Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bedtime Boot Camp by Diane LeBleu

“I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.” - Mark Twain

I was in my oncologist’s office last week for my first post-chemo follow-up and we were discussing the side effects of Tamoxifen, the medicine I will take for the next several years as ajuvant therapy in hopes of keeping breast cancer away. She explained that one of the side effects can be hot flashes.

“If they get unbearable, there are a number of things we can try,” she explained.

“What’s unbearable?” I queried.

“If it interrupts your sleep and you cannot get a good night’s rest.”

“Doctor, I haven’t had a good night’s rest since Caroline was born three years ago.”

Not that Caroline has been a terribly bad sleeper, just inconsistent, and with three other children in the house, it has been a rare occasion that they have all been sleeping well without some illness, nightmare, sleepwalking, or other nocturnal waking to disrupt night. It’s like your golf game – there is never a time when all aspects of your game are on – if you’re driving like a pro, then your putting stinks. If your short game is hot, then your approach shot ends up in all types of hazards. Thus is the landscape of the LeBleu home after the sun goes down every night.

I never know who is going to end up where by the time I am rousing the children in the morning for school. Here is the latest in our nocturnally dysfunctional home:

Danielle sleeps on the couch in the living room – there is too much crap on her bed for her to sleep. She has a full-size bed.

Travis sleeps in the hallway instead of his very comfortable full size bed, replete with memory foam that he HAD TO HAVE. He is such a mama’s boy that he can’t bear to be far away from me. Far away, that is his room that is directly across the hall from us. The carpet is so nasty, I have to check his head every morning for vermin.

Sabrina is now sleeping in her new twin-size bed down the hall from us. The other bed is empty awaiting Caroline’s arrival (see next note). When Sabrina shows up at my bed once or twice a night, we have to step over Travis to get her back to her room.

Caroline just turned three and has decided that enough is enough, she can climb out of her crib at night. She has not yet figured out that the rest of the family is upstairs. She wanders around aimlessly, crying, calling for Mommy. Danielle, asleep on the couch, is oblivious. I run downstairs and try to get her back to sleep – slipping into the queen-size bed that is already in her room. This will be Danielle’s new room once Caroline vacates it. More room for more crap.
Why have I not put Caroline and Sabrina in the same room yet? Because I laughingly believe that I will get less sleep – trying to get them to settle in at nap time, at bed time, and in the middle of the night, when all they want to do is play when they are together.

Seems to me, we could get away with a two bedroom house these days – one for Tom and me and the other for the little girls. Danielle and Travis bunk in the common areas. Why do we maintain such a big home? So I can get my work-out without paying expensive gym dues, I reckon. Down the hall, down the stairs, up the stairs, back in bed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I’m not complaining, mind you, it is great for maintaining a 24-hour calorie-burning metabolism and since I’m having all these hot-flashes, who can get any rest anyway?

1 comment:

Meg Austen said...

Loved your blog! Thanks for sharing.

Speaking of unbearable hot flashes. It is a little more involved than simply not being able to sleep through the night. Got the tshirt for that one already.

Unbearable means breaking out in a profuse sweat every five minutes till you get dizzy from dehydration. It means waking up at night, all night long, first from the all over weird pain that wakes you from a dead sleep, and leaves you staring at the ceiling as you wait for the sweating to begin. Because you learned over time that only the sweating will cause the weird pain to end. You contemplate removing your blanket now, since you've finally gotten past the near shivering from the cold and are getting comfortable again, but realize you're still too cold to remove your fleece blanket (even in the summer!). Finally, the sweat begins to emerge from your pores, and you swear you can feel each drop being pressed from your flesh, and immediately, you MUST remove the blanket and get it away from your skin, as it is too hot. You chase the dogs away. They are too hot, you are too hot, too hot, too hotttttttt!!! And then, the sweating stops-- you mop the sweat from your body-- pull the fleece blanket back over you since you are already starting to get cold, and roll over to fall back asleep.

It's fun.

I've found several herbs do help.