To Sleep, Perchance to Freak Out

October 4, 2006 at 11:26 am (Uncategorized)

I’m in the midst of one of my daily crises. Unlike my husband, I’m not worried about making the next mortgage payment. Unlike my son, I’m not concerned with acquiring the next in a very long line of Thomas the Tank Engine merchandise. Although I do wonder if the mortgage and the tank engines are causally related – as in too many tank engines mean not enough mortgage money – my crisis is more mundane. I can’t decide if I need a nap.

I am sure that I want a nap. I was awake for much of the night with body aches. No one told me that when you whittle down your daily dose of Lucifer’s Medicine (oops, silly me, I mean prednisone) a minuscule amount, every bone in your body will feel like it received the Kathy Bates treatment a la Misery. I was so achy, I even contemplated running a hot bath in the middle of the night, which likely would have roused Andrew. Since my son is awake more than he sleeps most nights, I must have been feeling exceptionally poor to risk endangering Lucifer Child’s (oops again, I mean Andrew’s) slumber. I finally drifted off sometime after two, only to be shaken (literally) awake by Andrew sometime after seven. “Mommy, I have to go poopie,” he said, quite loudly, in my ear.

Our babysitter Andrea didn’t arrive until around nine, which gave me nearly two hours to guzzle just enough coffee to elevate my heart rate without making me feel even slightly more alert, as well as to psych myself up for my day’s plans: write a blog entry, work on an essay to submit to an environmental magazine, do some reading for an historical essay, work out at the gym, and attend physical therapy for my sore neck and shoulder. Dash home and shuttle Andrew to his Mommy and me music class, then spend a few minutes at the library tracking down Lyle the Crocodile books we haven’t read, and finally meet my husband Jay and a colleague for a drink at one of the many bars in town that allow children, as long as you don’t try to order them an alcoholic beverage. (It’s a good thing that law is on the books; there have been evenings when I’m convinced all Andrew needs is a shot or two of whiskey to ensure a night of solid shut eye).

Fine and productive as these plans may be, there’s a catch. I am so damn tired, it is painful to be awake. It hurts to walk around the house, and my mouth feels fuzzy. Forming words seems an awful amount of work. My stomach is churning with acid, my head is throbbing, and my bones hurt. It wasn’t until I got sarcoidosis that I experienced fatigue like this. I’m so tired I feel diseased.

I know that if I climb into bed and sleep for a couple of hours, I will feel better. Not great, but less likely to break into little shards of myself. Resting now might mean not catching the latest microbe that Andrew will assuredly pick up in his music class; it might mean being less grumpy with Jay this evening; it might mean having more energy later in the day (and the week) for my work, my family, and myself. I know that the main reason we hired Andrea (and the main reason that Jay’s Mom helps us pay Andrea) is so that I can rest– and get well (or at least not get sicker).

Still, do I need a nap? There are things I want to do with my life. They involve becoming thinner, winning a Pulitzer Prize, and making scads of money writing. Napping is not part of this plan. But lately (like the last three years) all I seem to do is rest. I have half-convinced myself that I’m not actually sick enough to need rest; really, I’m just a faker, and I would feel better if I went for a brisk walk or wrote an essay. “Prop those eyes open with toothpicks, Rebecca, and get to work!” But I’m so damn tired.

Ay, there’s the rub indeed: it’s psychically easier to think of myself as a malingerer than to admit I can’t keep up with the life I envision for myself, that I need a nap instead of just wanting one because I’m lazy. So, I have my daily go-round in my head. “Exactly how exhausted are you?” I ask myself sternly. “Well, very,” I answer meekly. “Slacker,” I tell myself, before falling asleep. “If you’d get up and do something useful, you’d feel less tired.” Sleep brings oblivion; the dialogue will remain unresolved, until tomorrow, when I can start it all over again.

3 Comments

  1. Paul said,

    Hang in there rebecca

  2. rebecca said,

    Thanks Paul.

  3. Don said,

    Since it’s been a few days since your last entry, I hope this means, you’re napping……….

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