I’ve had insomnia since I can remember. I love to sleep, but it takes me forever to fall asleep and I wake up at least once a night usually for an hour or more. I’ve struggled so much with my sleep because it directly affects my health—my back, anxiety, migraines, etc. Everything is worse when I don’t sleep and it makes it more likely I’ll have flare-ups.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I’ve been going through a stressful time health wise (what else is new?), and I haven’t been able to focus. I’ve had fun new symptoms like horrible night sweats almost every night. It’s not glamorous or fun. In fact, I’ve been feeling a bit ashamed by these sweats, despite knowing that they are fairly common. So now I’m trying to be a bit more open about this common symptom that a lot of people have to deal with (so much so that I found pajamas advertised specifically for night sweats…that help a little).
I often feel like an expert in being chronically ill. I know how to look up doctors on my insurance company’s website. I know to ask if they cover me just in case when I make an appointment. I know to ask if the tests are covered as well when they suggest something. I know how many physicals and dental check-ups I get a year and I know what out of network versus in network means. I know how to get reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. I know what an FSA is. I know I can ask my pharmacist if the medications I take could have dangerous interactions.
It’s rare for me to have an anxiety or OCD crisis nowadays. I see my therapist regularly. I have a medication regime that on the whole is working. I have changed a lot of things in my life to support my mental health. All of these things keep me fairly on an even keel.
Yesterday afternoon I was lying on the acupuncture bed, trying (and failing) not to wince when the acupuncturist lightly touched a tender muscle before putting in a needle. I had been traveling for family and was still stiff, sore, and knotted up after the long flights.