Narcoleptic Nights

I’m tired today.  Tired and stressed….so much work to be done and no time to do it (so I’m going to sit here and waste 30 min on a blog post….haha.  Grainne-logic.)  I do need to get my head on straight though and this dream I had earlier this week will not stop playing on repeat in my brain.  Might as well write it out and free it from my head for a while.

The medication I’m taking to stay awake through the day is still working fairly well.  Some days the *tired* creeps up on me but it’s not a daily happening.  I’ve been crashing early again…like before dinner early….but I think that’s stress from work mixed in with the change of seasons.  I love the fall but this time of year makes my bones ache so bad I want to rip my entire spine out of my body just for a break from the pain.  Anyway….dreams.  The days are okay and the nights are a bizarre mix of dreams, nightmares, suffocating, endless REM cycles and dreams where I think I’m awake but I’m not.  The dream I can’t let go of was one of those dreams.

**DREAM – (although I didn’t think it was a dream at the time) STARTS HERE**

The other night I thought I heard someone (something….) screaming outside my house.  It sounded like a wild animal….maybe a bobcat?  Sometimes the sound was human but not a noise I’ve heard any actual human being make, and then it started to sound like a little girl.  It was 4 am when I checked my phone so I got up to see if I could see what was going on.

I went to the window and then to the monitor that shows our security cameras that have night-vision lenses.  (Yes, they are as cool as they sound.  Dayne works with this stuff so we get to play with lots of fun new cameras and security systems as he tests their capabilities out before introducing them to his customers).  There was nothing on the camera at all….not even little bugs flying by, which was odd because they are always triggering our cameras to record their little light trails as they zip by in the dark.

“Grainne?  What are you doing babe?”  Dayne’s voice said to me, out of absolutely nowhere.

I jumped a full foot in the air and spun around to face him but he wasn’t there.  Strange.  I listened carefully, now fully triggered with senses on fire; I could hear e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g suddenly.  The fridge, the fan on the laptop from Colt’s room across the house, the fan in our room, the water heater and furnace kicking softly on, the electricity in the wires in the walls…..

“Dayne?”  I called.  It was much louder than I had meant to speak and the sound of my own voice startled me.

*Scream* – far off, outside, sounding more panicked than before.

I crept down the hallway back to the dark bedroom, peeked in on Colt as I passed to find him sleeping fitfully all tangled up in his blankets the way he is most comfortable, and walked into our bedroom.  Dayne was sound asleep in bed.  I touched his foot and called his name but he only wiggled away from me, rolled to his other side and resumed his deep breathing rhythm.

Huh. “Must be hearing things….” I whispered aloud to myself when I heard the scream from outside again, only this time it sounded like it was right outside my bedroom window.  Something rustled in the lilac bush on the other side of the window and a hand reached up toward the window screen, as if to pull it off by the little plastic tab that was (for some strange reason) on the outside rather than on the inside.

“Dayne!”  I shrieked, shaking him now, panicking and trying to figure out how to get the fuck out of there without leaving Dayne to be murdered by the screaming would-be intruder (or the one causing the screams which was an even scarier thought that flashed through my brain).

I couldn’t get Dayne to wake up so I ran to Colt’s room to rouse him, at least get him to safety.  I had a plan to get him into my car and lock the doors with the key fob and then return to get Dayne out of harm’s way.  As I left the bedroom I heard Dayne again, right in my ear.  “Grainne.  I’m right here.  It’s okay babe….everything is okay.”

I froze in fear.  I was looking directly at his sleeping form on the bed.  The hand outside had left the window but I didn’t know where it had gone or, for that matter, what sort of creature it belonged to, but worse than that was the confusion that overwhelmed me as I stared at Dayne lying in bed, sound asleep, while I could clearly hear him talking in my ear.

I crept closer, studying his sleeping face; watching for movement.  “Babe?  Grainne?  Come on back to bed.”  He said with not a single movement aside from the rise and fall of his chest as he inhaled and exhaled.

“Dayne?”  I answered.  “Where are you?”

“I’m right here beside you.  Come on now….it’s time to sleep, let’s go back to bed.”

I was now standing directly beside his head, bent over at the waist, staring at his lips from 2 inches away.  “I don’t understand…..I kept hearing this screaming….”  I said.

Still close enough to him to exchange breath, I jumped when his eyes suddenly flew open and widened to an unnatural shape and size.  I stood up and stepped back and, as if attached to my body with string, his limbs mimicked mine as he lay there.  His eyes rolled back into his head his mouth movements synced with mine when I spoke, only no words came out.  “What the hell is going on?” I cried out, terrified now, as he lip-synced my words and expressions.

I heard a noise behind us and spun, afraid it was whatever had been trying to get in the window earlier, but exhaled when I saw it was just Colt.  He was standing in the doorway, white as a ghost.  Dayne was twisted up like a pretzel on the bed, limbs following mine even though he was not standing, blankets getting knotted and wrapped around him as he moved.

“Mom?”  Colt said in a quiet voice.

When I looked at him, I opened my mouth to answer but the words came out in a scream; the same scream I’d been hearing outside only it was coming from my own throat.  I couldn’t stop it once it started.

“Mom!”  Colt yelled above the racket I was making, hands clamped over his ears.

“Grainne!  What’s going on?”  Dayne yelled, fighting the blankets that seemed to be holding him back, trapping him where he lay.

The scream tore out of me until I ran out of breath and then kept going, pulling everything from my body once there was no air.  I tried to stop and breathe in but it wouldn’t let me and I started to panic, clawing at my face to break the noise my body was making.  My heart started to slow and my lungs were burning for air, pulsing inside my chest, diaphragm in painful spasms, body starting to curl in on itself as the oxygen faded from my blood.  Dizziness overtook me and I fell to the floor, still screaming even though my body was no longer capable of sound.

I felt the last spark of life leave me and everything faded into blackness; my vision gone, my senses numbed and sending incoherent signals to my oxygen starved brain.  As I slipped away, I no longer felt any pain or fear but I could still hear the scream ringing in the background, drowning out everything else.  My heart stopped in my chest and I felt the blood slow to a stop in my vessels but still, that scream was still sounding.  My very last thought was that it wasn’t my body, but my soul that was screaming….and then I wondered what came next.

**DREAM ENDS HERE**

A moment of blackness was abruptly broken as I felt myself being roused from sleep.  I opened my eyes to find Dayne beside me in bed, eyes open and full of concern.

“Babe I’ve been trying to wake you for nearly 30 minutes!  You were scaring me this time.  What in the world was making you scream like that?”

I was too afraid to answer.  I didn’t want to find out I was still dreaming so I just shook my head, turned to my other side, flipped my sweat/tear soaked pillow to the dry side and curled up in my blankets so tight I could barely move, hoping to keep myself safe until morning.

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About Grainne

My name is Grainne. This blog has been with me for years now and has served as a journal, a confessional, an outlet and a place for me to create and express my love of life. Thank you for stopping by and for becoming a part of this life long journey of mine. I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to do so. :)

6 responses to “Narcoleptic Nights”

  1. Birdie says :

    Oh , Grainne. Is there anything at all to help you with these awful dreams? Marijuana? Ativan?

    • Grainne says :

      The sleep specialist says that Gamma Hydroxybutanoic acid is used to help with this sort of situation in narcolepsy but I’m a bit worried about that one. As a child, I had these same dream/sleep issues but the episodes were far less frequent….I could go months without a dream like this. Plus, everyone in the medical community and Children’s Aid wrote it off as being a stress reaction (or ptsd) from losing my parents and then being fostered out. My foster family figured it was the abuse that was causing the nightmares (pretty easy assumption to make) and stopped medically investigating it, for obvious reasons. Before that, thinking it was related to the loss of my parents, they had me on all sorts of sleep inducing medications to stop the night terrors. All of the drugs would knock me out cold but would never touch the dreams, in fact, they would make it so I had a much harder time waking from them and I remember feeling like I was being held down somehow, unable to rescue myself.

      Of course, that was a long time ago and my body and chemistry has changed since then so it would be worth a second try. Just not too keen on the GHB….it has the exact effect I’d want to avoid: Being semi-conscious and able to do things but not realize I’m doing them…it sounds like chemical included sleep walking.

      I used to take Ativan nearly daily for anxiety when I was going through the worst of the healing and therapy and it did nothing for the dreams at all. I haven’t tried smoking anything. When I was younger and used it for fun it would keep we WIDE awake. Medical marijuana is starting to become more widely accepted so that might be something for the future…I would try it in pill form, were it available. Not too keen on smoking it though. Not with Colt around.

      Wow…that was quite the comment lol! It’s early in the morning and my meds are at their highest efficacy. Does it show? LOL! Thanks for being here Birdie. Much love xoxox

  2. Oscar Dandelion says :

    Sorry to hear of your nightmares. I hope you’re able to get some relief.
    I have to sleep with a little light on because of my sporadic night terrors.
    Do you like essential oils? Lavender is soothing. 🐻 💜 🌙

    • Grainne says :

      Thank you so much for your kind comment! I have just recently been introduced to essential oils and I’m quite enjoying the ones I’ve tried. Peppermint was my first one and I love it. I haven’t tried lavender but I think I might. It’s such a lovely scent and I could use all the soothing my body can get in the night. 🙂

      Sorry to hear you have had night terror dreams too. They are so exhausting on the body and mind. Do you use any essential oils to help you sleep restfully?

      • Oscar Dandelion says :

        Grainne, I love peppermint – used diluted in oil and water makes a refreshing foot spray, and shoe-refresher. I put 2 drops of lavender oil in my face night-cream and hand-cream last night and it smellt heavenly (it’s a new one, I havne’t tried before). I didn’t have bad dreams 🙂
        Yes, they’re exhausting.
        I was honestly shocked by your nightmare account – it sounded like something in a horror film.
        In my nervous breakdown 21 years ago (I was under too much pressure and hurting from past abuses), I sometimes couldn’t differentiate between being awake and being asleep…I hallucinated. It’s much better now. I’ve a lot of anxiety which is also related to my poor physical health, crippling chronic pain.
        Are yours causing narcolepsy, do you know?
        Faith xo

  3. Grainne says :

    They don’t know exactly what caused the narcolepsy. I have no familiar history as far as I know but I was a foster kid so don’t know much about my genetic predisposition. Stress certainly makes the symptoms worse… that’s for sure.

    I’ve had dreams like this my whole life. First it was written off as being a reaction to losing my parents at such a young age (they died in a road accident when I was a baby) and then later it was assumed that it was just the stress of the abuse and struggles faced in childhood. Now I’m 40 and my stress comes from my job and keeping my family alive and well. Lol…a nice change of stressor actually! The narcolepsy was diagnosed in early summer and was investigated because of excessive, uncontrollable daytime (all the time) sleepiness that got worse by the week.

    I’m still learning about the disorder and how to best cope. The essential oils came into play when I started looking for things to help regulate bedtime.

    I totally understand that feeling of dissociation where you’re half awake and half asleep. Self protection. I did a lot of that in my younger years. (Hugs to you).

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