Dorothy Parker · insomnia · poetry

Help Me, Dorothy Parker.

“Oh, sad are winter nights, and slow;

And sad’s a song that’s dumb;

And sad it is to lie and know

Another dawn will come.” ¹

In the last week, Insomnia has made me her bitch. I was on a roll, sleeping through nearly every night like the dead, and suddenly, I’m wide awake. And it’s making me even crazier. Last night I found myself sitting on the deck outside my room at 4 o’clock A.M., because I was too restless to stay in bed anymore, and I had to do something different. I sat on the bench, wrapped up in my blanket, with my headphones on, listening to John Lithgow read poetry in the dark. Eventually I got tired of sitting there (actually, my butt & feet were chilly), so I went back inside, and tried to read. I couldn’t focus on my new mystery, so I cracked open the Dorothy Parker book on my nightstand.

Dorothy understands the long nights. Yeah, I know, most poets do, but Dorothy just reaches me in a way that works better than anyone else. When my life is falling apart, and my broken heart is screaming, I know that I can read my favorite poet (or her short stories!), and find a companion.  I’ve not memorized many poems, but they are all hers.

Granted, reading didn’t help me fall asleep last night, but it did make me feel better about being awake all night.

Inventory

Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye. ²

¹”The Small Hours”  p. 6, Complete Poemsdownload

²”Inventory” p 44, Complete Poems

insomnia · neurology · RLS · sleep

Not sleeping, not so beautiful.

The long-awaited sleep study took place last week, at Providence Milwaukie Hospital’s Sleep Lab (and I am just now writing about it because I am the Queen of Procrastination!). It’s always fun, going to a strange place at night, being told to put your pyjamas on, watch a video, and then get a bunch of wires attached to your body. I’d recommend it to everyone looking for a groovy night out. I was pretty sure I’d have trouble sleeping while wired up, since I have issues sleeping in my own bed, with my own stuff touching me. How was sleeping with wires taped to my calves and head, strapped to my chest & waist, and (worst of all) a little prong-thingy in my nose going to be possible?!

 

Not only did the wires totally f#*k up my hair, the one on my chin itched, and the ones in my nose were friggin' ANNOYING!
Not only did the wires totally f#*k up my hair, the one on my chin itched, and the ones in my nose were frigging’ ANNOYING!

Oddly enough, I was able to sleep. Which probably shouldn’t surprise me, since my life is just that weird. I didn’t sleep WELL, but I did sleep. The next morning, it was confirmed that I do not have sleep apnea (which I was pretty sure I didn’t anyway), but that I’d never gone into REM sleep, and that my RLS had been active all night. I’m not sure yet what these things mean, since I’ve not spoken to the doctor about this, yet, but that no-REM-sleep-thing can’t be good, can it?

On another note, I did see the doctor about my sore ankle and bad ear. A visit to Dr. Jeff, with his pointy shoes and metrosexual style, is always a pleasure, and not just because he’s a snazzy dresser. He’s a good doctor, pays attention to what I’m saying, and takes care of things right away. This time, he sent me to physical therapy to work on getting my ankle fixed, and gave me ear drops for the infection I didn’t even know I had. I’ve had trouble with my left ear for the last year, ever since I got water in it, and over the last month it had hurt off and on. Now, I’m putting in ear drops four times a day, and with luck, will feel better soon.  Big fun.

idiocy · insomnia · medication · pain · RLS · stupid · Uncategorized

The Stupid Burns

Ugh.

It’s been a rough week. I went to see a new primary care doctor just over a week ago, and really liked him. He addressed the issues that the doctor I was leaving refused to look at– insomnia & RLS– and was nice on the eyes. Plus, he did not once tell me I’d sleep better if I got more exercise, or tell me I need to lose weight. He gave me some new meds, and increased the dosage on my RLS med. I was happy.

The problems began the next day. I wasn’t sure if I’d picked up a stomach bug, or if I was having a reaction to on of the meds, but I felt horrible. Stomach cramps, pain, the whole nine yards. By Thursday, I was begging my sister to kill me, but she refused, damn her.

Over the weekend, I went back to the lower dose of the RLS meds, and suddenly *** angels singing *** I was better! Last night, I took the higher dose, and this morning, I’m dying again. UGH.

So, I’ve now spent all this time being absolutely miserable for no reason whatsoever. Could have fixed it at any time. Not only am I in pain, but I’m too stupid to figure out why.

thestupiditburns

 

audio books · blogging · blogs · books · celebrity · Craig Ferguson · insomnia · lazy · meditation · poetry · reading · tarapieceofpaper · vision · writing

Tell Me a Story

It’s been nearly two months since my last post. I am a slacker. In my defense, I DID spend two weeks of that time without vision, after I scratched my eyeball and had to go without contacts while it healed. Since I don’t have a pair of glasses at the moment (and for some reason, we never found time to make it to the nearest vision center), and I am blind as the proverbial bat (without the great hearing), I was pretty much stuck in a chair, doing nothing.

“But, Jonna,” I hear you ask, “How is that any different than your normal, everyday, vision-filled life?”

Yeah, shut up.

I know I’m a slacker, you know I’m a slacker, we all know, Jonna’s a slacker. Old news. They don’t call me the Queen of Procrastination for nothing! My friend and fellow blogger/slacker, Tara of tarapieceofpaper went seven months between posts, and she actually has a life and stuff to write about, so I don’t feel so bad!

Anyway. While blind, or blurry, I discovered that audio books are actually kinda nifty, if the person reading them doesn’t sound like Daffy Duck. Until now the only experience I had with them was listening to a few celebs read their memoirs, which I enjoyed. Craig Ferguson, my favorite comedian and talk show host, has written two books, and I own his memoir on tape. This time, I broadened my horizons, first trying a book I was halfway through reading. I had to give that up, because the reader was terrible. I am assuming she is related to the author or sleeping with the producer, because otherwise, nobody would hire her to read for a living. Remember the actress with the horrible voice in “Singin’ In the Rain?” Yeah. This was her, only younger, and with a Southern accent.

So I gave up on that book and moved on to others, all of which were better, I am happy to say. My choices ranged from new age (Depak Choprah) to Stephen Fry reading short stories, to poetry collections, and podcasts. And I listened to Carol Burnett read her memoirs, too. She’s always been one of my hero, so that was wonderful!

Now, I can see again, but I’ve not given up on audio books. It’s so nice to have someone else read to me for a change. When insomnia strikes, as it often does, I just slip on my headphones, lay in the dark, and a soft voice tells me a story. Who wouldn’t love that?

story

anti-depressant · Bubble Wrap · insomnia · Major Depression · medication · tears

Bubble Meds, Anyone?


I spent most of yesterday in tears. And dressed in one of my least attractive outfits, which didn’t help how I felt at all.

It’s been years since I swam in the swimming pool of Major Depression, but it seems that when I wasn’t looking, I put on my suit & dove in. Last Fall I argued with my doctor about whether my sleeplessness was caused by depression; next week I’ll be asking for a new anti-depressant.
For the record, I detest these meds. In the past, between feeling EVERYTHING and feeling nothing, I’ve chosen everything. It seemed as if tears & darkness were a better option then. And I always had the time & strength to pull myself out of it. I don’t feel that way anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m older, maybe it’s because there are so many other things going on, maybe it’s because I’m just so frikkin tired. I don’t think I could pull myself back. So I’ll ask for help, and take the damn pills. And if that means I don’t feel anything, well, so be it. Life wrapped in bubble wrap could be fun, huh?
blogging · cleaning · Craig Ferguson · insomnia · medication · pain · reading · RLS · seizures · sleep · twitchy feet · yoga

Insomnia


I really should be in bed. Instead I’m sitting in the living room, watching ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’ and writing. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. So, I apologize if I begin to ramble. Sleep deprivation will do that to you!

Insomnia isn’t a new thing for me–it started way back at the dawn of time, when I was in high school. Always the same pattern. I fall asleep easily enough, and sleep well for a few hours. Then, usually about 2:30 a.m., I wake up, needing to pee, and after that, I’m awake for hours.
Sometimes I’ll be able to fall back asleep for an hour or two, but my twitchy feet usually watch me back up.
Oh, yeah, did I mention I have RLS? Restless Leg Syndrome. It’s a pain is the ass (or rather, legs) neurological condition that causes a tickling feeling in the legs or in my case, the bottoms of my feet. It makes my legs jerk so hard sometimes that I kick like a horse! Nobody is really sure what causes it, but we do know that many things make it worse; among these are the anti-seizure medication that I’m on. Yep. Finally found a med which will control my seizures (whoohoo!), and it makes my feet go crazy, causing an increase in insomnia. Wouldn’t you know, lack of sleep is a BIG trigger for me & seizures…
Anyway.
I’ve tried all sorts of insomnia remedies: medication, bedtime yoga, Sleepytime tea, self-hypnosis, melatonin & Valerian, and a white noise machine. Not many have been successful for long. I’ve heard all the advice, and have tried most of it, to little avail. I simply don’t sleep.
I’ve also tried many many remedies for RLS, most of them home remedies found online. So far none have worked for long. I’ve taken magnesium citrate before bed; I’ve rubbed my legs & lower back down with apple cider vinegar; I’ve done a series of strange exercises in the dark. The thing that worked the best was eliminating caffeine & sugar from my diet, which I did to get rid of migraines. Discovered it helped the feet. Of course, now I’m back on the coffee wagon, (or did I fall off the wagon?), so I may have to fix that… I do know there are a couple of medications available for RLS, but so far, I haven’t tried them. Didn’t want to add one more med to my already large collection. If things don’t improve, I may change my mind.
There was a time when I’d get out of bed and clean my apartment in the middle of the night, but those days are gone. (We have neighbors here who are very sensitive to noise, and even running water after ten seems to annoy them, so no more scrubbing the bathroom or rearranging kitchen cabinets!) Some nights I turn on my bedside lamp, pick up my book and read; other night I get online and discover strange new blogs. Most nights I simply lie in the dark, listening to the fake ocean sounds from the white noise machine, trying to count backward from one hundred, as I take deep, even breaths, and hope I’ll relax enough to to fall asleep again.
Tonight I’m going to finish watching Craig Ferguson, then stay up as late as I can, in hopes that I can reset my inner alarm clock a little, or at least throw it off balance. And then, with any luck, I’ll get some sleep, dammit!