April 12th, 2005


Avoiding The Crazy

The birds in the woods outside my apartment have started chirping. The infomercial shift is in high gear on television. These things mean that morning is almost here. I'm still trying to recouperate from my illness... so why am I not in bed right now?

Sleep has not been a friend to me lately. This is an alarming development as sleep & I have had a very loving relationship since, oh, sometime around puberty. Certainly, it was a love-hate thing at times... Me refusing to let sleep get it's way and then vice versa (sleep usually won out a lot when I had 8 am classes in college). Regardless, we always found time for each other and that time was special.

Lately, I almost dread sleep. It's not a restful experience -- it's a trip to the crazy farm. I start dreaming even before I'm fully asleep. I can be caught in a dream while being fully aware of my real life surroundings but unable to choose between the real and the imagined. When I wake up, I'm often confused about where I am. During the few days last week before I got sick, my brain went into hyper-think mode right before I went to sleep. Literally, I would think about a dozen totally unrelated subjects in the span of just a few seconds. It was a maddening experience. Oddly enough, it's not the crazy shit happening in my brain that has me worried.

About a year or so ago, there was a period of time where I couldn't sleep for very long. Whether it was in the bed, on the sofa or in a chair... I'd wake up every so often and take a big gasp of air. I didn't think much of it until Jessie noticed it and said that I'd actually stop breathing for a few seconds during these episodes. It sounded very much like sleep apnea. But as suddenly as it came about, the problem stopped. I hadn't noticed a problem in the last year and neither had Jessie or the folks I work with -- and trust me, they see me sleep a lot. Of course, that was until last Friday night.

I was sprawled across the couch with my head in Jessie's lap begging for my head and neck aches to go away. I soon fell asleep. I don't remember anything about the nap. When I awoke, Jessie said that it seemed as though the apnea problem had returned. During a short nap Sunday at work, I don't think I slept for any long than 5 or 10 minute without waking up and taking a big breath. Late yesterday afternoon, I laid down and took pretty long nap. The crazy dreams were in full force and so was the crazy breathing. Several times during the dreams -- the subjects of which I can rarely remember -- I remember feeling the strong urge to take a deep breath. Doing so in the dream (and, I guess, in real life) brought a great feeling of relief.

So, where do you drink when your favorite bar is shut down by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission? Where do you eat when the best resturant is closed by order of the Health Department? Or, in my case, how do you rest when the only way you know how turns against you?
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Quiet please, thank you.

I finally crashed around 6:20a. I'd only been out for a couple of hours when this terribly loud noise woke me up. I couldn't figure out what it was! Just as soon as it would stop and I'd think there would be peace... the noise would happen again. Oh, it was awful. And I was frustrated because I couldn't figure out what kept making this terrible racket over and over and over again.

And then it hit me... It was the telephone ringing.

I looked over, picked up the receiver about two inches and sat it back down. Ahh, silence. Lasting silence. I immediately went back to sleep without a care of who had been calling.
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