Friday, September 16, 2011

Catching up

It's amazing how little free time you have when you actually feel like living your life. I am actually able to keep busy all day long so well that I even get tired at a reasonable hour. I can't fall asleep without chemical assistance, but my rear is propelled in the direction of the medicine cabinet long before 2am, which is where I was at a week and a half ago.

There is not much to report in general, though. Little things that all people do that I haven't felt like doing before now.

A trip to a kitchen store nearby filled from floor to ceiling with every wonderful thing you could imagine you might need for cooking and baking, and then some things you didn't even know you needed until you went there. I got the girls out the door and on the way to the store by 10:30 in the morning a few days ago. That is nothing short of miraculous. I decided not to look up directions (not all streets go where you expect them to here, but it's impossible to get lost in this city with the grid system), took several turns that ended up being bad ideas, and didn't come close to panicking. It was fun. Things like that have always been fun. I just forgot.

We didn't stay long. Twenty minutes in the car, two antsy toddlers, and lots of knives are not a good combination.

We went to the park yesterday. For fun. The girls did not beg or plead. It sounded fun, so I got them dressed, and we walked over.

There was a lady there with a boy a little younger than Emmy. She spoke no English. I think it was Serbian, but I'm not sure. I remember a few phrases that the cleaning crew people taught me from my waitressing days, but I didn't think it would be so awesome if I tried the wrong but related language with her and instead of, "Hi, how are you?" said, "Hi, you smell like poo."

The Child went down the long slide by herself several times. She also climbed the mini rock wall and walked down the steps that look like a series of descending stools. The potential for falling in either case is very high. The last time she went, and I suggested it, she back away slowly while fearfully whimpering.

I think Emmy might be ready to potty train soonish. Yeah. Yeah, I know. HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE. She's more defiant, but she also lacks all the fear that made it so difficult with Grace. Once she's a bit better at following commands, I think we can do it.

Every time I change her or check her, as soon as I unsnap her diaper, she says, "WOW!" like I just opened a Christmas present for her. Yes. Merry Christmas, here's the worst present ever.

The weather is getting cooler. I... don't mind. How bizarre is that? This is the first fall in ages where the sinking feeling hasn't started sometime around the end of August.

It helps that fall in Utah (so far) means cooler weather, but not days and days of heavy, boring clouds. It's in the 70s and sunny most days recently, which is perfect for getting the kids out of the house and into the sun for some good vitamin D.

Our house has still not sold, but we have accepted an offer from a lady pending the sale of her own home. And she has accepted an offer on her house, pending financing. So we'll see. It's not a sure thing. I'm not going to allow myself to be excited until papers are signed, but I'm not worried anymore, either.

I think that's all that's happened recently. It has been a wonderful summer full of just living and doing normal things and enjoying a sort of peaceful contentment. I can't remember a summer like this in a long time. My overwhelming emotion for several months now has been gratitude. God has always been very good to me--to us--, but this year it has been in very obvious, tangible ways. I am soaking it all in and committing it to memory now before winter hits, and I get grouchy and irritable again.

But who knows? That might not happen this year.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Holy Cows

My goodness. Three nights of real sleep, and I feel amazing. I'm starting to think all my issues were a result of sleep deprivation. Now I'm hoping that my thyroid levels come back normal. I've lost like two pounds since I started taking the Ambien, and my heart doesn't sink down into my toes when my kids wake up in the morning, and I don't feel like snapping everyone's heads off with my bare hands just for existing, and I want to write love sonnets to that nurse practitioner.

I knew my sleep was bad, but it must have been even worse than I'd realized. Each night I've taken the Ambien, I've woken up between 5 and 6 for some strange reason and haven't been able to get back to sleep for quite a while. But I still get up in the morning rested and ready to go.

Some people are anti-drug because they're not natural, because God didn't make them. Well, I say that God made people with gigantic brains who grow up to be scientists who create amazing things like Ambien. I know it's not a great drug for everyone, but so far it's been wonderful for me. No weird behavior, no insane dreams (well, no more than I normally have), no hangover in the morning or new appendages. It's great if you don't want to ingest chemicals and drugs; we attempt the same rather half-heartedly, within our limited budget and lack of gardening space. I've tried all the natural remedies for insomnia, and all of them have failed.

I'm not actually directing this at any of you; it's been certain other people in my life who kind of look down on others who turn to chemicals to sold these problems. Sometimes it's necessary, friends. Three days, and I'm already a new person (actually, I was a new person on the first day). I wasn't depressed, but I was definitely not right. I'm still a bit nervous, but only when I'm with people I don't know very well. I don't feel like something is hanging over me.

Alas, I know that some people can develop a tolerance to Ambien. One of my Facebook friends suggested... L-thiamine? I-thiamine? I'm not sure which. I'm too lazy to go check. Does anyone know anything about this? I don't know what I'll do if I go back to the horrible no sleeping thing, so I'd like to have some backups in place.

Anyway, this is today's PSA: Never underestimate the power of sleep deprivation. The thing that makes it so evil is that you don't realize how badly it's affecting you until you're out of it. Wow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

There's a guy who's been awake since the second world war.

So, my sleep has been getting worse and worse and worse. It seems to be cyclical. It'll go a few days--weeks, even--where I get adequate sleep at night, and then deteriorate for a while until I'm going every single night on a few hours of broken sleep. Well, for most of my life, the bouts of bad insomnia were shorter and less frequent than the bouts of mild to nonexistent insomnia. Lately, though, I've had no relief. The last week, it's been about as bad as having a newborn. The cycle is no longer a cycle; it's a string of cursive e's descending a staircase into crazyland.

Proof that Utah is good for me: I'm anxious and tired and irritable, but still giddily happy. That probably doesn't sound possible, but it is. I don't have the gloom that usually accompanies sleep deprivation. But I am still losing my mind.

After Grace was born, the baby blues hit me mainly as anxiety. There was some weepiness and such, but it was mostly anxiety. It receded after the first wretched weeks, and then the same thing happened after Emmy was born. Only it didn't go away. It mostly went away, but it's always hovering. I constantly feel like there's something hanging over me (even when I can examine the contents of my brain and calendar and see that there's nothing to worry about). Something very small. Like a homework assignment. Or a library fine. I just figured it was part of having kids. That this intense bond I have with two tiny, needy little people just brings about constant nervousness. Seriously, it's the tiniest anxiety that every was. But it's exhausting.

And apparently it's not normal. Who knew?

So I went to the doctor today. Well, nurse practitioner, but I love her already. She reminds me very much of one of my OBs from Wisconsin, which is nice. I loved that place. First, she prescribed me some Ambien. Hallelujah! Then she had me fill out this questionnaire. You know, the one for mental health. "I feel sad or blue frequently." "I frequently feel irritable." "I feel like I can't do the things I used to be able to do." And then you rate them from 1-4. First thing she said after I gave it back was, "You are exhibiting classic symptoms of hypothyroidism." So it's possible I'm not just lazy. Maybe I really am legitimately tired, lethargic, and starving all of the time. It's like the trifecta of You're Never Going to Be in Shape Again, Sucker.

Speaking of which, I still work out. It still feels awesome. I will never quit, even if I never lose another pound. But it is discouraging to see no more results. So I'm actually hoping I have a thyroid disorder, or at least that the chronic insomnia is mimicking the same symptoms, and they will clear up once I get some more sleep. That would be amazing.

So, it's a ho-hum update, but maybe with some sleep, I'll be here more often again.