Thursday, June 14, 2012

I almost died due to sonnambulism

Last night, I almost died. While I write this, I sport a nasty and deep cut in my brow, a result of this early morning's accident inside my master bed room. Here is a brief narration of what happened. 

I was asleep, tired after reading voluminous survey results. When I woke up, my face was full of blood. I awoke after hearing a big thud. I was unaware that I was the one who hit the glass partition inside my room. The glass shard hit my brow. A glass shard tore my brow and cut me deep. 

Fortunately, I did not lose consciousness. I was able to wake up my wife and the whole household. My eyes were covered by blood oozing from the deep cut in my forehead. The blood oozed freely covering my entire face, neck and even my tshirt.

I asked my wife to give me a towel. I told them to call the condo guards. I got my car keys and fortunately, there was someone, a neighbor, who knows how to drive. I was fortunate that I was wheeled inside the emergency room of the Makati Medical Center and given immediate aid.

I got seven stitches to close the deep wound in my forehead. Doctors asked if I want a CT scan, but since I know from my training, that my vital signs are okey and I did not lose any function of my limbs, nor did I feel anything unusual, I decided not to. Before the doctors sutured me, they asked me to undergo an x-ray.

They also gave me anti-tetanus shots. Before I was sutured, the doctor gave me anesthesia. The entire suturing was finished in due time. 

I lost a lot of blood, but I made myself awake. My presence of mind and the immediate attention that the Cityland 8 guards, the doctors of Makati Med and my wife saved me from serious injury.

I am still under observation. The doctor said that I should observe myself for the next 48 hours, since that is the time given to victims of head injuries. 

This is now, my biggest problem. I am worried that I"ll sonambulate again and probably, by next time, do a very serious damage to my body.

Sonnambulism is sleepwalking which in the medical dictionary means sleep·walk·ing (slpkng) or The act of walking or performing another activity associated with wakefulness while asleep or in a sleeplike state. Also called noctambulism, somnambulism.

The Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition says that sonnambulism is :

"rising from bed and walking or performing other complex motor behavior during an apparent state of sleep; much mystery has been attached to this, although it is no more mysterious than dreaming. The chief difference between the two is that the sleepwalker, besides dreaming, is also using the part of the brain that stimulates walking. This usually occurs during the first third of the night and lasts for a few minutes to a half hour. The sleeper is relatively unresponsive, not easily awakened, and usually amnesic for the episode later. It is most likely to happen during periods of emotional stress and usually ceases when the source of anxiety is removed. In many cases it occurs only once or twice and does not happen again. If it recurs frequently (called sleepwalking disorder) it may stem from serious emotional distress (see sleep disorders). Called also somnambulism."

Really now, this year, I suffered most sonnambulist-like symptoms compared to last year's. I noticed that these symptoms occured when I reached the age of forty. Before, I never suffered from sonnabulism. I also have sleep apnea which is caused by blockages in air passages due to my weight. 

According to several studies, sleepwalking may stem from serious emotional distress. Seriously now, I am not suffering from any. That's why I'm really asking myself what causes this and how to solve this.