Sunday, September 11, 2011

False Hopes

Regular readers may have noted my problems with exhaustion and a corresponding lack of refreshing sleep. Much of the time it has not been quite as simple as lack of refreshing sleep, more a lack of sleep (full stop). Out of my current average twelve hours bed rest requirement, a good night’s sleep could be as little as three and a half hours. It’s commonly said that as one gets older they require less sleep but, in my case, when it comes to the amount of bed rest required, this has most markedly increased.

In my youthful heyday the nights when I spent as much as eight hours abed (during the working week) were very much the exception; any hours in excess of this on non-working days were most definitely a pampering luxury, rarely a necessity as they are now.

I have been finding relief from some of the daily aches, pains and spasms, through a combination of tramadol, ibuprofen sundry orthopaedic supports; unfortunately, this still doesn’t prevent intensely discomforting pains interfering with my desire, from a state of shatteredness, to get some sleep. On such occasions, even lightweight pyjama jackets and / or trousers feel like intensely constrictive pain dispensers in their own right.

A couple of months ago the GP put me on a small dose of (the anti-depressant) mirtazapine in the hope that its sedative effect would help me get some shuteye. For a week or two it certainly seemed to be helping, even though it could still take a good couple of hours of excruciating tiredness before mind and body yielded to the land of nod. Some of the more intense pains in the region of the armpit and upper inner arm persistently nagged me back into a fully wakeful state. The doctor has now added an additional anti-depressant, amitriptylene, to my evening medications primarily for its supposed analgesic effect.

Having benefitted from a couple of pain-free, almost completely restful, nights my hopes really began to build up. Yesterday, having taken a couple of tramadol late morning, I felt no need to take further painkillers for the rest of the day, simply taking the mirtazapine and amitripylene in the evening. What followed was the most agonizingly painful sleepless night; admittedly it wasn’t helped by the highly amplified sound pulses emanating (until 2.30am) from a private party a couple of blocks away. A fair bit of time was spent stomping and cussing around the bedroom and landing, experimenting with wrist, shoulder and elbow supports, as well as consuming a couple more tramadol. The pain eventually began to ease by around 4.30am but, my mind was (by then) far too active to permit me any slumbers. Thankfully, by mid-morning I attained some brief, dream-filled, spasmodic patches of slumber.

I am attempting to retain a degree of hope that the recently prescribed medications will eventually fulfil their prescribed function but, it feels rather like a hope against hope!  


since my previous post I have added a few more snapshots, 'the fuschia is present', to 'Mal's Picturebox'.


Chris H said...

Here's praying for some relief and sleep from your predicaments Malcolm!

Malcolm said...

thanks Chris, Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.