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I'm wondering if there's something wrong with me, or if it's just chronic exhaustion

(53 Posts)
CinnabarRed Mon 05-Nov-12 13:57:59

I'm not sure whether to go to the GP, or just wait to see if my health improves when (if) my sleep does.

By way of background I have three DSs under the age of 5. None of them sleep well and I haven't had an unbroken night of sleep in almost 5 years (on the handful of occasions when all three have slept through I have woken anyway). It may well be that this is the root cause of my symptoms, and I would be delighted if that were the case! I also work FT.

I am 37.

I am permanently exhausted. I find it hard to concentrate. I am frighteningly forgetful.

I wake up tired.

My whole body aches when I get up from sitting, from my heels up to my shoulders. I hobble for several steps before I can walk normally.

My feet and hands tingle/go numb. I think my tingly hands are due to carpal tunnel syndrome, which comes and goes. I'm not sure about my feet - my GP thought it was a trapped nerve and suggested wearing flat shoes which helps somewhat, although my little toes are still numb.

We went to a theme park on Saturday and I had to go to bed at 7:45PM when we got home.

My DM has multiple sclerosis, and I worry that I may have it too.

Is how I'm feeling normal, under my circumstances? Or should I go back to my GP?

LadyWidmerpool Mon 19-Nov-12 12:39:09

Can you get signed off for a while? The carpal tunnel sounds enough to stop you working. That could give you a chance to catch up with some sleep?

I would be tempted to tell DH he has to sit up all night once in a while to let you have a proper night, if he sleeps too deeply to be woken. It won't kill him!

Good luck.

CinnabarRed Mon 19-Nov-12 12:56:58

I would be tempted to tell DH he has to sit up all night once in a while to let you have a proper night, if he sleeps too deeply to be woken. It won't kill him

TBF (not what I felt like being at the weekend!) he has offered to do the thing suggested upthread, where he would sleep with the monitors right next to his bed and I would go to the spare room with ear plugs in. He's also offered for me to go to a hotel for the weekend on my own, or for him to take the boys out at the weekend so I can sleep all day. But I don't want to spend my whole weekend asleep. I want to be with by DH and DCs.

Plus, it's only really a sticking plaster. What I really want is to get the root cause of their sleep issues sorted out so I can start to live my life again.

Since I started this thread, we've had our first consultation with the sleep clinic about DS1's parasomnias, and they've assured us that things will improve. We've been doing a few things 'wrong' and we've got a plan in place to put them right. Realistically, he won't ever be a great sleeper, and is likely to sleepwalk when he's older, but we should be able to reduce the frequency of his night-terrors from several per night to one or two per week.

I think that DS2 and DS3's sleep issues are far more straightforward, but I've lost confidence in my ability to sort them out. I want to refer us back as a whole family. I thought that if we could get DS1 sorted then I could cope with DS2 and DS3. But I can't.

Apart from anything else, I think I would find it far easier to put difficult advice into practice if an expert has told me what to do (one of the hardest pieces of advice with DS1 is not to wake him from his night-terrors. They think that night-terrors occur when a sleeper's brain gets 'stuck' between two different dream states; you have to let their brain make its own transition. If you wake them then their brain hasn't 'reset' itself and the sleeper falls straight into another night-terror. It completely goes against my instinct to leave DS1 sobbing and screaming in his bed, especially because his eyes are open and he looks awake. But it works, and he has no recollection of it the next morning).

CinnabarRed Mon 19-Nov-12 12:58:04

But, that said, I'm going to ask to be signed off for a week, as a short term fix, to try to feel a bit more human again.

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