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gsdmom – Thanks for the words of encouragement. I do remember that you got that bout of shingles and I’m sorry you haven’t completely recovered yet. But at least it isn’t totally debilitating. I also remember that the meds caused your insomnia but it’s also nice to see that you are sleeping better even if you do have some bad bouts with it every so often. I do sleep better than I have been but still can’t take naps or fall asleep like I used to. But that’s actually how I knew something else was wrong in that while I was sleeping better, I was still suffering from the other symptoms, which should have started clearing up once I got more sleep.
The neurologist told me that most of what you recover after a stroke comes back in the first year after the stroke occurs and I am well past that. However, I could still show further improvement down the road. Getting the eye muscles coordinated will help a lot as the two eyes not working together is probably what’s causing the dizziness, not the lack of sleep. The stroke also affected the muscles that focus the eyes as well. So now that I know what the problem is, I can focus on getting that corrected, if possible. I have to say I’m just still really upset at all of the doctors and lay people who once they heard I had insomnia immediately chalked up all of the problems I was having to that and tried to get me to go on psychotic drugs when anxiety wasn’t the problem at all.
Anyway, good luck to you gsdmom. Hope you are completely recovered soon and I will pray for you as well.
Hi everyone. Been a while since I’ve been on here and I hope you are continuing to progress. The reason I have been away is that I’ve had a second opinion with a neurologist and I’m afraid it’s bad news. They are of the opinion after going over all of my symptoms, including the insomnia, that I suffered a small stroke after I had the surgery almost two years ago that started all of the insomnia. So it’s ironic that I was told to get the surgery to avoid a stroke and it ends up causing one, even if it’s just a small one. The insomnia has gotten better but unfortunately, other symptoms persist. I hesitated to post this because ACT and SRT does work and I don’t want anyone thinking because it’s not working for them that there must be something horribly wrong with them. ACT and SRT just take time to work. And I also posted this to let the main people I conversed with know why I have been away and won’t be on here much anymore. I have to transition my life from trying to get better from insomnia to learning to live with the symptoms I have caused by the stroke. That’s probably why I set my e-mail filter to block all e-mails from this site as some of the e-mails were depressing me and I have to admit I wasn’t handling the news about the stroke very well. I certainly didn’t need more bad stories to bring me down. If there’s one thing I guess I learned from all of this is to trust my body. I knew that the insomnia I suffered wasn’t from anxiety and yet all of the doctors kept pushing pills on me telling me I needed them when in reality, anxiety wasn’t even the cause of my problems. Anyway, good luck to all of you who are doing ACT.
Deb – Thanks for all of your help and input.
gsdmom – Good luck to you as you still seem to be showing improvement, even if slowly.
Mac – I see you’re going through another rough patch. Hang in there. You know it can get better.
gsdmom – Sorry to hear about the pain you are having. I hope it goes away soon so you can get back to sleep.
I am still in the “improving” phase. I was doing way better for the last two weeks until two nights ago when I had setbacks, but that’s to be expected. Still, overall, my body feels better than it did last year at this time. The only problem I am really having now are dizziness and eye problems but that usually comes much later in the day now as I tire out in the evening. I can get about 6 to 6.5 hours most nights but it isn’t in one block. I do still tend to wake up a lot throughout the night but it is heading in a mostly positive direction.
RonA – There is another reason to stop taking Xanax. It is a benzo class drug and they are HIGHLY addictive. Have you ever had to increase your dosage in order for it to work? If you have, you could have developed a tolerance to it and you’ll need to watch very carefully how you come off of it. You may want to check with your doctor before you stop. I’m not trying to scare you but rather caution you.
Manfred – Basically, all I did was to have some kind of icon represent each of my fears. As an example, I was always questioning why the insomnia started and I was coming up with all of these scientific explanations. So I would have a guy in a trench coat carrying around a magnifying glass representing him. (Looked a lot like Peter Falk from Columbo.) Anyway, after I welcomed all of these characters, we would just get into a group and laugh and dance and just have a good time with each other. This really only took a couple minutes at night before bed. That’s how I learned to face my fears. It took awhile but I don’t have a lot of my fears anymore. I still have the insomnia but that’s just because of ingrained anxiety that I still have to conquer. (That’s one of my fears that I still greet at night before I go to bed and when I wake up in the middle of the night.)
Hi Manfred. Sorry to hear your having so much trouble. The best thing I could say is to keep practicing the tools as described in the ACT book. And also to remember that relapses will definitely come. But just keep practicing and the bad times will be less and less frequent. I still have them and as Mac said, they seem to come in bunches. Once you get a bad night, you’ll probably get a couple in a row until your mind learns to deal with the anxiety again. I also want to say that you need to pick either CBT-i or ACT and then stick with that method. It isn’t wise to do both. I believe Deb will agree with me on that.
Not too bad Deb. In fact, I think I have improved some. I have gotten several nights of 7 hours lately and I feel much better than I have been. But then I do regress some like last night where I get about 5.5 to 6.0 ours. And then I have headaches the next day. It’s kind of funny in that about three or four weeks ago, if I got 6 hours of sleep I would be happy. But after getting several nights of around 7.0, then 6.0 is kind of disappointing. But I then accept it and move on. I really think I have been sleeping better because I haven’t had to get up and go into work as I am working from home. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when I have to get up and go back to the office again. Thanks for asking.
I know what you mean Mac. I have been going to the grocery store more times than usual and getting take-out just to get out of the house and interact with someone. Even if it’s just the cashier and I have to stand 6 feet away from them. I just keep dousing myself with Purell after I leave the store.
Sleep has been rough for me the last couple of nights as I am only getting about 3 hours each night. Luckily I don’t have to drive in to work. And when I wake up, I can feel the anxiety and stress. I am using the tools but they don’t seem to be working now. Just have to try and settle down and keep practicing the tools and meditation.
Deb – What happened to the kitten?
gsdmom – Hopefully you will have cured your insomnia by the time you get new pets. Stay safe – Stay well.
gsdmom – Glad you were able to cut back on the Ambien. I am curious, when you get that 6 or 7 hours of sleep, do you have any wake-ups in there? I know what you mean about the cat. That’s why when I got my two new cats, I shut the bedroom door at night so they can’t wake me up. I need as much sleep as I can get. That wouldn’t have worked with my old cats as they were used to being in the bedroom with me. But I had to do this with the new ones.
Don’t feel like a failure for taking the Ambien gsdmom. Sometimes it’s what we have to do. Just try to get back on the ACT program as soon as you can. It’s tough having to go in after thinking you were going to have a while off. I think it will hit me hard on the day I have to go back in. I know if I feel bad at home I can pace myself but having a bad day at work is much rougher. Hang in there. We are here for you.
The last couple of nights it has taken me somewhat longer to fall asleep but I have also been sleeping past the 4:00am time period. Not too much past but before I was mostly waking up at 3:00am and staying awake so anything past 4:00 is an improvement. Trouble is, I don’t know if I am getting the same amount of sleep since as I said, I am falling asleep later. I try to get up at the same time I normally did even though I don’t have to go into work and can work from home. I figure that will help when it eventually comes time for me to go to work again. Still don’t feel much better physically though. Still have a bit of brain fog, minor headaches and tired. And I still think the tiredness is affecting my vision. Just going to keep doing what ACT teaches me to do as I have no other choice.
gsdmom – So glad you got that 8.5 hours. I wish I can get that. The best I can do is 7 on a very good night and that’s not all that often. Therefore, dizziness and eye problems affect me a lot. Brain fog as well when I get the real bad sleep. Thankfully though, no memory problems.
Deb – Yes, being alone is tough. I have been ordered to work from home so I don’t see anyone all day long. I have been going out to places like the grocery store and fast food places just to get out but now that we have to stay home starting tomorrow, it’s going to be tough. Stay well Deb and stay away from other people. Hope you get rid of that bug soon.
I know what you mean Mac. These are certainly trying times. It’s odd in that I think I have been getting more sleep but seem to be more dizzy and lightheaded. I’m just wondering if the sleep I have been getting isn’t as deep as I think it is. I also wonder if I do get the virus, will my lack of sleep mean I won’t have enough energy to fight it off? I’m not sitting here stressing about that but I do think about it at times. I think you will feel a bit better Mac once you don’t have to wake up to an alarm.
Deb – How are you doing? Do you think the world’s situation is what is making it harder for you to recover this time?
Stay healthy everyone.
Sorry you are having trouble again Deb but as you say, at least you can take the naps and feel better after you take them. After I wake up, I am still tired but not exhausted. And as I said, I don’t have to sweat out an alarm anymore because I can work from home.
gsdmom – I’m not surprised you ran into a lot of people on the trail. Hiking and riding a bike is pretty much the only exercise we can get now. I hope you start sleeping better again soon. Maybe with the office closed for awhile you’ll face less stress.
Hang in there everyone.