Endometriosis, Insomnia, and Nero Keep Me Awake at Night

Endometriosis, Insomnia, and Nero Keep Me Awake at Night

You’d think that those of us who are constantly tired (hello, chronic fatigue!) would be rather skilled at sleeping. But the truth is that many endometriosis patients suffer from sleep disruptions.

Whether full-blown insomnia or just difficulty dozing off, behind these issues lie — you guessed it — hormones! In the shape of a hormonal ballet, musical, or full-blown rave, hormonal movements are responsible for fluctuations in body temperature, which can make you restless.

Anxiety — also linked to misbehaving hormones — is another deal breaker when it comes to rest. 

I’m currently on my fourth day of existing without proper sleep. I say “existing” because “functioning” would be a big stretch. For the last 72 hours, I’ve been waking up at “stupid o’clock,” unable to fall back asleep.

I’m not sure if anything specific is disrupting my slumber or if it’s the summer heat just doing its thing: bloodthirsty mosquitoes, moths threatening to fly into my mouth, the lack of a nightly breeze. I toss and turn, while in my mind, thoughts travel at the speed of light.

What’s that pain?

Am I ovulating? No, you’re on the pill. Am I getting my period? No, you’re on the pill. Is it my ovaries, my uterus, my bladder? And on and on. My thoughts take me to panic central, because life with endometriosis means discovering new and worrying symptoms weekly. It’s hard to relax when your body is as unpredictable as an automated software update.

Brexit medication woes

Brexit likely will happen on Oct. 31, which will make this Halloween the scariest ever. The closure of frontiers and current trade deals has prompted a generalized panic.

I used to view stockpiling as a bit “out there,” excessive, and unnecessary. But now I wonder whether it might be a smart thing after all, especially for those of us reliant on medications. Last night, my mind took me through some horrid scenarios in which I was unable to access my meds and lost control of my ovaries — and my life.

Why am I bloated again?

I try to stick to my endo diet as much as possible, but sometimes bloating is inevitable. The fact that I’m subsisting mostly on vegan ice cream and iced lattes may play a part, but strangely, my mind doesn’t go there.

Trying to sleep with a swollen tummy is nearly impossible, especially when it’s too warm to use a hot water bottle and manage the pain.

Nero, my hero. (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

And completely unrelated to my endometriosis is my aging dog

Nero, my hero, who is a sausage dog mix with the soul of a mighty dragon, is roughly 14. He is starting to show signs of aging, and I hate this more than my endometriosis. His joints hurt, so some nights he’s restless. I wake up worried, and together we are quite the stressed duo.

At 2 a.m. last night, I read him the final chapters of “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” while he sat on my chest, licking his paws. 

It’s funny how our brains can work at warp speed when our bodies are spent. Everything is always scarier and horrifyingly imminent after 2 a.m. Whether it’s the hormones, the heat, or just my troubled mind, the lack of sleep is turning me into a moody mess, and I’m already grumpy to start with. 

What keeps you awake at night? Please share in the comments below. 

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Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.

My name is Jessie. I am a writer and part-time Yoga instructor living in the south of England. Since being diagnosed with endometriosis, I’m determined to be the boss of my chronic illness. You’ll find me with two sausage dogs curled up on my belly and my duvet nearby, writing about life and whatever my mind thinks up. This is my journey.
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My name is Jessie. I am a writer and part-time Yoga instructor living in the south of England. Since being diagnosed with endometriosis, I’m determined to be the boss of my chronic illness. You’ll find me with two sausage dogs curled up on my belly and my duvet nearby, writing about life and whatever my mind thinks up. This is my journey.

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