Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Tortures of a Sleep Disorder

I am in a mood today and just decided I might as well get it out. I sympathize with everyone that has a sleep disorder. If you are chronically tired, please insist on having a sleep study done. It might be something simpler like sleep apnea which is easier to treat, but life threatening if left untreated.

Unfortunately the disorder I have is rare and all they can do is put me on medication to try and stabilize my brain chemicals and to help me get to sleep. My disorder, after seven tests, has come back as "difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep". Hmmm. That means that although I think I am sleeping, my brain does its own funky thing and refuses to stay in the sleep stages or even go into some of the critical ones. Basically I suffer from chronic sleep deprivation and REM (dream) deprivation. Lots of fun - NOT!

I accomplish in a day what most people get done in two hours. I have to have a drug forced nap during the day just to survive. We believe that as a result of the sleep disorder, I also have fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Well duh! If the sleep is not refreshing, then I am bound to be tired all the time.

So my doctor's orders are to reevaluate what I can do and to pretty much stay on bedrest (or in my case, recliner rest) so I don't exhaust myself more. But how does a Type A personality accomplish this???? I needed to do something, to feel useful, to feel fulfilled. So I picked up my knitting again and knit as much as I can. Sometimes projects seem to drag on, sometimes I can get them done quickly depending on how tired I am.

The past 12 years have been a road of self discovery. I spin, as well as machine knit and have fallen in love with natural fibres. Wool is my all time favourite because of its wonderful properties, along with cotton, linen, and the list goes on. I have also realized that I am an artist and my apartment reflects that :) I love to create, I love to design and I love the feel of the fabric in my hands. And just as not every one of us will go to an art gallery and all like the same painting, or like it but for different reasons, not everyone is going to like what I make for them. So I make very little for others. The one thing that has gone over well with everyone is crochet on the double dishcloths and I will make these. Other things are done by special request only and then the recipient is involved in choosing the yarn, pattern, etc.

Just as art gallery work doesn't suit everyone, neither does the art of knitting. I have learned that it is an art, to take pride in it, and not to undervalue myself just because it is "hand made". It is a gift that keeps on giving, and should be treasured as such.

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