<data:blog.pageTitle/>

This Page

has moved to a new address:

http://crumpetsandbollocks.com

Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Crumpets and Bollocks: Sleep Deprivation Sucks

Sleep Deprivation Sucks

I'm finally sharing some of the story that lead to my current levels of crazy I hide from all of you, and this is only a glimpse. In order to tell the whole story, I'd have to write a memoir. That might happen some day. Might. It's a lot of skeletons. But here's this...

The Sandman likes to skip my house as if I have smeared the butter of dead cattle over my doorway to let him know to Passover my house like a story from Genesis. Sleep deprivation is not for the faint of heart. It’s not really for the strong, determined type either. In fact, it’s like having lice that carry the swine flu, like it’s just not good all the way around.

Being tired and falling asleep was the easiest task in the world for me to do. I’d fall asleep by accident at work, especially when doing brainless tasks like putting postage stamps on 300 Receivables, where I wake up somewhere around 150 and find half the stamps were placed dead center of the envelope. Or in school, I’d be taking notes, and I’d wake up to see I had written, “The psychosexual stages are comprised of…” and then the text would get really small and almost illegible, “bat wings and Mark’s accounting entries for the soufflé.” This was me being healthy with sleep.

For most of my life, I was, overall, in a sleep heaven. That was until I had kids. People think the concept of “sleeping in” is the luxury, but parents know, the concept of falling asleep in the first place is the luxury.

For many years of my life, I was the walking dead. My natural state was a state of panic-laced confusion 30IQ points shy of normal cognitive functioning. Other symptoms of sleep deprivation, for me at least, included lack of depth perception, short term memory loss Dory level, weight loss, migraines, and it made whatever crazy that ails me much, much worse.

When sleep deprived, it takes ten times longer to accomplish something, from brushing your teeth to doing the dishes. The number ten totally came out of my brain from nowhere, so don’t assume that’s a real statistic because it’s an under-exaggerated hyperbole. While sleep deprived, your most brilliant ideas to solve your problems are generally irrational, make-the-situation-worse, stupidest ideas that make the village drunk look like the village elder. The irritability would hurt people if only you had the energy. The anxiety is like having a thousand raging hormonal teenagers inside your body ready to burst out in the form of tears and hair loss over the toilet paper someone threw on the floor next to the toilet.

I did drive under the influence of sleep deprivation, a lot more than I should have. At my worst, one time I was in the McDonald’s drive thru, and I was stopped in between window number one and window number two. Traffic slowly moved up, and I slowly, at like 1mph, inched toward the window number two, and my daughter, 6 years old at the time, screamed, “Mommy look out!” I damn near drove into the brick building at 1 mph. I didn’t see it. A huge brick building 3 inches in front of my face. It came out of nowhere. Depth perception is something you use a lot more than you realize.

My symptoms were probably worse than what most people experience because my sleep deprivation was much worse than what most experience. I did do that whole normal mom syndrome thing: the newborn needing to eat every 2 hours while trying to maintain a house and cook meals. That was followed with two more newborns, which it’s totally a different game having a baby eat that often while caring for toddlers at the same time, all kids in diapers. That in of itself is enough to put some people on suicide watch at the local funny farm.

Sleep deprivation takes on a whole new meaning when you are sleep deprived, not because you can’t fall asleep, but because the world around you just won’t let you because the world around you, too, is sleep deprived, lost in a hyper-confused, irritable state of mind.

My oldest child is on the autism spectrum, and with that came sleep issues. It was like her body operated on a 30 hour day instead of a 24 hour one, so we cycled where some days she slept for most of the night, and others, she didn’t sleep at all at night, and all the nights in between, she slept some funky hours, nothing consistent enough to schedule one’s life around.

Then my youngest daughter is allergic to milk and soy. For the first 2 years of her life with doctors refusing to test for allergies, she was covered in a blood-drawing itchy rash on her arms and legs. As if the itching wasn’t enough to keep her awake at night, the antihistamines doctors pushed on us somehow added to the hyperactivity she faced during O dark 30.

For the first 3 years of my life as a mother, I slept like most moms thinking there was a light at the end of the tunnel to find out the tunnel is a donut with no beginning or end. I slept on average 2 to 6 hours a night, non-consecutive. That word, non-consecutive means I got 2 to 6 hours of sleep with 15 minutes here, 45 minutes there.

The next two years of my life as a mother, I only napped at the husband’s mercy (and he didn’t have much mercy for me). The youngest would fall asleep about 9PM like a normal kid. The oldest child had a hard time falling asleep at this point with her autism, making the middle kid follow her lead, so they’d finally clonk out at midnight. The baby would then wake up soon after, hyper, ready to tackle a day between the itching and antihistamines. She’d finally fall back asleep around 6 AM. At 7AM, I’d wake all of them up to send one kid to school.

There were phases where it got much worse. At one point, someone called CPS on the baby’s rash among other things that made no sense, like they complained that my husband was a college student. Yes that’s horrible. Everyone call CPS if you know any college students who procreated. While I’ve discovered the real reason since this moment, including politics surrounding the situation (family members arguing with CPS supervisors on a professional level), the reason the CPS investigators gave me for opening a safety plan at the time was that my child was eating popcorn, and popcorn is a choking hazard. I am not making this up. While I’m totally embarrassed CPS ever showed up at my door, I can’t help but to laugh at the desperate stupidity of the investigators to open a case on me. On paper, the reason was because my kid has autism, and I don’t hit my kids. Only I would have CPS open a safety plan on me because I don’t hit my kids.

The two months CPS was in my life and the two months I attempted to have a real job, I literally did not sleep. I would go 3 to 5 days straight with no sleep, to sleep 4 to 8 hours before going another 3 to 5 days straight. When I wasn’t sleeping, I operated balls to the wall full throttle, running to chase kids, bouncing off the trampoline to get the blanky and back to the dishes, doing some Jet Li stunt to get a kid out of the space between the sofa and the wall… I didn’t think that was humanly possible, but I can tell you it is. I did it. I pushed pass the pain like any good soldier and carried on.

Why would CPS make me lose sleep? I had to keep the house immaculate for them while taking care of a baby and 2 toddlers, one of which had a hyperactive, super-destructive autism complete with meltdowns that would tip trash cans and book shelves, a table, dumped toy bins, all at once in a matter of 15 seconds. I have white carpet, so I had to shampoo it every other day to keep it looking not-so-disgusting. Everything was in reach of the children, including dirty and clean laundry, which often ended up in a pile covered in juice and shredded cheddar often putting me at square one, again, with laundry. It was almost like a weekly ritual for the kids where I imagined them dancing around it like Indians praying for rain around a bon fire.

And I was alone. My husband was like a 4th kid. My mother was lost in taking care of my sister’s kids. My sister wouldn’t watch my kids because she was too busy not having her kids to want to take mine.

In 2 months, I lost over 80 pounds. I had migraines every day, and not just little ones, show stopping, vomit inducing, someone shoot me in the head and end the pain, migraines. I am now terrified of housework from this period in my life.  I just don’t want to be that girl again, the one laying on the floor with dripping wet soapy scrubbers in her hand huddled over a trash can throwing up while kids were screaming and hair pulling over a toy 3 feet in front of me.

And the worst part of all my sleep deprivation, nobody cared. Nobody. It’s impossible for someone who is well rested to empathize at all with someone who is not. They think you make it up. That you are exaggerating in hyperbole that you didn't sleep last night. In fact, they’ll insult you by saying, “I didn’t sleep at all last night either, like I got up 3 times in the middle of the night.” Bitch if you got up, you went to sleep you don’t get to claim not sleeping at all. I didn't sleep at all because I never laid down in the first place to get up.
People don’t want to help, so they use any and all logic in their stupid minds to justify not helping, no matter how desperate the logic sounds, and they do this to avoid admitting to being an a-hole. It would really just be easier if when I call you and ask, “Can you watch my kids for a few hours on Tuesday so I can sleep that week?” if you just say, “I know it sucks to be you, but I am too busy with my happy, well-rested life to really care about yours, so no. I’m just a dick. Sorry.” That’s so much better than, “Yeah, sure, any time,” and then disappear from the planet come Tuesday, followed by 3 months later, “But I have offered to help you and you refuse to take it.” The passive aggressive latter is really an aggressive kick to the face while I’m already down.

The only thing to get me through this dark period of loneliness, overwhelming work load and insanity, besides God, was the internet. Mommy blogs became my daily inspiration to laugh things off and embrace the chaos. The friends I made online, scattered throughout the world, including other planets whether they are aliens or delusional, have been a Godsend to me. They let me bitch and gripe about the daily grind offering encouraging words of support and cyber hugs. Someone, somewhere, over the rainbow, out there beneath the pale moonlight, cares. Knowing that means a lot when you are down. Then I started blogging, a sign that things are turning around and I am slowly healing.

I had to wake up from not sleeping in order to sleep again. I had to solve my own problems and take charge of my own health. Like teaching my children to walk and pee in the potty, I’m slowly taking baby steps toward embracing this new life I brought into this world. I’m sleeping regularly now with the help of my inner bitch and sleeping pills, and I’m currently battling the past that haunts me. While things look overwhelming still, and the no solution problem of keeping up with the kids while maintaining my own personal health at the same time seems, still, a no solution, I at least am well rested enough to take on these days with a clearer mind. For instance, next time someone calls CPS on me. I’m just going to be like, “We don’t live here. No this mess? Really? You think I would let my kids live in a messy house at all? This place belongs to my evil twin. No we live with my mom in her immaculately clean house where we don’t eat any popcorn or go to college whatsoever.”

To the sleep deprived in the world out there, I want to say, Laugh it off. Laughter is the best medicine. Now stop reading this and go to bed.

  

Labels: , , , , ,

Crumpets and Bollocks: Sleep Deprivation Sucks

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sleep Deprivation Sucks

I'm finally sharing some of the story that lead to my current levels of crazy I hide from all of you, and this is only a glimpse. In order to tell the whole story, I'd have to write a memoir. That might happen some day. Might. It's a lot of skeletons. But here's this...

The Sandman likes to skip my house as if I have smeared the butter of dead cattle over my doorway to let him know to Passover my house like a story from Genesis. Sleep deprivation is not for the faint of heart. It’s not really for the strong, determined type either. In fact, it’s like having lice that carry the swine flu, like it’s just not good all the way around.

Being tired and falling asleep was the easiest task in the world for me to do. I’d fall asleep by accident at work, especially when doing brainless tasks like putting postage stamps on 300 Receivables, where I wake up somewhere around 150 and find half the stamps were placed dead center of the envelope. Or in school, I’d be taking notes, and I’d wake up to see I had written, “The psychosexual stages are comprised of…” and then the text would get really small and almost illegible, “bat wings and Mark’s accounting entries for the soufflé.” This was me being healthy with sleep.

For most of my life, I was, overall, in a sleep heaven. That was until I had kids. People think the concept of “sleeping in” is the luxury, but parents know, the concept of falling asleep in the first place is the luxury.

For many years of my life, I was the walking dead. My natural state was a state of panic-laced confusion 30IQ points shy of normal cognitive functioning. Other symptoms of sleep deprivation, for me at least, included lack of depth perception, short term memory loss Dory level, weight loss, migraines, and it made whatever crazy that ails me much, much worse.

When sleep deprived, it takes ten times longer to accomplish something, from brushing your teeth to doing the dishes. The number ten totally came out of my brain from nowhere, so don’t assume that’s a real statistic because it’s an under-exaggerated hyperbole. While sleep deprived, your most brilliant ideas to solve your problems are generally irrational, make-the-situation-worse, stupidest ideas that make the village drunk look like the village elder. The irritability would hurt people if only you had the energy. The anxiety is like having a thousand raging hormonal teenagers inside your body ready to burst out in the form of tears and hair loss over the toilet paper someone threw on the floor next to the toilet.

I did drive under the influence of sleep deprivation, a lot more than I should have. At my worst, one time I was in the McDonald’s drive thru, and I was stopped in between window number one and window number two. Traffic slowly moved up, and I slowly, at like 1mph, inched toward the window number two, and my daughter, 6 years old at the time, screamed, “Mommy look out!” I damn near drove into the brick building at 1 mph. I didn’t see it. A huge brick building 3 inches in front of my face. It came out of nowhere. Depth perception is something you use a lot more than you realize.

My symptoms were probably worse than what most people experience because my sleep deprivation was much worse than what most experience. I did do that whole normal mom syndrome thing: the newborn needing to eat every 2 hours while trying to maintain a house and cook meals. That was followed with two more newborns, which it’s totally a different game having a baby eat that often while caring for toddlers at the same time, all kids in diapers. That in of itself is enough to put some people on suicide watch at the local funny farm.

Sleep deprivation takes on a whole new meaning when you are sleep deprived, not because you can’t fall asleep, but because the world around you just won’t let you because the world around you, too, is sleep deprived, lost in a hyper-confused, irritable state of mind.

My oldest child is on the autism spectrum, and with that came sleep issues. It was like her body operated on a 30 hour day instead of a 24 hour one, so we cycled where some days she slept for most of the night, and others, she didn’t sleep at all at night, and all the nights in between, she slept some funky hours, nothing consistent enough to schedule one’s life around.

Then my youngest daughter is allergic to milk and soy. For the first 2 years of her life with doctors refusing to test for allergies, she was covered in a blood-drawing itchy rash on her arms and legs. As if the itching wasn’t enough to keep her awake at night, the antihistamines doctors pushed on us somehow added to the hyperactivity she faced during O dark 30.

For the first 3 years of my life as a mother, I slept like most moms thinking there was a light at the end of the tunnel to find out the tunnel is a donut with no beginning or end. I slept on average 2 to 6 hours a night, non-consecutive. That word, non-consecutive means I got 2 to 6 hours of sleep with 15 minutes here, 45 minutes there.

The next two years of my life as a mother, I only napped at the husband’s mercy (and he didn’t have much mercy for me). The youngest would fall asleep about 9PM like a normal kid. The oldest child had a hard time falling asleep at this point with her autism, making the middle kid follow her lead, so they’d finally clonk out at midnight. The baby would then wake up soon after, hyper, ready to tackle a day between the itching and antihistamines. She’d finally fall back asleep around 6 AM. At 7AM, I’d wake all of them up to send one kid to school.

There were phases where it got much worse. At one point, someone called CPS on the baby’s rash among other things that made no sense, like they complained that my husband was a college student. Yes that’s horrible. Everyone call CPS if you know any college students who procreated. While I’ve discovered the real reason since this moment, including politics surrounding the situation (family members arguing with CPS supervisors on a professional level), the reason the CPS investigators gave me for opening a safety plan at the time was that my child was eating popcorn, and popcorn is a choking hazard. I am not making this up. While I’m totally embarrassed CPS ever showed up at my door, I can’t help but to laugh at the desperate stupidity of the investigators to open a case on me. On paper, the reason was because my kid has autism, and I don’t hit my kids. Only I would have CPS open a safety plan on me because I don’t hit my kids.

The two months CPS was in my life and the two months I attempted to have a real job, I literally did not sleep. I would go 3 to 5 days straight with no sleep, to sleep 4 to 8 hours before going another 3 to 5 days straight. When I wasn’t sleeping, I operated balls to the wall full throttle, running to chase kids, bouncing off the trampoline to get the blanky and back to the dishes, doing some Jet Li stunt to get a kid out of the space between the sofa and the wall… I didn’t think that was humanly possible, but I can tell you it is. I did it. I pushed pass the pain like any good soldier and carried on.

Why would CPS make me lose sleep? I had to keep the house immaculate for them while taking care of a baby and 2 toddlers, one of which had a hyperactive, super-destructive autism complete with meltdowns that would tip trash cans and book shelves, a table, dumped toy bins, all at once in a matter of 15 seconds. I have white carpet, so I had to shampoo it every other day to keep it looking not-so-disgusting. Everything was in reach of the children, including dirty and clean laundry, which often ended up in a pile covered in juice and shredded cheddar often putting me at square one, again, with laundry. It was almost like a weekly ritual for the kids where I imagined them dancing around it like Indians praying for rain around a bon fire.

And I was alone. My husband was like a 4th kid. My mother was lost in taking care of my sister’s kids. My sister wouldn’t watch my kids because she was too busy not having her kids to want to take mine.

In 2 months, I lost over 80 pounds. I had migraines every day, and not just little ones, show stopping, vomit inducing, someone shoot me in the head and end the pain, migraines. I am now terrified of housework from this period in my life.  I just don’t want to be that girl again, the one laying on the floor with dripping wet soapy scrubbers in her hand huddled over a trash can throwing up while kids were screaming and hair pulling over a toy 3 feet in front of me.

And the worst part of all my sleep deprivation, nobody cared. Nobody. It’s impossible for someone who is well rested to empathize at all with someone who is not. They think you make it up. That you are exaggerating in hyperbole that you didn't sleep last night. In fact, they’ll insult you by saying, “I didn’t sleep at all last night either, like I got up 3 times in the middle of the night.” Bitch if you got up, you went to sleep you don’t get to claim not sleeping at all. I didn't sleep at all because I never laid down in the first place to get up.
People don’t want to help, so they use any and all logic in their stupid minds to justify not helping, no matter how desperate the logic sounds, and they do this to avoid admitting to being an a-hole. It would really just be easier if when I call you and ask, “Can you watch my kids for a few hours on Tuesday so I can sleep that week?” if you just say, “I know it sucks to be you, but I am too busy with my happy, well-rested life to really care about yours, so no. I’m just a dick. Sorry.” That’s so much better than, “Yeah, sure, any time,” and then disappear from the planet come Tuesday, followed by 3 months later, “But I have offered to help you and you refuse to take it.” The passive aggressive latter is really an aggressive kick to the face while I’m already down.

The only thing to get me through this dark period of loneliness, overwhelming work load and insanity, besides God, was the internet. Mommy blogs became my daily inspiration to laugh things off and embrace the chaos. The friends I made online, scattered throughout the world, including other planets whether they are aliens or delusional, have been a Godsend to me. They let me bitch and gripe about the daily grind offering encouraging words of support and cyber hugs. Someone, somewhere, over the rainbow, out there beneath the pale moonlight, cares. Knowing that means a lot when you are down. Then I started blogging, a sign that things are turning around and I am slowly healing.

I had to wake up from not sleeping in order to sleep again. I had to solve my own problems and take charge of my own health. Like teaching my children to walk and pee in the potty, I’m slowly taking baby steps toward embracing this new life I brought into this world. I’m sleeping regularly now with the help of my inner bitch and sleeping pills, and I’m currently battling the past that haunts me. While things look overwhelming still, and the no solution problem of keeping up with the kids while maintaining my own personal health at the same time seems, still, a no solution, I at least am well rested enough to take on these days with a clearer mind. For instance, next time someone calls CPS on me. I’m just going to be like, “We don’t live here. No this mess? Really? You think I would let my kids live in a messy house at all? This place belongs to my evil twin. No we live with my mom in her immaculately clean house where we don’t eat any popcorn or go to college whatsoever.”

To the sleep deprived in the world out there, I want to say, Laugh it off. Laughter is the best medicine. Now stop reading this and go to bed.

  

Labels: , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home