I woke up about 4 a.m., realized I needed to get up to pee, but instead rolled over with my CPAP hose (a surprisingly challenging feat when one is only 1/2 awake).
“I should just get up before I fall back asleep and have a sleep paralysis episode,” I thought to myself and tried to get up. My left arm felt numb and my legs wouldn’t move. I then realized my eyes had closed.
“Shit, it already happened. When the hell did I fall asleep?! I need to wake up and get to the bathroom before I really conk out.”
In a split second my brain had been sucked back into REM sleep. As I ran through my list of wake-up tactics, I could hear a storm begin outside my window. It was a very loud rainstorm, with almost musical raindrops. Although it was quite loud, it was actually a lovely sound, and I recall wondering if it had woken the rest of my family. My covers felt uncomfortably heavy and hot, as if I’d turned my heated blanket up to high.
Somewhere along the lines I apparently succeeded in opening my eyes because I was staring at my CPAP. Strangely, the paralysis persisted for a moment after my eyelids opened, but when I finally broke through it the rain stopped instantly, and my covers felt like they lost 20 lbs. I was cool, comfortable, and the room was eerily silent aside from the sound of my CPAP…which my brain had apparently dreamed was a rainstorm…while I was awake.
“Awesome…now I’m having auditory and tactile hallucinations.”
I got up, used the bathroom, and sat in my room with the light on for a few minutes to fully wake myself up and prevent another episode. The rest of the night went without a hitch, and this particular episode was more a nuisance than anything else, but it worries me. What if my hallucinations become frightening and painful? What if I begin experiencing true, full body cataplexy?
Yesterday was my first day back at work since the family left for vacation a week ago. While thinking how much I love the children I care for, I dropped a bowl full of peanut butter crackers 3 year old Bugaboo had been waiting for. It was messy, and he was sad, but they were only crackers. As I was crawling around the floor picking up the bits I could, I found myself thinking “was that cataplexy? what if I’d been holding the baby? AM I CRAZY?!”
I think what it comes down to is I’m making myself crazy in anticipation of this sleep study. So for today I’m going to focus on chilling the hell out by the pool with my munchkins.