Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Elusive Mr. Sandman

  Battling our daughter's Lyme/Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever since June has been a trial. The doctor started her on the Cowden Protocol which is working because she has herx reactions (these are symptoms that flair up quickly after taking a dose). At first the herx were very obvious - pale face, sinking feeling, emotional disturbances, stomach pain, joint pain, and digestive issues. Now, they have changed - skin outbreaks and vision problems with a few of the old ones mixed in too. Fun, right? 

  Dealing with all that is difficult enough but a new symptom has developed that overshadows them all - insomnia. It is distressing as a mother to  lay my head on my pillow and zonk out when I know that my child is in her room possibly staring at the ceiling, desperately tired, and praying to fall asleep. 

  She started falling asleep around 3 or 4 a.m. and waking up at about 6 or 7 a.m. so we started giving her Benadryl for a week until we could find something else. That put her to sleep but it only lasted about 4 hours and then she was unable to go back to sleep. Melatonin was our next experiment. It puts her to sleep but only in a light, half-awake sleep for maybe 3 hours. Then we moved on to a combo supplement which has passionflower, melatonin, valerian, hops, 5 HTP and GABA. It works sometimes for about 4-5 hours but also produces the disturbing side effect of extremely vivid dreams. Add to that a magnet mattress topper and she is able to tell you detailed accounts of weird, colorful adventures that occasionally are frightening. 
    We headed to the doctor.

  After that visit, we bought two supplements he suggested trying individually - Cortisol Manager and time-release 5 HTP. First, we tried Cortisol Manager for 2 weeks which helped a little if she could get to sleep so we halted that one. We started the time-release 5 HTP with Melatonin. The first night she got up and said that she had the best sleep she has had in months. The next night it was not so helpful and only produced about 3 hours of slumber. Last night...well, I will just say that I came downstairs this morning to find her watching episodes of Cake Boss on Netflix. It smelled really nice and the floors were very clean. There are a few benefits to insomnia if you can get over the guilt of having slept so soundly that you did not hear the furniture being moved around.

   Tonight...I don't know. I absolutely, positively do not know what to do. We are trying to avoid drugs as much as possible and from what I have read so far, those are not working too well for Lyme patients either. So, as much as I love waking up to a clean house, I would rather not have it happen at the expense of my daughter's health...back to the Google drawing board to try and get my baby girl some sleep.  

   Uh, Mr. Sandman, skip the dream...can you just bring a semi full of sand????

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