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Springtime sleepiness - pollen or coincidence?

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by andypants, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    These last few days I’ve taken to my bed, not feeling bad but just so very very tired and sleepy.

    I’m not normally sleepy, and although I’m often fatigued and without energy reserves I would not say I normally feel tired.

    I did have a busy week before this and it could theoretically just be PEM without any of my normal symptoms. However this exact thing happened at this exact time last year.

    I was six weeks into my rtx treatment and assumed it was related at the time. For maybe 16-18 days I was completely wiped out, in bed, but with zero pain or other issues. I remember saying I didn’t feel bad at all, just tired. It’s almost a relief in a way, because it feels so “normal”, like the body is for once acting predictably. Then one day I woke up and felt absolutely amazing, and for a week or so I felt like I had almost recovered from ME entirely.

    This is funnily the exact opposite of what happens when I get a cold. Then I feel amazing for 2-3 days first (cortisol boost maybe?) before the cold breaks out and I’m down and sniveling for a week and a half.

    Anyway, two episodes a year apart are hardly statistically significant but it is weird that the timing is exactly the same. Could it be the beginning of the pollen season? I have never been allergic to pollen and I would think I should have been affected for the entire season if pollen is it, but ME has made me more sensitive in all sorts of unpredictable ways. Other suggestions?


    edited for errors.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  2. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @AndyPandy Every year(for at least the last 14) starting in the spring my immune system goes into overdrive (lack of better word). I get a viral infection, mouth ulcers, head aches, inflamed ears/glands and generally feel more exhausted.

    I feel that it is 'allergy season' related because it occurs every year around this time. It continues right into mid June.
     
  3. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Mij that is the only thing that seems to make sense with the timing, but what is so weird is that I don’t feel bad or sick at all, I just have this overwhelming need to sleep all the time that is not normally present.

    I don’t even have the sore throat or itchy eyes that normally show up at the slightest sign of fatigue.
     
  4. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The timing is the only thing that connects changes in symptoms and sleep. Perhaps this is the way your immune system responds? Sleepiness.

    How long does the sleepiness last?
     
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  5. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Probably. Last year 2-3 weeks. Still in the middle of it now.

    ETA: I think I've read somewhere that many who tried rtx became more sensitive to allergies during/after treatment. That might be it.

    I'm not worried about it, just curious about this random change in condition for such a short period of time. I'll have to pay attention to the pollen rates when I return to my usual fatigued-but-awake state:)


    ETA2: It doesn't add up with the pollen statistics from last year in my area at all, but maybe I'm just reacting to it in the beginning before my body adjusts. Or possibly it's not pollen, but something else. Either way I'm crossing my fingers for that week of feeling amazing:angelic:
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  6. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There have been threads before (maybe at the other place) with discussion about people (such as me) who get a substantial improvement every year in late spring and then relapse again. For me it begins mid April and finishes mid June U.K. or NZ in December. Sorry toosickly to look up appropriate threads at the moment. A few others seem to have similar patterns.
     
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  7. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @andypants I see you live in Norway. Perhaps it's not pollen?

    In Canada, April- May allergies are the worst months for tree pollens In June-July it's the grasses. In Mid Summer mould blooms. Late summer it's ragweed. I'm surprised I'm not floored for the whole summer!
     
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  8. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Mij it is early days for pollen, but Alder and Hazel already have «moderate levels». I don’t spend much time outdoors, though:p I just can’t for the life of me come up with any better ideas:) maybe I’ll just settle for coincidence!

    @OverTheHills I do better in the summertime, but it is these two weeks of being super sleepy that has me curious:) could be my SO is right and that it’s just an adjustment to the new season.
     
  9. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @OverTheHills I do better in the summertime, but it is these two weeks of being super sleepy that has me curious:) could be my SO is right and that it’s just an adjustment to the new season.[/QUOTE]

    Just a point of clarification - I don't do better in the summer. Once my late spring remission is over I relapse very hard and Summer is not good for me at all. I wonder if your sleepiness is a transition state, then you have a shorter good patch than I do??? anyway. Its all speculation, who knows. Hope improvement lies just around the corner for you.
     
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  10. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @OverTheHills got it:) I seem to do better from May and through September, but this is Norway (and the last three summers have not been great) so we could probably count all those five months as late spring-ish. In the really hot summers before that my ME was still fairly mild and very different. I'm leaning towards seasonal adjustment, allergy tablets had zero effect:)

    I checked my Oura-stats from last year, and it lasted three weeks exactly, from 10th through 30th of April. This year it started on the 11th, we'll see how long it lasts.

    On the plus side I'm getting a lot of sleep! I don't have big sleep issues these days unless I overdo it, but I rarely sleep well or long. Now I get 12 hrs every night and intermittent naps throughout the day, even if all plans of doing anything at all are cancelled :asleep:
     
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  11. Manganus

    Manganus Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I certainly remember something similar from the time I was doing fairly well, healthwise, and studying. For some mystical reason, my stamina and general level of energy shrunk considerably in the spring time - chiefly before the pollen season!

    Since you write from Norway, and since I've lived in Finland and Sweden (until five years ago), it might be the case that both you and I have yearly reactions due to the shortening of the nights - at its speediest around March 20th.
     
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  12. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Manganus everything else is upside down with this illness, so maybe it shouldn't be surprising that I get more sleepy while the entire country is getting more awake and energetic :rofl:

    ETA: this is certainly the scenario that best explains the very similar timing from one year to another!
     
  13. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Just wanted to comment that my yearly spring equinox 'reaction' is back again - I can barely keep my eyes open these days. Counting down they days until it passes, although it's actually a good time for it since I'm more severe and crashing more atm than usual and need to be resting more anyway:)

    I want to repeat that while I struggle with brainfog, fatigue and fatiguability every day, I'm normally never sleepy - in fact quite the opposite. Sleepy is not really a good word either, I feel like I'm fighting against a drug or sinking slowly in a dark sea.

    It started around the 15th of March this year and is getting progressively intense/prolonged with every day.
     
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  14. Snowflake

    Snowflake Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sorry to hear that @andypants. :( If it is pollen causing your symptoms, would it be worth trying an air purifier to see if that helps? I hope it doesn’t last too long. :hug:
     
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  15. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I concluded last year that it's not caused by pollen, but is likely causes by the rapid shift in daylight hours around the time of the spring equinox :) Nothing to be sorry about, I'm simply sleeping a lot for about a month and then it passes (and I usually feel a lot better after, with all that rest and spring well underway!) Just curious about this weird phenomenon.
     
  16. Snowflake

    Snowflake Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Ah I see, interesting! It sounds like a positive thing then if you feel better after all the extra rest, that’s good to hear. :)
     
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  17. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Interesting - my daughter has been experiencing the same thing over the past week. She too rarely feels sleepy, except now.
    What lattitiude are you at?
     
  18. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Amw66 I’m outside Oslo, at 59.9:) Pretty far north, but a much milder climate than you would expect thanks to the Gulf Stream.

    The farther north you get, the more dramatic the changes will be in daylight hours around now. It could also be related to the accompanying temperature changes, we’ve gone from 0 to 13 degrees Celsius in a week. I think the changes are more noticeable to sensitive bodies like PwME. I usually can’t sleep much longer than 7.30 even if I try, but these days I could sleep all day if my medicine alarm didn’t go off at 9.30. Still struggling to not go back to sleep 30 minutes later!

    When I worked as an assistant in a care home for the elderly back in the day, this was the time when people would most likely die other than around Christmas. The head nurse told me that they think it’s because they can’t adapt well to the sudden changes. Of course, these are people who are already dying and very old, but curious all the same. And a bit morbid, sorry :whistle:
     
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  19. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    We are at 55.5
    Light and weather seem to gave a huge impact. We know when there is a barometric change from headache status!
    Whether some of this is due to endocrine system interaction for light i don' t know. ( Would light levels and hibernation theory have a correlation?)

    I thought @JaimeS ' s thread re golden hour was interesting, especially the UVB impact.
    At our lattitudes vit D synthesis is not possible in winter, no matter if you can get outside or not. My daughter dosn't get out much at all full stop so we supplement.
     
  20. andypants

    andypants Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Very interesting, yes. I go from severe to almost moderate most summers, the shift usually starts around May and peaks in September. I don't get outside at all in the winter, not that there's much light to be had anyway, so I supplement in the winter months. Hopefully this year I will get out more in the summer, now that we're on the ground floor and with a garden. I have used a solarium a few times, but usually in the spring when it might not be as helpful.

    In the fall, before I start to get more severe again, I will try to go a few times a week to see if I can stave off the months of being stuck in bed. I do feel a lot better from using my IR sauna too, but that's more because of better oxygen supply to sore muscles and better skin. When I'm in a severe phase I can't manage that either, anyway. Seeing a chiropractor regularly helps a lot with headaches and knotted muscles, but again impossible at my worst. So if using a solarium bed can help me extend those interventions as well, that would make my winter months ten times better.
     

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