Stories about Sleep Issues after Brain Injury
The following are stories of real life survivors of brain injury. Clicking on the titles will take you to their actual story.
You talk about a two-year time period. Did they get less intense after two years?: “Yeah, without a doubt. They, I would say, 3½ years the intensity, once I started sleeping they started getting a little better too. I mean, naturally sleeping. The Cymbal-, not Cymbalta but the Lunesta I tried to – they had me on, stopped working. But sleeping on my own is when I really started the best time.”
Let’s talk about sleep. When did you first identify that you were having trouble with sleep?: “Oh, probably the first, when I got home stayed up a week without sleeping. I didn’t realize I was even tired really, but uh, I guess I was pretty dingy I guess how that would be described. And of course keeping my wife up all night was a good realization that I wasn’t sleeping, and hallucinations. I remember about six weeks because I was starting to hallucinate, see things move, towels breathing.” s that from sleep deprivation?: “Yeah, that’s what they think and that’s when they put me on Lunesta at that point. But I remember the first couple of times it was wonderful. I slept and felt pretty good but within a month it stopped working. I’d take one and I’d sleep an hour or two and then, they put me on Sonoma I think is another one and then that worked for a little bit. Then they found an old-class drug, I’m trying to remember the name of it, something they don’t even use. They used it in the institutions and then it, and that worked for months. But I got addicted to them believe it or not. I used to look forward to getting home so I could take my sleeping pill. I wasn’t really sleeping on them but it sedated my brain.
Her husband states that she has trouble sleeping that she can’t sleep more than two hours at a time. Her doctor has prescribed sleeping aids but none of them worked.
“The doc did ask me for a long time what did I dream, and I remember not dreaming for a long time. I remember the doctor told me, you need to remember your dreams, that you’ll get better when you start remembering your dreams. And I didn’t remember my dreams so I lied to him, and I remember making up stories. And then I remember when I started remembering my dreams and I was so excited, and my beginning dreams were simple, simple, easy dreams, kind of like you’d think of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Kind of things like balloons and, and pretty colors and flowers, and I didn’t want to tell him that those were my dreams because I thought that, I remember neuropsychology was so important and I didn’t want to take some silly little dream and take up my neuropsychology time. So, I don’t think that I spoke truly and from the heart with my neuropsychologist for a couple years, but of course that’s his profession and he obviously figured it out.”