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Hey Everyone, welcome to my blog. Where the goal is to share how my life has been, and continues to be, impacted as a result of chronic Lyme disease.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Lyme, Chronic Fatigue, and Sleep

Lyme has a HUGE impact on sleep.

I’ve always been a light sleeper. But I started noticing consistent problems after my second concussion (May 2016).  I would fall asleep on the way to work, and then fall asleep on the way home. I never had energy.

Then things changed (not the exhaustion part). I stopped being able to sleep almost completely.

I started taking lots of natural sleep remedies, and did things like making sure I didn’t fall asleep during the day, in hopes that I would be tired enough to sleep at night. This didn’t really make much difference. My doctor advised that instead of making myself stay awake during the day, I had to sleep whenever I finally crashed...no matter what time it was.

As my brain got sicker (Lyme, concussion, and PTSD), the little sleep I did manage was filled with increasingly terrible dreams. This led to the point that I was actually terrified to sleep.

**trigger warning**
I’ll share a couple examples of my nightmares.
1. A recurring theme in my dreams was that something terrible would happen (ex. being under attack) and I would be responsible for making sure everyone was okay. But I was never successful. People would die if I didn’t save them on time.
2. Another theme would be having to watch people endure terrible torture and suffering, and be unable to save them.
3. I also had dreams where really bad or scary things happened to me, and I would be helpless and alone.
4. I had many many dreams where I had to re-live all the doctor abuse I’ve been through.
5. I would dream about right before the concussion, and re-live the concussion that changed my life, and ultimately led to my Lyme diagnosis.

I’ve had many others, but this gives you an idea.

A number of things contributed to my lack of sleep....including, but not limited to:

1. Lyme bacteria in my brain
2. Concussions
3. My brain doesn’t want to slow down
4. Anxiety
5. Pain

Roughly 9 months ago I began seeing my current psychiatrist. After he began getting to know me and my case he recommended some sleeping pills, as well as a pill that is supposed to help take away the nightmares. He’s recommended it for many of his patients who have PTSD.

I still take all of those pills today. And although they help a little with the nightmares, lack of sleep is an ongoing problem. Even when I have the strongest sleep pill (I’m only allowed that twice a week).

I get a few hours here and there. Most mornings I am very groggy (sometimes all day)....especially after taking the strong pill.

And every day I am exhausted. This is definitely one of the worst Lyme symptoms. Because it affects every aspect of my life. And it affects my coping abilities too. It’s hard also because I know how important sleep is for the healing process.

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