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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Hilarious bullshit 
17th-Jan-2012 04:26 pm
MLP: Dubious Pinkie
So. The sleep doc.

So much hilarious bullshit.

Honestly, really, truly, no, I do not have a TV in my bedroom. Or a computer, or a phone. Really truly, when I wake up at 3am, I don't go online or even read, I close my eyes and try to be all meditative and shit. No, I don't drink coffee at night. No, I don't smoke at all. No, I don't snore. No, I don't have restless legs.

So apparently my problem is that I'm right-handed.


"But Shira!" you might say, "I am right-handed, and I am able to fall asleep and stay asleep without the maximum dose of sleep drugs!" I have no explanation for you. According to the sleep doc, you probably only think you're sleeping, and instead you need therapy.


See, because I'm right-handed, I'm left-brained, and left-brained people never ever let themselves sleep, ever. It is impossible to sleep if you are right-handed and therefore left-brained. Because you're organized and make lists.

So my solution, I guess, is to be less Twilight Sparkle and more Pinkie Pie? I guess? Maybe? Seems to be in line with what I am being told?

Also, cognitive behavioral therapy. So I guess I can talk for five thousand hours about how really, I'm totally fine with my mother at this point as long as we live several states away, and my teenage daughter is pretty awesome*, and really my thing is just that I can't sleep. And he can make piles of money off years of me sitting there and saying "Yeah, no, everything is still pretty cool in my world."

He did recommend me for a sleep study, though. So we did make one step towards figuring this out with actual science.

Clearly this was an excellent use of my extremely limited time.

* The assistant asked if I had any kids, then how old my kid was; I said sixteen, and she said "Wow! Well done!" and I was thinking, um, thanks? Belated congratulations for successful gestation or something? I don't know.
17th-Jan-2012 09:31 pm (UTC)


No, really, what?
17th-Jan-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
17th-Jan-2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
I will ask you what anticonvulsant you're on. Because I'm on 1500 mg a day of valproic acid (Depakote, Depakin, Divalproex, Valparin, etc.), and I've a lifelong history of sleeping like the Titanic's log, which is a recognized effect of the drug. (Temporal epilepsy here too.) It may be relevant. Maybe.
17th-Jan-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
Gabitril, currently; I've also been on Lyrica and Trileptal over the course of my insomnia, and haven't noticed any changes in it when I switched meds.
17th-Jan-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
ZOMG, I'm also left handed. Yikes. You're in trouble!
17th-Jan-2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
Any possibility that the sleep doctor expressed himself incredibly poorly but was actually trying to refer to something like this ?
17th-Jan-2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
Nope. No mention of limb movement other than the easily-dismissed restless legs.
17th-Jan-2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
ughhhhh how ridiculous! i am having the worst luck with sleeping too right now so i sympathize and hope you can get it figured out
(Deleted comment)
17th-Jan-2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
17th-Jan-2012 09:54 pm (UTC)

...Well at least he didn't recommend a leeching.
17th-Jan-2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
Stupid question - but did he ask if you drink any grapefruit juice? That makes sleep meds not work for people.
(Deleted comment)
17th-Jan-2012 10:06 pm (UTC)

I am making that face right now in real life, seriously.
17th-Jan-2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
Maybe I should try turmeric.
17th-Jan-2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
I hope the sleep study helps them figure it out. Have you done one before?
17th-Jan-2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
Not yet!
(Deleted comment)
17th-Jan-2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
Um, what?

What is that sleep doc talking about?
17th-Jan-2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
*stare* What.

You should have asked him to explain it using complicated medical words. Bet he couldn't have.
(Deleted comment)
17th-Jan-2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
Ummmm.... what??

New doctor, STAT!

17th-Jan-2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
:headdesk: Just . . . wow. Can I make that much money being that unhelpful? Please?

Two other avenues that I pursued rather than a sleep doctor (where I expect my experience would be similar to yours): breathing function and pain levels. How are they on the nights you cannot sleep?

For me, I found that once I got compliant with my asthma meds and was getting the proper amount of oxygen I had fewer episodes of waking. Also, not waking up because of painful joints or muscle spasms was huge bonus.

CBT would probably benefit me because I CANNOT fall asleep in a strange place, even as a child. Which is why I haven't gone anywhere Fun other than a daytrip. When my GP suggested a sleep study I just laughed at the thought of me in hospital, strung up to electrodes trying to fall asleep. It would be major FAIL.
18th-Jan-2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
Pain and breathing are both fine!
17th-Jan-2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
WTF? And where did he buy his diploma?

(That's just... unacceptable.)
17th-Jan-2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
My daughter says he bought it from psycho-land or online because everyone knows that online is totally real and utterly true.
17th-Jan-2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
I have a chemical imbalance that leads to a nasty anxiety disorder. Part of that leads to various types of insomnia--like waking in the middle of the night or early waking, which are most common for me.

Psychiatrist gave me a kit to take home and test my brain chemicals; we mailed it in, they sent back the results and then recommended supplements (sold by the same company). I thought surely I was looking at a snake oil sales situation, but, before trying any additional anti anxiety meds, tried the supplements.

And they worked.

Subsequent testing showed that while my levels where I'd been deficient (or overly full) of specific chemicals had changed, mostly for the good (not all snapped back into line, but it was sufficient improvement the doctor and I decided not to alter anything).

So, are there any supplements that can be recommended that might help? Or testing like I went through to determine levels of chemicals that affect sleep? When I went to the sleep doc, he didn't have any, either...it was only when I was referred to a psychiatrist (who also does talk therapy) that I found out about the supplement option.

Maybe your neurologist could make recommendations?

Anyway, in case you were interested, the main ingredients in the supplement I'm taking that improve my sleep are B6, and a "proprietary blend" of Taurine and 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid.

17th-Jan-2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
Oh dear gods - you should have seen the look on Beena's face and her reaction...I'll stop laughing soon...I promise...
17th-Jan-2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
(She says apparently he got his license from psycho-land and not from an actual school)
(Deleted comment)
18th-Jan-2012 07:44 am (UTC)
What do you call the biggest moron who barely graduates at the bottom of the class from the worst medical school in the world? "Doctor."
18th-Jan-2012 12:07 am (UTC)
I actually really like CBT, but seriously? Here are some phrases for you to work on...(please note I have tongue firmly inserted in cheek)
rather than, "I can't sleep," say, "I have trouble staying asleep," and instead of "I need to sleep," say, "I want to sleep."
I am sure both of those things will help you immensely.

18th-Jan-2012 12:08 am (UTC)
I'm right handed. I sleep like the dead, or so my beloved tells me. I can fall asleep quickly and when I do fall asleep, nothing's gonna wake me up.

Your doctor is grasping for straws.
18th-Jan-2012 12:15 am (UTC)
Is sleep doc also a urologist? For zie is clearly taking the piss.

Actually, this sounds a lot like the brush-off I have gotten from medical doctors over my anxiety and panic attacks, which translates out to "I am not sure what is causing you this trouble, but it's messy and no solution presents itself to me in the 20 minutes today I have to think about you, so I'm going to feed you something I hope it's cognitive and feed you something to that effect and hope you go away now..."

And I think you've crystallized for me some of my reservations about the old talking cure: that it requires you, as patient to establish a successful relationship (also in half hour increments) with someone that is not reciprocal and therefore a thing which does not exist in nature...
(Deleted comment)
18th-Jan-2012 12:39 am (UTC)
I think I would have asked for my money back.
18th-Jan-2012 12:40 am (UTC)
Does the same doc evaluate the sleep study, or is that done by whatever institution does the sleep study?

And don't you blister when people put sticky monitoring things on you?
18th-Jan-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
You should email him this link:

And then ask him if you can see a real live grown-up doctor.

And yes! Happy Belated Gestation! I'd have gotten you a card, but I didn't know you yet.
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