Finding and Maintaining Balance

in february of 2004 i was injured.  to make a long story short i ended up with a neurological disorder due to joint trauma called RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy aka chronic regional pain syndrome.)

prior to the accident i was extremely active.  i exercised at the gym 3x's a week, exercised at home 2x's a week and played volley ball on two (sand and court ball) leagues 4 nights per week.  the boost of energy the activity provided was amazing. 

in the past i'd never required much sleep.  5 hours a night was plenty for me to feel refreshed and have a decent day.  after i became increasingly active obtaining 5 hours of sleep was difficult because my body seemed to literally vibrate with energy.  this is why i started playing ball.  after ball games i was so physically wore out that i would literally crash for those 5 hours and sleep so deep.  it was wonderful.  i HAD a schedule.  i felt great.

that all changed after i was hurt.  RSD causes sleep disturbances.  it actually changes your lymbic system which controls sleep patterns.  the changed lymbic system also causes depression and with depression comes sleep disturbances.  even when the depression is under control, the pain itself causes insomnia and alternatively if i am able to get to sleep i might sleep for a couple days straight through.  however, sleeping for 4 hours, 48 hours straight or any amount in between does not allow me to feel rested, refreshed, rejuvenated or anything remotely close to having slept.  instead i feel tired if not exhausted.

it's been 3.5 years since the accident.  long enough, you'd think, for me to get a schedule under control.  every night when i lay down i say to myself, "tonight's the night i'm going to sleep all the way through and start a REAL schedule that's regular and dependable."  in 3.5 years this has never panned out for me.  i might keep a schedule for 3 days ... MAXIMUM!  after that something gets messed up and i can't sleep for days, then i crash and sleep for a couple days. 

it makes no difference how much or how little i sleep.  it makes no difference how regular my sleep patterns are or are not.  it makes no difference whether i exercise or not.  these days i am literally exhausted 100% of the time.  it's become a way of life.  i fall asleep while i sit up watching tv and movies, typing stories here at EP, playing games on the internet, chatting on messenger, talking on the phone, etc.  i'm exhausted in every sense of the word whether i take a nap or don't.  it makes no difference.  i remain exhausted.

i've tried everything i can think of to reverse this, to alleviate it even, but to no avail.  i've followed doc suggestions, taken sleeping pills, tried yoga and meditation ... NOTHING!

i KNOW i have fibromyalgia but the doc has yet to say so.  my mom has fibro and to a degree it's a genetic thing.  not to mention i constantly feel like i have the flu (physically.)  i'm sure this has quite a bit to do with the exhaustion as well. 

if i'm not exhausted, falling asleep at the wheel (so to speak) i'm so fatigued it's not funny.  most days i feel as if lifting a finger to push the buttons on the remote to change the channel could end in breaking a sweat, heavy breathing etc. much like running a marathon. 

i have bags under my eyes that will not go away. 

even when i do get a good nights rest i still wake up tired and am soon exhausted within hours in desperate need of a nap.  it makes no difference how much sleep i get or how deeply i sleep, the quality of rest or decrease of pain ... i'm still exhausted!

in part (a LARGE part) the sleep problems are why i can't work ... aside from the pain and other affects.  but the exhaustion itself causes many side affects; confusion, dizziness, blurry vision, shakiness, weakness, short term memory loss, etc.  the RSD, depression and fibro all do the same as well.  so i don't see an end to my dilemma in this life unless a miracle comes my way.

enjoy your sleep!  it's when the body heals itself, rejuvenates and refreshes.  a lack of sleep causes your body not to be able to perform many of the processes essential to life.  a lack of doesn't allow your body to heal properly. 

... so what i'm getting at is ... don't take your slumber for granted as i once did.  it's very important and you won't realize how much you enjoy and need it until you're unable to attain it.

AbbyNormal AbbyNormal
31-35, F
1 Response Aug 1, 2007

I am disabled due to a work injury .I have managed to still find work even i know it's going to cause alot of pain. People take for granted simple movements , that cause great pain to us. Keep your head up, i know it's hard.