Throat Blog — Changing my Sleep Strategy

I have had a heck of a time getting to a normal sleep pattern. For 6 weeks, I basically snatched an hour here or there as I could, as even at night they would wake me up for something every couple of hours. So, my sleep schedule is totally messed up, even 3 weeks later. I have no problem dozing off in the afternoon, but when I go to bed, sleep is just a dream.

To try to battle this, I’ve been trying very hard to avoid those mid-day, mid-afternoon, early-evening, etc. naps. That is really tough, because when I sit down, I shut down. So, I’ve also resorted to taking my pain meds just before I head to bed. That worked a little, sometimes, but only for a couple of hours. Plus, I’m not really in enough pain to need pain meds…pain isn’t what is keeping me awake. Add to that, even taking one pain pill a day has started to cause some other digestive issues which are entirely the opposite of the issues I had nearly gotten used to.

So, yesterday I decided to try to turn my strategy upside-down and treat it as I would on one of my many trips to Asia. Back in 2003, before my first trip, I got a scrip for Provigil, a drug used to prevent sleepiness that has no other side effect for me. It is not like an amphetamine that amps you up. It just keeps you from going into that state where you are involuntarily nodding off. I’ve even taken one, then gone to bed and slept fine just a couple of hours later (each pill has about a 4 hour effictive time). After over 15 years, that scrip of 30 pills had finally dwindled down to a single pill, which I took as soon as I got home, yesterday, after a drive home where I battled falling asleep at the wheel most of the trip.

I did nod off for about 15 minutes, but the TV was on, and I roused back up. And managed to stay up and active all evening. Then, when I went to bed, I fell asleep within minutes and slept most of the way through the night. Not a perfect night’s sleep, but the best I’ve had in nearly 3 months.

I’m hoping this single dose will have helped enough to reset my clock so I can sleep un-aided tonight. If not, I’ll request a new scrip (back in 2003 I had to pay completely out of pocket at $10 per dose…maybe insurance will cover it this time). The side effects are certainly less than the narcotics, and if it works I’d pay out of pocket again to get my days “right side up.”

Other than that, working, driving the new car around on the weekend, and trying to stay out of trouble. Mostly.