Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Slightly discouraging change of plans

So I started off the year with a list of 52 classic novels I wanted to read, one for each week. I did pretty well for awhile, then got a little behind, and now have more than half the list left and only about 4 months to complete it. So despite my stubbornness and unwillingness to accept defeat in anything, I've decided that I need to extend my deadline. It's not the books that defeated me-- it's my life!

The first hitch in the plan occurred in February, where Owen's constant ear infections lead to a bout of C. Diff, and when we finally got that cleared up, the ear infections were back. So in early April, he had tubes put in his ears. Life got pretty much back to normal, but I was about 2 months behind on my book list at this point.

Still, I thought maybe if I devoted ALL of my minimal free time to reading, I could get caught up. I made some progress, but in about mid-June, my recurrent insomnia reappeared. So now although I have tons of free time, most of it occurs between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m., and my comprehension of what I'm reading would be severely impaired.

If I didn't have two kids, I'd have probably gotten through that list by now. As it stands, I have unread Stephen King, Jen Lancaster, and Laurie Notaro books because when I DO have time to read, I focus on my list of classics. Putting off things that give you pleasure because you are too stubborn to let go of an unimportant deadline seems a little ridiculous, right? (and downright insulting to Jen-- I've had her book since May!)

So that's that. Keep checking back for my classics summaries, but my new "deadline" for my list is mid-2012. Mostly so that I can stay sane.

A little bit about the rest of it... the insomnia, which I've struggled with off and on since late high school, is the worst it's ever been. I have sleep onset insomnia, which means that I have difficulty falling asleep. Not just difficulty-- I'm wide awake some days at 4 a.m. It stinks. Fortunately, I have children that sleep in, so I don't have to get up most days until after 10, but it's still wreaking havoc on the rest of my life. Play dates are fewer and further between because I have no energy, I've grown pretty dependent on my morning cup(s) of coffee to get me going, and I haven't been to church for most of the summer. I'm not missing out on time with my kids, but I'm missing out on everything else, which is tough.

I've tried "forcing" myself to go to bed earlier, and for an entire week at the beach I was in bed by 1 a.m. most nights... the problem with this is that even if I CAN successfully fall asleep, I wake up every hour. I never quite get the deep sleep that I'm desperately in need of. So staying up until 3 or 4, though it seems self-defeating, is actually better for me right now because at least then I sleep deeply. I don't wake up entirely refreshed, but it's better than the alternative.

When I was pregnant with Owen, the doctor prescribed Ambien to help me sleep; it worked. Knocked me out cold in about half an hour. But what I didn't like is that if I needed to get up in the middle of the night, the room would be spinning and my thoughts would be completely incoherent, even to myself. I'd often have "blackout" periods in my memory from the time the medicine started kicking in. It's not a feeling I'm comfortable with at this point, having two kids that periodically need me in the middle of the night. Even with Dan at home, I need to be able to take care of my kids.

So my plan is to try taking melatonin supplements-- melatonin is the hormone released by your body to help you fall asleep. If taken at the same time each evening, it should help regulate my sleeping/waking cycles and hopefully get me back on track. It might also make me groggy in the morning, but I'm already going through that so I'm not too concerned about that side effect :) With Addison going back to school and me needing to get up at 8 a.m. 4 days a week, ignoring my insomnia and wishing it away isn't an option anymore. Despite my reluctance to take anything for it, now is the time to try. And if it doesn't work, I may need to do something stronger, like taking the Ambien again. But I'm trying to start slowly.

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