During our goal-setting session on Friday, one of the things I determined was that this weekend I wanted to be up by 12 noon at the latest. I did pretty well today, in large part due to my dad who decided to call me just a minute or two after my alarm clock rang and just before I’d had time to fall back into a deep sleep again. I had to really fight the urge to fall back asleep when I was up but by around 3 o’clock, I couldn’t stand it anymore and had to go lie down for a “short” nap, which turned out to be 5 hours long.
This is nothing new. *The sleep thing* is something I’ve been dealing with for the better part of my life. But now that I’m in treatment and that we’re running tests to evaluate my overall health, I’ve decided to make the sleep thing my priority. I had a talk yesterday with the head shrink—a very nice man who is open to discussion and encourages patients to think for themselves and contribute to both diagnosing and resolving problems—very rare qualities for a shrink. I told him about my bout of Mono when I was 3 and how the fatigue I can experience most days feels very similar to what I experienced back then. I had mentioned this to other doctors over the years but so far they had all dismissed the idea before I’d even gotten all the words out of my mouth. This time, Doctor F was willing to consider my theory that since I had Mono so young, maybe some neurological pathways or chemical reactions in my brain were affected by the illness and left me with permanent chronic fatigue symptoms associated with the “kissing disease”.
I’ve started doing a little bit of research online. At first I wanted to find out whether there is such a thing as “sleep addiction”. It seems not. What very little information I was able to glean was from message boards and forums such as the one I found on sleepnet.com where back in May 2000 “blue” had this response about whether it was possible to have a sleep addiction: “Certainly people may seek escape in sleep, but would a normal (even addiction-prone) person actually be able to BE asleep as often as all that?”. The answer of course is no, as anyone who has ever tried to fall asleep on cue can attest. Why it is I hadn’t done any research on this issue before, I really can’t say, but my guess is I was probably just too tired. Just a cursory look at Sleep Disorders on Wikipedia gives me hope that maybe there is a diagnosis for my condition: Narcolepsy doesn’t sound like such a stretch from what I’ve gathered so far. In and of itself, a diagnosis is pretty useless, but for me it might mean 3 things: 1) there just might be a way to “treat” my problem (though I get the feeling probably not) 2) I’ll finally have scientific proof that I don’t sleep so much purely as a form of escapism. And most importantly: 3) I’ll be able to put to rest my concern that I’m just a lazy, good for nothing motherfucker (no offense mom).