Chronicle of a Nearly Sleepless Night

My doctor thinks a big gnarly knotted muscle in my lower back is compressing one or more nerves. He put me on a 12-day prednisone pack to try to make everything calm the hell down back there. I asked him if I needed to know anything about prednisone and he said it would give me a lot of energy and it might make me sleepy. He did not suggest that my night might go like this:

Stay wide awake on the computer until past 1 in the morning. Decide to try for some sleep even though totally not tired. Check the locks, round up the cats, get in bed and read for a while. Turn off the light and curl up.

Hear a noise. Turn on the light. Change mind and turn off the light.

Creep to the window in the darkness. Peek through the blinds like a crazy old shut-in, searching for evidence of robbers, deer, or aliens. See none. Creep back to bed and curl up.

Turn on light. Toenail is snagging on bedsheets. Try and fail to pick at snag. Go downstairs for nail clippers. Clip snag. Notice open laundry closet door and momentarily freak out in case robbers, deer, or aliens have hidden inside. Realize that source of noise was cat accidentally shut in laundry closet before engineering ingenious escape. Close closet. Go upstairs. Turn off light.

Turn on light. Socks would probably help with falling asleep. Find and put on socks. Turn off light.

Turn on light. Socks may be on wrong feet. Adjust. Turn off light.

Turn on light. Legs are really freaking hairy. Marvel at growth. Consider counting moles on legs and arms and obsessing about whether any may be cancerous. Stop at twenty on right arm. Turn off light.

Turn on light. Hungry. Go downstairs for applesauce. Decide that playing Westward for a while can’t hurt. Get stumped on a task. Quit game. Go upstairs. Pee. Back in bed. Turn off light.

Decide pillows are probably at fault. Switch pillows.

Turn on light. Remember plans to loan Season 2 of The Office and iPod cable to coworker. Collect items and put near purse. Back in bed. Turn off light.

Turn on light. May as well finish Jennifer Weiner short story collection. Finish book. Think about rearranging bookshelves. Think about writing a post about how cool a person Jennifer Weiner seems to be in her interviews and book notes. Taunt cat with his own tail for a while. Turn off light.

Look at clock. Almost 5:00 in the morning. Think about in college when there was always someone awake to talk to at almost 5:00 in the morning. Wonder if tapping noise is from heating vent or freezing rain outside. Consider whether going to IHOP would be a bad idea. Think about writing a post about mostly sleepless night. Consider writing it all in one long paragraph so as to convey the seemingly endless feeling of it all. Make plans to spend outrageous advance on book deal arranged as a result of such genius thinking. Get up and walk around for a while. Decide to fall asleep if it results in death. Get back in bed with a damn mission. Toss and turn helplessly until after 6. Sleep solidly until just after 7, and doze fitfully until 8.

Get out of bed, get dressed, and go to work. Sit like a zombie with a weird simultaneous combination of exhaustion and wiredness. Write a post about it.

Comments 8

  • Brilliant. Mildly sad in its agony of experience, but brilliantly written.
    -cK

  • Somewhere several distractions before 5am i would have gone and hit the cough syrup… I am sick… but it would knock you out too…

  • I think I would have just repeatedly whacked myself in the head until I passed out. Hopefully this would have happened before 3 am. Much less painful than the old toss and turn.

  • Oh yes, the joys of the P word. I was on the stuff over the summer for what was a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE case of poison ivy. I had it like no one’s business. And I didn’t sleep for 10 days. Those steroids kept me up the entire time I was on them. So between the itching and the steroids keeping me, I managed to do in 10 days what it would take me 10 months to catch up on. Sometimes there is something to be said for a few sleepless nights. Good luck with the rest of it.

  • All of my appetites were triggered by prednisone. The only one I’ll confess to was hunger; I ate and ate like nobody’s business.

    It did knock out the lung infection I had, but it was a crazy time for a while…

    I do identify, Lorie, I truly do.

  • At least you’re more likely to sleep tonight. And look harder: I’ve seen aliens, you simply have to give it time…

    Sorry you’re wired, hope this passes soon.

  • What is it with the apperent imprint of the Alien on the single female psyche? Whenever I hear bumps in the night, I do a mental inventory of cats then dog and then think, “oh crap – Alien!” Because what else could it be? Seriously though, where did that come from?

  • ahahahaaha. some thoughts:

    1. that i’m jealous of you that you get doctor sanctioned wired-ness. what a fucking addict i am.

    2. that this sounds like some of the experiences of many of my ex-crackhead friends!

    3. that it goes to show why the big boys like the stuff. it helps them get the shit done. more power now!

    4. who needs sleep?

    5. it also sounds like the night of a manic-depressive in ‘manic’ mode.

    6. it’s so weird that some things meant to help us have these strange side effects that are seemingly kicking our ass.

    7. i hope it gets better.

    8. i never think ‘alien.’ maybe that’s because i am one.

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