Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Time....

Maybe I need to get myself one of these cool alarm clocks, found here. 

I've observed an interesting pattern of events over the past several days.

The pattern relates to my least-favorite time of day: that moment when I first open my eyes in the morning, er.....rather when I first pry my eyes open......

Typically over the past several years, waking up for me is a long and drawn out process. It goes something like this. Early in the morning, I gradually drift into semi-consciousness and take note of the amount of light in our bedroom. Completely dark? Drift back down into sleep, or alternately; sleepily pad off to the bathroom and then plop myself back into bed, after which I go back to sleep and inevitably find myself in a very weirdo dream.

Happens every night. The weirdo dreams, I mean. I have posted earlier about a potential link to plaquenil, Sjogren's syndrome, medications in general, and altered dream states, and I'm certain that for me, this is true. Whew.

So then at some later point in time, I would repeat the process, and if the room was sufficiently light, I'd allow myself to point one crusty eye at the clock, then decide if it was time to get up.  And, to try to recollect if I had anything scheduled for that morning. Which usually there isn't, unless it's a doctor's appointment or a Friday morning volunteer session. And even if there's hard. Hard to motivate myself to get up and at 'em for the day. I head bleary-eyed to the bathroom and have this longish inner debate about the benefits of showering and shampooing frequently. Some days, this results in my heading downstairs fully dressed sooner than others.

Fast forward to about a week ago. I remember the first morning in particular, when my awakening took me back years and years to a response that I had all but forgotten: panic.

Not as in a panic attack, or anything like that. More like yikes-look-what-time-it-is-I'd-better-get-my-sorry-butt-out-of-bed feeling.  A how-on-earth-did-I-let-mysef-sleep-this-late feeling.

The same feeling that I had every stinkin' morning when I was in college because I inevitably stayed up too late, then kept hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock, and only regained consciousness when somehow I knew that my quota of snoozes was used up. At which point I would jump out of bed, not motivated by a generally energetic feeling, but rather from fear that I had missed my first class or clinical for the day.

So. Last week, I began to relive these '70s mornings in a dramatically different location and body.

I still have to pry my eyes open, but when I do, instead of lazily guessing the time of day, I frantically sit up and grab my alarm clock, after which I either breathe a huge sigh of relief and turn over and go back to sleep, or I spring -- yes, spring -- from bed with a feeling of urgency to get myself dressed and going.

I haven't sprung from my bed in forever.

So I'm guessing that this change in early morning energy patterns has something to do with my rituximab? I hope?

I wish I could say that the same burst of energy, which isn't all that pleasant, by the way -- I hate the feeling that I may be late for something -- is repeated at any other point in the day. It isn't. Dressing and showering still leaves me exhausted. I still end up foggily misidentifying items in my pantry resulting in strange breakfast items. I still experience that strange cold-icy-skin-on-my-face sensation when I exceed my energy limits.


This new, but actually very old, frantic morning feeling and my increased saliva production gives me a small inkling of hope that........that..........maybe.......

I'm almost afraid to say it. So I won't. But y'all know what I am thinking, don't you?


Gill from the other side of the Big Pond said...

I suspect that if it was me I would have a smidgeon of hope and positiveness. Two reasons, the feeling of hope is an improvement, second that positive feeling of marching forward (alright then, shuffle) makes the body wake up a bit, all good for the healing process. It is a good sign, fingers and toes crossed (well, the bits that aren't too painful!)

Connie said...

I could not connect to your earlier post, do you think their is a relationship between Sjogrens and weird dreams ? I am not yet on Plaquenil but suspect I will be with my next Dr.visit so to have an excuse for weirdo dreams would be awesome. Maybe I'm not a candidate for brain experiments to see what the heck is going on in there :)

Julia Oleinik said...

HI Connie,

Yes, there is a distinct relationship between plaquenil and dreams. The prescribing information for this drug includes nightmares as a side effect, read this:

Bummer. I see that my link in the "It's Time" post doesn't work. Thanks for letting me know. Trying to fix it but yikes. Blogger isn't being helpful here....