I have just had the worst two night's sleep in ages and I am definitely not looking to make it a third. It's been a long time since I've had sleepless nights like this and it is distinctly unpleasant. I'm talking being so tired that just opening my eyes makes me cry because it hurts. Being so tired that I can't even switch my brain into sleep mode. Normally, I have a fairly regular bedtime routine. I get stuff ready for the next day (either making a list of things to do for days off, or get all my gear ready for teaching), I brush my teeth and wash my face, I pee, I get into bed and read until I'm about to collapse and then it's lights out. If I'm still a little wired, I have a bit of a brain trick... I try to invent stories or scenarios, particularly stuff with dialogue or something I can narrate. I start it out and then wait until the narration gets weird and nonsensical, and then I know I'm heading to sleep soon. It sounds strange to be aware of the going to sleep process in that way, but it tends to work.
Not these last two nights. I'm currently halfway through playing in a production of the Pirates of Penzance. I am not ashamed to admit that it is one of my favourite shows, in particular a production done in the 90s across Australia with Simon Gallaher and Jon English. When I was little, I watched a video of that production about every 3 months or so, and consequently I know all the gags, all the lines, musical bits... everything. This production has renewed my memories of the show, which is great... but so not great when you're trying to sleep and your brain becomes a mush of "Cat-Like Tread", "Climbing Over Rocky Mountains", "O False One" and so forth. It's infuriating!!! Making matters worse has been a recurrence of hayfever, making my nose once again resemble camel drool. A blocked nose means breathing through my mouth a lot more, leading to a sore, dry throat. All of which makes sleep incredibly painful, frustrating and distinctly unrestful, leading to days clouded by mild delerium, forgetfulness, urges to sleep in the middle of a supermarket and a fear of driving at night, meaning a missed rehearsal. The narcoleptic's curse... knowing that your behaviour can be explained by your condition, but also knowing that most people around who see the behaviour either interpret it as weirdness, laziness or boredom.
I hate that my entire life can be turned upside down based on two nights of crappy sleep. Surely there are parents of newborn babies out there that function on less? Shift workers? Insomniacs? Does their tiredness lead to uncontrolable tears? Forgetfulness? It's day like these where I feel like all I am capable of is simply staying at home, cleaning the kitchen, sitting and staring. Any movement outside of the flat comes after a stern talking to. These last two days, if I didn't have the stubborn drive (and the drugs)... I don't think I would have gone anywhere or done anything. I guess I have that going for myself... but it takes a lot of work.
It's like my default setting is sleep. And when not asleep, my default setting is rest, sit, remain inanimate. Getting up and doing something, anything, seems to take so much energy and argument. Even something as simple as getting the paper. It's not even a minute long walk, it's free (I subscribed at the beginning of the year so I don't pay for it when I pick it up) and I know I'll enjoy doing the crosswords that I can't finish. But to my brain and my body, it seems like a huge deal. I feel as if I'm running out of natural motivation. Anything outside of my essential routine (teaching and, at the moment, the show) seems to need all manner of justification for me to expend energy. I don't know why.
In my last post I mentioned reading about orexin and saying I'd comment more... that's sort of gone by the wayside thanks to a lot of work needed for school this term and more work needed for my thesis. In the holidays I think I'll look into it a bit more. It's good that there's gradually more information being gathered about narcolepsy... but I wish there was more. I wish I knew what it felt like to really be me.