Thursday, January 5, 2023

January 5, 2023

 Well, here I go again, unable to sleep.  I read some article a long time ago which stated lying in bed wide awake trying to force slumber is fruitless and raises anxiety levels. The article was right.   My mind goes just about everywhere as I stare at the ceiling.  Since the mastectomies, I have four pillows carefully arranged to attempt comfort, but by the time I get them just right, I'm wide awake.   My back is cantankerous, too.  The new adjustable bed helps a bit, but there's no setting for instant sleep.   Too bad, for what the dumb bed cost, that feature should have been standard. 

 Listening to Carl snoring slightly, I alternately envy him and try to match my breathing to his, but it doesn't lull me into dozing off.  May as well get up. 

I wandered into the dark living room at 2:30 am, remembering to sidestep the fake garland I took off the railings on Tuesday.  I left my glasses in the bedroom, but not wanting to wake Carl, I'll leave them where they are.  From what I can tell, it snowed since 11:30pm when I first went to bed.   However, I'm very myopic, so I have no idea if the snow continues.

The weather had been wet and windy, sometimes sleet, sometimes pouring rain, but no snow until now. Good intentions were to take the outdoor decorations down on Monday, but well, we all know how good intentions go.  I did take what lights I could wrestle out from the snowbanks down last night (Wednesday) but they are all lying in piles on the front porch because I forgot the big trash can I use to store everything in which resides in the garage. 

Ugh, the garage.  To get there, I have to cross the driveway, which is an ice skating rink, albeit a bumpy one, and treacherous.  There is nothing graceful about me on ice, weird how that tendency changed over the years.  I decided to wait until Thursday, I'm nothing if not a great procrastinator. 

When I was young, there was nothing more fun than sliding around on ice.  Now I'm 64 and my pace and lack of gracefulness is showing.  When did I become so slow and stiff, terrified of falling?  Audrey and Joel caper across ice as if walking on dry ground, thinking nothing of it.  I mince along, holding my breath as if each step might trigger a trapdoor.

I wonder why I can't sleep, these are all things that go through my head.  Of course, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop healthwise, I doubt I'll ever feel confident in that regard again, but no one ever knows what will eventually happen anyway, so my thoughts go from the what ifs to praying for those I know and back again. Weird how every ache and pain, heart racing or slowing can be unnerving. Things always do look darkest before the dawn.

There are also rules about not looking at screens before bedtime.  I agree,  reading a book or journaling would be preferable to writing a blog post on a cellphone because I'm too lazy to climb upstairs to my laptop.  But as I grow older, rules don't interest me as much. 

I have a young friend who is in her early 20's and it is always a delight to talk with her.   She has just delivered a baby boy two weeks before Christmas.  I know she's having some sleepless nights right about now, too.   How I remember those nights, pure torture at times.  Of course you love your baby, but never getting more than an hour or so of uninterrupted sleep is like walking in deep mud with snowshoes on.  Absolutely exhausting.  I never understood new motherhood, why when a woman needs rest from giving birth, does she have to be sleep deprived for months?  I should volunteer to take her night shift if she didn't live so far away.

I follow some forums on breast cancer, and I know I'm not alone with the persistent thoughts of gloom.  

However, I've led a quirky life, so it stands to reason my demise may be unexpected as well.  Icy driveways, sneaky staircase missed steps, rogue tree branches, jaywalking, heck, driving is terrifying.  Yes, I'm officially a senior citizen.  I have a Medicare card. 

But now that I've got all of this silliness off my chest, it's time to get those pillows arranged again. 

 Thanks for listening. 


Anonymous said...

Why can't you sleep? When the hormones start to leave our bodies, sometime in our mid-thirties we stop sleeping all night. I used to wake up at 2:00 and be wide awake until 5:00 and then fall into deep sleep. It was time to actually get out of bed at 6:00 so I staggered up and out and started my day. I'm now 75 and still don't sleep all night. However, I'm also still oh hormones and recently they adjusted them a bit, more progesterone and I'm sleeping all night again. I realize with your breast cancer situation they probably won't let you on hormones, but I do think they affect lots of things in our lives, and we need them for quality of life whether we want them or not.

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Oh, I know what you mean about the sleep thing. The worst for me is when I can't get to sleep--my mind really starts racing. If I wake up after sleeping, I can usually easily fall back to sleep. I hope you'll find some solutions for the sleep needs. Sometimes day naps help; sometimes they cause more trouble at night. Be careful with those icy walkways!

Anonymous said...

Scary looking ice! I have things called Yak Trax that strap over my sneakers for traction on snow and ice - they help sometimes, but sometimes the ice is too hard for them to get a grip. I too am very frightened of falling after some health issues that lead to falls and head bumpings. I can usually fall sound asleep pretty quickly but wake up needing the bathroom and sometimes have trouble going back to sleep after that. It helps me to get really chilly and then slip back into the warm bed. Sometimes. Sometimes its just going to be a wakeful night and no new baby to show for it.


Karen said...

Anonymous, yes, the lack of hormones really does raise havoc with our sleep cycles, and a lot of other things, too. I was on hormone replacement for a year or so, but after the cancer diagnosis, it's not something I can have. In fact, the recommended treatment is an anti-estrogen medication, a hormone blocker, which removes almost 100% of the estrogen from the body. I tried taking it for two months, but the side effects were so brutal, I went off of them. The right decision? I have no idea, there are no guarantees either way, some have recurrences even after taking the drugs for a decade. I hope you've been having some good sleep lately!

Karen said...

Beth, it is good (and bad!) that I find I'm not alone with insomnia at times. Carl can nap during the day and go straight to bed at night and sleep all the way through until dawn. I rarely, if ever, nap. Maybe I should try taking it up? Luckily, the new snow covered up the ice and for now, it's much less slick. :-) Always good to hear from you!

Karen said...

Ceci, I have some cleats for my shoes, too. I was just too lazy to put them on the other night. I agree, falling is just not the same any more as we age, too many worrisome injuries can occur. In a way, I miss our waterbed, it was always warm to climb into. The new bed is very cold at first. Thank you!

Sandy said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! Your Christmas decorations look great. I hope you have a better night tonight. We are anxiously awaiting sprin here in TN. Sure hope it comes sooner rather than later, I'm more than ready for blooming flowers. Lol. Take care.


CiNdEe's GaRdEn said...

Sorry to hear about the sleep problem. I have a problem waking up at night. Usually I can go back to sleep after an hour or so. It drives me crazy on work days. I haven't gotten up and did anything though. I am not ready to give up just yet. (-: The snow is pretty at least. It makes for a nice picture! I hope you get a good nights sleep soon!

africanaussie said...

I am just easing back into blogging after a forced retirement and the whole virus thing threw me off track for a while. I am so glad to see you are still blogging. I always enjoyed your posts of your riotous flower beds, and then all the snow in the winter. All so different from my life in Tropical Australia. I was so sad to hear of your health issues, not sleeping must be the least of your worries. I pray for healing and peace for you, take care, and don't walk on that ice!

africanaussie said...

I had a bit of hiatus from blogging what with retirement and the Coronavirus, but easing my way back in. So nice to see you are still writing. It is like re-discovering an old friend. so sorry to hear of your health issues. Stay off that slippery ice! it sounds scary!

Karen said...

Sandy, I hope springs arrive soon for you. Spring flowers before you know it!

Karen said...

Cindee, thank you, sleep has been better the last few nights. Maybe the full moon? I wish you nights of blissful rest!

Karen said...

africanaussie, so good to hear from you!! It is indeed like rediscovering an old friend. :-)