Tuesday, January 26, 2010

General Imploding

Well, today was... one of those days.

It started out with an especially sticky dream. It was pointless drama with various friends from the past, and it was basically frustrating and lonely and very vivid. I remember I could tell it was a dream by the end, but it took me a long time to escape. I tried thinking about waking up. I tried to open my eyes. I tried waving my arms around. I tried changing the setting of the dream because that usually wakes me up right away, but instead the setting just changed. I started to panic a little and wonder if it wasn't really a dream because I was having so much trouble getting out of it. Finally I decided if I fell off of something, I would probably wake up the second I would have hit the ground in my dream. So I climbed a bookcase and deliberately fell off. The stab of fear as I was falling did in fact jar me enough. I sat up, suddenly in the real world again. I had a nasty headache and the inside of my head felt like it was still glued to the dream. My eyelids kept trying to close and I was still half asleep. I got up feeling like I was tired enough to go straight back to bed.

Thinking didn't work particularly well. I quickly realized I couldn't retain information. Now, I'm really lucky. This didn't get me in too much trouble. I don't have kids to try to keep up with or a job to completely mess up when I'm way out of it. I just have pets.

The timing was pretty unfortunate for a bad day though. My girlfriend started her student teaching yesterday, so it was only my second day holding down the fort and the animals haven't quite figured it all out yet. Especially the big dog, who I'm going to start referring to as Fang because his canines stick out over his lower lip when he's upside down and in play mode, making him look hilarious. He's one, and definitely still a puppy, even if he is a 60+ pound puppy. Now, you might imagine I wasn't the one to fall madly in love with his rather large, fanged face lol, given the fact that I can barely carry my 15 pound dachshund down the stairs. Dogs are very much into physical contact and I know from my own little dog that it works way better to enforce the rules by gentle pushing. Of course, with him it's a breeze. His legs are super short and he's so small that despite my lack of physical strength I can still put him in a sit or lay down position if he won't do it on command. With Fang it's different because it takes literally my whole body to pull him an inch and I seriously can't put him in a sit.

So knowing this, I was a little intimidated by him at first. After all, the only dog I've ever actually trained is maybe a foot off the ground. Because of my unsure state of mind we were mutually distrustful for awhile, though we've been working on it and our relationship has improved a lot.

Well, today my girlfriend forgot to feed him before she left in the morning, but it took me awhile to figure this out. This was a difficult situation because he's only recently started taking food from me (and we have to feed him by hand because he gets overprotective otherwise as a result of his hungry past). I eventually got a message from her and tried to feed him, but he wouldn't eat and was generally depressed. I got pretty upset, because I'm extra sensitive and weepy when I'm feeling especially crappy. When she called me to check up I must have sounded pretty bad because she came home for lunch, took care of the fang-face and even heated lunch up for me. And I spent the rest of the day in bed watching movies while she was at work.

Days like today are frustrating because I literally can't accomplish anything. I'm so completely brain-dead that daily life decisions become difficult. All I can do is hope I sleep better tonight and thank my lucky stars that my life situation is so incredible and allows for a day of just resting.

Monday, January 25, 2010

High Rise Dog Crash

Last night was full of vivid and crazy but mostly not disturbing dreams. The one I remember was pretty interesting. I was living in an apartment in a high rise on a narrow street in downtown somewhere. I was sitting at a desk in my mostly dark room, and it was night outside my street-facing windows- I was high up, so you could see a spectacular night skyline out there. I was working on things on my laptop. I was getting frustrated because I was trying to set up a business site for my artwork, but I kept running into strange problems, like buttons I was supposed to push randomly disappearing and forms I was supposed to fill out not making any sense whatsoever. I finally thought I had it working, and I was uploading art to it when I looked out the window and saw a small dog leap off of someone else's rooftop right across the street and right in through my windows, smashing a small part of them. The dog was surprised and very angry, and immediately lashed out at my leg. It was a little, springy, ferocious dog with a long nose. I immediately stood up and turned dog whisperer, haha. The dog sat down and stopped attacking me. Thinking fast I grabbed some treats out of the cabinet and we started practicing sit and stay and lie down, which the dog figured out really fast. I knew I just needed to stall until the owner came to pick him up, as I assumed they would do soon since they saw which window the dog jumped into. We had fun doing that, and then we worked on manners a little bit. Suddenly I spotted this huge, red worm on my table- it looked and felt like it was made of jello, but it was definitely alive. I grabbed it with one hand and threw it out into my backyard that I suddenly had, and my hand got all slimy in the process. I offered my slimy hand to the dog, figuring it would gain me points. The dog was a little too eager and bit my hand, but I didn't have time to survey the damage because the owner- and haughty young woman, who didn't even apologize- came in and picked him up. She looked surprised at how calmly he was lying on the floor when she came in. She took him away, and just then two of my friends came in. It was weird because they were both totally made up and didn't look or act quite like any of my actual friends. I told them what had happened and then looked down at my hand to find that my left thumb was chopped off, very cleanly, at the first joint. There was no blood and it looked like something out of a cartoon- a wobbly circle in the center that was white like it was the bone, inside a pink circle inside a thin circle where the skin was. At that point I totally realized it was a dream, and talked to my friends about it and how dreams can be really weird, and then I totally regrew it on the spot. Then we were suddenly at one of the friends' houses at a classy party and I was trying to explain narcolepsy to people because they kept asking me what I'm doing for my career and I didn't feel like making something up. And then I woke up.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No More Nuvigil

I had planned to keep taking a half pill of Nuvigil every morning until I was running out of samples, and then report to my doctor. Well, that's been my plan three times now, and I keep running into stomach problems and stopping it after a few days. Last time it was nausea that got me. To be fair, it might have gone away after awhile. I know the headaches and the drugged wonkiness would have, so it wasn't those that I was worried about. It was just that after three days I had absolutey no appetite and literally couldn't stomach eating anything.

This time I wasn't nauseated, but the lack of appetite was still there. It came on faster than last time, and I've had stomach cramps, especially at night. Besides that, yesterday was pretty crazy- I was either so awake I was restless and antsy or so sleepy I couldn't keep my eyes open, and the two states would transition pretty suddenly. I'm guessing that would probably have settled out over time though. The past two nights have been similarly nuts- I'd find myself suddenly awake in some random part of the night, then get pulled straight into vivid dreams again, maybe sleep soundly for awhile and then be wide awake for a minute or two again. Which also may have settled out eventually. But it's the lack of appetite that convinced me that Nuvigil isn't a good idea for my stomach. I spent over a year with no appetite on a higher dose of Xyrem and I refuse to deal with that long term again. I have no urge to be back under a hundred pounds because I hate all food and have to force myself to eat. Not healthy.

I'm not sure what my doctor is going to say about this. He keeps suggesting meds to help keep me awake, which of course I need, but every time something gives me a side effect and I stop taking it he gets a little frustrated. He wants me to try things for long enough to make sure the side effect won't go away, or that it won't be worth dealing with to have the benefits of the medication. Which is perfectly reasonable. But I'm kind of through putting the experiment ahead of my present well-being, if that makes sense. In other words, I suppose I would rather feel okay now than go through a lot of feeling crappy in order to feel slightly better- or maybe just the same or worse- later. Who knows, maybe it's just a phase. Or maybe it's my own way of growing up.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dreams and Drugs

Yeah, I've been officially neglecting my blog again, which is fine because I'm actually pretty busy and very happy at the moment. Plus I have plenty of new things to talk about when I do find the time.

My Narcolepsy has pretty much been the same as when I left my parents' house to come live with my girlfriend. Having someone next to me while I'm sleeping has been extremely comforting for me, but besides that I'm still dreaming a lot- like, constantly and very vividly. I had an interesting and kind of fun one last week in which I was this velociraptor who was staying in a motel, lol. It was a perfectly ordinary motel room, and apparently I was this really nice and gentlemanly male velociraptor who had been hired as a kind of guard by the guy who ran the motel. I was wandering around, waiting because I knew of a couple of younger and much less polite velociraptors who were going to come try to eat people who were staying there. I was warning people and encouraging them to stay inside until I had chased off the intruders. I was a little nervous, but did my best to reassure people. They were pretty nice to me and I managed to win them over with my good manners, hahaha. So eventually the other velociraptors showed up, and I totally scared them off really easily and then wondered why I had been so nervous.

Then, yesterday maybe, I woke up from this really weird dream in which I had been watching a series of bad tv movies, lol. Of course I was halfway watching them and complaining about how bad the script was and halfway actually in them, wandering around or being the main character. The last movie is the one I really remember- it started with a teenager with a backpack, wandering towards a city following this ditch along a highway. And then it cut to this really bizarre place where I was wandering. It was a tunnel that was partially underwater, and the walls were made of totem poles that were carved and painted as faces with red, white and black paint. The faces were moving and contorting on their own, and I knew that they were all actually my own people just pretending to be totem poles and that I could turn into one and blend in if I wanted to. Then I saw the teenage boy with the backpack coming towards me, where there was a bench. He was flailing and waving his arms and muttering and it kind of scared me, so I leaned into a blank spot in the wall and turned into a totem pole so he wouldn't see me. He sat down on the bench, still muttering and looking crazy, until a couple of people who I knew were from an enemy tribe came and persuaded him to leave with them. I got worried because I figured that wouldn't be a good thing, so as soon as they left I jumped out of the wall and ran to find help. And then I woke up.

Besides dreaming a lot, I've been pretty sleepy. As usual. So I decided I'd better try Nuvigil again now that I'm basically settled in here for awhile. I took half a pill this morning, and I have been more awake. I've also been a little wonky and my stomach isn't thrilled, but it hasn't completely revolted yet. And I have a minor headache again, which is pretty much the same as a couple weeks ago when I tried it. I think I have enough to take the half pill for more than a week, and then I'll know more and can call my doctor and report. We'll see how it goes this time. In the mean time I'm going to continue to enjoy life.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hitting Pause

Well, I know I said I was going to keep taking Nuvigil, but I couldn't bring myself to take it yesterday morning. For one thing, I was so nauseated that I wasn't sure it would stay down. For another, I'd been having steadily worsening stomach cramps since I started it and therefore no appetite, which is not something I enjoy. But let's face it, it was the cookies that were the last straw. It was my birthday and my mom had made cookies for me (gluten and soy-free, of course, but still quite tasty), and I knew I would have no urge to eat even one if I took Nuvigil. And so I didn't, and sure enough I was getting hungry again by the middle of the day. I got to eat two cookies and so I think it was worth it.

That's not to say that I'm giving up on Nuvigil just yet. Someone left me a very helpful comment on my last entry, saying that at least two of the problems it was causing me went away for her after awhile. Which is very encouraging. I was definitely beginning to feel sleepy again even a couple of hours after not taking Nuvigil, and it's a strange thing: you don't realize how easy life is without the constant urge to sleep until it is gone, but then it's so easy to take for granted.

So I'm going to take my samples with me tomorrow and most likely try again soon. Just not on my birthday, or before having to get up early to travel.