Sleep just happens
Sleep just happens, it is a wonderful thing.
At night after a few minutes reading my book I would turn off the bed side light, shut my eyes and next thing it’s the morning and I felt refreshed. Sometimes I had to get up for a pee or a drink of water cos I had a little bit too much to drink (as if…). Sleep is one of those things that I did not think about, it just happened, bliss.
Those days were gone
Occasionally I did sleep through the night but usually it was alcohol assisted. It all started about a year ago, in 2011. I would turn the light out, close my eyes but an hour later I was still awake brain buzzing. Numerous flocks of sheep had been counted and I played various mental games. I would count backwards from 1000 in steps of 17 – you try it. Nothing worked.
Eventually I would fall asleep.
Initially this problem would only happen on a Friday or Saturday night when I was at home. At the time I was working abroad and my sleep for the 4 nights I was away working in Germany were good. Then the contract finished so I was at home all the time. The sleep problem slowly got worse and worse.
No I was not having a nap during the day. I started to feel depressed. Was the MS stopping me getting another contract or was I not as good at my job as I thought? A slug of whisky at about 4 am would usually knock me out. This was not a long term solution.
I went to see my GP
By now I was getting desperate so I went see my doctor. She said that Mirtazapine would do the trick, well it did for about two weeks then back to the old routine. I went back to the GP who gave me a different prescription for Zopiclone but the same happened again after a couple of weeks. I was getting desperate, the broken sleep was not doing me any favours.
Cognitive behaviour therapy
People suggested I get some CBT. I also tried a counsellor. Neither helped me to resolve the sleep problem. I seemed to have lost the knack of dropping off to sleep in bed.
My MS consultant
I then had a routine visit to see my MS consultant and explained the problem. Immediately he suggested Amitriptyline and clonazepam. It worked. I no longer dreaded turning out my bedside light at night and immediately my brain going into overdrive. He made no claims that this would solve the problem. I knew that he would have the solution. This was obviously an MS issue.
I did get another contract but it was to be my last one; 4 months working in the Channel Isles. That finished, I then went for an interview for a contract in London but I realized I did not have the energy for the commute into London do a day’s work and then commute back to Berkhamsted and do this 5 days a week Work for at least 8 hour a day plus 3 hours commute was too much for me. I took the decision to retire and start the website.
Yup welcome to my world of MS, is yours the same?