Mystery Night Episodes & My Resolution
Almost 6 months ago now, in addition to my other chronic health issues, I started having what I can only refer to as “night episodes”. I’ll wake up feeling weird, nauseous, shaky, weak and generally discombobulated. We had originally assumed it to be a hypoglycemia related thing. I took consistent readings of my blood sugar for a while and did a 10-day continuous glucose monitor and neither showed anything abnormal.
I’ve tried tracking my heart rate, my blood pressure, my temperature. I’m going to see a rheumatologist and a neurologist. But I’m struggling to even describe my symptoms.
Sometimes my limbs feel disconnected and floaty. Or they’ll feel unnaturally heavy.
Sometimes my head feels pressurized and floaty.
Sometimes I feel like my body is filled with bees. They’re not stinging, it’s not painful. But they are buzzing around. And I’d like them to stop.
Or it feels like my body has been hooked up to a very low voltage power source. Not enough to hurt, barely even enough to shock you if I touched you. But enough that I’m extra aware of so many nerves all at once.
The only thing I’ve found that helps is heat and food. I will grab a small snack and get under my heated blanket. Then I can usually get back to sleep. Once I get back to sleep, I’m usually okay.
I don’t get night episodes every night. But some weeks they’re more frequent than the nights I don’t. But they do seem to be connected to my circadian rhythm and anxiety as they’re more likely to occur on nights before I have to work the next day or when I stay up too late (past 10pm) and they have gotten a little less intense as I’ve been working on my anxiety coping skills.
Some nights have been especially bad though. One night I kept having a head-squeezing paired with the brain equivalent to the feeling in your nose before you sneeze. It would happen at random though the night. I was so scared I was about to have a seizure, which is odd, because I’ve never had one before. But I think it was so close to what I imagine the lead-up to a seizure feeling like. (For those that are aware of the lead up to their seizures anyway.) Then another night I woke up at 5am in a panic. I oriented myself, thought it was odd and tried going back to sleep. Every time from then on when I would get to the twilight phase of sleep, it would happen again. I’d get an electrical tightness across my chest and upper arms, and panic. Then rhythmically, even after I’d given up going back to sleep and got up, I’d feel like someone were taking each of my internal organs and squeezing them. It was discomforting to say the least.
At this point, I don’t have any answers. I don’t even have good medical terms to describe half of this. But I’m going to keep looking. The flame of hope flickers still. As a song from one of my favorite childhood movies says, “Hope is frail, but hard to kill”. Hope takes a beating. But she rises yet again.
I am determined. I will pray. I will search. I will be kind to myself. I will utilize my curiosity and be courageous. I will acknowledge my emotions. I will wander this road till I find my way home.