Wednesday, April 4, 2012
I had so much to do yesterday that I barely made it to eleven o'clock last night!
Doug had the day off, so he asked me to pick his mom up and take her to the hospital for the nine o'clock ICU time slot. I am not a morning person, but my husband deserves a day to sleep in. Tuesday is his only day that he doesn't have somewhere to be in the morning. Every other day, he has to be at work, and Sunday, he has to be at church to take care of the media during both morning services, which is four, almost five hours of work. I understand why he wants to sleep in. So, I agreed to go pick her up and take her to the hospital. Unfortunately, I got an entire half hour of sleep on Monday night, I rush out the door at 8:30 yesterday morning, original sized can of Starbucks Double Shot in one hand, and a bottle of vanilla frappucino in the other. I cranked up the music and sped off, downing the double shot as I go.
Since I'm a coffee addict, I'm not big on energy drinks. But, when I'm that tired, I'll break down and have a double shot. It's expresso and cream, not a carbonated drink loaded with taurine, ginseng, and God only knows what else. I used to drink an energy drink called BAWLS. It tasted like strong Sprite, and I could work out for hours if I had one before aerobics class, but they stopped making it, or perhaps they just don't sell it around here.
I arrive at my mnl's around 8:45. The first thing she asked is if I'm drinking an energy drink. No, not really. Then, she goes on to ask if those energy drinks are healthy and if Doug should be drinking them. I don't go there. I just say, "I don't know," because I'm tired, cranky, and manky, and if someone starts asking me a bunch of questions, it can get ugly. The subject gets dropped, and we get on interstate. I downed my frappy. We got there in ten minutes, and I dropped her at the door. I decided to go in and see my fnl. I was already there, I had several other things to do before I could go home, and I wanted to see how he was.
My mnl was talking with the nurse when I got up to the fourth floor. I walked into my fnl's room. Usually, he's covered up, including his hands, which are still restrained, and for good reason. If he could move his hands, he would pull the tubes out. He always waited until my mnl went to sleep, and he would pull his NG tube out. Chances are, he would pull his vent out too. Where he has dementia, and the fact that he used to be a small engine mechanic, once he pulls the tube out, he will try to work on it with imaginary tools, or he will connect it to the other things he pulls out or off of him. Then, of course, the nurses have to put the things back in, which he HATES, but you can't reason with him. Yesterday morning, his hands were uncovered, so I could see that his hands, his right hand anyway, was swollen. I spoke to him and told him I was there. He's still had his eyes shut, but he moved around.
Usually, I'm in there with my husband and my mnl, and I'm the one telling them to leave him alone and let him sleep, explaining that he might be in pain, he needs his rest, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to bother me if I was able to sleep through pain. I also stress the importance of not touching him or holding his hand very tightly due to swelling from IV fluids and dialysis. I don't touch him or get in his face, but my mnl insists on doing so. I say hello to him incase he's awake and he hears me, and I leave a few minutes early to let my mnl have the last ten minutes alone with him. Doug usually goes back to the ICU waiting area with me if he's there.
I stayed with him from 9:00 until 9:20, and I tell my mnl that it's 20 after nine, then I go to the ICU waiting area, giving her the last ten minutes of the half hour time slot. I checked my Facebook messages until she comes back. Then, we made our way to the cafeteria and sat down over a couple of cartons of Fat Free chocolate milk. I stayed until ten, then I left to run my errands. I made it home around eleven, and I was awake, so I sat down and got online for a bit. I transferred some files over from my book, then took a half hour nap. I was up to an entire hour of sleep.
I needed to pick up a tote bag for my mnl, so Doug and I went to the mall. I went to Old Navy and got her a lunch bag, and a small tote bag, and then, since I had birthday money, I perused the clearance aisle.
Seriously, I HATE SHOPPING. I am a hunter gatherer. I go to the store, buy what I'm there to purchase, hardly ever straying from the list, and I go home. Most guys would love that! My husband likes to look at things. I'm the one sitting there on the benches by the doors with all of the other husbands who are waiting on their wives to get their shopping finished. It's hilarious. They look at me like I'm crazy until they find out what my purpose there is. Like them, I am waiting on someone. That's the common denominator. Unlike them, the person I'm waiting for is in the electronics department.
Anyway, I find this shirt that I have been looking for in my size. I'm not an exact size. My shirts consist of XS, S, M, and a few L's. My jeans/dress pants consist of 3's, 4's 5's 6's, and S, or M. I have a few L's in those two, but mostly in my pajama pants. The baggier, the better. The shirt is a medium. I found a few more things, which took me a total for five minutes, and I go back to the fitting room and try them on. The shirt fits, that's the main thing I wanted. The jeans also fit. The tee shirt, which I found out was 49 cents, fit, and the other shirt fit. The two pairs of pants I found fit, but I didn't like the way they looked. I made my purchases, and we headed to Deb to peruse the clearance racks there. I knew they sometimes had totes for a good price, and I found a huge tote bag for cheap. I got it for my mnl too. So now she has two totes and a lunch bag, that way she can carry the things she needs with her while she's at the hospital.
Doug took me to eat a late lunch. At this point, I was starting to feel like I only slept for an hour, but I had a meeting to go to around seven. I stopped by the house to pick up the tiny laptop, and headed to the church. After the meeting was over, we went to visit my fnl.
My fnl was the same as he was before, eyes closed, unresponsive, and laying there in bed. My mnl talked to him and tried to wake him up, despite my protests. She said he squeezed her hand earlier and opened his eyes when she asked him to. Doug said hello, as did I, and I took a seat in the chair until the last ten minutes.
Once my mnl returned from the visit, we all head to the car. I leaned back and slept...UNTIL...Doug starts asking me where I want to go eat. That's when the sleep deprived rage came out. I'm nearly in tears as I tell him I really don't care. So he goes to Arby's, where we almost wreck into some red car, who is trying to back up, and we aren't even in the parking lot yet. To make matters worse, the red car pulls into the driveway. Doug pulls in behind him, and the red car tries to back up AGAIN! No sleep for me! We order the food, and we head home, hoping we don't run into anymore stupidity on the road.
I got home, ate half of my sandwich, and passed out on the couch. Doug and my mnl kept waking me up, so, the cranky version of me asks Doug to put me to bed. This was around eleven. He walks in with me, I change into my pajamas, run to the loo, and go to bed. I'm so tired I'm in tears. I lay down, laptop next to me, and sleep. Doug leaves to take his mom home.
For some odd reason, I wake up at midnight. I got on the computer for a few minutes. Doug came back home, surprised to see me awake. I looked at him and said, "I'm going to have a dekko at my book." He smiled and said, "Okay." He knew I was going to fall asleep with the laptop on my lap, fingers poised, ready to type. And he was right. I ended up laying my head on his shoulder, and that was it. I crashed into a deep and dreamless sleep. I'm guessing Doug had to put away the laptop, put it on charge. The next thing I know, Doug was taking me to the bathroom. I must have asked him to, and I was grasping for Tylenol in the dark. I asked him what time it was, and I think he said six, but I don't remember clearly enough. I took the Tylenol, my head was pounding, got a drink, and went back to bed. I remember Doug putting his arm around me, and then, it was one o'clock this afternoon.
I woke up. Doug was gone. There was a dull ache in my head. When I reached for my mobile phone and saw what time it was, I was shocked. I got twelve and a half hours of sleep, not counting the sleep I got in the car, and the sleep I got on the couch. I was shocked. I had set my alarm for eleven. My alarm tells me how much sleep I will get when I set it. Usually, it says something like, 4 hours and 21 minutes, or 6 hours and 1 minute. That's about what I average per night. I got double, almost triple, my average amount of sleep! It was like paradise!
Now before the lectures begin, I understand the importance of sleep. I understand it a great deal. I've done the research. The problem is I'm an insomniac workaholic perfectionist who is consumed by the book I'm working on. I've got until October of 2013. That is my goal for the first book. That's all the time I have. Is this an unrealistic goal? I don't think so. I've got 80% of the work done. I just need to finish the transfer, the editing, and rewrite some things from memory, and I do have an eidetic memory.
Here's the thing. A few days ago, I had this gut wrenching fear that just overtook me. I don't know if it was what somebody said, or what? It was just one of those things that made my heart stop. What if I fail? This thought came suddenly out of nowhere. What if I do all of this work and I fail? What if my dreams don't come true? Where the heck is this all coming from? I'm an excellent writer! I know this! I've written since I knew how to write! I have stories and poems and even books that I've written, I don't have them in my possession, but I wrote them! I was published in a church newsletter in 1998! The church didn't believe women had any business behind the pulpit, but even that preacher, who hated my guts, recognized that I was an excellent writer! He handed me the national newsletter and said, "Do you think you would be interested in writing for them?" I was floored! I said, "Absolutely." That was the only time that man ever told me he had confidence in me. If someone who didn't think very much of me as a person can recognize my talent, then why the heck can't I? *sighs* Maybe it's because I'm under stress, sleep deprived, exhausted, whatever the case may be. I don't know. Failure is not an option here!
If I'm good, why am I worried about failure? And, if it's not okay to fail here, why is it okay to fail in other areas of my life?
My other dream, most of you know, is med school. That's a thirteen year commitment, and it requires hard work, determination, dedication, and so much more. I have health issues. I'm not the healthiest person by any means. I'm a chronic migraine sufferer. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and I sort of have panic disorder. I say sort of because I used to have panic attacks all the time. I've had maybe three in 2011. (So far, in 2012, I came close to having one, but that was it.) I'm a perfectionist, I'm afraid of getting fat, and because of my OCD, I have some strange and irrational fears. Recently, I discovered that some of the odd fears I have are shared by many people. Sorry, I won't talk about it, but I will say that it's good that I'm not the only one. So you can see, I have so many reasons working against me.
People have asked me, "Are you sure you want to do this?" Yes, with all of my heart, I do. And there are people who have told me they don't think I can make it. A few of my friends are like, "We're definitely going to have to pray for you." I'm glad they will because I'm going to need it. I know I can make the grades. I can do the book work, the research, all of that. Those are my strong points. It's the rest of it I'm worried about. I've got to give it a try. I don't want to be sixty years old, looking back, wondering if I could have done it.
Despite having OCD and knowing I may very well not be able to handle it, someone told me not to let it stop me. She reminded me of the scrubs character, and said if he could do it, (even though he's not a real person) that I could. And I'm sure there are doctors out there with OCD. She has no idea how much it meant to me.
Bottom Line: I can't fail my first dream, because my second dream depends on it. Publish the books, get the money, go to med school. I can do this...
I think I need more sleep...