Monday, December 15, 2008


Two nights ago I had my first real sleepwalking occurrence since having children. According to Jason, I sat bolt-upright and was acting all strange. He kept calling my name (knowing I was asleep) and I kinda turned on him a little bit and tried swatting at him. Then I woke up and was confused :) It really freaked him out. He said I was all feral and crazy. I don't recall what initially made me sit up and start acting strange, but I do remember throwing my hands out because in my dream I was trying to catch a leaf that was blowing around. This must have been when I was flailing my arms at Jason. He was all worried about what might have happened if the baby was in bed with us, though I think I probably wouldn't have been sleeping very deeply if she was. Its the only time I've ever done any sleep walking or talking since having Ethan!

Some of you might know about my very traumatic sleepwalking incident back in 2003 on Mother's Day. Its never been documented on my blog, so I think I'll type out the story here and upload a picture for posterity :)

We had a very busy day and I was completely and utterly exhausted (we found later that this was a trigger... stress and exhaustion). I fell into bed and not three hours later we were headed to the hospital.

I remember that I was having a dream about being chased by a skeleton. According to Jason, I jumped out of bed and tripped. There was a window on my side of the bed and when I tripped I banged my face against the windowsill. Even with that, I didn't really wake up until Jason had me in the kitchen trying to put ice on my face. It was bad. Really, really bad. He kept telling me that I would have a bruise and I thought, "Oh crap, I have work tomorrow". I stumbled into the bathroom and saw my face and knew that it was not just a bruise. I started feeling very sick and we decided to go to the ER.

On the way I called my Mom and told her what was going on. She was a little worried, but I don't think she understood how bad it was. We get to the ER and I'm feeling worse and worse and we're sitting there in admitting and I start to feel dizzy and nauseous and actually start losing consciousness a bit. Immediately they got me back into a room and that's when Jason, poor guy, really started getting a hard time. I don't blame them. It looked like I'd been punched straight in the face a few times. They had me in a room alone and while they were caring for me they kept asking if everything was ok... did I need to tell them anything? Was I scared for my safety? I kept saying that I was a sleepwalker and it ran in my family, but that doesn't really seem like a good excuse, especially to people who probably see more than their share of domestic abuses.

I was transferred to another campus because I needed a CAT scan. I rode in an ambulance, and they made Jason drive separately. The whole drive I had an EMT holding my hand and telling me that I was safe and that anything I needed to say would be in confidence and please don't be afraid to share. Looking back, I really appreciate that they were so kind and warm and genuine in their concern, but at the time I felt very poorly and I was miffed that Jason was being kept at arms length.

When we arrived at the ER of the campus, I was greeted by nurses and doctors saying, "Oh! This is the girl you told us about! Good God, she looks terrible! Some of the worst facial bruising I've ever seen" Everyone again was very kind and warm and let me know that if I needed to tell them anything it was ok and they would protect me. I kept telling them the truth, that sleepwalking ran in the family and my Dad had many tales to tell about his own experiences.

I went in for the CAT scan and the tech asked, "What happened honey? Were you in a car accident?". When I told him, he didn't believe me. He said those injuries were consistent with a car accident or "being hit with a baseball bat".

Eventually I was diagnosed and released, with a broken cheekbone, extensive and severe bruising and mild concussion.

I didn't go back to work for a week. I was on pretty heavy painkillers for the first few days. Worst of all, I looked just terrible. I mean, really really terrible. The right side of my face was numb and droopy and swollen and my whole face was discolored and bruised.

When I got back to work I took a picture. Mind you, this is a WEEK after it happened and the bruising had started to lighten on the cheek and forehead. You can see how droopy the right side of my face was and how swollen in general I was. I still have stiffness in that right cheek and there is evidence that this accident actually damaged my brain and increased the severity and frequency of my migraines, which really picked up after this accident.

A month or two later I went in for a sleep study and found out I was pregnant with Ethan. Luckily, I've not done anything close to this bad since getting pregnant and having kids. But you can see why Jason has worries about what I'm capable of :)

1 comment:

Becki said...

I had forgotten how bad that looked! Yikes!

I still get a chuckle whenever I think of poor Jason though. Domestic Violence is not a laughing matter, but poor Jason sure got a heavy dose of suspicion.