The secret to a goodnight’s sleep seems to be well and truly hidden under a rock that has been buried at sea, for this particular post transplant myeloma patient. This does not please me. I like my sleep. I love my sleep in fact, but in the post transplant world, my sleep seems to be more of challenge rather than a pleasure.
And I suffer from fatigue! Oh the confusion of it all. Fatigue, rest, sleep. In my mind, they are mutually exclusive, and that does not make for an easy life.
The perfect night’s sleep, as I understand it, has an attractive person get into their crisp pyjamas at 22:30hrs, slide under their bed sheets at 22:33hrs, turn off the light at 22:35hrs after they have removed their spectacles, close their eyes five seconds later, sign a sign of contentment, to then awake eight hours later. That’s the dream.
I was once told by an old lady trying to feed me a red apple, that good people should not experience this world between the hours of 00:00hrs-06:00hrs. Evidentially, I am not a good person. In reality, my sleep is not a continuous, uninterrupted visit to my dreamland, which I am sure everybody wants in life. My sleep is not now categorised by irritating insomnia. My sleep does not look like the ritual mentioned above, my ritual is something else entirely. My sleep has become an endurance test, or a 4’6″ x 6’3″ nightly edition of the Crystal Maze. My challenges include, but are not limited to the following;
* The Hot Flush – these are dire, they make my bed smell and they force me to sleep in my knickers. I experience at least three of these a night. I do not want to make anybody have ill feelings towards me, but yesterday, I woke to found a sweat ring around where my head had been on the pillow. They cannot be combated even if I roll over to the cooler side of the bed.
* The Weak Bladder – this is self explanatory. I have not peed in my bed yet, if I could change my bed sheets by myself, maybe I would do. I cannot however, so I have to get up.
* The Nighttime Thurst – an unexplained phenomena, that encourages the point above.
* The Back Pain – a quiet constant, awakened if I attempt to move at all in my sleep. Previously, on my initial diagnosis, I learned to sleep without moving, the pain improved and I rejoiced by doing a starfish. The pain has now returned, but the need to move has not.
* The Easy Pins and Needles – introduced after two rounds of Velcade; enhanced when one remains in the same position for longer than an hour. Also includes the ‘Dead Limb.’
The challenges sometimes double or triple up. Sometimes, occasionally, now and then, once and a while, they come all at once. That blows my minds because some of them contradict the other. One thing is for sure, they each come at least once a night, and have done so since I had my blood played with.
I am told that they will all improve with time. I remain hopeful. With regards to the need to urinate, I will give the imaginary Them, that. They were correct. As for the rest of it? Who kNOWS.
At least with the insomnia, I was physically comfortable…