NJPW NYC & Insomnia 9/28-9/30

See those dates? I’ve been awake this entire time.

I talk a lot about the fun experiences I’ve been having as it’s a still big deal for me, but sometimes these trips come at a price which is important to understand. This (amazing) trip’s price was what will be 40 hours without sleep.

Those that haven’t taken stimulants can’t relate to this. Why not just close my eyes? It doesn’t work like that. It’s not until ~36h from the last dose that the “wakefulness” will wear off and start to fall asleep. You hear about meth heads staying awake for a week at a time or whatever, so whats a couple days? I’m dosing to take as little as possible in order to function, they’re taking as much as possible without dying. It’s enough to keep me awake, not enough to make me content staring at the wall for a week. As soon as a few hours have passed I’m strapped into another 30h that suuuuuck.

The good news? This used to happen every couple of weeks, but now it’s been years since I went through this. I made a mistake packing and didn’t have what I needed, a mistake I won’t repeat.

Time goes on, I discover new treatments and behaviors, recognize patterns, tackle symptoms. For example, a few years ago this type of insomnia came with fairly severe muscle pain… but now I’ve got my pain quite under control. Discomfort? Hell yeah, I can’t wait until this is over. But for now, it serves as a reminder of progress. This sucks, but I used to go through much worse so I’ll be good. Plus… there are things to look forward to now.

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It was all worth it for this view.

 

My point: the risk of paying the price is absolutely worth it. I made some great memories. But it’s important to know that I don’t post pictures of myself shaking with a brains-shaped jello mold nearby in case I need something to puke in. That’s part of the story too.

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If the Rock & Roll Express can dive out of the ring at 63-years-old for 3 nights in a row, I’ll be fine.

Surrounded By A Mess

There’s one thing which Chronic Fatigue Syndrome causes that nobody ever talks about: messy rooms.

If I’m in my room, I’m in my bed. Getting up and out takes all of my effort so when I need to go somewhere, all I can do is make a beeline to the outside door. By the time I get back home from wherever I was, I’m out of energy and will do the least amount of things required of me before getting back in bed. If I went grocery shopping I’ll put the food away, but pretty much anything else I bring home ends up on the floor in my room with the understanding that it will be put into its proper place at a late date (but this date never comes).

It generally takes most of the day for me to fully “wake up.” There are things that bump me up to the next level of consciousness: the cumulative effects of each dose of my meds, socializing which gets my mind going, and generally going through my daily tasks. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood to start cleaning but by then it’s 2am and everyone else in the house is trying to sleep so I must be quiet. When I’ve finally had enough of the mess and start cleaning during daylight hours, the required motions of repeatedly bending over and lifting quickly do a number on me. It’s a similar feeling to shoveling snow.

Human beings naturally avoid activities that cause pain anyway, but surviving decades of discomfort will condition you even further. It’s not long after I start cleaning that the feelings of soreness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and sweating kick in. I’ve managed to recondition myself to get through many other of life’s tasks, but keeping my room clean remains a constant challenge.