Anybody who deals with a period knows how tiring it can be. After all, there’s a lot of discomfort, your body gets sapped of iron for 5 to 10 days, you can lose sleep due to pain, and if your mood tends to swing like a ride at the traveling carnival, you can burn a lot of calories being a crabby-ass bitch.
But those of us dealing with endo, PCOS, PMDD or any other disorder where we end up with unusual cycles and/or pain meds, that “loss of pep” can turn into “falling asleep whenever, where ever” … and it’s scary as hell.
A lot of my issue is that I work bizarre hours (2-11 p.m., 11 p.m. to midnight or whenever I come to work in the early afternoon to whenever I’m done designing for the day and go home), plus I’ve developed a really bad pattern of an average bedtime of 3 a.m. again. I don’t go to work until the afternoon, so unless I have an appointment or errands to run, I have no real impetus to get up in the morning, and as such allow myself to hit the snooze as much as I like. I’ve been a lot better lately because I make myself work out or write in the morning, but still, it doesn’t take much to throw my whole schedule out of whack. Such a sensitive flower, I am.
The other big, obvious issue? Pain meds. There’s a reason they tell you not to take them and drive, especially if you’re not used to them. But unfortunately, you have to do what you have to do. While I’m not ever advocating unsafe driving or saying that I’ll allow myself to drive anywhere when I’m really affected by my medicine (ask my mom or any of my friends who’ve had to drive me home from work at midnight — surprise!), it’s amazing how fast your body adapts to the heavier meds like Fiorinal with codeine or oxycodone. I’m not a math whiz, but I have become a master at when a dose of codeine will affect me when I have a 20-30 minute drive depending on how fast I can get through traffic and how much I’ve had to eat that day. It’s a ridiculous series of calculations, and honestly, I’d rather wait it out than risk it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sheepishly asked a friend to drive us when we carpool for a night out, or how often I’ve shown up at work early because I need my pain med NOW and have to hurry the hell up to get to my destination and start to have some relief.
I have to admit that it’s funny when I fall asleep at my laptop, though. I have always been able to sleep heavily (often to the detriment of my schedule), and there’s been moments where I’ve been looking at Facebook one minute and crumpled over like a rag doll with the return key pressed into my right cheek the next. This happened again today after I did my last test walk for the Walk for Freedom route and ran in to my office to grab some last minute papers. I came home to change and go to dinner with some old acting buddies and ended up tardy to the party because I totally punched out in the hour or so gap between getting home and going back out. Granted, I’d ingested roughly a pound and a half of muscle relaxers before my hour-long trek through downtown Jax earlier in the afternoon because my cycle is brutal right now, so that may have had something to do with it.
Also, I feel like a real asshole when I fall asleep at work. It’s equal parts not sleeping well on my own time, pain meds, physical exhaustion and not finding enough for myself to do to stay perky on the job. On my very worst days, I fall asleep so fast and so deep that I start to dream while sitting straight up at the computer! Thankfully it doesn’t last more than a few minutes, but it must be funny for anybody who catches me jolting straight up in my chair as I snap back to reality.
Back to my point (did I have one?), pain meds and the pain in general make endo/PMDD/PCOS sufferers really, really tired, so don’t give us a lot of shit about it, if you please.