I am incredibly, unbelievably exhausted. While I don’t know what it is like to not have fibromyalgia, I imagine I am feeling a level of exhaustion only experienced by people with fibromyalgia or other chronic fatigue illnesses. I was tempted to just not write a post today, but I decided that I couldn’t give people a realistic idea of my day to day life with fibro if I didn’t write day to day…so here I am!
I thought that now might be a good time to talk about sleep. Fibromyalgia can cause major sleep interferences. Stress and pain often wake me up at night (if they have not already kept me from falling asleep in the first place). I try to do a bit of yoga every night before bed to try and lessen these symptoms enough to allow me to fall asleep, but sometimes that is not enough. Especially when I am flaring.
One option is to take some form of pain medication before bed. Another is to take some form of sleeping medication.
I am not a huge fan of taking medication. Over the past few years I have experienced some rather unpleasant side effects from meds, and in general, it is nicer not to have medication in your body. However, it is often too hard to live with fibromyalgia without some help. I’ll write later on the other medications that I take, but today I want to focus on Apo-Amitriptyline, which I take sometimes to help me sleep.
Years ago, my doctor had me taking Amitiptyline every night, but as it built up in my system it became un-effective. Even more troubling were some side effects like heart palpitations, confusion and memory loss. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything that worked better. So the solution was to take less of it. During the past two years, I keep it on hand, but only take it every once in awhile when I’ve had a string of bad nights and really need some solid sleep.
With fibromyalgia, exhaustion does not guarantee that you will able to sleep. Often the times you need sleep the most, are the times at which sleep is most evasive. The correlation I see is that whenever your fatigue symptoms are elevated, so are all your other symptoms. This means that you have to overcome a greater amount of pain, discomfort and stress (if not other symptoms as well) before you can drift into a deep sleep. Have you ever tried to get to sleep when it feels like your head is in a vice? It’s really not that easy.
So tonight I will take 10 mg of Amitriptyline in the hopes of getting some really solid sleep. I’m pretty sure if I don’t I will just end up crying all day tomorrow. I’m being serious – get to a certain level of exhaustion and putting a sock on inside-out can make you cry.
Sweet dreams everyone!