Saturday, 21 November 2009

Randumb thots from the middle of the night

For as long as I can remember, I've had trouble falling asleep. Not staying asleep (that's a more recent problem, and yes the CPAP is helping with that), but getting to sleep. Although no amount of coffee or sugar necessarily gave me trouble when I wanted to take a nap. Which was (and is) often.

And all my life people have tried to convince me that I wouldn't have so much trouble falling asleep at night if I didn't take naps in the afternoon. And I bought it.

Except in grad school, which for various reasons was easy to manage a diurnal, not to say crepuscular, kind of schedule, when it became clear, admittedly with the increase in caffeine intake, to simply admit that sleeping when I could was easier than trying to sleep only when I should.

But then when I wasn't a student anymore, the old guilt came back, and I tried to convince myself that it was the caffeine and 'sleep hygeine'.

I'm here to say it's all a load of crap.

Take tonight for instance. I fought, and I mean fought, to stay awake this afternoon. I even went for a lie down but felt so guilty about it that I forced myself up. I couldn't get any work done because I couldn't see straight enough to read anything, let alone write much. The day, and the evening, was a total waste of time and effort.

So about 7:30 pm I decided that if I made it to about 9, I could go to bed without guilt. Of course I didn't. I made it until about 10:30 before I actually made it to bed. And I finished a crossword puzzle and turned out the light and tried to go to sleep.

And nothing happened.

I did deep breathing. I told myself a long boring story. I practiced (or tried to practice) śavāsana (corpse pose) which is actually quite relaxing in the that you have to force yourself to lie still, breathe regularly and clear your mind.

Nothing. No yawning, no drifting, no sleep.

It's now after 2am, and I'm completely knackered. I can barely keep my eyes open. I feel logy and sluggish. But do I feel sleepy? Not in the least. Do I feel that a nice relaxing lie down would do me any good? I do not.

I feel like I used to feel after an earthquake. Not exactly nervous, or jittery, but with enough adrenaline pumping that sleep is simply not an option.

I recognize this feeling. It's probably part of the depression/anxiety thing, but knowing that doesn't make it any easier to cope with. I will probably finally drift off about 5am, and if I'm lucky I'll wake up before noon. I will get up, have some 'brunch' some coffee and try to start my day, but by about 3pm, I'll need a nap. And if I take a nap, I won't be able to get to sleep tomorrow night. But, as I know, if I don't take a nap, i won't be able to sleep anyway. So I vote for the nap. I vote for the nap I should have taken this afternoon, when I really, really wanted to.

I'm now at war with myself. THe "sleep when you can" voice is whispering to me over my left shoulder. The "sleep when you should" voice is whispering to me over my right. I know I should sleep when I should. I've done the research. I've been through the therapy. I should go to bed at a regular time, with a relaxing ritual involving putting the day away, artificially raising my body temperature, and going to sleep in a cool, dark, quiety room. I should get up at a regular time, every day.

But I never have, and I don't expect I ever will. Unless that time is 10am, and the regular going to sleep time is 4am, and there's a 3-hour nap in the afternoon. And Life won't accept that schedule, so I'm stuck.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Discomfort and sensibility

Too Much Information alert.

Okay, the wrist thing, whatever it was, cleared up after about two weeks. Just in time to not see my doctor, but whatever.

Meantime, I've developed a serious rash on my left instep. Actually, it started as just an itch, but I was scrubbing my feet with a new fake pumice thing and decided to go at the itch with the smoother side. Mistake. Took off a layer of skin. So it oozed and eventually scabbed over, but then I had to wear shoes for a ocuple of days in a row and it opened up again. So now I'm back to barefoot and trying to keep it that way.

The big news, injurywise is that just about a week ago, after a particularly productive Sunday followed by some celebrating on the town, I decided to boil some water to help clear my bathroom sink drain. But on the way it sloshed over and scalded my hand.

In case you're wondering, icing your hand with a hunk of frozen lasagne is not as much fun as you might think.

So no sleep to speak of Sunday night. The pain eventually subsided on Monday although of course it was sensitive to temperature and very tender for a couple of days. Then on Thursday it was feeling a little better, except that every time my hand dropped and swung, like while walking, the burn started to throb. So I spent most of Thursday with my hand above heart level. And my foot oozing into the bandage I was wearing under my sock.

So starting Thursday evening, I've been barefoot, the better to dry and scab over my rash, and trying not to reinjure my hand. Today I woke up and the burn was itchy, and had some peeling patches. And I've spent the day trying not to scratch or pick at the peels. But I've probably exposed aboug 2/3 of the burned area with only the worst part (and most discolo(u)red) still unpeeled.

It's sort of interesting how pink and shiny skin is underneath the peely bits.

But now I'm mostly out of food, so tomorrow I'll have to try to get to the grocery store or something. We'll see how the foot handles that.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Adventures with isoamyl acetate

It doesn't take knowing me too long to learn of my obsession with fake banana flavo(u)r. Isoamyl acetate (banana oil) is the principal component of real banana flavo(u)r and commonly used in fake banana flavo(u)ring.

I love fake banana. I wish bananas tasted like fake banana.

So imagine my delight as I discovered banana-flavo(u)red Tootsie® Pops and even banana Tootsie® Rolls.

Okay, I'm not a fan of Tootsie Rolls in general, being fond of keeping my fillings, and 'flavo(u)red' TRs for holidays are often less than stellar. Now, truth be told, the banana TRs are pretty much what you would expect. Pale yellow, smelling and tasting faintly of fake banana. But if you love fake banana, it's a satisfying chew.

I read a review of banana Tootsie Pops that wasn't so good (I didn't save the URL), but the author admitted to not liking fake banana flavo(u)r to begin with. The dark yellow candy was a little confusing, and the flavo(u)r could have been a little stronger, but it was wonderful. And when you crunch through to get at the fake chocolate in the Tootsie Roll center...sublime!

So I snagged another one out of the bowl that I found it (it was after Halloween, after all) and have saved it for when I need a pick up. It stares at me every time I head out the door, from the shelf where I keep all my stuff for heading out the door. It's been five or six days, depending on how you count, and so far so good.