Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nuvigil Adventures Again

On Monday I went back to my neurologist, which I had been putting off. I wanted a break from having my medications tweaked this way and that, added and subtracted, and the resulting side effects. So I scheduled my appointment for as late as I could while still making it before my next move across the country, this time to be with my girlfriend. My doctor didn't particularly appreciate that, which I really can't blame him for. I come in doing the worst I have in the last year and a half, to announce that I'm leaving and no, can't come back in two weeks for him to mess with my medications some more. He's a good guy and it's obviously frustrating when he can't help me as much as he wants to.

I talked to him about my growing anxiety problem, and he said we could try a different antidepressant instead of Remeron, which isn't really designed to control anxiety, but that would come later. After the appointment I felt really dumb- or rather, really amused with myself, because the anxiety went away as soon as I walked out of there. Apparently I was anxious about the appointment, and thinking of it as an OMG Anxiety Problem!! just made it worse. This happens to me just infrequently enough that I forget to watch for it, lol. I'm going to keep an eye on it, but I suspect I'll have less issues once the move is complete and my quality of life is improved just by being with my girlfriend.

I also talked to my doctor about how exhausted I've been and the fact that I haven't been sleeping very well. I mean, my standards are pretty low, but dreaming for half the night with all this disturbing crap is really a bit much. We talked about Nuvigil again, and I decided to try a different sample pack instead of the one that gave me a gluten reaction. So I got that. He said we could try Adderal if I react to Nuvigil again, but he can't prescribe it across state lines so it would have to wait until the summer. And you know, that's fine with me.

So I started the Nuvigil again yesterday. So far the results are mixed. I had more energy yesterday and I didn't have a gluten reaction. I had a bad headache for awhile- not surprising as that's the main side effect people tend to have. It made me a little bit wonky. Like, I was kind of spaced out in a drugged sort of way. This is also something I tend to do when starting a new medication, so it's not a big deal. It might go away if I give it a chance. I was hopeful by the time I went to sleep.

Last night I was nauseated every time I took Xyrem, but it didn't keep me up. I slept very deeply for most of the night and only dreamed (comparatively) a little in the last third of the night.

I had moved into this dorm/office- complete with both desks and bunkbeds- and I was unsure as to how I'd ended up there in the first place. I had gone to visit someone there, maybe, and had somehow ended up working there and getting my own bunk. I didn't mind so much; it was an interesting place and the other people there were also students at the art institute. Our group's job was to work on this magazine. Everyone was really nice and it seemed fun, but it took me awhile to figure out what I was supposed to be doing. There were clues everywhere, right in front of my face, but I can be pretty slow sometimes. The magazine was called Freism, complete with this fancy logo, and I have no idea what it was about exactly. There were seven people assigned to work on it each year, and I had been hired because the seventh person had stopped showing up. There was a heirarchy, which I eventually figured out because it was posted on the wall, with the rankings as chess pieces. My job was to draw anything they needed for the magazine. I don't think any of us were getting paid, or else it just wasn't important. It seemed to be a volunteer position. The office was pretty cool. The bunkbeds were brightly colored like they were for kids, and there was art everywhere, hanging on walls and piled on the desks, which were arranged near each other so we could socialize while working. It was all very laid back and I didn't do much of anything other than chat with people and make up a new story. The story was about an angel and one of my characters that usually represents me falling in love with him. I don't really remember it now, except that I had wings too. I was telling the people in the office about it while we sat next to the giant wall of windows on one side that looked out on this huge and awesome oak tree. And after that, the second in command guy wanted me to draw something to show what I could do. All I had was this gigantic black marker and he wanted me to draw a machine that would convert moon rocks into gold coins, so I did. It wasn't too bad even though I kept messing up, lol.

I woke up really nauseated. It was after ten before I braved breakfast, which turned out okay because I needed to take my dog to the vet to get a health certificate for our flight and his appointment was at lunchtime. I took Nuvigil again after breakfast. The nausea went away but now my stomach is unhappy. I'm also still feeling really spaced out. I'm a little bit suspicious because it could be brain fog, which is a symptom of a gluten reaction, but I can't be sure yet. Luckily everything is pretty much arranged for our flight, so the ability to think isn't too important for a few days. So basically I'm still on the fence on this one. I need to see what happens tomorrow. If there is a tiny amount of gluten I'll start to react more and more if I keep taking it, so I'll know about it pretty soon. If not I'll have to see if the spaciness goes away, and decide about the headaches. We'll see.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Who the Heck Knows

So tomorrow will be interesting. I'm going back to my neurologist after a couple of months of lack of communication. I'm not sure that he'll be happy to hear about how I'm doing at this point. Mainly I have even less energy than the last time I talked to him, but over the past month I've also been getting steadily more anxious and even a little depressed again. This makes me annoyed (and will probably also annoy my doctor) because I haven't changed anything. Okay, so I tried raising the Xyrem by the smallest possible increment briefly about a month ago when I was desperate for a couple of nights of sleep, but it didn't work- the side effects came back and I lowered it right back down to where it's been for probably the last six months. My Remeron is the same. I never experimented with Ritalin again (like he wanted me to) because it made me depressed that one day I tried it and I don't mess around with depression. My life has improved drastically since the last time I saw him now that I'm not stressed out trying to take four hour classes all the time, plus of course no longer being single and lonely helps. But I'm still more exhausted than ever, dreaming more than I had since I started Xyrem and on top of that have mood issues coming back for no apparent reason. Story of my life.

I'm not sure what he'll want my to do this time, if anything, because I've tried most things at this point. I suppose I could try harder at the stimulants. We'll see. It's just frustrating to be the bearer of bad news.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Art College Dorm Friends

More dreams. This time apparently more convincing. o.O

I was just moving in to this house to live with a group of other students from my art college, only they were all people I didn't know. We were exploring the small house, unpacking our things and joking around. Everyone seemed pretty nice. There were at least six of us, pretty much evenly divided between male and female though the numbers changed a little throughout the dream. A couple of people cooked dinner and made it gluten-free for me, which went fine. It was spaghetti and meatballs. We ate it while we watched this really dumb movie and people were making plans to go to another movie after dinner. It was getting late and I wasn't sure I should go, since I was exhausted and getting sleepy. I finished my dinner and looked around at everyone else, seated at two tables in our living room, which had no other furniture. I spotted one of the people who had cooked it. She looked a lot like one of my high school friends, even though she was supposedly a different person. She had seemed really nice so I thought I should get her attention (she was sitting at the other table) so maybe we could talk instead of going to the movie. As I watched, she started falling asleep sitting there, and I was interested to know if she had Narcolepsy too. I finally managed to signal her and so after dinner when everyone left, we ended up sitting in one of the bedrooms, talking. I kept trying to start my explanation of Narcolepsy because I really wanted to know if she had it, but she kept taking the conversation in some other direction every time I had an opportunity. Like, she asked me if I drank and I told her no, I can't because of my medication. But then she completely changed the subject to her stories and characters, which was really cool because we had that in common, so I gave up and figured I'd just end up explaining it all later. We were sitting on the floor, leaning over this sheet of notebook paper on which she had written the names of places in a world she had invented, and I was trying to pronounce them. I was happy because I had a new friend. And then I suddenly found myself in my bed, awake. I was really confused because I had been so positive I had actually been talking to this new friend. It took me a moment to figure out it was a dream.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Department Store Dog Whisperer

I had an interesting dream last night. I was with my mom at some department store in the changing rooms and I had my dog with me, only he was about half the size he actually is (therefore, tiny). I kept losing him in all the stalls. Luckily no one else was in there so I could go wherever I needed to to find him. When I did find him, we got in the car and drove over to my grandparents' house. My grandmother was there with this half-some-kind-of-terrier, half-dachshund that she had just gotten. He was way over-excited and pulling her down the street and when I tried to make suggestions she would brush them off. She needed to go somewhere, so my mom and I agreed to dogsit.

Then somehow we were in this fancy RV with nice furniture and everything, and we had my dog inside and my grandma's outside because he was going kind of crazy. I started to complain to my mom about owners who don't get their dogs enough exercise, and eventually decided to go see if I could tire out the crazy dog and calm him down.

It was so totally right out of Dog Whisperer, lol. I came outside all calmly and slowly claimed the entire yard while the dog went from barking at me and freaking out to calming down. Eventually I got him to sit, which was hard because he hadn't learned the command yet. And then I brought him outside. My tiny dog was sound asleep on the couch, and I was grateful because he's usually terrified of dogs. He didn't even twitch as I put the terrier mix on the couch, where he fell asleep right away. I watched them awhile and wondered if I was going to be able to control him in front of my grandmother since she belonged to him, and was contemplating how he did look a bit like a dachshund when he was asleep, when I woke up. Man it would be cool to have those mad skills in real life, hahaha.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

More Creepy Nonsense

Last night was kind of nuts. Then again, I've been getting more or less the same amount of nonsense every night this week.

I'll start out with my first of three doses of Xyrem. I'll fall asleep, not dream a damn thing and then wake up to my alarm for dose number two. Then I'll fall asleep again, only this time I'll dream something I don't recall much of later so that it seems like I did still get some actual sleep during this chunk of time, even if I dreamed a little. Then I usually wake up pretty confused to find that my alarm went off half an hour ago and I didn't hear a thing. Then it's down with dose number three, and that's when the nonsense happens. Every night this week it's been crazy, visual, complicated dreams that I'm positive at the time are real. They're part cool, part interesting, and usually part disturbing or creepy. Last night was no exception.

I only remember the very end now, but I know there was a lot more before it. I was sitting at a table with my high school history teacher, coloring something with crayons while we watched DVDs on this old television. The room was very plain and kind of dark. We watched something I liked first, but then it turned into this educational thing about dead bodies. It got stuck on the menu with all these pictures of corpses, and the music was really creepy. Everything kept repeating and I was trying to not look at it, but I couldn't tell my history teacher about my rotting things phobia because I was embarrassed. Eventually she took it out and then we were watching a documentary about the history of Middle Earth (This isn't too surprising as I'm a huge Lord of the Rings fan, and have read everything Tolkien wrote multiple times). Most of it was from The Silmarillion, and then my dreams began to twist the stories into new stories, and insert my original characters into them. It was pretty epic and detailed and visually intense. It reached the end of a tale in which everyone died, and suddenly I woke up and realized it had been a dream. That's cool, I thought, as I sat up in my old bedroom- the one in the house we moved out of almost two years ago. I was on my bed, trying to shake off the remains of the dream, and I realized my girlfriend was sitting on the edge of the bed, talking to my mom who was sitting on the floor. My dog came over and licked my hand and I was startled to see that he had shrunk. He was suddenly small enough that I could pick him up with one hand. I think I asked my girlfriend about it, and she acted like it was normal for dogs to shrink randomly, so I figured it was no big deal. Meanwhile, the two white yorkies from my last dream were running around and yapping.

At that point I realized my mouth really hurt. I touched it with my finger and there was blood on it. I realized I had left my nightguard (I don't have one in real life, I just know people that do) on and for some reason this explained the blood. I pulled it out, but it was stuck on my teeth, and my mouth started bleeding more and more. I discovered a lot of black string was also caught in my teeth, but pulling it out just caused more pain and bleeding. I started to panic and ran into the tiny bathroom attached to my room, where I had to hunch over uncomfortably to look in the mirror, because for some reason the ceiling was slanted and low. I looked in the mirror and saw blood dripping out of my mouth, the nightguard half in and black string stuck all in my teeth. I started trying to get them out gently, and to rinse my mouth with some water. The sink was filthy and disgusting, covered in this slimy, leftover food. I was so frightened by my loss of blood that I stood there trying to rinse out my mouth anyway.

And then I actually woke up. It was really hard to shake off the dream. I went into the bathroom, straightaway, just to make sure I wasn't bleeding. Of course everything was fine, but sometimes you just have to check. I slapped my face with cold water and felt a little bit more in the here and now. It wasn't until I had some caffeine with breakfast before I really felt like part of reality.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fort Hotel Dog Drama

Last night I was freaking out about travel and dog drama to my girlfriend, so how my dreams turned out really didn't surprise me.

I was on a trip with my two college roommates (one of them being the girlfriend I'm always gushing over) and our hotel was basically a bunch of forts made out of sheets and clothespins over chairs and tables in this giant mall food court, complete with escalators, food (gluteny poisonous food) and random shopping. It was seriously random. I had woken up late and we were supposed to go on some tour of somewhere, and I was rushing trying to get ready, but I was so exhausted I could hardly move and I couldn't find any clothes besides my pajamas. I asked my non-girlfriend roommate if she had seen my stuff anywhere, but she hadn't, and she was busy sewing a quilt so she couldn't help me. My girlfriend had run off somewhere and I had no idea when she would get back, and I was kind of worried she wouldn't get back in time for us to leave.

Then I was at this really frilly, fancy house in the guest room, and the person I was apparently staying with had two little white yorkies. They were quite well behaved even though they had a lot of energy, and I was trying to get my dog to relax around them. Of course he was completely traumatized and scared and he kept hiding behind the frilly white curtains or under the poofy pink bed. I ended up telling the yorkies to calm down and just sit next to him, and eventually he showed signs of getting over it.

Suddenly I was at this stadium, and the three dogs were on leash. I was trying to get us through all these crowds of people headed for their seats, and I was with this really big extended family with a ton of kids, so we had to move slowly. My dog was done freaking out, and now I was trying to get him to stop yanking the leash around while also keeping the yorkies in check, and trying to hold a conversation with various family members in Spanish. As we walked, we passed a bunch of small but deep pools of very clear water just randomly in holes in the sidewalk. My dog jumped in and started swimming, and I was all excited because he was having a really good time. Eventually we got near our seats and I asked the family to hold the dogs for me while I ran into the bathroom, because I knew I would need to go before whatever we were going to watch started. There was a lot of confusion around the dogs because I didn't remember that much Spanish and we were still sorting it out when I woke up.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Suicide Party Mansion Exploring

Last night I was at this reunion of sorts in a dark, dingy house. A lot of my middle school friends who I hadn't seen in a really long time were there. The party eventually turned into a sleepover, and I kept trying to catch up with people but I was constantly falling asleep and having trouble participating. At one point, one of the people at the sleepover shot himself and committed suicide, and it was really disturbing. There was blood everywhere. Everyone was shocked and scared. We started looking through his backpack, trying to figure out why he had done it.

Then the setting changed from this dingy house to my grandparents' backyard, where the party was still going on only now it was a roleplay game involving my cousins. We each had a different anime character we were supposed to be portraying, but it was difficult because I didn't really get who I was supposed to be. My cousin had made up his own character, and everyone was making fun of him because he was being all emo. It was pretty funny actually. I decided to follow him around instead of trying to be part of the game anymore, because we hadn't talked in awhile. So we ended up walking around this pretty fantastical yard, with waterfalls and rocks to climb on and secret passages between all these fences. It turned into us avoiding the other people, and then we went inside the house, which turned out to actually be my house.

Apparently when my parents moved, they had moved to this mansion. Like, literally. The place was insanely huge and had endlesss staircases and hallways. My cousin wanted to show me this extra suite of rooms he had discovered that had a balcony outside, down this back staircase that was carpeted. It was funny because the inside of the mansion looked exactly like my real house, it just had like ten times more rooms. I was thinking about how crazy my parents had been to move the three of us into a mansion that could easily house about fifty people, and my cousin explained that he knew someone who was talking to my parents about turning half of the house into a hotel. Oh, I thought, that makes sense. Anyway, we explored for awhile, finding a huge living room full of fancy old world furniture, a patio with a koi pond just outside, and a large cafeteria full of people eating lunch. I then got this awesome idea to move my room into one of the more secluded parts of the house, and to see if I could move in next to a patio with backyard access because I figured my dog would like that. Then I woke up, amused.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Moving Halfway Across the Country Again

Alright, so I've totally been neglecting this blog lately. The main reason is that my life is once again rearranging itself. Definitely in a good way. My girlfriend got home fine, but we both started pining pretty badly the second she had to leave, which led to planning a trip for me to visit her, which then turned into me taking my dog and moving up north for the winter until she finishes getting certified and can move down here. Yes, me moving up north. For the winter. XD

I spent three years of college up in Minnesota, and being a native Texan it made a pretty big impression on me. At first it was pretty frightening, as winter came in November (instead of maybe pretending to show up in January) and the temperature dropped from "chilly" (65) to "freezing" (45), then bypassed "#$%@ing cold" (20) and kept right on dropping until it was hitting those pesky negative numbers that my poor Texan self had never even heard of before. Every one of those three winters had me wondering, around April when you'd think some hint of spring would have shown itself already and instead the ice and snow was barely even thinking of starting to melt, what the hell am I doing here??

It was hard. Having grown up with school canceled if the temperature hit freezing (like once every five years lol), walking to class buried in layer upon layer of clothing and still feeling like my face was going to fall off in the negative degree windchill was not fun. After awhile I did get used to some things: I learned to appreciate snow and layering, and I loved walking outside to see a world worthy of Christmas postcards every day. I started to refer to 50 degrees as "nice", especially in the spring, and there was something amazing in the total silence and stillness in a frozen landscape. That said, a winter in the Midwest still daunts me. I'll be somewhere slightly warmer (in theory) than where I was. I also have the accumulated knowledge of my three years behind me, if I turn out to have retained it, that is. But it's going to be worth it to be with my girlfriend.

It should work out well, because it means we can start our exchange of life skills that will make both of our lives better: she cooks, and I keep her life organized and clean. That sounds like an awesome deal to me, because I'll do anything to not have to cook (which she really enjoys, the crazy person), and she could really use some help with organization, the one thing I'm really good at besides drawing. She constantly loses things, the poor girl. Anyway, I'm pretty psyched. And it'll mean not having to drive anymore, thank god, because she'll do the driving when we need to go somewhere. That by itself is worth moving halfway across the country.