I didn’t have the best life as I was entering my senior year, but I was happy. I had friends. I had passions. I was starting to learn music, I was getting back into drawing, and I had just gotten a new Xbox One X. I felt alive. I felt capable, productive, ready to become an adult. I was lucky, and I took it all for granted. Because my luck ran out.
In early December of 2017, I was stricken with severe headaches and dizziness, and extreme uncontrollable sleepiness. I would sleep for as much as 20 hours a day, and getting to school became impossible. And after a time, sleep became a prison I could not escape, completely taking over my entire life, while the crippling migraines turned my waking hours into a hell I never looked forward to.
Perhaps the worst part of my affliction wasn’t the life I began to see drift away, but a secondary and not immediately noticeable affect. When I slept, I wasn’t actually sleeping. I was unconscious to be sure, but I wasn’t dreaming, or at least barely so. Even after 20 hours, my brain would receive several times less rejuvenating REM sleep that it needs to be healthy. Because it wasn’t receiving that, I would wake up feeling like I hadn’t slept in days. Months of this was taking a heavy toll. I was dying very slowly. Headaches, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, hallucinations, memory loss, vision and hearing loss, all the affects of extreme sleep deprivation were in full swing despite my life being slept away.
Now, I sought medical help. I met with psychiatrists, neurologists, sleep specialists; I had test done I certainly couldn’t afford: MRIs, home and hospital sleep studies, brain scans, blood tests; I tried several medications many of which did nothing; it was a losing battle because I wasn’t getting any answers and certainly not the help I needed.
Some things got better. I found a medication to keep me awake, and another to keep me from vomiting everything I tried to eat. And after a year I started getting good at adjusting to my reality, to literally losing my mind one excruciating, delusion filled day at a time. I could pretend the pain and the misery, my inability to distinguish dream from reality, the debilitation of my every day life was in a form of cruel irony a bad dream. Nothing more than a place I’d be delivered from and brought back to the life I’d known. I dealt with it, because I knew the only other option was to die, a thought that I’d be lying if I said didn’t cross my mind. Something keeps me going, barely, just enough. I keep going. I endure. But even though some things got better, other things got worse.
After trying many kinds of medications, nothing has ever even for a moment provided any relief from my headaches. Always that knawing, biting ache reminding me that I’m not allowed to be happy. Or, that dizziness and exhaustion that prevents me from being able to stand for periods longer than 20 or 30 minutes, and sometimes causes me to pass out. Or the hallucinations that leave me questioning my reality and afraid of my own actions. The medical professionals tried and failed to help me, and so I’ve been left with myself and the people in my life to sort the mess. Only, while my mind collapses and my body withers many of the people I trusted and cared about, many who I thought cared about me so easily turned their backs on me. I became a burden to my friends and family.
So now I’m desperate. No diagnosis, other than “Idiopathic Hypersomnolance” which means almost nothing, no possibility of working, no family that wants to take care if me, no way to afford meds and medical bills. I’m hopeless, and if there is any help that can be provided, it would mean the world to me. Even if I can get just a little bit of money that’s one more meal I get to eat.
Even the smallest donation would be appreciated to the highest degree.
My PayPal.me: jmbrooks99
Thank you for taking the time to read this.