Posts Tagged ‘insomnia’

Sleep. Oh, you elusive vixen, you.

It’s inevitable, it seems. Those days when I try to be a responsible adult are the ones that blow up in my face. We were informed of a recall with our truck for the driver-side air bag. Nice of them to let us know – over three years after it failed to deploy in a freeway tangle with an eighteen-wheeler (I ranted about that in “Hope”). So we figured what the hell, we’ll get a couple other things checked out while it’s at the dealership, including why the check engine light came on a couple weeks ago. Appointment is scheduled, plans are made. I even went to bed at a “reasonable” (read: too damn early for me) time. I was actually tired, having spent most of the day killing goblins and hoarding treasure in one of my computer games. (Hey, YOU try keeping a target on those little bastards when your eyes don’t want to cooperate.)

Anyhoo, I drift off to sleep, cat purring in my ear and husband sounding like Darth Vader with a bad head cold (his face mask for the sleep apnea machine wasn’t properly sealed), and looking forward to breakfast at one of my favorite places while waiting for the truck.

A little over two hours later I’m ordered to the little room down the hall. Most nights I can sleep all the way through. Not this one. Of course. I take care of business. I get back to bed. I wrestle the cat for my spot. How the hell does one thirteen-pound feline entirely fill the space meant for a six-foot tall human? I get under the covers. I throw off the covers. I roll onto my left side. My left hip hurts. I roll onto my right side. My right shoulder hurts. I lay on my back. I have heartburn. I get up and retrieve some Tums. I go through the ritual with the cat again. I play Solitaire on my iPhone. The cat is annoyed I’m not petting him. I finally get us both sort-of comfortable. I’m drifting back to sleep…

Fun fact: my feet move when I’m sleeping. Nothing major, just a little back-and-forth of the toes, similar to a kitten kneading when it’s content. Been doing it as long as I can remember, and it’s not something I have conscious control over. It’s also nothing any of my previous animals have bothered to notice. At least, not to the level that I noticed they noticed. But, for the first time in decades, I have cats that were strays. Cats that had to hunt to survive. Cats that think something wiggling under the blanket must be pounced upon.

I’m jolted back to full wakefulness with two sets of claws embedded in my big toe. Roan is looking mighty pleased with himself, and continues a relentless pursuit across the foot of the bed as I try to extricate my feet from his attention. It’s zero-fucking-dark-thirty and the cats are rarin’ for playtime.

Thankfully, our activity garners the rapt interest of Pip. She’s not sleeping on the bed with us yet, but she’s usually not far, and her sudden appearance merits a celebratory chase around the house. Off the two of them go, the Flying Wallendas crossed with WrestleMania.

I try to get back to sleep, but now I’m having a power surge and sweating despite the fan. More flippity-floppity. More aches and pains. More sweating. And then my husband’s alarm goes off.

I’ve managed to get a whole two hours of sleep. On a day when I need to be driving SoCal freeways, dealing with auto service guys, running errands, buying groceries, retrieving the husband-unit from work, cooking dinner, and cleaning cat boxes. There was a time when I could to that for days on end with no ill affects. But now – firmly in my middle years – the world will be lucky if I don’t leave the husband at the auto shop, drive the groceries to work, and cook the cat boxes.

Naps aren’t just for toddlers anymore.

Scientists have long known about the detriments of sleep-deprivation. Problems can include mood and cognitive issues, depressed immune system, hallucinations, as well as heart attack and stroke (The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Body). Additionally, sleep apnea and insomnia are more common as we age, with men suffering more from the former and women more from the latter. It’s no wonder old people are cranky and forgetful – they’re laying awake worrying about all the stuff that’s going to kill them because they can’t sleep!

And the visit to auto service only gave us more fun news. Recall done – that’s okay, and no charge, thank you, ma’am. But, oh by the way, that check engine code says your transmission is about to crap out. You want it fixed, it’ll cost you $3,000. At least.

There goes the trip to Arizona we had planned, because – even though we’ve noticed no issues with the transmission – my luck just wouldn’t allow us to drive it 300 miles while fully-loaded and not have a problem. And, no, we didn’t leave it at the dealership. I may have boobs, but I’m certainly not one, and the husband is a serious motor head from childhood. We got a second opinion (yes, there is a problem, but not $3K’s worth of a problem), and we’re without wheels for a couple days while it’s taken care of. There went THAT tax refund.

So all the other stuff we were hoping to do (like have a cushion for emergencies) is out the window. Again. And here we are back to living by the penny. I guess I should be used to it by now, since it’s been that way my whole life. But it pisses me off.

And maybe that’s why I’m having trouble sleeping. An angry writer is never a good thing. They lie awake at night and plot your demise…

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