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ME Sufferer Of 16 Years...Now Aged 55 Menopausal and Insomniac

by Appleblossom
(United Kingdom)

Aged 55, sleepless, menopausal. Hot flushes and night sweats. Have had severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 16 years.

Housebound most of the time.

Feeling so ill and weak all the time, only venture out maybe once a week to the library.

Awake all night most nights and have broken or 'camatose' 16 hours sleep during the day.

Struggle to cope with looking after myself and getting basic things done for myself.

My ME has got much much worse since my insomia started.

This chronic insomnia of 3-4 years has made my ME symptoms much worse, and has and is having a devasating effect on my life.

I have high blood pressure so I cannot go on HRT for my menopausal symptoms. ~Apparently, insomnia is one of the symptoms of the menopause. My doctor refuses to give sleeping tablets (which I understand). He says he has no medication he can give me.

I use homeopathy. It proved helpful at first with the insomnia, but unfortunatley now does not now do the business. Have tried numerous homeopathic remedies, many of which do have a relaxing effect, but I don't go to sleep.

I use homeopathy for hot flushes/night sweats and have just started Red Clover which is supposed to help with the menopause. I wonder if it will help with the insomnia.

I bought a guinea pig 2 years ago and who lives in a cage in my lounge, so when I get up to make a drink in the night he is there and it is very comforting and helps me cope. He has no trouble sleeping!

I am a Christian and am always praying to God for strength to cope.

The constant erratic sleeping patterns I find hard to cope with. I have a lot of nightmares too.

I can be sleepless 2 days, 3 days, then sleep for 16 hours in the day, then yes, awake all night again, but very tired.

My erratic sleep and insomnia has made my ME much worse, what with constant sick headaches, difficulty in eating and feeling shite.

I am interested. Are there other menopausal ME sufferers with insomnia problems and for whom the menopause seems to be making the ME worse.

Words of wisdom welcome.

Comments for ME Sufferer Of 16 Years...Now Aged 55 Menopausal and Insomniac

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Apr 14, 2013
by: Appleblossom

3 YEARS LATER! Promensil helped reduce my hot flushes but had no effect whatsover on my insomnia or reduced the effects of sleep deprivation.

My doctor has said "Sleep is a personal management issue" thereby not acknowledging without it, it can become a medical issue.

For years I have been unable to sleep at all at night. If I got any sleep it was only in the daytime at various changeable times and for various lengths of time. Erratic and changeable are the two key words here.

The last few weeks however, strangely suddenly I have started to get some sleep at night! Not every night, but when I do it is about 3, maybe 4 hours sleep. The effect of this has been that although I still suffer the severe effects of ME, overall I feel slightly better in myself. I still feel very unwell all the time, but since I have been able to get this sleep at night as opposed to the day I don't feel as wretched as before and feel and look brighter than before.

From this I deduce that sleeping at night as supposed to getting sleep in the day in my case has made a difference. It is ironic that just getting maybe 3 hours sleep at night benefits me more than going camatose and sleeping 16 hours in the day.

Having said all this I still get sleepless nights. The other week after a sleepless night I ended up the following night going to bed in the early evening and waking up 24 hours later. How weird is that!

After many years of sleep deprivation, the severe ME symptoms and post menopausal symptoms it has left me in a permanent state of mental weariness. I struggle to understand new information, get muddled and confused easily. Lack of sleep always affects my balance. I often cannot leave my home because I feel so unsteady on my feet and wobbly after a sleepless night. I do wish my doctor would acknowledge that this is a medical problem. I understand there is no cure or treatment for this, but at least acknowledging that it is not my fault and that at the present time an untreatable would help and perhaps help people not feel guilty and feel it is their fault that they are suffering.

One other thing. I have noticed over the years that sleep deprivation, even one sleepless night causes me to become suddenly very low and depressed. However, as soon as I am able in the day to just get a couple of hours sleep the depression lifts completely. That is interesting is it not? Perhaps many people need not anti-depressants but a good night's sleep and consistent good nights sleep every night. Ironically, one of the signs of clinical depression is early morning wakening. Again, the sleep is disturbed.

Meanwhile my guinea pig sleeps for short naps throughout the day and night. And most of the time he sleeps with his eyes open! Ha!

On a practical level I now cope with the effects of sleep deprivation by resting in bed more. My room is blacked out, with no noise whatsoever. I find even if I cannot sleep resting my limbs flat out in bed helps. It helps me feel less wretched.

Apr 21, 2013
Needing to urinate whilst suffering SLEEP PARALYSIS NEW

It was in my early forties pre-menopause, whilst suffering severe ME that I began to experience always needing to urinate whilst suffering from Sleep Paralysis.

Every time, without exception on waking with the SP I was 'dying' to go to the toilet to empty my bladder, however, I couldn't because I was paralized. At no time during my numerous episodes of Sleep Paralysis have I wet myself whilst paralized. It is when the paralsis goes that in my rush to get to the toilet that I often wet myself.

Many middle-aged women do have a problem with weak bladders, so this combined with ME and Sleep Paralysis makes the whole thing rather interesting.

At no time during my Sleep Paralysis do I feel the need to defecate, only urinate.

I am now 57 and post menopausal but needing to urinate every single time whilst in paralysis mode has not changed.

In my rush to get to the toilet after the paralysis has receded means I invariably wet myself before I reach the toilet. The thing is, I don't know how long any of my sleep paralysis episodes last as I live alone and simply cannot move any part of my body to look at the clock or open my eyes properly to see.

Although I am at bursting point whilst in Sleep Paralysis I never wet myself till the paralysis goes away and I can move again.

Oct 01, 2013
Update Aged 58 NEW
by: Appleblossom

The sleep problems persist.I need a minimum of 14 hours sleep a day. Without this I can barely look after myself.when I do sleep it is usually in the daytime up 7pm. I live alone.I only leave my home once every 3-4 weeks now. If I am up in the day, my balance is poor and I feel very unwell, severely debilitated, exhausted, tired drained, and all this can be after 14,16 or 24 hours sleep. Every day I wake with a severe headache. Every day I take painkillers. I have to lie at the chemists to get basic painkillers like Ibrufen because all the chemists now cross-examine you when you want to buy paracetomal and codeine and any other pain medication. Although I enjoy living I cannot help but think of my death every day, how long am I going to last. When will I die. My parents both died in their early 60's. My blood pressure has gone up again but is maintained with medication. Despite a healthy diet I have now like my late mother, my blood sugar has started to rise as has the chlorestral. Also the underactive thyroid has been playing up, so medication increased. I do wonder how much my constant sleep deprivation and chaotic sleeping patterns through no fault of my own are contributing towards this negative change. I am full of contradictions. I so often feel I have had enough. I am so worn out and every little thing is such an effort. However, from time to time when I do seem to get some benefit from sleep and have a 'good day', I feel very positive indeed. Meanwhile my guinea pig has no trouble sleeping, and he sleeps with his eyes open. He is a great comfort, as is my faith in God who I trust daily to give me strength each day to cope. I have noticed time and time again that praying to God does help. As a Hebrew-Christian of 40 years I have found constantly turning to God for strength and stamina helpful. I wonder how much worse I would be if God did not help and support me. I suspect I might have killed myself by now. But I choose to go on and persist. It has all changed my character a lot. I recently discovered I have the ability to draw and paint and design online, so I have been doing this. A new interest, which I can pick up and do anytime of the day and night. However, the constant brain weariness makes it all very hard indeed. But it is a new interest, a new talent and somehow even with sleep deprivation, over-tiredness and nights of insomnia I am able to create designs that have been appreciated by many. This shows it is never too late, even in adverse circumstances to discover something new YOU CAN DO even though you are quite poorly. So I spend up 18/24 7/7 days a week in a blacked out silent room feeling very ill, in pain, exhausted, to rise to do designs online. A part part time designer. All this newly discovered at 58. It is never too late to know you do have something to live for and you can contribute something worthwhile to society even in chronic exhaustion, weakness and pain.

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