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Struggling With New Husband's Symptoms


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#1 mojave

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:51 PM

I'm here more to vent and get support. I'm at my wit's end and my husband is not supportive or helping me.

A year ago my husband and I got married. We dated for a few years in which I would spend a few days at his house (I lived with my parents, he had a house) and I never had problems sleeping. I moved in with him a few months before the wedding and was sleeping fine. Starting January I have really, really struggled with sleeping.

I have kind of known that he has narcolepsy. What I mean is, his parents say he's been diagnosed but he claims he's not or that they got the diagnosis wrong but I know he's taken nuvagil before. He does not take it now. He is very anti-medicine (even mild OTC stuff..yet he's a smoker, but that's totally something else lol). He's done sleep studies when he was younger. His brother has sleep apnea and has one of those masks.

It seems every few months some new symptom comes up. I am starting to resent him because I never sleep anymore. We don't have a couch (we have a love seat) or another bed for me to go to so I pile up blankets on a floor and sleep there. Unfortunately this happens a lot and I take offense to it and feel degraded by this. He has back problems so he can't sleep on a floor, if that's an excuse who knows. The back problems are real though. Sometimes he puts me on a guilt trip for sleeping in another room, or gets mad at me and tells me to "just fall asleep". My favorite is when I've been awake for a number of hours and he gets mad because I wake him up.

I'm a light sleeper naturally. Every night I have to wear ear plugs and sometimes I have to take sleeping pills. These are the sleeping habits he has that are driving me mad:

  • Snores ALL NIGHT, from the second he falls asleep to the second he wakes up. It used to be that he was quiet for the first hour, allowing me to fall asleep, but not anymore. The snoring can be loud enough that I can hear through my ear plugs because it is deep and vibrates my pillow. I can also sometimes hear it 30 feet away with a closed door and walls between us. I do suspect mild apnea, but as I'll talk about in a minute he won't go to a doctor. He is not overweight.
  • Elbows me in the back and face and head (he vehemently denies this, not that he would know he's doing it) from constantly moving arms
  • "wakes up" and has conversations with me like I'm one of the guys at work. This happens only a few times a year and the first few times kind of freaked me out but now I find amusement from it because the next day I tell him what he says and we laugh about it. This one doesn't bother me.
  • He generally is even tempered and sweet towards me, but if he's asleep and we get annoyed at each other (IE me waking him up for elbowing me in the face/back/head), he screams at me and says horrible horrible stuff. Sometimes he doesn't remember this. I thought he was just ashamed of what he said and was in denial but I saw on here that someone's significant other does this as well.
  • Literally, takes 10 seconds to fall asleep which I am envious of.
  • Has horrible nightmares that literally paralyze his body. A lot of them are of shadowy figures that stand above him when he is in bed. I used to get those when I was a kid so I know exactly what he is experiencing and I hate that he has to have these. He also has the dreams that he's falling. I have also had these.
  • Sometimes no matter what I do, he just will not wake up.
  • And the newest and worst of them all - now he moves constantly in patterns.
More about that last one. I think I'm mildly OCD but I've never really done anything about it, it has never really stood out to me before or interrupted my life. I had severe ADHD as a kid, grew out of the hyperactive portion (OCD and ADD are frequently seen together). I look for patterns. If he moves around to get comfortable it doesn't bother me at all and it doesn't wake me. This new thing though, is he does a small movement over and over like clockwork. It's usually every 2 minutes to 6 minutes. Sometimes he wipes his face, sometimes his entire body crunches, sometimes he flexes his hand. Once this starts up my brain is as active as a body feels during jogging and every cell in my body focuses on and times his movements. He has never done this before but has been doing this almost nightly for the last month now.

In the past he has stated he will NOT go see a sleep doctor or do another sleep study. I have literally begged, to no avail. Outside of this sleep issue we get along really well and he is very good to me but it's like there's an evil monster in him when he sleeps. Because of his straightforward "I'm not going to do anything about it and you can't make me" attitude - in fact he's told me I'm the one that needs to go get a sleep study done and need to get on prescriptive sleeping pills - it is making me very bitter and I am not willing to be understanding.

Sorry for the long post but I've been tired lately (averaging 4 hours of sleep on a floor the last few nights) and I have been going through this for a year and look forward to a lifetime, and have not been able to talk to anyone about it, not even him, so the frustration has been building.

#2 DeathRabbit

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:36 AM

I'm here more to vent and get support. I'm at my wit's end and my husband is not supportive or helping me.

A year ago my husband and I got married. We dated for a few years in which I would spend a few days at his house (I lived with my parents, he had a house) and I never had problems sleeping. I moved in with him a few months before the wedding and was sleeping fine. Starting January I have really, really struggled with sleeping.

I have kind of known that he has narcolepsy. What I mean is, his parents say he's been diagnosed but he claims he's not or that they got the diagnosis wrong but I know he's taken nuvagil before. He does not take it now. He is very anti-medicine (even mild OTC stuff..yet he's a smoker, but that's totally something else lol). He's done sleep studies when he was younger. His brother has sleep apnea and has one of those masks.

It seems every few months some new symptom comes up. I am starting to resent him because I never sleep anymore. We don't have a couch (we have a love seat) or another bed for me to go to so I pile up blankets on a floor and sleep there. Unfortunately this happens a lot and I take offense to it and feel degraded by this. He has back problems so he can't sleep on a floor, if that's an excuse who knows. The back problems are real though. Sometimes he puts me on a guilt trip for sleeping in another room, or gets mad at me and tells me to "just fall asleep". My favorite is when I've been awake for a number of hours and he gets mad because I wake him up.

I'm a light sleeper naturally. Every night I have to wear ear plugs and sometimes I have to take sleeping pills. These are the sleeping habits he has that are driving me mad:

  • Snores ALL NIGHT, from the second he falls asleep to the second he wakes up. It used to be that he was quiet for the first hour, allowing me to fall asleep, but not anymore. The snoring can be loud enough that I can hear through my ear plugs because it is deep and vibrates my pillow. I can also sometimes hear it 30 feet away with a closed door and walls between us. I do suspect mild apnea, but as I'll talk about in a minute he won't go to a doctor. He is not overweight.
  • Elbows me in the back and face and head (he vehemently denies this, not that he would know he's doing it) from constantly moving arms
  • "wakes up" and has conversations with me like I'm one of the guys at work. This happens only a few times a year and the first few times kind of freaked me out but now I find amusement from it because the next day I tell him what he says and we laugh about it. This one doesn't bother me.
  • He generally is even tempered and sweet towards me, but if he's asleep and we get annoyed at each other (IE me waking him up for elbowing me in the face/back/head), he screams at me and says horrible horrible stuff. Sometimes he doesn't remember this. I thought he was just ashamed of what he said and was in denial but I saw on here that someone's significant other does this as well.
  • Literally, takes 10 seconds to fall asleep which I am envious of.
  • Has horrible nightmares that literally paralyze his body. A lot of them are of shadowy figures that stand above him when he is in bed. I used to get those when I was a kid so I know exactly what he is experiencing and I hate that he has to have these. He also has the dreams that he's falling. I have also had these.
  • Sometimes no matter what I do, he just will not wake up.
  • And the newest and worst of them all - now he moves constantly in patterns.
More about that last one. I think I'm mildly OCD but I've never really done anything about it, it has never really stood out to me before or interrupted my life. I had severe ADHD as a kid, grew out of the hyperactive portion (OCD and ADD are frequently seen together). I look for patterns. If he moves around to get comfortable it doesn't bother me at all and it doesn't wake me. This new thing though, is he does a small movement over and over like clockwork. It's usually every 2 minutes to 6 minutes. Sometimes he wipes his face, sometimes his entire body crunches, sometimes he flexes his hand. Once this starts up my brain is as active as a body feels during jogging and every cell in my body focuses on and times his movements. He has never done this before but has been doing this almost nightly for the last month now.

In the past he has stated he will NOT go see a sleep doctor or do another sleep study. I have literally begged, to no avail. Outside of this sleep issue we get along really well and he is very good to me but it's like there's an evil monster in him when he sleeps. Because of his straightforward "I'm not going to do anything about it and you can't make me" attitude - in fact he's told me I'm the one that needs to go get a sleep study done and need to get on prescriptive sleeping pills - it is making me very bitter and I am not willing to be understanding.

Sorry for the long post but I've been tired lately (averaging 4 hours of sleep on a floor the last few nights) and I have been going through this for a year and look forward to a lifetime, and have not been able to talk to anyone about it, not even him, so the frustration has been building.


Well I will say his symptoms are not his fault, so from that angle, he deserves sympathy and patience. But his inaction is his fault, and as much as he deserves a partner that will support him through his disease, you also deserve consideration as well for your feelings and well being. At the same time, however, he will probably be less able to be considerate as an average person, because noone is really at their best when sleepy and being chronically sleepy provides it's own sort of Hell. When you feel as bad as he most likely does, it's hard to see beyond the end of your nose. That's doesn't mitigate the fact that he is treating you poorly, but it does explain it. Make him understand that you're in this together. If one person in a relationship has a chronic condition, then for all intents and purposes, both do. So let him know that you are trying to work with him against a common enemy so to speak. And also, there is merit to be had in dispassionate assertion of ones feelings. If he is recalcitrant, instead of yelling at him, just tell him in cold, calm language how he is hurting both of you and being illogical. When you go all Spock on someone, you become much harder to ignore/dismiss. As far as the sleeping arrangement goes, I'd recommend you do the classic two twin beds paradigm. You can push them together for spending time together, and then you can just move it a part by a few inches when it's time to sleep. Me and my girlfriend are doing something similar, and it's nice because you still get the feeling of togetherness that comes with having a sleep partner, without all the problematic issues. Good luck. I wish you and your husband well.

EDIT: Upon reading your list of symptoms closer, I believe Narcolepsy is a misdiagnosis. Narcoleptics tend to be knocked out of sleep more easily. I would guess this is instead of some sort of REM behavioral disorder akin to sleep-walking and the like. Perhaps you can scare him into doing something. Sleep walkers commit accidental violence against themselves and others occasionally, so if you tell him that, he might be more apt to pay attention. There's even cases of people having sleep sex!