Thursday, April 1, 2010

to sleep, perchance to dream

Sleep and I have had a difficult year.... well, almost a year. Part has been stress. Part has been full moons streaming light through the window. Part has been vomiting.

Sleeping as a "guest" in a hospital is as difficult as sleeping as a patient. You get woke up for midnight and four o'clock vitals. You get to hear the neighbors tv when they have insomnia. There's the little alarms when someone falls down in the bathroom, and you get to experience all this with out the crackly comfort of the plastic coated hospital mattress.

When Methodist in Des Moines remodeled and went to a slide out bench to bed I was ecstatic!! No more bar in my back...HOT DOG!!, but there were still other predators to my ability to sleep. And here I have to give a shout out to Kayla the night nurse. She was one of our many godsends. Some nights when Mac couldn't sleep she would slip in and they would visit. When Kayla was in the room, I could sleep. I knew I was just turning my watch over to the other guard dog and if Kayla were there everything would be okay.

Going to Iowa City for the bone marrow transplant and then later the liver complication was totally different. They tout themselves as being family friendly. They are not. At least on the seventh floor cancer ward they are not. Several occasions I stopped nurses from giving medications that Mac was allergic to. So that meant don't sleep when it is time for medications. Always ask what they are giving. Many didn't like that. Some would just say, "I know what I'm doing" So then, it was necessary to keep watch because you didn't know what he had taken. It became the norm to sleep for two hour increments.

Then we came home. Coming home is always culture shock. With culture shock comes not a whole lot of sleep! Slowly the sleep got better but many nights were spent watching the moon's path trail across my window. Even though things got better it was as if that Iowa City recliner was permanently embedded into my psyche. Even the best nights had a wake up between 1-2 in the morning and again between 3-5.

But the last two nights I have had my own little miracle. i have worked clearing some brush during the day. I would start my process with building a fire and raking out an area. Whacking down everything that didn't rake up. Picking up old dead wood and burning that. I dare say that I overdid. Both days I could barely breath. My back hurt so badly that sitting down or standing up took some planning and a bit of courage. The good part was that I went to bed and I SLEPT! There's was no one o'clock wake up. There was no three o'clock wake up and when I woke up I actually felt awake! I was alert and the brain was in the totally upright working position, ready to go! It was so different. It was like some little part in me had gotten to heal up a little.

I just feel so much better!


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