It is tomorrow and I am still awake. I went to bed on Monday night and come Tuesday morning, I am still tossing and turning and far from sleep. ‘Sleep Hygiene’ they keep telling me until I want to tell them to shove their sleep hygiene where the sun don’t shine. Don’t read in bed. Don’t listen to the radio in bed (What, not even Radio 4? ‘No’ Spoilsports). Duly I go to bed ready to just fall into a wonderful oblivion but it’s not happening. I am hot. My arm itches where it was bitten by a random insect in the night. AND it’s my lymphoedema arm and if only my breast care nurse would get back in touch with me, she could give me some sterling advice about what to do. Meanwhile, after giving it 45 minutes, I creep downstairs as quietly as possible. This is made tricky by the fact that a) I do it in the dark b) Bunty likes to walk half a pace in front of me, in both brightly lit and darkened circumstances c) our house is over 100 years old and the stairs creak louder than my joints. Once downstairs, I sidle into the sitting room, hoping not to wake Dog. He is peacefully asleep, his head lolling out of his basket with not a care in the world. He sleeps with a clear conscience, a full belly and an empty bladder. I feel I have all those attributes, too, so why is sleep not choosing me to be on its team? I am tired. Lord knows, I am tired and my eyes are wanting to droop and close but that’s as far as it gets.
So the tomorrow that is now today sees me taking 2 sleeping tablets (see if you can spot when they kick in) and writing drivel on my blog in the hope it will send me off to a peaceful sleep where I will NOT dream about politicians (I had the most appalling dream last night where Michael Gove was very rude to me and I threatened I would ruin his career) but will sleep like a baby only without the nappies and breast feeding.The last two nights’ sleep have been fantastic due to strenuous daytime exercise but I can’t do that every day. Joints complain loudly when I want to stand up let alone do something athletic. One of the best reasons why Dragon Boating suits me is that it can be done whilst sitting. Yes, it’s strenuous work but it’s sitting down and this I like a lot and find it suits me.
Insomnia has dogged me since I finished a second bout of chemotherapy just before Christmas. Before that, even when worried or scared, I still slept. It was a refuge from the horrible things that were happening in the real world. Now the treatment has finished, I struggle far more to do something which I think I shouldn’t have to struggle with at all. Surrounded by 2 cats, a dog and a husband who can all fall asleep at the drop of a hat, this feels rather unfair. Mark has been known to start snoring on his way into bed and please let’s not go back to the ‘getting into bed’ debacle we had earlier in the year.
Another interesting quirk I discovered recently is one which we can all compare. When I have to turn round, say in the shower or to pick something up that is behind me, I find I have a definite predilection for turning anti-clockwise. Turning the other way makes me feel funny (or come over all unecessary as people used to say). In the spirit of late night quirkiness, I would invite you to check your own turning circle and report back. Surely I’m not a lone voice crying in the wilderness here? Answers on a postcard, please.