Thursday, April 5, 2012

sleeping issues and aids

(Photo credit:  Wyken, Blyken & Nod, illustrated by Johanna Westerman, North-South, NYC, 1995)

The second night in the hospital, I knew I'd need something to help me sleep. 

I am a night owl at the best of times.  I often won't go to sleep until I force myself to shut off the light at 2am in the panicky knowledge that it's so late that I won't be able to wake up for work the next day.  It isn't that I'm an insomniac, that's just my natural cycle.  I do better at night.  (In university, I routinely pulled "all-nighters" and honestly, got some of my best work done after midnight.)

And once I am asleep, pretty much nothing can wake me.  I sleep like a babe.  Deep, sweet, restful sleep.  I usually sleep a good 8 hours and nothing can disturb me.  But if somehow, something manages to wake me, then I'm done for.  I can't go back to sleep in the middle of the night once I'm up.  Waking up in the middle of the night almost always entails a transatlantic call to Shevester, since no one in my world is awake to lull me back to sleep.

So laying immobile on my back in the hospital with a bolster shoved between my legs and a 16.5cm railroad track of staples up the back of my thigh was a surefire way to guarantee not getting through the night.  Rolling over was not possible and the pressure from lying in the same position for hours was unbearable. I was simply not comfortable enough to sleep through and once I was up, the misery began.  Looking at the clock every 20 minutes to see that only 20 minutes had passed since the last time I miserably opened my eyes. 

I was irritable and I couldn't get well if I couldn't sleep.  Naturally, they gave me the sleeping pills.

When I got home, I sent the Bear off to the local clinic with instructions to bring me some sleeping pills from Dr. Muchacha.  She reluctantly granted my wish but warned him that they were highly addictive.  Nice going Doc.  I won't go into the details of the arguments discussions we had those first nights about whether or not I should take them.  As far as I was concerned, it was not negotiable.  I needed my rest.  Waking up in the middle of the night from discomfort was not an option. Period.

After about a week at home, I finally managed to roll over onto my side and sleep without feeling like my ass was a tightly wound spring.  By now, I was sleeping with a smaller pillow between my legs and it was a vast improvement over the paralyzing position of sleeping 9 hours on my back but there was still a great deal of discomfort.

After two weeks, I lowered the dosage to half a pill a night.  We're talking a big .12 mg - hardly smack.  But still I knew it upset him and he'd struck the fear in me: I didn't want to become addicted.  So after another 2 weeks, I stopped taking them all together.  Last night, without any sleep aid, I managed to fall asleep quickly and although I woke up at 4am, I managed to get myself back to a not-so-restful-twilight sleep.

It's now 2:00 am and I'm, well, here I am.  It's too late to take anything now because I'll never get up tomorrow morning.  Am I just back to my old ways?  Should I continue taking half a pill for a while longer to make sure I get enough sleep?  I think tomorrow evening, I will take an evening walk (we skipped it tonight because the PT Torturess was here) and maybe that will tire me out.  If that doesn't work, there'll probably be another blogpost.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to turn off the light and my brain now.  Goodnight.

No comments:

Post a Comment