Tuesday, September 6, 2011

There's a guy who's been awake since the second world war.

So, my sleep has been getting worse and worse and worse. It seems to be cyclical. It'll go a few days--weeks, even--where I get adequate sleep at night, and then deteriorate for a while until I'm going every single night on a few hours of broken sleep. Well, for most of my life, the bouts of bad insomnia were shorter and less frequent than the bouts of mild to nonexistent insomnia. Lately, though, I've had no relief. The last week, it's been about as bad as having a newborn. The cycle is no longer a cycle; it's a string of cursive e's descending a staircase into crazyland.

Proof that Utah is good for me: I'm anxious and tired and irritable, but still giddily happy. That probably doesn't sound possible, but it is. I don't have the gloom that usually accompanies sleep deprivation. But I am still losing my mind.

After Grace was born, the baby blues hit me mainly as anxiety. There was some weepiness and such, but it was mostly anxiety. It receded after the first wretched weeks, and then the same thing happened after Emmy was born. Only it didn't go away. It mostly went away, but it's always hovering. I constantly feel like there's something hanging over me (even when I can examine the contents of my brain and calendar and see that there's nothing to worry about). Something very small. Like a homework assignment. Or a library fine. I just figured it was part of having kids. That this intense bond I have with two tiny, needy little people just brings about constant nervousness. Seriously, it's the tiniest anxiety that every was. But it's exhausting.

And apparently it's not normal. Who knew?

So I went to the doctor today. Well, nurse practitioner, but I love her already. She reminds me very much of one of my OBs from Wisconsin, which is nice. I loved that place. First, she prescribed me some Ambien. Hallelujah! Then she had me fill out this questionnaire. You know, the one for mental health. "I feel sad or blue frequently." "I frequently feel irritable." "I feel like I can't do the things I used to be able to do." And then you rate them from 1-4. First thing she said after I gave it back was, "You are exhibiting classic symptoms of hypothyroidism." So it's possible I'm not just lazy. Maybe I really am legitimately tired, lethargic, and starving all of the time. It's like the trifecta of You're Never Going to Be in Shape Again, Sucker.

Speaking of which, I still work out. It still feels awesome. I will never quit, even if I never lose another pound. But it is discouraging to see no more results. So I'm actually hoping I have a thyroid disorder, or at least that the chronic insomnia is mimicking the same symptoms, and they will clear up once I get some more sleep. That would be amazing.

So, it's a ho-hum update, but maybe with some sleep, I'll be here more often again.


  1. That feeling of "There is an actual REASON why I'm like this?! You mean we could actually DO something about it?!!" is such a rush. Are they going to give you some thyroid medicine?

  2. They won't get results on my bloodwork until tomorrow at least, so I don't even know yet if that's what it is. It might be just the insomnia.

    I took half an Ambien last night, was asleep by ELEVEN THIRTY (seriously hasn't happened in years without extreme exhaustion or illness), slept like the dead until 5, when Grace inexplicably came into our room crying. I couldn't get back to sleep until 7:00, and then only slept until 8:30, but I still feel like a billion dollars this morning. No hangover, no crankiness, very little anxiety, and small tasks do not look like insurmountable hurdles today. I'm actually wondering if my sleep quality was even worse than I'd realized. I haven't felt this good in weeks.

    But yeah, I'm guessing that if my thyroid levels come back abnormal, they'll do something for that, too. It's not that I'm hoping that I have thyroid problems; but if I do, the idea that's treatable--if not fixable--is such an immense relief. Insomnia, hypothyroid, I don't care. Anything is better than the way I've felt recently.