Saturday, January 7, 2017
SLEEP ATTACKS ARE SUFFOCATING
Sleep attacks... episodes during sleep. This is what was happening to her.
It started on Sept 28th, at 3AM in the night. She kept waking up briefly to fix her pillow, thinking her head was too low and blood was pooling in her head. Finally she woke up, SAT UP straight in bed, and breathed fast, trying to get circulation restored in her body. Her limbs were numb, her body felt like it was aching, ill, dizzy, sick, about to pass out, dying. Her face was even numb, and her skin all over felt like it was covered in plastic wrap. What was happening? Was she dying? Should she call 911? Breathe... just breathe... after 20 minutes it relaxed and her circulation seemed to restore.
A week later it happened again... to a lesser extent, but still scary. Then another week or so later. Within a month she was at the sleep lab, but apnea was not strong enough to warrant a CPAP machine. Then the episodes, even though not as severe, were becoming more frequent. Every few days apart, then every other day... then every night she would wake up with her face numb and dizzy... then several times a night. Meanwhile she went back to the doctor 4 times, requesting tests galore.
They HAD to get to the bottom of this! She tried everything from spiritual prayer and psychics, to naturopathic remedies, a medicine man's special healing tea, herbalism, radical diet change to a low-lectin diet, and she was no zero medications. Allopathic medicine was taking too long. Finally the Gastroenterologist gave her GERD meds, but they didn't help. Sleeping on propped up pillows semi-helped, but even sitting up, ultimately would cause her to wake up 10 minutes to a couple hours after falling asleep, gasping for oxygen and dizzy and numb. Sometimes her eyes went dim, or the lids compressed, as in an eye twitch that got stuck shut. Boatloads of blood tests and complete metabolic profiles (with anemia being the only thing wrong--which was fixed with iron pills--as well as hypotension), and a full thyroid panel, and more was done. An ECG was normal, but the Holter monitor for the heart was put on for 30 days. They ordered an endoscopy, colonoscopy, and EKG next.
By the fourth visit to the doctor, which was 3 months into the scene and still without a diagnosis, he said, "It does not look like apnea, and it does not appear to be your heart, or GERD related, and your neurological test and other tests are all coming out normal. I think you're probably having panic attacks."
So she got an anti-anxiety medication, temporarily, as another 'test' to see if it worked. So far everything she had tried seemed to work at first (including chiropractic care, and sleeping on her stomach), but within a day or so it would revert right back to the same problem of these nighttime episodes.
Stranger things were happening on occasion... she would hear a bump in the house, or a noise, that didn't belong. She was not the only one who heard it, so it wasn't imaginary. She began to wonder if this was a spiritual problem. Something, or someone, trying to tell her something. Aside from a tumor, and the psychic saying it was a constricted blood vessel and that something on the outside was pressing in on it too, she wondered if the whole mess were symbolic rather than literal. Spiritual rather than physical.
She began to pray and tried to journey (shamanism style), and in the upper world saw something shaped like an oyster mushroom, elongate and misshapen, wondering if it were something that could help (immune booster?). In the underworld she saw herself hovering over the top of the edge of a huge fast-flowing waterfall. Water, for her, meant emotions. Falling water could not be good, and it explained her recent realization that she was not only stressed, but had a lot of anxiety about even going to sleep, knowing she would wake up feeling like she was dying. It was getting to her, and she cried a lot, was emotional, even during the day, and not getting a good night's rest, ever. That was the end of her fleeting spiritual journey. Only once did she see an animal helper--an opossum that was standing up... what did it mean? They eat ticks and yet are immune to them, and they eat bugs (bugs are bad spirits in the otherworld). Maybe she needed to read the "Creating a Bug-Free Mind" book. Possums also 'play dead' to protect themselves from predators. To put up a false front... or is it that someone else is being deceptive? Aside from hearing bumps in the house, she also saw a face... a man's face, nondescript, and wondered who it was. Her scalp had been crawling on and off for months, like when someone is "touching" her... usually stealing energy. Who was using her? Who was deceiving her? Who was she needing to protect herself from? Where was the source of her stress, and inner pain, and extreme anxiety if these were panic attacks?
There were only two things that almost always were the main cause of panic attacks (aside from the fact that she once thought she had cervical cancer, and those two attacks were obvious as to their origin, especially since one happened in the doctor's office)... the two things that stressed her out most were 1) finances, and 2) relationships.
In September her significant other had told her she had to pay an additional $1,000 per month on her bills. This imposition was impossible to attain, and she felt so overwhelmed that she thought her only way out was to die and let the life insurance pay off the $47K she owed her family in loans, plus the $50K in business loans, plus the $50K in student loans. She was paying all her bills, but not fast enough for him. He resented her debts, yet he had his own--perhaps he was projecting. She became so distraught that this is when the suicidal thoughts began... and within a couple weeks the first attack during sleep occurred. Her goal became to pay off her parents by December. The closer to December the worse/more frequent the attacks became. Was this the source of the problem? December came and went, and the attacks continued.
Perhaps there are lessons here... about relationships and unreasonable expectations, and about debts that are more than one can handle emotionally. They're all being worked on, a little at a time. The family never asked for the money back, and certainly not within such a tiny time frame. The pressure was from the spouse. It was his issue, placed on her shoulders, and guilt tripped to drive it home.
She sat and thought about the symbolic meaning of the blood vessel, the blood being life... the vessel being the delivery, and constriction of that life flow, with pressure from the outside. "An MRI would show it", meaning a clearer picture of the problem. There are many ways to see such things, not all of them through technology. Spiritual seeing, symbolic meaning. The inner possum was playing dead... causing her to feel like she was dying, but it was not real. The mushroom is for seeing beyond the problem with new eyes and immunizing ones self against such sickness. The waterfall was the precipice, and if she allowed herself, she would fall straight down and the result would not be good. Out of control emotions are not healthy, especially if their direction is straight down in a rush. The possum, a nocturnal animal, was helping her see she did not have to die... she can stop at any time. She can choose life, and eat the mushroom, and avoid the waterfall. She can release the constriction of the blood vessel from within and without, and eliminate the outside pressure her 'tumor' was causing from guilt and demands that are unnecessary.
She now has to redesign her life. She starts with prayer... yoga... reading... CD's... meditation... walking... NLP... research... herbal teas... stress relief... new plans... love... loving the self... finding inner peace... neurofeedback... more spiritual practices like journeying and being closer to God... more often... so the sleep attacks can go away for good... the numbness in the face (not feeling her own true self and what she is supposed to look and feel like)... the numbness in the limbs (not doing things she should be doing)... the dim and pressure on the eyes (not seeing clearly)... the dizziness (not standing firm)... having to sit up to gain composure and circulation (not moving, seizing, stagnancy, feeling trapped, not breathing properly, not moving, sleeping-on-the-job)... gasping for air (feeling suffocated from the pressure and not being able to move)... all of these have meaning, and they all go back to the two main issues of finances and relationship.
The finances can work themselves out over time--all her bills are paid, as they always are. The problem is her relationship and the stresses that it is placing on her unnecessarily, like the force of a gun being pointed at her. It is as if it is a tumor in her soul... a binding that restricts her life... a pressure that comes when she is not paying attention... when she is sleeping. WAKE UP! See the signs, understand them. She must if she wants to live again. Until then, the blood is suffocatingly stagnant.