Now here’s a strange thing…
I got into bed late last night after having trouble sleeping this week – I always have disturbed nights (damn bladder) and rarely sleep longer than six hours.
As my wife and kids are away camping with friends for a couple of days, I thought I’d read a page or two from a book to settle myself down before switching the lights off.
After reading the first paragraph about three times, I realised I was fighting a losing battle and snuggled down.
I went to sleep instantly.
The next thing I know is that I’m having a dream:
I’m standing on a hill at night, there’s red brick 1990s style high rise blocks on my side of the road and a chain-link fence on the other. It feels like Sheffield and the buildings are to do with the University somehow – halls of residence or whatever. The place seems deserted and even though there are streetlights, it seems very dark and black towards the bottom of the hill.
Anyway, from out of that darkness I hear footsteps, like someone’s running, and it’s a kid in a blue parka. The coat looks dark in the sodium glow of the lights. He must be about twelve and he’s running up that hill like it’s not there. He’s not out of breath, he doesn’t slow and while I’m initially worried that he’s running towards me, he’s on the other side of the road – the side with the fence – and he runs straight past me with no acknowledgement.
Spooked, I pick up my pace and start running down the hill toward whatever he’s running from, with the feeling that there’s something behind me. I may even be a bit frightened of him even though his footsteps are receding.
…and I wake up.
It’s a pretty standard nightmare. There’s nothing weird, surreal or hallucinatory about it. In fact, reading it probably bored you to tears.
The unusual thing was that when I woke my whole body was shaking, from my head to my feet, like I was having a seizure. It wasn’t violent but it was rhythmic, and I couldn’t control it, even though I was wide awake. It wasn’t the shivering I’ve experienced with Rebif, either. And it wasn’t tremor. Proper shaking.
I was tired enough to want to go back to sleep, but I was worried and thought that it really had to stop before I could do that.
Easing myself up onto my elbow it gently subsided after a few seconds. I didn’t feel sick.
I’m not sure what time that was and I feel that it was soon after I went to sleep (it felt at the time like it had happened immediately after I went to sleep, though I’m sure you have to sleep for a bit before dreaming starts). After the shaking stopped I went straight back down and unusually for me, I slept until the alarm went off.
So why did that happen?
Was is because I was so tired?
Was it the MS?
Do I have some sort of mild epilepsy?
Or was it some sort of residual movement from the dream I just had (my Mum used to tell me that my Dad – a former athlete – used to go running in his dreams, his legs pounding an invisible path under the duvet)?
Maybe my body wasn’t shaking, maybe I had some extreme nystagmus.
Because it subsided and I ended up sleeping soundly, it hardly seems worth bothering anyone about. I’m not going to tell my GP or MS nurse unless it happens again. I might mention it to my neurologist when I see him later in the year.
I’m not worried, just curious.