For those of you who know me or have followed my blog from the beginning, you know I have experienced difficulty with sleeping, a problem that started soon after my eyesight began to deteriorate. In reality, my battle with sleep deprivation has been far worse than most people are aware of and I would not wish any person to experience what I have endured. From February to the middle of August, I lived on four to six hours of sleep per day. Not great, but better than it used to be. (At one point I averaged 6-8 hours in a 3-4 day period and would sometimes go two or three days with none at all. This lasted about 14 months.) Around the middle of August 2012 my sleep nose-dived to three hours per day. And to make matters worse, it wasn’t even three consecutive hours because I woke up every hour or hour and a half.
I pleaded with God to relieve me of this affliction but the sleep deprivation continued. However, instead of becoming angry at God for not answering my prayers, I asked for the strength to endure and bear my adversity with dignity. (Something I learned from Victor Frankl’s book, Mans Search for Meaning.) I also dealt with sleep loss by going to the gym, sometimes two or three times in one day. But by the middle of September the lack of sleep began to take a toll mentally and physically. Sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture and can induce psychosis. Eventually the mind snaps and/or the body collapses. One night I thought I was on the verge of some sort of a nervous breakdown (I cannot begin to describe how I felt.) and thought I heard voices. (Specifically, the laughter of my youngest son even though I was alone.) On Saturday night through Sunday morning I experienced heart palpatations and realized I needed help and called a good friend. It became clear to me there was a direct correlation between my diminishing eyesight and deteriorating sleep. (Some of you may be saying “Duh!’) I needed medical help for the short term and counseling to deal with the long term problem, becoming blind. Most people think I handle it well, and in some ways I do, but going blind terrifies me.
The next day my doctor gave me prescriptions for two medicines and two herbal remedies. This was nice but I had no money. After my appointment I returned to my apartment and decided to try and take a nap. It was three o’clock. I actually fell asleep and woke up at 7;30 pm. I thought about going to the gym for my cardio workout but decided sleep was more important than the stair-master. Later I woke up at 2:30 am, having slept about 11 hours. But it gets better. For the next eight days, I averaged 8-9 hours of sleep per day, without medication or herbal supplements! Being able to sleep was nothing short of a small miracle for me. I had done everything in my power to make my situation better but it wasn’t enough and my mind and body was on the verge of breaking. I thank God for His help.
P.S. Currently my sleeping is OK but I will get my medication soon and should begin counseling for vision loss in a week or so.