Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flipped diurnal rhythm

When you have Cushing's Disease, you get a flipped diurnal rhythm. When you are cyclical, this can change around. Sometimes you have insomnia, and want to sleep all day. Other times, you are up at regular hours, and sleep at night. It makes it hard to function and fit in with life and people who are not sick. They often don't understand. They think if you just go to bed earlier, you will get up earlier. Hahaha! No.... it doesn't work that way! We wish! Even sleeping pills don't work well for the most part. You might get a few hours of sleep out of them, and wake up suddenly in the night, feeling startled. I can't tell you how many times I sat straight up in bed, out of a dead sleep, feeling like someone just woke me up by scaring me! At times, you have this drastic fatigue come over you that you just CANNOT fight! It's like a huge black cloud! It feels like when you are put under for surgery. You just can't fight it. It just happens and you have no choice but to go to sleep!

Now, I mentioned "cyclical". What that means is, sometimes we have tumors that turn on and off. We can go through periods of time where the tumor is functioning, and we call that a "high" cycle. When the tumor turns off, we often feel extra sleepy, have diarrhea, nausea, and aches and pains. We often just feel like we have the flu! It's cortisol withdrawal that causes those symptoms. Typically, when you are in a high cycle, you break out in acne, feel extra hungry, feel wired, can't sleep, but feel pretty good for the most part. If you stay in an extended high, it really starts messing with your mind. It's no fun either!

Having a disease like this makes it hard to hold down a job, or go to school. Many people have to quit working, or drop out of college. It's easy to see why, when you know how Cushing's really affects the body.

No comments: