polishing the spots on the horse

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One of the ramifications of waiting for a surgery date is that I am sleeping badly. I’ve never been very good at sleeping and usually it takes me so long to get off to sleep that I am equally useless at getting up in the morning. MLM can’t understand this, he says you just close your eyes and sink into the mattress, the next thing it’s morning. He sleeps the sleep of the innocent.

I don’t, I take ages to get to sleep, sometimes I think I have been awake all night but more likely have been waking up and checking the clock. Whatever it is though, it isn’t quality, restorative sleep.

I have vivid dreams. I have nightmares, sometimes recurrent ones. I also have night terrors. I rarely remember these but other people do, in particular MLM.

What happens is that I suddenly sit bolt upright in bed, often screaming, terrified, heart rate pounding, sweating profusely. I’m usually saying something to do with what I think is happening, repeating it over and over. These have included a red river running through the bedroom, the bed falling through the floor, burglars that I have had to catch by throwing the duvet over them, snakes (I have a phobia). Sometimes I have no idea what is happening. I don’t always wake up and if I don’t wake then this is good as I don’t remember the terror. If I do wake then it takes me a long time to settle. MLM has learned that if he tells me that I am dreaming and everything is OK then I lie down and sleep again without waking. Yes I know, how come I can work out what he’s saying when I am asleep? I think it’s the reassuring tone, plus I know that when he’s around nothing bad can happen.

It gets awkward too, especially if you are staying with people. Once when I was staying at a friend’s house I did the whole screaming, sitting up in bed thing. I even fell out of bed which woke me.

The next morning the other guests looked at me strangely. They were sleeping in a bedroom underneath the one I was in. He heard the screaming and leapt out of bed to rush to the rescue. (He was a police officer.) This wasn’t easy as he had to leap over his wife to get to the non wall side of the bed, then he knocked over the bedside lamp and couldn’t find the room light switch. Our hostess, who was sleeping in the living room, told him to go back to bed, as it as only me having one of my “things”. Hey ho. Oh how we laughed over breakfast, and they are funny – in retrospect.

I sleep walk too. I managed to get out of bed the wrong side. It was the wrong side because there was only a gap of 4 inches between the bed and the wall. I was stuck there for a while. I’ve woken my then partner up and asked him if he had polished the spots on the horses yet. I’ve woken up and thought I’d got a finger stuck in the mattress????

Then there are the recurrent dreams. There’s one where the car falls off the hill, just won’t go up, it tips back over and tumbles down. There’s the one where I am walking and crawling through tunnels that get narrower and close in behind me, the only way out is forwards. That one is pretty self explanatory, but you amateur dream analysts can have a heyday looking into those.

So, the moral of the story is,when staying with friends, always wear decent nightwear, you never know where you may end up, or who may come rushing into you bedroom to save you.

Oh yes, and try not to worry.
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14 responses »

  1. yikes, you really do have a rough time falling and staying asleep.

    i cannot understand this because i'm a sleeper and i love to nap. falling asleep is usually not a problem, unless i'm very anxious about something, and once i'm out…well, i'm a goner.
    occasionally i talk (the wife has told me) and that's about it…not really much of a snore person either.

    i have very vivid colorful dreams. they are usually weird, make no sense and have me rather puzzled.

    i've never walked in my sleep or had nightmares.

    yes, make sure you have on decent jammies and undies when slumbering at a friends, you never know who you might meet.

    i wish i could pass on my good sleepies to you…maybe one day it will change for you.

  2. That's hilarious! lol! 😀

    "asked him if he had polished the spots on the horses yet." pmsl…
    😀 😀 😀

    I'm crap at analyzing dreams… I remember you analyzed one of mine and it was freaky how well you nailed it!

    (though sorry that you're sleeping badly)

  3. Well, we had no such night time fun when you stayed with us. Quiet as a mouse. Relieved or disappointed – not sure!

  4. Whew! Thank goodness I have good jammies for the long string of guest rooms in which I’ll be staying. That’s my trip sorted then. 😉

    Like Toastie, I found your post hilarious, Mog. But, to echo what she said, I’m sorry you have challenges in getting to sleep and staying asleep.

  5. I can empathise. When I was caring for failing parents I went into depression – the symptoms were awful: insomnia, hands shaking, vivid dreams. The anticipatory grief was difficult. Somehow one makes it through to the other side.

    All the best.

  6. Thank you all for your comments. Curiously the dreams and terrors don’t worry me once they have happened, Oh but the teeth grinding does. lol, Did I mention the faceache??

  7. Hey Mog,

    Thanks for my laugh for the day! I'm sure it isn't funny when it is happening – but those are some great stories.

    I'm sorry to hear that you don't have a date yet. Do think you will sleep better once you get one?

    I used to grind my teeth at night and it was causing me severe pain. The doctors wanted to treat me for TMJ, but I didn't like the medical options, so I started taking 400 mgs of magnesium a day. That worked for me and I have not had teeth grinding for over 20 years as I continue to take magnesium supplements.

    I hope your get a surgery date soon. Did they have any idea how long it would be?

  8. I have a few questions from reading around. I found your blog from another blog. I could learn more about my own hearing loss from reading around and seeking answers.

    I am aware you wish to get a cochlear implant. Did the audiologist have you try different brands of hearing aids? I know a guy who went from 20% speech to 80% speech with better HAs.

    I was also thinking, have you tried transposition? My audiologist sold me those Phonak Naida V UP HAs for it's power, features and transposition. I am having my HAs reprogrammed so I hear louder, more, better. Let your audiologist know that you aren't hearing well enough and have him reprogram your HAs so you hear better. You may also want to try transpositional HAs like mine.

    Transposition will allow you to hear high frequencies and your ability to understand speech should improve greatly. I am able to understand 70% of what my dad says without reading lips. Perhaps you will have more luck with my type of HA? One never knows unless they try it out.

    I have a piano thud test on my blog and I am able to hear up to around 1000Hz, what are you(and others) able to hear? I probably have cochlear dead regions above 1000Hz which I will let my audiologist know about so he can set transposition's cutoff at 1000Hz and any sounds above 1000Hz shall be transported.

    Hope this helps, ive been working with my audiologist and learning all I can online and with the knowlege, my HAs can be programmed to best fit my audiogram/hearing loss.

  9. Hi Mog,
    I'm catching up on my blog reading. I've had recurring dreams myself. They're a bit worrying because it seems as though they must be important if we keep having them, right? My husband has the night terrors you describe. He will slug me in the night if he's dreaming about fighting someone. I have learned to calm him down as soon as I sense he's agitated. Of course, then I'm not sleeping as deeply as I might being on guard as it were, ha, ha.
    Hope your date comes through soon and you have sweet dreams.
    Sarah

  10. Deafdude
    Thanks for visiting. To answer your questions

    When I bought my last aids, less than a year ago, the audiologist and I sat and looked at which aids would help my hearing loss. She used a program that superimposes the audiogram on the hearing aid's "response" There were very few that fitted my audiogram, one was Phonak's Naida and the other was Siemen's Centra. I was using Phonak Savia but prefer the sound quality from Siemen's aids so we tried the Centra.

    I didn't consider transposition at all. I don't see why I should spend time learning to hear with a transpostion aid, that will still only be a stopgap before a cochlear implant. To me it's a compromise. I work with a considerable amount of background noise, which is low frequency and the transposed sounds would be competing with all the background noise. Not ideal at all.

    I'm glad the transposition thing is working for you.

    To me a cochlear implant is obviously the way to go. The technology is excellent, the results are excellent. I see no reason to fiddlefaddle around when I have the possibility of good hearing within my grasp.

  11. Sarah,hi, the recurring dreams used to trouble me, and then I worked out what they meant and I am content now when they happen. It shows me what I am thinking subconciously I suppose
    Maybe you can work out what yours means?

  12. Deafdude
    One more comment. When you go for a CI assessment they evaluate whether or not you would get more benefit from a CI than from hearing aids. This is one of the criteria.

    Also, the longer you are without sounds the longer it takes to get used to the CI, so by putting it off one could be sabotaging it's success.

  13. I thought how much residual hearing a person had was the major criterion. How does one determine what decibals of hearing loss is required in order to be a candidate?

    As to benefit with HAs, do they still require anyone seeking CI to first try all the best HAs with all the different features? I know that this has been standard procedure in the majority of cases and I know one guy who went from 20% speech to 80% speech with different/better HAs.

    If I could not hear any sounds even with HAs, of course I would get CIs as there won't be any residual hearing left to risk and also no risk hearing worse than with HAs naturally.

    Do you have any idea if your HAs currently let you hear high frequencies? How did you do on the piano thud test that's on my blog? I could not hear above the 1000Hz range, what was the highest keys you could hear?

    Are you hearing loud enough with HAs? I feel that I am not and id like my audiologist to reprogram them for more gain/amplification. Transposition for some reason has NOT been enabled yet. My friends love transposition and they recommend everyone at least give it a try.

    Can your audie program your HAs to cancel out the background noises then transport sounds? Ive emailed my audie stating I am not happy that I am not hearing my full potental and that id like to work with him in reprogramming my HAs till I hear the best and loudest that my HAs are capable of.

    My loss is only 70db at 250Hz and my HA's specifications claim that my HAs can push out up to about 65db gain at 250Hz. This would get me close to the baseline of 0db. How close to baseline 0db aided are you so far? There's alot I can learn.

  14. Deafdude
    If you look on the internet the main criteria is that the candidate has limited benefit from hearing aids.
    This is quantified further using sentence recognition in quiet. The HINT test. The candidate is tested aided. The hearing aids should be "best fit" When I had my assessment they took the aids away to evaluate them.
    The candidate needs to score below a certain percentage to qualify
    In Canada this is 60%
    In the UK 50
    In the USA for Medicare users it's 40% unless the candidate is part of a research project when it is 60%
    in Australia its 70% in both ears and 40% in the ear to be implanted
    In Iran its 40%.

    Those sites that mentioned dB, as you seem to like dB as a criteria then the Pure Tone average is – 70dB over, 0.5, and kz

    Generally dB are not used as there is so much more to hearing loss than just dB. Recruitment plays a major part in the ability to hear and this is not assesses in a PTA test.

    Wher I was assessed the CI audiologist has a wide knowledge of hearing aids and which ones suit the audiogram. They evaluate the hearing aids to see if it is set up optimally for your hearing. It would take several months to do what you suggest, this is hardly feasible or sensible.

    You said before about the guy who went from 20- 80% I have a good audiologist so I am confident that the aids were set up to the optimum.

    My CIs are designed to leave some residual hearing in the low frequencies. I'm not sure what benefit this will be when that hearing goes as well, so I think this is of marginal beefit but an not sure. With HA that hearing is more of a hindrance than a help as it blocks out the sounds of speech that I need to hear. I don't see it as something to cherish and worry about losing this with the CIs. If the Med El electrodes spare it then fine, if they don't, then fine. Either way the evidence says that I will hear better with a CI than I do now.

    It's up to you whether or not CIs are the way to go. You have to be positive and work with them to get the benefits. It's not just me who will benefit too, it's my family and close friends too. It's bloody hard for them having a deaf person in their lives. Not that they say so, but of course it is.

    Hearing aids aren't natural!

    My hearing aids cannot let me hear high frequencies, you can't stimulate a nerve that is dead.

    I did your test, it was rather fun, and a good way of showing your family and friends how much you can and cant hear. I think I can hear more than you on that. So you must have a really severe loss.

    Loudness, that's interesting. I can turn the HA up more but the volume is painful and doesn't really add to comprehension so I rarely use that feature. My HAs also have a feature where it remembers the volumes used before and adjusts, somehow!

    Of course the audiologist set up the HAs to reduce background noise. It can't be eliminated completely though. I think one has to be careful in one's expectations of what an audiologist can do. My ears are broken,the HAs are a splint, the audiologist can only make that splint as strong as possible. She can't fix the broken ear.

    I really don't analyse my hearing loss in such detail and dBs. I haven't trained for several years and have a Doctorate in Audiology, my audiologist does. She is the expert and I trust her.

    Deafdude I hope you find the answers in all these figures. To me it's not the way to approach it. We should be informed about health matters, but we can't expect to be as informed as the professionals.

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