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Sick and tired

I have insomnia. And it's not an occasional annoyance, or something treatable with a pat solution ("less caffeine!" "more exercise!" "Vitamin D!") nor does it have a clearly identifiable cause ("Anxiety! "Spastic bladder!" "Night sweats!"). It is an illness. For nights on end, I wake up after four-five hours, unable to fall back asleep. No matter how exhausted I am, or drowsy, or any of the other things that make you fall asleep, I don't. Because there is something actively fighting the sleep reflex. So I lie awake, exhausted, drowsy, restless, and bored.

And then I am close to useless the next day. I can't concentrate for sh!t.

I told my doctor about this when I went in to see her last month, and she set me up with a sleep study that fell through when my insurance wouldn't pay for it. They need a diagnosis of Sleep Apnea for that to happen, and this isn't sleep apnea. I don't have trouble breathing at night. Her staff told she was looking into challenging that denial, and that's the last I heard from her.

So I have been calling her office once a week to get a status on where we are with treatments. They tell me they'll look into it and call me back, then they don't. I have explained the urgency. The Sculptor's telling, "blow her off, get a new doctor." I hesitate mostly because my current doctor had some interesting suggestions, like acupuncture and hypnosis--things I haven't tried. I'd like to try those, but who knows if insurance will pay without my doctor's referral.

Someone else told me about a chronic condition she had that was treated by a naturopath. I know very little about this specialty, but I contacted a local naturopath, who said she does, indeed, treat insomnia. Then she quoted me an initial consultation fee that made me balk.

Anyone know about any of these alternative treatments and their success rate?

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
mamculuna
May. 23rd, 2012 09:40 pm (UTC)
My son went all the way through acupuncture school at a very good school and never found acupuncture or Chinese herbs that helped his insomnia. Of course, yours may be different from his.
masqthephlsphr
May. 23rd, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
Sigh, not encouraging news. But I appreciate it.
harsens_rob
May. 24th, 2012 01:06 am (UTC)
Same boat... sleep 4 hours, then up for an hour or two, then waking up every 40 minutes until I can't take it anymore and just get up and start the day... if I can go back to sleep at all.

My insurance has drug coverage, though, and Zolpidem Tartrate has been a boon to my sanity. I believe this is the generic of Ambien. I don't like having to take them, so don't do it every night (every night where I have to work the next day and usually once in the middle of my days off in order to get a good, restful night... so about 4 days a week, sometimes 5).

But the alternative is... well, I'm not sure that torturous would be too strong a word. Especially after the 3rd or 4th day in a row (I've actually gone between 3 and 4 days with 20 minutes of sleep per night; it got that bad). No explanation, no medical reason was found for why (although, I can remember having insomnia as far back as kindergarten - but it has gotten much worse and more persistent as I've aged).
masqthephlsphr
May. 24th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC)
She asked me if I'd responded to Ambien in the past and I told her I really didn't remember if I had or not, even though I was on it for a while about five years ago, before I quit my job and was between insurances.

Before that, I was on Sonata.

Ambien is supposedly for temporary use.

My insomnia got a lot less bad during the time I was off meds altogether. Around the time I was forced to go off Buspar for lack of insurance. Recently, I asked my doctor to put me on Wellbutrin (for anxiety).

I don't want to have to go off the Wellbutrin, but I find it awful coindental that my insomnia was out of control while I was on Buspar and has gotten that bad again now that I'm on Wellbutrin.

Makes me wonder if Serotonin is one of the hidden factors.
anomster
May. 24th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
I'm sorry it's gotten so bad & is causing such problems for you. I'm surprised you would get charged for a sleep study--but then, when I read "study" in this context, I think of a clinical trial, & maybe you mean an individual study. But I know I've seen ads looking for subjects for sleep studies (in the sense of clinical trials, but the ones I saw would also tell you about your sleep pattern). These were general trials to study how people slept, not drug trials. There's a gov't. website w/a searchable registry of clinical trials; here's the search page. Maybe you can find one that would help--some of them even pay you! I hope you find something that helps you, whether it's there or somewhere else.
masqthephlsphr
May. 24th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
This is actually a sleep lab designed to monitor insomnia patients to get a better idea of their sleep patterns, kind of like getting tests done that are reported back to your doctor so s/he can recommend the best treatment.

No drugs involved.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )