Tuesday, December 17, 2013

T - 24 days. Sleeping

There are so many things that are signs of Parkinson's Disease that people don't know. They know the typical symptoms -- tremors, and rocking like Michael J Fox does. The rocking isn't actually caused by PD, it's a side effect of the meds.

A lot of the symptoms of early PD are misdiagnosed (often as arthritis) or just so unrelated people don't know. Constipation for no reason and bizarre sleep habits are often the first two symptoms, especially in early onset folks. Sleep issues? Oh, that's me!

I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't an insomniac. (I'm writing this at 406am!). But it's more than insomnia - acting out dreams, kicking, acting violent, talking nonsense -- those are all symptoms as well. My wife actually said "Let me talk to your doctor!" when he asked if I had ever had any "weird sleep issues." Yes, doc. Very weird sleep.

Thankfully I don't sleepwalk. If I did, I have no idea how I could do this trip without a tent mate. Could you imagine someone wandering around at 13,000 feet? That said, I'm also weaning myself off of ambien before this trip (for the same reasons -- I don't want to be nearly comatose sleeping with strangers). A lot of people have been giving me advice about sleeping on planes, how to deal with the long flights, which has been great -- but what if I wean myself off of ambien and then can't sleep on the mountain?

My doc says one of the meds that I'm on is actually far better for sleep than ambien, so I shouldn't have any issues. We shall see -- after all, it's 4am and I'm blogging, and I've taken that medication!

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