Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Desperately Seeking Snoozing

Shortly after my father had a heart attack back on November 7th, I began suffering from insomnia. I mean, walking the halls at night, insomnia. The real shit. For the past six weeks, to be more or less exact, I have not had a truly good - meaning refreshing - night's sleep. I go to bed at a sensible hour - make an often hopeless attempt to restrict my liquor consumption just before going to lie down - and try to make a sleep routine. Invariably my eyes are wide open at some time between two and three in the morning. I lay there, hopeless in the knowledge that there is no other alternative for me that to get up... I will lay awake for hours at a time.

I have tried hot showers, warm-milk and self-gratification and sometimes a strange combination of all three, which really does leave an odd mess on occasion to clean up in the morning...

My friends query me about strange notes sent at all hours of the night. Exhausted, I crawl back to bed after creeping down the hallway from my office around five. Then I am up again at eight...

Total sleep, maybe five hours in total. None of it very restful. My eyes are smoky, red-rimmed pits. You could carry luggage in the pits underneath my baby browns.

Insomnia. It sounds harmless. After a while, your eyes and your thoughts and your senses and your memory all just hurt. After a while you walk around as if in a room full of murky water, like a slightly neglected aquarium. You can't really see or hear anything with your usual degree of clarity or understanding. You spend a lot of time saying 'pardon' because you don't quite get things the first time around. You are the slightly thick one in the crowd. Which is terrible debilitating if you are accustomed to be the wit or the quick one with the ready quip.

Words, vocabulary and whole senteneces are formed in my brain but never get uttered. I think it's the sheer fatigue. Last night, and granted I was drinking a little, but I was no where near my occasional Olympian standards, and I have NO memeory of nearly fours of conversation.

Sometimes when I drive, I find myself at home and not remembering how I got there. That is a deeply disturbing experience. Frightening even...

I find myself wandering my apartment, knowing I was looking for something important but not being able to remember what I am supposedly looking for. Funny. But not too funny...

My work has piled up to the point where I have had to work from early in the morning to well past midnight sometimes for days in a row.

Not too hard to figure out which activity in my life gets sacrificed while I also scramble to find time to visit my father in the hospital. Run, what run... ???

My father was discharged from the hospital in mid-December and as his sole and primary caregiver, did all his shopping, grocery store runs, pharmacy stops, meal preparation, house-cleaning, and etc, for the ten days the experiment lasted. The experiment failed. My father can not take care of himself without huge amounts of help.

On Christmas Day as my father's health condition worsened, I had to take him into the Emergency Room, where after six hours, he was admitted. And there he resides, once again in the hospital.

And my family physician took one look at me after a consult about my father's medical situation and prescribed a sleeping pill. God, I hope it works.

And as for my training for the Boston Marathon. Maybe this just isn't my year...


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