Saturday, June 28, 2008


I saw my Neuropsychiatrist/Sleep specialist yesterday for a follow-up. He's been one of my main treating doctors for the past 3 years as I attempt to regulate the sleep/Fibromyalgia/anxiety/depression issues. He's been instrumental in helping me on my road to health. I blogged in 2007 when he decided to put me on light therapy for extreme winter fatigue. What I didn't talk directly about was how after two months of light therapy, I awoke to Spring on the other side of the pendulum. I spent last summer a little on the manic side which I'm sure you can gather from my entries during that time.

We wondered if the light therapy switched something in my pineal gland or whether it was just a combination of emotional factors (the break-up being one) in league with the light increase associated with the Spring/Summer season. We reserved judgment on it and waited to see what would happen this Spring. I didn't do light therapy this past Winter and sure enough, the deep fatigue returned, although not as bad as the previous Winter. Again, no defining diagnosis for the fatigue other than the Fibromyalgia and a possible Seasonal Effective Disorder. In the end, he said I have "idiopathic hypersomnia", which means I like to sleep a lot and they don't quite know why.

As I've entered Spring this year, the energy boost has returned, although I'm much more grounded than this time last year. I am sleeping on average 5-7 hours a night, some nights not at all, and very active. So, now, it's "idiopathic hypomania", meaning I'm really happy and they don't quite know why. Gotta love modern medicine. There's a term for everything; even when they don't know what's happening, there's still a medical term for it. Why can't it just be that I'm high on life right now? Why is it necessary to label it or think of it as abnormal?

After asking all the relevant questions around my behavior and making sure I'm not doing any harm to myself in this elevated state, he smiled and said, "You're doing really well. Enjoy it."

So, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna enjoy being a grinning idiot for as long as it will last, for whatever reason it's here. It is what it is.

tall penguin


Ged said...

Idiopathic hypersomnia = grinning idiot?

Some folks pay drug dealers good money to feel like that and here's you getting it for free.

Seriously though, it looks like you are getting the better of this malaise and that has to be great news!

matt said...

Glad to hear it. Even if it's just a phase, what part of life isn't? We grow grow grow! :)

I don't know why you're so happy! All the rest of us are depressed and dysfunctional. You're not normal! ;)

tall penguin said...

Thanks ged and matt.

I was speaking with a friend about this surge of joy running thru me and he said, "Expect it to last. It doesn't have to end."

And I realized that I've spent my life bracing for the end of things that are good in my life. And that really, I can enjoy this feeling and not expect it to end. Maybe this is who I am? Maybe I am really a happy person with intermittent depression, instead of the other way around. What a concept. I like it.