Hypnagogic Jerk & the Doggie Dreams

Well, I’ve made it back to Lockport. We all left Al this afternoon to fend for himself for a short while in the hospital. He’s got his computer, his cell phone and above all, his fan and is settled in for the next phase of his recovery.

He’s been complaining about a lack of or inability to sleep. After some reassurances from Mark, who’s had experience with his own transplant and most of the various drugs Al is being given, as well as his doctor who checked in just before we left, we hope he’ll sleep better. Al described how he would be almost asleep then have an involuntary twitch that woke him back up. We were discussing it and coined the term Doggie Dreams, but the doctor came up with a scientific term: Hypnagogic Jerk.

A bit later, we all decided that would be a good name for a band. Who says all the good names are taken?

Of course, I researched this on the Hinternets and found out it is almost synonymous with the term Myoclonic Jerk which if course is a band name.

Myoclonic Jerk is a horn driven-whiteboy-turbo-astro-funk band from the slums of Buffalo NY.

So with silliness aside, we left Albert enjoying the comforting sound of his own fan, brought from home. It has a soothing sound somewhat akin to a jet engine, or at least one of those swamp boats from the Everglades. But it drowns out all the noises that were bugging him, and almost all conversation as well. He was nodding off even as we left, but promises to keep us all updated on his progress by adding to this blog in the coming days.

On the serious side, the doctor was happy with his progress and predicts that he may be let out of the hospital and into the outpatient phase in as soon as a week from now.

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One comment on “Hypnagogic Jerk & the Doggie Dreams
  1. Crash says:

    It’s true, I laid in bed just waiting for the sleep to kick in as my family headed for the parking lot. Though the answer was simple, 10mg of Ambien, I would have to wait for the next shift change before I could receive it. Meanwhile, the telltalle signs of overexhaustion were building up within me, signs typically associated with foolish desert wanderers, no post-transplant patients. Dry mouth, sunburned-skin feeling, tinnitus, overirritability, delerium, they’d all visited me. The primary nurse brought me some Vicodin and told me to drink down several glasses of cold water, which seemed to help. I actually did drift off for a half hour of my own time. It wasn’t quality sleep but it was restorative; I gained another half-hour shortly thereafter, then went online until my meds arrived at a rather tardy 11PM.

    Throughout the night, I dreamed of many bizarre things. I dreamed of being flung through time only to wake up exactly where I was, confused and beliving it was a “Quantum Leap” styled laboratory. I also believe that I got up and sleptwalked about the room for half an hour. I recall thinking that I had to stow all the chest tubes, monitoring devices and IV poles into the closet so that I could go to the cafeteria. The nurse had whisked away my uneaten dinner, so I had little but the two small bags of pretzels and Doritos on my windowsill. This morning, both were opened, half-eaten, alongside a open can of Pepsi that presumably was given by a nurse. I got my wires and cords rather tangled, though,and didn’t get far in my plan for a subconscious breakaway. I went back to bed and didn’t get up until some time later when the nurse informed that my blood sugar was low, I’d need to drink some orange juice. I’d never felt her check, but whatever. – Another blackout – and I’m again being awoken by the nurse coming to give me an insulin shot because my glucose is too high. Whatever, this sleep thing seemed to be working so I went back for another round. This lasted until the morning food crew jostled me to see what I wanted for breakfast.

    The relief I’m feeling is great. I finally got some sleep, have been able to duplicate the sleep at my own will since breakfast, and now know that I wasn’t totally going bat-crazy.
    I’ve read up on hypnagogic jerks, and they’re fairly normal in all folks. They become more prevalent during times of fatigue,and what could be more fatiguing than swapping out a person’s lungs? I’m upset that for as many times as I explained the problem to as many people, everyone seems to have been assuming that I was exagerrating for comic license, or that my motivations were a cloying attempt at getting bonus narcotics – not my will at all. But the problem seems solved and I feel worlds better this morning than I had the previous five.

    And this afternoon, I shall take a well-deserved nap before my fan and it will be great.

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