Ekstatische Lyriken Pinnwand

Fucking Sleep (nasal issues vs. energy)

written by Pj on Saturday August 10th, 2013 -- 10:00 a.m.

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Well, time for a regularly-scheduled update.  Particularly since it was scheduled more than a month ago.

Apparently I became damn lazy at some point.  Dirty dishes sat in the sink for like two months straight, unwashed.  I just ate different stuff that was easier to cook and didn't require the dirty dishes.

Eventually I realized I'd become particularly tired, more so than usual.  I'd hadn't cleaned my house in all that time, and I'd only gone on one bicycle ride during those months, and that was only because it'd been so long and I felt like I really had to since otherwise the entire summer was going to pass without me taking my nephews for another bicycle ride.  Instead, I woke up every day and would just lay around watching television, wondering if today might be the day I convince myself to wash those dishes I was so tired of looking at. 

So I thought for some time about why this might be, and after coming up with many shitty ideas which I rejected for one reason or another, a day later I'd made a realization that actually made a lot of sense...

Back when I boiled all of my pills, pretty much the next day I went back to using one of them, the chlorpheniramine which I'd come to recognize as my best solution to restless legs ever since way back when I randomly tried it in desperation for something to help me simply because I found it in the house and had no better ideas.  I did manage to stay away from the other pills, but I kept using the chlorpheniramine for about a month.  Then one day, I thought maybe I should take my new "no pills" rule more seriously, and so I stopped taking it.

I realized that was pretty much the same time I became hopelessly tired.

This idea was also interesting because chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine, and I've come to realize over the last few months that how clogged my nose feels doesn't just affect how well I sleep, it affects how well I feel during the day.  When it's particularly bad, breathing just makes me tired, even if I breathe through my mouth to avoid the excessive nasal resistance.  It's almost like I have a cold, except that my nose isn't runny, and I don't feel ill.  I just feel tired, and my nose feels dry and constricted.  Most interesting is that how well I feel during the day changes according to how clear my nose feels...or maybe the opposite.  I don't know which causes the other, but they do seem related.

So I took some more chlorpheniramine.  Six tablets, actually.  ...and I slept a good 16 hours I think, and when I woke up, I felt rather good. 

I didn't wash the dishes, but I was so amused by the fact that my nose felt nice and clear that I finally built a box to put a fan inside of in order to suck air through a HEPA filter I bought like a year ago, like I'd been planning to do pretty much since the day I bought it.  Since taking chlorpheniramine made me sleep better (or at least longer) and when I woke up my nose felt kind of good, maybe I did have an allergy of some sort, and so maybe the HEPA filter would help.

It was weird.  My nose actually felt kind of tickly, like little beads of moisture were flowing where they hadn't flowed before, cleaning the poor thing out.  It was a really nice change.

So, with the HEPA filter complete, I let it run overnight while I slept, and also took more chlorpheniramine, and woke up the next day feeling like shit, like usual.

I didn't know what to think of that.  I did kick up a lot of dust with that fan, since I disassembled the thing to clean all of the dust out of it, which was actually clogging it to the point that afterward it was twice as strong.  So I left it running for a few days, and continued taking the chlorpheniramine for at least another day, but nothing changed. 

I considered buying a new fan, in order to have one in the filter that is dust-free, but the things cost $60 and I can't really waste much money.  My bank balance only grows by about $20 a month, and so I'm trying to save it in case I actually come up with an idea I'm sure will work.  ...and I'm just not seeing any improvement at all with the fan I've got, and I would think that at some point it would have to have blown out all of the dust I broke loose while cleaning it.  After all, the things collect dust, and to do so they have to remove more from the air than they introduce.  Perhaps not right after I cleaned the thing and broke all of the dust loose, but certainly over the long term.

So I gave up with that.

After another week or so of usual tiredness, for some reason I took more chlorpheniramine.  I don't remember why.  I think I was just incredibly tired and it does cause some drowsiness, particularly if you take six tablets at once.  Again, I slept a good 16 hours, and woke up feeling rather good, and of course my nose felt great too.

So I finally did those dishes, and washed the counters and the stove, which were both quite filthy.  Impressed with the results, I again kept taking the chlorpheniramine, but the next day, the effect disappears again.

Before I would have thought that it's just a matter of the drowsiness-inducing effect of antihistamines diminishing with continued use, causing me to not sleep 16 hours the following day, and thus not feel as good the second day, but the way that how well I feel seems to correlate with how well my nose feels makes me think there has to be something else going on here. 

One idea I've had for months is that perhaps it's some bacterial infection.  This idea was inspired by my mother's cat, which my sister brought home after finding it in a hotel parking lot.  The thing sneezed blood for about three months before they took it to the vet.  He didn't quite know what was wrong, but felt that it might be a bacterial infection, and that some antibiotics might help the cat's immune system to fight it off.  This seemed like a strange idea to me, since I couldn't imagine the infection maintaining a constant state.  I would expect that either the immune system would win and kill off the infection, or the infection would win and kill off the cat.  However, after giving the cat penicillin for a few days, it stopped sneezing blood, and hasn't since.  I figure if a cat can have a persistent nasal infection, why can't a human? I may not be sneezing blood, but I do seem to have some persistent symptoms.

I'll probably have to go to the doctor some time and get some antibiotics.  I just haven't yet because the whole matter of being awake at the right time of the day, making an appointment, making sure I can use my mother's car for the time of the appointment, and actually going to it, is just three too many steps for me to actually do easily.  I'm also a bit put off by the whole idea of going to the doctor since my last visit more than a year ago when he wouldn't give me any stimulants and instead suggested I make an appointment with a psychiatrist to get them, and the subsequent hopeless matter of trying to find a psychiatrist.  I've just been through so much shit with doctors that I don't even want to talk to them.  Not even the ones I kind of like.

Idea #2 was that it could be a viral infection.  There are quite a number of them that the immune system is apparently unable to ever clear up.  In that case I'm pretty much fucked, just like the people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

I also considered allergies, but nothing I've tried in that respect seems to have done any good at all.

Last night, while trying to sleep, I remembered years ago when I could barely sleep at all that I had to lay in a particular position with my head nearly pointed half way between to the side and straight down, but resting on my arms such that my nose wasn't jammed into my pillow and air could still circulate.  I tried that and kinda felt better today.  So I spent some hours trying to build a thing like the head hole on a massage table, so I could sleep with my head pointed straight down.  After several hours of this, my nose was unusable, and I kind of felt like it was due to all of the saw dust I was creating.  So I ran the filter for a while, and felt a little better, but not a lot. Then I opened the windows for some fresh air, and now, 7 hours later, don't feel any better for having done so.

I've tried decongestants before, but they don't seem to help, probably because the problem isn't exactly congestion.  It's more like the passages dry up and shrink or something. 

I've also noticed that there's some link between anxiety and nasal resistance, but I haven't figured out what it is.  I originally assumed that anxiety was tensing up muscles in the nose causing constriction, but for all I know, the causation is the reverse: increased nasal resistance increases anxiety.  I did try using the last few painkillers I had from dentist appointments a few years ago as a test (they're quite relaxing) and the results seemed positive, but now they're all gone, and getting more from my doctor would certainly be no easier than getting stimulants, and so I can't investigate that any further. 

I did buy some more alcohol, but it just doesn't have the same anti-anxiety effect in any dose I care to consume it in.  I tried up to 50 mL after a meal (before a meal it would be absorbed far too quickly I think) but it didn't seem to do much other than make me feel a bit happy for a few hours.  I don't imagine such amounts would be a good idea for long-term use and so I don't see any point in trying larger amounts.

It is worth noting that antihistamines like chlorpheniramine are kind of the original SSRIs, in that they have some SSRI properties and so were used as a starting point.  So it isn't much surprise that chlorpheniramine has some anti-anxiety effects, but then, just the fact that it will make you drowsy kind of implies that as well.  However, even if it were the SSRI effects that were helping, that doesn't explain why it would only work the first day but not the second.

So, having not had any for a day or to (or so I think I remember) I took some more chlorpheniramine a little bit ago.  We'll see if this silly pattern of working for only one day continues.

Hell, for all I know, it's some combination between chlorpheniramine and sugar.  Like, I feel better with the chlorpheniramine but only if I avoid sugar as well.  I've noticed lately that consuming a lot of sugar makes me feel a bit ill.  I also realized that my recent lack of energy also correlates with the opening of the new Dollar General store in town, which removed the one good barrier to my consumption of sugar: either I had to drive to Richmond, or I had to use my extremely limited cash.  Now I can just walk to Dollar General and use my food stamp card, which makes sugar far too fucking easy to obtain in a moment of weakness.  Why do they allow the food stamp card to be used to buy candy, soda, and cookies? On the one hand, I'm happy that the government somehow avoided any bullshit limitations on the thing (e.g., prohibiting high-fat or high-sodium foods, or worse, some limit on calories/serving, as if the serving size is relevant), but at the same time, the fact that you can buy candy and especially soda with the thing just seems ridiculous.  I'd be a hell of a lot happier if I couldn't buy those things with it.  ...and it would save money too.  The balance on the card rolls over month to month and never expires.  I had saved up about $400 on the thing that I simply never used since home-made pizzas are quite cheap, but that balance is going down now that the Dollar General is open.  ...but it isn't really Dollar General's fault.  It'd be the same case if it were Wal-Mart or any other store, as it's the easy access to sugar that's the problem.  I was much happier when I could get to the store only once a week and so as long as I could resist sugar for 30 minutes, I was good for another week.  ...but now, any hour of any day, it only takes five minutes of "I want some cookies" for it to happen.  I fucking hate sugar.  Even if I stuff myself on non-sugar foods, the sugar craving still comes.  It's still there even after I stuff myself on sugary foods.  I ate 3380 calories of cookies today and I'm still hungry because somehow, no matter now non-liquid that sugar is, it just isn't filling at all.  I have to eat regular food to feel like I've eaten, and yet, regular food doesn't block the sugar cravings.  Short of having sugar far enough out of reach that I can't be bothered to obtain it, nothing seems to work.

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