut the door. I leaned against the wall to catch my breath.

One of the things I really hate about this house is the fact that the kitchen is upstairs. I hate stairs. I dragged my three bags over to the stairwell and looked up.

I seriously felt like I was in The Lord of the Rings, during that part in Fellowship where Frodo is looking down the road and they use that really creepy camera thing where it's backing up and focusing at the same time, and the path looks really ominous. I looked up those stairs and wondered what I had been thinking, doing my grocery trip with no one to help me. Between the driving and class and shopping and driving... I wasn't sure if I had it in me to carry them that one last stage.

I ended up doing it both hands, one bag and a couple steps at a time. I'm going to pay for this tomorrow, but I was damned if I was going to let anything melt after getting it through all that rain. Then I spent the rest of the day on the couch recovering. I'll still be feeling this tomorrow, but at least I now have food.

Back to... Normal

After my bad reaction to Nuvigil, it took me a couple of days to get back to normal. It was interesting because I was still more awake than usual even the second day I was off of it. But of course it couldn't last, and now I'm back to dragging myself through even the easiest chores.

Luckily this quarter it looks like my classes won't have difficult homework. It all seems like it'll be pretty easy to accomplish, and even with all the resting I might be able to do a good job on my assignments. That said, I'm a little worried about the next short while because both parents will be gone on seperate trips.

Looking back a couple of months I think it's pretty funny how much my attitude towards my parents leaving has changed. Every little thing when they were home used to bug me. As I've been feeling worse, though, I've been relying on them a lot more. Since driving has gotten more nerve-wracking I've been avoiding it by hitching rides with a parent to run errands, or asking one to get me something while they're at whatever store anyway. Also, both of them being gone means all the little chores around the house become things I have to remember to do. And when I'm this damned tired every little extra thing is a problem- every extra step is. When I was doing better over the summer, I was really happy to have the house to myself. Now I think I'd rather have them around, not just for the errands, but because I'm feeling so lousy that I don't leave the house very much anymore. And it's pretty lonely with no one around, because as much as I like my dog he doesn't talk much.

My neurologist said the only thing left for me to try (in an attempt to keep me awake) are stimulants. We haven't tried them before now because weight loss can be a side effect, and that would be really bad for me. I'm still underweight even though I've finally gained back a few pounds. I'm starting to think it might be worth doing, however. And I have a feeling that this time next week I will have gotten fed up and called him back.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fancy World Traveller

For most of this week my dreams have been so mixed up and nonsensical that I haven't been able to make enough sense out of them to record them. But last night was back to clear and interesting.

It started out in Japan where I was visiting my host mom and we decided to go shopping. We went to this store that had a variety of things. There was a lot of jewelry and clothing but also lots of kid's toys. At one point I was looking at these rainbow-colored puzzle pieces that you had to try and make a cube out of, only I couldn't get them to fit together and it was really difficult- they would change shape as I picked them up. I looked around at the earrings and the dinosaur toys and then at the clothes a little bit, and was excited about the fact that the blouses were small enough to actually fit me (I have trouble finding clothes that fit me here in the States because of how small I am, and in real life Japan it really was easier). I wasn't sure if there was a dressing room though, so I settled on a couple of dinosaurs and a necklace or something.

After that it turned out I needed to get dressed up for something. Now I was in a mall, but my closet was in this room off to the side where I could change. I had some really crazy clothes and was having trouble putting together anything that matched. I was getting pretty frustrated because I would put on one thing and it would turn into something completely different as I put it on, so that I would end up not matching again. I somehow didn't catch onto this for awhile though and just kept at it. Finally someone came in to help me (whoever I was with; maybe my mom?) and she had found someone to do my hair and make up. And after that I totally looked like a movie star, which I thought was pretty weird and not me but I figured it was just for this big event I was going to.

I actually don't remember what happened next, just that after awhile I ended up in an icy field with my parents, crossing it carefully because there were those concrete blocks they put at the end of parking spaces lying everywhere, only instead of concrete they were made of ice. It turned out to be a memorial of a war with the blocks symbolizing something. After awhile it turned out we had crossed over the sea into China and were right on the edge of Shanghai.

It was pretty cool because it looked like a Chinese watercolor painting of a rural landscape. My parents explained that they had wanted to show me Shanghai because they really liked going there on their trip over the summer (which is true). We went down a hill into an alley that looked like it belonged in Europe with medieval stone buildings really close together. It was after dark and I was kind of scared, but my mom started talking to the locals in Chinese (which she really is learning, though she was way more advanced in the dream) and sorted out where we should go. I was a little worried because I suddenly realized I didn't have any of my medication with me, and I didn't know where I would find something that I could eat. At the same time I was glad to be there though, because I felt that if it had been up to me I would have been too cautious about these things to visit China in the first place. And I was really glad to be there and learn something.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gothic Room Creepy Mirror Faces

It had been so long since the last time I had a gluten reaction (I'm ridiculously careful with my food) I forgot that gluten can actually give me nightmares despite the Xyrem. It wasn't so bad compared to my pre-Xyrem dreams but it was still pretty creepy.

In my dream I woke up in my current room to take my next dose of Xyrem, only it didn't look exactly like my real bedroom. There was a giant pile of stuffed animals on one whole wall and they were all lined up in a way that they were staring straight at me. None of them looked friendly. I got up to go to the bathroom, but it was really hard to keep my eyes open because I was sleepy and it was hard to see where I was going. When I got in the bathroom and looked in the mirror, my face looked really creepy and skull-like. I started to make different faces and it all just looked really scary- like in the mirror my grin would get unnaturally large until it was coming off of my face, and various parts of my face would stretch around unnaturally. I could feel it too- it didn't hurt but I could literally feel my mouth stretching out and the muscles migrating around.

After that I got sidetracked doing something else. I think I was trying to get dressed up for something, only I couldn't find what I was looking for. My room was really gothic. There were skulls on everything and there were a lot of little silver statues. I kept looking at the stuffed animals and their eyes would follow me as I moved around the room. I think there was some sort of plot for the next part of the dream involving my mom or something, but I don't remember. I just remember towards the end of the dream I was back in the bathroom making creepy faces again and scaring myself so that I started to get paralyzed. It never really took hold though, and I woke up suddenly and left the light on after that.

Today I feel like someone stabbed the inside of my entire digestive tract over and over. So I'm going to call my neurologist and tell him that Nuvigil is a no.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Bad Experiment

Well, at least now we know that Nuvigil is officially not gluten free.

For most of the day I was awake, which made my life much easier. Unfortunately I was also having a gluten reaction. In the morning right after taking it I was so brain fogged that I couldn't think. It's hard to describe because it isn't the same brain haziness that I have anyway with Narcolepsy. It's less about losing track of things and more about just not having any thoughts in my head at all. And if I have to make a decision I can do it, but it takes a really long time to get any thoughts into my head. So that was fun this morning. I spent a good solid ten minutes trying to decide what I was going to eat for lunch when it was really kind of obvious.

After that came the stomach cramps. Ouch. That lasted most of the afternoon. After lunch my brain was mostly working again, which was good because I had a class. It looks like it'll be really good, actually, but it was long- it went all the way until 5. I ended up driving home in traffic, awake but dead tired. If I thought I was tired before the Nuvigil, I had just forgotten what a gluten reaction is like on top of the Narcolepsy. It completely floored me. I came home and headed straight for the couch and it kind of messed up and switched around my evening routine.

So my digestive system officially says no. Which is unfortunate because my brain wants to say yes. Halfing the pills took away the hyperness and heart rate issues and being awake was awesome. If my stomach could handle it it could open up a lot of possibilities for me.

My latest idea is to look into the latest Celiac disease treatment and see when it comes out- it's a pill that theoretically allows you to eat gluten without a reaction. Last I heard it was in clinical trials. Personally I'm not putting any money on the makers of Nuvigil deciding to suddenly care and change the fillers, though I guess I'll keep writing to them anyway. And in the meantime, it's back to the old daily dragging myself through life.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Kind of Bummed

Well, I called my doctor today and sure enough he wants me to start at a lower dose by cutting the pills in half for the first week. That's fine by me, and hopefully I won't have stomach issues. I totally realized that I've been a little depressed for a couple days ever since I stopped the Nuvigil, and now I'm wondering if that's not a sign of gluten being in it. I guess I'll find out this week if I react to it or if stopping it suddenly was what threw me out of whack. I should probably just call them and find out if it has gluten, but I figure if I try it again instead at least I'll get to be awake for a day or two before it catches up with me. I'm so damned sick of being this tired that I'd rather brave gluten than play it safe.

I'm also kind of bummed because my back up plan of moving to Canada looks like it's not going to work. First of all, you have to prove you can support yourself for at least six months, which I can't even do here- otherwise I would have a job and not have my impending health insurance problem to begin with. But even more troubling is the fact that they do examine your health when you apply for a visa and they won't let you in if you would cost their health insurance system a whole lot of money. Which I'm pretty sure I would. I'm not going to discount the possibility completely, but it isn't looking promising. So it's back to coming up with some other creative solution to my problem.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sleepover Design Star Art Class

Well, I was back to crazy dreams last night. In the first one I was part of this Design Star reunion thing, where all the contestants from the most recent season came back to design this house. They all worked together on the one big room in this really open house, and then one of them did the outside. I was on the film crew or something; I wasn't a designer. I was trying to film the reveal, but the contestant who was doing the explaining was really bad at it. The house looked crazy though. The entire living room wall was covered in blue bathroom tiles, everything in the house clashed because it was all intense colors, and the art they had chosen to put in there was really bizarre. The outside of the house looked like a castle, but they had painted it light blue and white with giant gold reliefs of animals.

That dream morphed into one about everyone who had been involved in the project sleeping over at my grandparents' house. There were like twenty of us in one of the rooms, and I kept trying to get sleep but everyone was being loud- they had all gotten a lot younger and we were all like 12 year olds now. One of my cousins was there, and I was really glad because I haven't seen her in a long time. I kept losing stuff and when people finally started to leave the next day they left a giant mess. I tried to get the remaining people to help me clean it up, but they kept getting distracted. There were stuffed animals everywhere and I had trouble telling which ones were mine- I would find one that looked a lot like one of mine but then something was different; it was sown up in a different place or had something weird missing or was a slightly different color. Eventually we got it mostly cleaned up in there and started looking at a website a couple people had been working on the night before. It was about plans for a movie they were going to make, but it wasn't done right because if you tried to run it Flash would spaz out as if the code was wrong.

Then that turned into me starting this new art class. I had been looking forward to it but the teacher turned out to be really mean and confusing, and he kept showing transparencies of charts of little thumbnails of paintings. I didn't have any idea what he was talking about and he kept getting frustrated with other students and telling them off for not drawing things right. At one point we were supposed to draw lion heads and mine ended up with two sets of eyes on accident, and he yelled at me to fix it. At the end of class I was panicking because I didn't understand what the homework was for next time but I was too afraid of the scary teacher to ask him, so I decided to just make something up.

Obviously I'm not ready for next quarter to start tomorrow, lol.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Back to Crap

I changed my strategy this morning, but I'm not sure at this point if it was the right thing to do.

Even though I was really sleepy last night, it took me an hour after the first dose of Xyrem to actually fall asleep because my heartrate was still up. When I did eventually sleep I didn't dream at all and got a lot of rest, which was good. But when I woke up this morning I was a little annoyed to find my heartrate still faster than was comfortable. I decided to not take the Nuvigil this morning and talk to my doctor on Monday first, just to be safe.

At the time it did make a lot of sense. Besides the whole better safe than sorry thing, I felt so wired and hyper yesterday that I'm wondering if starting at a lower dose would be a good idea. At any rate, I figured waiting to talk to my doctor about it would be worth it.

It's amazing how feeling awake for just one day can make you forget how it was before. By the time I was going to lunch with a friend I was back to being totally exhausted even though I didn't do anything in the morning. It was frustrating and by the afternoon I had decided that I should have tried the Nuvigil again anyway. I mean, maybe it would have mellowed out over a couple of days. And it made such a huge difference in my life for the 24 hours I was trying it.

I just really want this to work, because if it does I'm one step closer to maybe being able to be employed some day. Being able to work would mean I could have health insurance even after my dad's stops covering me in a year, maybe actually be able to support myself someday without my body giving out on me. And someday maybe I wouldn't have to live in my parents' house completely dependent on them because I can barely do the small amount of classes I'm doing, much less actually make money somehow.

As you can see, I'm having trouble not getting my hopes up. It's dangerous because if anything goes wrong with this newest experiment I'm going to come crashing back down to earth again. And reality kind of sucks.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nuvigil Adventures

I started Nuvigil today on top of Xyrem and Remeron, and I have to say I'm really not sure if it's a yes or no at this point. I think it'll take me another couple of days to really be sure of what's going on.

As soon as I took it this morning I started feeling kind of weird. My stomach wasn't unhappy, which surprised me because I figured even if it's gluten free I'd still have issues with it. I waited until after breakfast just in case. The main thing I noticed at first was that I was feeling kind of loopy. After a few minutes, though, my sense of 3 dimensions came back full force and I was not sleepy anymore. As a matter of fact, I didn't feel the urge to sleep all day, for the first time in the last ten years. It was very liberating.

On the other hand, I was totally wired for most of the day. I ran around doing 8 things at once and thinking and talking really fast. I was also kind of jittery, like I'd had too much caffeine, which was unpleasant. My heartrate was up but I wasn't anxious, which is weird because usually the two go together for me. I was worried about being able to sleep tonight, but now I'm finally really starting to wind down off of it so I think it'll be okay. We'll see.

It was really nice to have energy for once. I surprised my dog by chasing him all over the yard at a flat out run, and surprised myself by not getting tired as soon as I expected. I also did a lot of fun things today and didn't need a nap until the late afternoon- and even then, laying down was enough; I still wasn't sleepy.

Of course if it's still making me jittery and weird after a couple of days I'm not going to stick with it. I know it isn't good for my heartrate to be up like that, plus it's a bit much to be really hyper all the time. But for now I'm going to be cautiously optimistic and see if it settles out after a day or two. If it ends up working my life could improve drastically. We'll just have to see.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Drugs!

Today I went to my neurologist. I explained to him that I'm doing pretty well, but I'm just so damned tired it's hard to do very much. He wants me to try Nuvigil in the mornings and see if it helps. He did say that he has other patients who are sensitive to gluten and that it hasn't bothered any of them yet, which is better than Provigil which sometimes has gluten in it and apparently did bother some of them. He also said it gives people less side effects than Provigil, and his explanation did make sense at the time though I only vaguely remember it now.

I have to say I'm a little wary. Provigil definitely had gluten in it and he tried at first to convince me to take it anyway, which I refused. But I'm pretty desperate for at least a little more energy at this point. He did give me a sample of the Nuvigil so I can try it before getting the prescription filled, so at least the experiment won't cost me anything. I don't know if it'll work anyway though, because my stomach has been pretty annoyed in the mornings lately. At least I'm still off from classes for a few more days, so if I try it tomorrow and it's a disaster at least I'll have time to recover before I need to go to class. Plus I'll need to find out if our insurance covers it if it does actually work.

I'm having a really good week off so far. I've had a lot of time to work on my various projects I have going, which has been great, and I'm enjoying rereading the entire Harry Potter series. My dog has enjoyed the extra attention, too. So here's to hoping the Nuvigil doesn't screw up the rest of my time off. I really want this to work or I wouldn't be taking the chance.