Thursday, January 15, 2009

To sleep or not to sleep

I don't sleep.  That simple declarative statement has far-reaching impacts on my health, my relationships, my attitude, my everything.  For years, the Beve has encouraged me to at least talk to a doctor about this inability to close my eyes and turn off the world, the inability to relax enough to get refreshed daily.  Refreshed daily--just imagine such a concept!

So finally, this week, Beve made me promise to make a doctor's appointment.  It might not be too surprising that I'm sleeping even less right now than usual, and trust me, that's saying a lot.  My environment must be perfect in order to slip into Orpheus' arms, and currently my internal environment is pretty hostile to sleep.  So, because I'm the obedient little wife that I am, of course, I immediately called the doctor. Well, maybe I'm not that obedient generally speacking...

And I saw the doc this afternoon.  Now, I don't usually think of myself as old...Oh, okay, maybe I do, but I'm pretty sure this doctor is young enough to be my child.   And he's certainly skinny enough that even a wimp like me could throw him across the room, if, for example, I got too tired and took everything he said personally.  But I restrained myself, you'll be happy to know.  Even when I had to get weighed (as if simply not sleeping wasn't torturous enough!), I just gritted my teeth and and acted pleased as punch to participate in such a brutal practice.  Seriously, what does my weight have to do with not sleeping? 

It was literally the shortest doctor's visit I've had in years. Yep, five minutes, and I was walking away with a perscription for Ambian (apparently a wonder drug I don't want to take for more than a couple of days!), and a referral to another torture rack:  a sleep study.  The doc listened to me for no more than 30 seconds before telling me that my problem was much too large to simply give me a pill and send me on my way.  Thanks, anyway.  Beve's been pressing for this sleep study idea for years as well--since, apparently I hold my breath at night (seriously, isn't breathing overrated, anyway?), and sometimes wake up feeling like I'm about to die, which the doctor said actually doesn't mean I'm crazy, but is an actual symptom.

So, great, a sleep study.  What happens, I asked, if I don't manage to fall asleep the entire time?  Without a doubt, I can see that happening.  The problem is that they hook a person up to all these wires, make her try to sleep in a strange room, in a strange, probably hard, bed.  Did I say how important my own space is for real sleep?  And the idea that people are actually evaluating something I'm so terrible at?  This does not bode well for sleeping.  Why on earth do you think I haven't been sleeping this week?  You'd think I'd be a pro at external evaulations of my abilities, but clearly I'm not.  I can hardly bear to have people read over my shoulder, let alone stare at me while I'm sleeping.  Sigh.

The things we do, the things we attempt, in order to make our lives easier.  Or to make our spouses' lives easier, or both.  But, stay tuned, I'll let you know how this journey ends (PLEASE, not with one of those blasted machines!  I couldn't bear sleeping with something on my face!)!  After all, how much sleep does a person need, anyway?  Maybe I'll just give it up for good.

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