Friday, October 09, 2015

That Elusive Visitor - Sleep

One of the things Jim and I have had to learn in our almost thirty years of marriage is how to give the other person what they need for sleep.

As you can see by the time I'm posting this that I am having a bad bout of insomnia. I had another bad asthma attack today after class when Jim and I were preparing to leave Costco with our assorted booty. I was in the restroom when a Costco employee that smelled as if she had been rolled in cigarette ashes and cheap perfume entered the restroom to wash her hands and stood next to me. I moved immediately because her smell was triggering my asthma. Moving didn't help because the moment she started using the air hand dryer it merely blew the odor of her all around the restroom. I was in rescue breathing mode before I left the restroom, rushing for my car and my portable nebulizer.

Which is why I cannot sleep. It took three treatments of double doses of Xopenex to shut this shit down so it's like I'm doing horrible speed right now. No sleep. So I'm online until the Xanax I just took kicks in.

Part of me is so annoyed this happened again, and part of me is super grateful that Jim handled the rest of the day, unpacking our Costco stuff, making sure I got a super large drink in me quickly by running through the nearest drive thru (Sonic) and seeing that I rested most of the day when I got home. Pushing fluids and medications right now, and trying to keep out of the way tonight so Jim can get some real sleep.

I was thinking about the sleep thing earlier in regards to how people have their little quirks and how when I was in my old church I used to emotionally beat myself up for having my own needs and strange little ways of dealing. I also was pressured to dump my meds for my lung problems and by doing so made everything just so much worse.

This is three scary bad intense episodes in a few weeks. I'm not thrilled about that at all.

But I have learned that regardless of what any preacher, pontificator or so-called religious person says that needs aren't sinful and we don't have to follow a script to do things that suit us. I used to worry about that a lot in the old days, if I was doing every single thing right, in a Biblical way, as a righteous woman of God. I've tossed that.

Now I have no qualms about being in the bed first at night, no worrying or nagging Jim to go to bed at eleven with me. Jim is a grown man, he can decide what time he needs to go to sleep. I know I can settle in, put my pile of pillows in the right place, aim the fan on me and snooze. As long as I have the blackout curtains drawn and the ambient light off and the room's not too hot. I could sleep through a dump truck filled with ball bearings driving through my yard all night as I'm unbothered by noise once I'm asleep.

But sometimes, like tonight, it's hard to get to sleep because of the meds, and I try my Jedi mind tricks of doing boring mental things like conjugating irregular Spanish verbs or writing a grocery list for the next day. Sometimes nothing helps but something chemical. Particularly when we're had some stressors, like yesterday the school system shutting down here because of a child on campus with a gun. Thinking about that laying in the bed isn't conducive to sleep either.

Those nights I tiptoe around trying not to awaken Jim. Jim isn't bothered by lights, or the varieties in room temperatures because of menopausal night sweats. He doesn't need extra pillows. But he needs silence and no tossing and turning in the bed. Last night I had to get up around 3 am because I felt parched. I tiptoed around in the dark, silently gliding into the bathroom and starting to shut the door. Unfortunately I shut it on one of our cats, whom I didn't see, and he made a scream that sounded almost human. It would Jim up. He sat bolt upright in bed and asked me why I screamed and then said a bunch of demented sleep-addled things. I had to keep reassuring him that all was well, Kiki made that noise and to go back to sleep. He couldn't.

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