Nope! This is not a romantic post or story, telling you how to find your soul mate, and it is not parents encounter with sleep deprivation after a long night with feeding a baby. Those days and adventures are well behind me.
With increased anxiety levels, worrying about your current vitals and the fact that you were close to the pearly gates, can easily turn you into a living zombie.
Well, perhaps not in the strict zombie sense where you actually died and rose again, walking around seeking to eat brains and human flesh, but merely sleep and emotionally deprived.
When I arrived home from ICU, I was reluctant to go to sleep as I feared I wouldn’t wake up again, and that something bad would happen and set my recovery back. Or even worse, send me back to the hospital.
The hospital was the last place I wanted to visit again.
Imagine being admitted to hospital because you have a severe case of heart failure, and you need 24/7 monitoring. You are attached to multiple machines that monitor your vitals and sounds alarms if something is not performing.
Nurses check you every hour, and you are given medication every 4 hours. Basically, under full surveillance to keep you alive.
No one can blame you for being hypersensitive and worried. As I’ve mentioned in the previous post, our condition and experience can be compared to PTSD.
Having sleepless nights after such an experience is totally understandable. You need to find ways to work through these anxieties and gradually remove the burdens and excessive luggage you carry around in these times.
Here are a few tips that helped me through some hard times.
You need to find ways that distract your mind and allows you to settle down, and get some sleep. Sleep is a powerful tool in your recovery process, so it is important that you work on different methods.
Maybe you need to have conversations with your cardiologist to get some assurance that your vitals are good and that you are indeed doing well. Or perhaps the cardiologist can prescribe some sleep tablets for you.
I don’t like too much medication, so I worked through my anxiety using the above list, and of course a healthy dose of mind-numbing shows on Netflix. You be surprised how much crap there is on Netflix, which is very suitable to distract yourself.
Even a year later, I still have some evenings where I cannot sleep. Some little blip in my body triggers panic thoughts again, and I Google it, and then I freak out.
DO NOT Google anything related to your health or diagnosis, especially not before going to bed … or at any time really.
What are your ideas and thoughts about sleepless nights?