welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Thursday, February 24, 2022

peaceful sleeping in pieces


in december 2010 when i was diagnosed with what now is officially mild cognitive impairment or mci thats due to alzheimers
i had a good sleep pattern
i would go to bed around 9pm and wake up around 5am
i was put on aricept or donepezil for my diagnosis

aricept or donepezil slows down the symptoms of alzheimers 
the earlier you start it like i did the longer you get benefit from taking it

i expect one day that i will reach the end of its effectiveness for me and i will start to show more rapid symptoms of alzheimers

so for now im seizing the moment of enjoying this long stretch of normality
that the aduhelm or aducanumab infusions i am on that is removing the amyloid plaque will have an effect in slowing down the disease itself

aricept or donepezil has several side effects
most are temporary for a few weeks or you become use to them
early on its nausea abdominal pain dizziness blurred vision hyperactivity 
those usually dissipate over the first few weeks
making taking the medicine more tolerable

for me i have had leg cramps since beginning it
they are usually in the feet and calves
occasionally in the hamstrings
they are worse after i have done some strenuous activity 

i also have fasciculations of the calf muscle 
if you look at my calves sometimes it looks like worms are crawling around under my skin
these are the results of the effects aricept or donepezil has on the acetylcholine levels in the nerve endings
in the brain it makes the brain cells work better
in the calves it causes overactivity in the muscle
leg cramps and fasciculations

the worst and most bothersome effect for me is its effect on my sleep 

since starting it
i go to sleep ok but i wake like wide awake about 4-5 hours later
cant not go back to sleep
i feel like i drank a couple cups of coffee

now my mother and my younger brother took aricept of donepezil for several years and it seemed to have no effect on sleep
my older brother was on it for a period of time and it had no effect on his sleep

i take mine in the morning
if i take it before bed time i cant go to sleep 
it seems to stimulate me

the reason its recommended to take it at night is that those bothersome side effects i mentioned above happen while you are asleep
that doesnt work for me since it wont let me sleep if i take it at night
i even tried multiple otc meds and prescription meds to get more sleep
they either made me wide awake or made me like a zombie the next day

two years ago when i was sick with what we think was covid i had to go off all my meds since i couldnt even tolerate any of them much less food

during that time i was off aricept or donepezil my sleep started returning to normal
i noticed though they i started noticing some slippage on my memory
as soon as i could tolerate it i restarted it
i also had to go through those initial side effects again 

once i got settled in my regular morning dosing of aricept or donepezil my sleep hours returned to just 4-5 hours at night

since im retired i have the luxury of taking an afternoon nap
its usually 1-2 hours but sometimes if i havent had much sleep the night before i will sleep 3 hours

recently i noticed my blood pressure started to climb since i have gained back 30 of my 50 lbs i lost and i had returned to my regular coffee regimen of 1-2 cups a day

i stopped my caffeinated coffee and switched to decaf coffee
thats 90 mg caffeine vs 2 mg caffeine

my blood pressure has returned to normal
my sleep has improved some
i also sometimes will take a second nap pf 1-2 hours after being up for 3 hours
thats when i would usually drink my first cup of coffee before
i realized the caffeine was also contributing to my sleep issues

the major one affecting my sleep is the aricept or donepezil

i also have found i am quite alert and do my best reading and writing at this time
plus its a nice peaceful solitude at this time
when the weather is warmer i open our door so i can hear the birds and the early morning sounds
i feel like they are all just for me to enjoy
its actually very peaceful

ive tried several sleep regimens and now realize i cant ever just go to bed and sleep for 7-8 hours

i have just accepted this is the way that my life will be for the future
ive adapted to it
ive accepted it
i feel rested most of the time

i also know that some of this may be the alzheimers progressing in my brain affecting my sleep patterns
i know that part will not ever get better
it will only worsen

heres hoping removing all that amyloid plaque from my brain will help some
in 6 months or so most of it will be gone thanks to the aduhelm or aducanumab
but will it be in time

recently my wife she sent me this article on segmental sleeping

this segmental way of sleeping has increased during the covid pandemic

it sort of told me
its ok
if you do it this way
its ok
we do it too

i am at peace
with my pieceful sleeping

the organicgreen doctor

No comments:

Post a Comment