Discussions By Condition: Sleep disorders

Sleep troubles ...

Posted In: Sleep disorders 12 Replies
  • Posted By: Donatello
  • April 20, 2007
  • 03:08 PM

I have been having trouble sleeping for about 4-5 months now. At first I was sleeping for a couple of hours and waking up and repeating this cycle until time to really get up. I have been on a couple of sleep medications and currently am using Ambien CR 12.5 mg. I am only receiving about 4 to 5 hours of sleep and never really feel rested and recovered when I do wake up. Can this be an indication of a disease or illness because I have noticed that I am thinner than I was about 4-5 months ago. It seems like I am losing fat because my arms, chest, butt and legs are thinner and it seems like I have been working out because my muscle tone looks very good. Trouble is that I have not been lifting weights. My face is also thinner with my eyes, cheeks and temples looking sunken. Is this just aging? I am 37 years old and have lost about 15-20 pounds during this stretch of time. I have been to my doctor throughout this time and have been told that there is nothing wrong with me. My face hurts around my cheeks and when I look down (when my face is facing parallel to the ground) it also seems like my face just hangs loose ... it really is disturbing. Sorry if this rambles but I seem to remember things in a different sequence but I want to make sure that I list everything.

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12 Replies:

  • First of all, dump your doctor. The one who told you there's nothing wrong with you is clearly an idiot.I read your other thread (http://forums.wrongdiagnosis.com/showthread.php?t=13880) about fat loss all over your body, and it possibly being a grief reaction from losing your wife. (And I am sorry to hear that.) Did your sleep problems begin at the same time? If not, can you think of anything in your life that changed shortly before your sleep problems began? Anything in your environment, relationships, diet, living habits? Or possibly reaching a deeper level of your grief?
    AmateurHistorian 74 Replies Flag this Response
  • It has been a tough year and I appreciate your kindness regarding my loss. Actually, my doctor feels that everything that I have related in these past two posts is related to grief and spiritual concerns. The only change that I can think of is that I have found someone who I like and she is also interested in me. Because of this mutual attraction we have started to date and see more of each other. I've been told that the physical things happening to me could be related to survivors guilt or some mental issues because I am directing my attention to this woman and trying to move on with my life. It just has turned into such a physical struggle to try to be positive that there isn't a serious life threatening problem. It wouldn't be such a huge concern of mine if it weren't for my 11 year old son. With my wife gone, I am concerned about my health and the possibility that something may happen to me and leave him without either of us.
    Donatello 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • That really is a lot of emotional turmoil for one year -- the death of your wife, caring for your son, an attraction to another woman, and now concern about your own health, and thus your son's future. I don't know much about how grief and "survivor's guilt" can manifest physically, but with all that going on, some sleep disruption, weight loss, and localized pain make sense to me.I was concerned about how helpful your doctor was being because you said his response was that "there was nothing wrong with me," when it was clear that you were indeed having some serious symptoms. I hope he actually gave you more information, hope, encouragement, and treatment advice than that. I also hope he gave you some safety parameters such as, if you lose this much more weight or get any of these other symptoms, come right back and see me.And with such a strong physical reaction to emotional stress, I also hope you have the ability to see a psychotherapist or a pastoral counselor, depending on your needs. Our body-mind-souls have a natural process for healing themselves, but just as childbirth benefits from an experienced midwife (and sometimes really needs one), strong emotions often heal better with help from someone with the right training. Even more so if your counselor can help you work with your doctor, or work with him/her directly.My very best wishes for your health!
    AmateurHistorian 74 Replies Flag this Response
  • I meant to say that I have had several blood tests and the results indicated to her that there was nothing wrong with them. She has indicated that I am still in the good range for my bmi. My sister has told me that I should seek a second opinion. That seems a strong possibility. Also, I am seeing a counselor and have an appointment with both my doctor and counselor this week. I just feel that if I could start sleeping longer and waking refreshed that my body and mind would be better able to handle the stresses in my life. It seems to me that the problems started with lack of sleep and will end if I can get it back to "normal".
    Donatello 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • Good, then it sounds like you're seeking and getting the help you need. Second opinions are good too. Disrupted sleep and the resulting fatigue are miserable -- I lived with them for 15+ years -- but they're a pretty normal reaction to grief and stress. Ambien is one the latest and most popular (and most advertised) treatments for sleep problems, but it's far from the only one. The mainstream pharmacopeia has a lot of other medications that help sleep, including anti-anxiety drugs (which you should need only in low doses), and there are also many treatments for disrupted sleep from oriental medicine and other alternative systems of medicine.You sound like you're willing and able to keep looking until you find what you need. Keep on keepin' on. :)
    AmateurHistorian 74 Replies Flag this Response
  • Donatello,I also have read your other post, and understand that you are going through a lot right now. Have you heard of something called Rescue Remedy? It is a Bach Flower remedy, and comes in a tincture that you can get at any healthfood store. I highly recommend this product as it works with the emotional aspect of any trauma/stress. I have used this product for years, and even use it on my pets and for my children! It is very safe and you just put 4 drops in a glass of water and drink. I have found this to be VERY helpful for insomnia, as I keep a glass of water by my bed and when I wake up just take a few sips and it really helps me to fall back to sleep. I used this throughout my pregnacies and labor (had very difficult labors),while in grad school for testing, and after the loss of my beloved dog. It is great stuff. I think the counseling will be very helpful for you...but I think also you might try some acupuncture, or energy healing/reiki. This can be very helpful in balancing the body, mind and spirit. It may also help with your sleep - I agree that it is important to get better sleep. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks to both of you for your words. I have been writing things down that I notice from one visit to the next. This should help me when I have my visits. I will post back when I know more from my visits. I probably wouldn't be as concerned about all of this if I didn't look so tired all the time. The fat loss under my eyes give me such a sunken look that it is one of the main physical things that is driving me to figure this out. I don't see any quick fixes in the future but just have to keep plugging away ...
    Donatello 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • I probably wouldn't be as concerned about all of this if I didn't look so tired all the time. The fat loss under my eyes give me such a sunken look that it is one of the main physical things that is driving me to figure this out,I'd be concerned too, Donatello. Scared is more like it. I'm so glad that you're trying different ways to heal yourself.DOM/acuann, thank you so much for mentioning Rescue Remedy. Several people have told me about it over the years, but I kept forgetting and have never tried it. I just now wrote it down on my shopping list for Whole Foods Market, and I'll get some next time I'm there.I also have to say I laughed at myself when I read your comment about pregnancies in your last post. One of the fun features of internet conversation is playing "guess the gender." I'm usually pretty good at it, in the 95% range, but I struck out this time ... I had guessed you were male. :p
    AmateurHistorian 74 Replies Flag this Response
  • I also have to say I laughed at myself when I read your comment about pregnancies in your last post. One of the fun features of internet conversation is playing "guess the gender." I'm usually pretty good at it, in the 95% range, but I struck out this time ... I had guessed you were male. :p I have gotten that before! I hope it doesn't make my advice any less relevant.:rolleyes: Cheers! DOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have gotten that before! I hope it doesn't make my advice any less relevant.'Course not. It just gave me a good laugh at myself. ;)
    AmateurHistorian 74 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have had my appointment with my doctor and counselor today. She feels that my physical problems stem from anxiety and depression. She also told me that what I think are sunken eyes are not sunken eyes. Small relief ... whew. I am starting Effexor to help me with her diagnosis of anxiety and depression. I also have a colonoscopy scheduled for May 3rd. If nothing is found after that procedure then it would seem my problems are truly because of emotional and spiritual stress ...
    Donatello 7 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Donatello,PLEASE look up effexor on www.drugs.com so you can be informed of ALL possible side effects before starting this drug. Yes, antidpressant/antianxiety meds do help some people, but for others they can cause a host of new and debilitating problems. Please just be an informed consumer. This website is a great resource, and most docs don't really tell you much about side effects. Once you take this med you need to take it very regularly, and you cannot just stop it cold turkey. This drug has horrible discontinuation symptoms. I would suggest trying the Bach Flower Remedies before getting started on effexor and see if they are helpful. You can google these and find them online. These remedies work on a vibrational scale, and have no contraindications. There are several for grief and despair - you can look them up online and decide which ones ring true. Just a though. I just caution you that the effexor is strong, and I have had several patients try to get off of it, only to experience terrible symptoms. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
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