What It Is

Autoimmune Hepatitis is a rare disease in which the immune system attacks the liver, mistaking it for invading cells. There is no cure, but there are treatments that keep it under control. Prednisone is the usual treatment but may be paired up with or replaced with azathioprine, budesonide, mycophenolate, cyclosporine or mercaptopurine. Approximately 70% of those affected are women.

I am in no way an expert on this subject. Every day is a learning experience.

In this blog, I will revisit my experiences and post current experiences. I will also add information I find useful and probably some rambling.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Insomnia to Excess Sleep and Back Again

This is a difficult topic to explain properly. But I will try. I can say that the medications cause the lack of sleep and the AIH/cirrhoisis causes the excessive sleep. There is no rhyme or reason to the sleep pattern. It comes and goes in whatever mix it feels like bestowing upon me from both extremes to anything in between. I write this today because I have started insomnia mode. This does not include the days of fatigue I deal with, but I have no doubt plays a big part on how I sleep.

During any given week, I will sleep every other day with the actual sleep time varying from 4-14 hours. Sometimes the insomnia lasts for a day or two but it can go on longer than a week. What bothers me the most about these days is that I have so much energy inside, but my body is sooo heavy and won't necessarily comply. That is frustrating. On a good note, I get more done than usual. 

Then there are the nights when I can only sleep for approximately four hours. Sometimes I wake feeling refreshed, sometimes not so much. These nights can happen consecutively, but more often than not, they are just thrown into the mix randomly.

Finally, my normal amount of of sleep. Generally it is 12 hours but can go either way an hour or two. I usually feel like I received a proper amount of sleep, sometimes it's not enough and  rarely do I feel as if it's too much.

The past couple days I went 37 hours without sleep. During this time, I had almost fallen asleep a couple times, but each time was for a short moment. I would snap awake and all sleepiness would be gone. ANNOYING to say the least. After finally falling a sleep, I was blissfully unaware of the world for about 13 hours. Even then I had a hard time waking up, but my lovely kitty had other ideas and made sure I woke up just for him. Today I feel very very off and foggy. Bleh. I hope I sleep tonight. Not looking forward to the days that follow.

I do take Benedryll (or the equivalent) occasionally to help sleep, but anymore than two days in a row, it becomes ineffective. It is a double benefit since I have allergies. I don't take other over-the-counter sleep aids because most are harmful to me, Benedryll being the safest even though it is not an actual sleep aid. I have tried melatonin with my hepatologist's okay, but that did nothing for me. I am jealous of the people that it does work for. It seems to be about 50% of the people I talk to that use it, it works great. :P  I could try a prescription sleep aid, but I'm to chicken yet. I see myself becoming addicted to it. In the days of old, before this blasted illness, I would do breathing exercises that worked wonders. Now I have yet to come across one that works for me. As I write this, I'm thinking more about making an appointment.

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