Mystery: total insomnia 4 1/2 months

diosa75 at iscweb.com diosa75 at iscweb.com
Wed Apr 8 00:32:46 EST 1998


  Hi. I'm here to write my novel (sorry, bear with me, it's been bad).  I have
total insomnia.
  I haven't slept for four and a half months without ambien
with halcion, nightly.  From the first day, when I was up three and a half
days, and wound up in the ER with abnormal heart rhythms from fatigue, I've
not been uble to exhaust myself into sleep.  I would die if I didn't break it
with pills.  I had NO problem sleeping until December first of last year.  It
began overnight, unprecipitated by any life event or abnormal psychic state.
In fact I did a week in a mental ward for diagnostic purposes when doctor
after doctor said it MUST be psychologically based.  I was discharged as not
depressed, anxious, manic, or anything else.  In fact, I'm a pretty happy
person, 22, F., English major in college, stable boyfriend, job, good family
relations, etc..., some history of trauma (childhood cancer, with impaired
immunity from lymph node removal [60], and history of probable CNS vertigo
attacks [transient ischeamia? My surgery was in my neck, over L. carotid
artery, scar tissue? Narrowing?]. Blah, blah, blah, Anyway, what it WAS
preceeded by was a month of severe, disabling dizziness, and my feeling foggy
mentally, plus some double vision and extreme headaches.  I was hardly able to
stand up.  Well, it ended the day before the insomnia began.  Also, I began to
twitch all day long (terrible myoclonus and fasciculations, but not RLS or
PLMD).  Weird, huh?  The neurologists can't seem to figure it out, the sleep
clinic (Stanford) basically thought I was crazy, even after an overnight study
revealing that indeed I didn't sleep, but hovered between awake and drowsy,
MRI basically normal (small, inactive subarachnoid cyst, left frontal lobe),
EMG mildly unusual, SPECT deranged (major increased activity in cingulate
gyrus, mildly decreased frontal orbital, left temporal lobe insufficiency),
but why?  I don't know.  I can relax fine, and I don't feel racing thoughts, I
just sort of meditate at night.  I've had normal hormonal profiles.  I've
taken (in four months):
Elavil (no effect), doxepin (works one night), zoloft (yuck), remeron,
trazadone, dalmane, valerian, melatonin, marijuana, alcohol, risperdal,
depakote, lithium, restoril, valium, ativan.  What's worked? Halcion .25+
ambien 10 mg + doxepin 150 mg. and occasionally nadolol (10 mg.)
 I'm a basket case, and fearing for my life (mentally and physically).
 If anyone has even a remotely similar experience, or any theories, insights,
etc...please respond.  Medical detectives rejoice.
 I'm checking the board daily.  Also, you can e-mail me
at:  diosa75 at iscweb.com.
Peace.

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