26 February 2010

Fighting Sleep, and Losing

How embarrassing.

Lately I keep catching myself dozing off during the day. No, wait, I don't catch myself dozing off; I catch myself waking up after I obviously dozed off, head nodding, jaw sagging, oh, sorry, was I snoring? It's bad enough when I'm by myself, just sitting with my laptop in the afternoon. It's mortifying when I'm with Scarecrow and Tuffy in the evening, reading a book or watching a movie. The other evening we were watching a Dr. Who DVD, the final episode of the season, and I woke up at the very end with no idea what happened. Audio books are a disaster. At least with a regular  book, if you fall asleep, you can pick up at the page where you left off. If you fall asleep when you're listening to an audio book, it just keeps right on going and figuring out where you were when you fell asleep is a real pain.

It's such a stereotypically old lady thing to do. I remember being impatient with my grandmother, or my dad, or my mom, when they'd fall asleep watching TV. Scarecrow's dad would fall asleep in the middle of a conversation, practically.

Digression: Scarecrow's dad used to teach at a junior college. When he had an evening class, it was his habit to curl up underneath his desk for a nap in the afternoon. Seriously. Scarecrow's dad could take a nap anywhere. Anyway, on one occasion, an instructor with whom he shared the office was meeting with a prospective student and his parents. As they discussed the merits of the program, they heard an assortment of waking-up noises and Scarecrow's dad emerged from underneath the desk. I love that story. End of digression.

I was such a little snot. There is painful poetic justice in finding myself doing the same thing that once provoked my scorn and ridicule.

It could be an MS thing. Lately I've been really stiff. Any movement entails serious isometrics. It's hard work, and it makes me tired. Maybe it's that. Or maybe it's just getting old. Either way, I don't like it. So, should I try to do something about it? If so, what?

Really, other than the old lady stereotype, what's the harm in falling asleep during the day? It's not like there's anything I particularly need to get done. Why do I need to stay awake, anyway? Mostly, during the day, I'm just trying to find ways to entertain myself. If I'm tired, maybe I should just sleep. That much less time to try and fill. Choosing this option seems kind of nutty, but I'm not sure I know why.

OK, if I don't want to doze off in my chair, what are my options?

The obvious thing to try would be to get more sleep, or better sleep, at night. My schedule here is pretty much tied to Scarecrow's since he has to dump me into bed at night, turn me over from time to time, and haul me out in the morning. I suppose we could give this some thought.

I could explore chemical options. I already take drugs for fatigue, stiffness, nerve pain, depression, and bladder control. After much fiddling, we've got the drugs and dosages balanced so that everything kind of works. Do I want to risk bringing down this house of cards to stay awake through Dr. Who?

Well, it was the last episode of season.


  1. LOL When I was on Zanaflex for spasticity, I would "fall asleep" during sci fi DVDs (yes, usually just sci fi) and heard every word, felt wide awake and the story was going on in my head until partner would wake me or I woke myself w/my own snoring! Then I would swear I had NOT been asleep and proceed to tell entire plot to partner, she loved my plot, but it wasn't the DVD plot. Riddle me that. Look, I live with lots of old people and there is not much napping going on. I need to stretch my back 30min about an hr after my spasticity med,amd sometimes, ok always doze off for an hour, but I used to get 8 hrs every day, now I must get up w/caregiver by 6am, so I am up at 5am, thereby getting extra workout time with them. So I NEED 2hrs and I pick it up. I don't feel sleepy or tired just look at it as medicine. That said, I relate to your angst---my mom came home from work and after coffee to bed until 7:30, I had been off school since 3pm, waiting to be with her, anyone, and I remember saying, "God, strike me dead if I ever nap like my mom." Luckily, God doesn't listen to 11 year olds.
    The "old folks" here put me to shame. My MS dictates I need naps; I must embrace that fact of my life. I am NOT lazy. I have MS. I am not bored. I have MS. Repeat and rinse three times.

  2. My DH says that you may be watching last season of Dr. Who if you're likely getting it on BBC America. He also says they will repeat episodes fairly often. We (Really, HE, because I have no use for Dr.Who) get it on NinjaVideo.com. A(n unapproved) site that was recommended in PCWorld for the geeks who are into such things. You need to download an applet to run it which takes about 5 seconds. You can also get first run movies that are taken with digital cameras, then posted. Quality is often lacking, but stealers musn't complain. I just watched Valentine's Day. You can have Dr. Who. Last Season's finale might be on Ninja - I haven't checked.

  3. Oh c'mon, lay off poor Dr. Who! I think the key here is not the type of program, but the age of the viewer! We both can fall asleep during just about anything on TV. Isn't that why they make DVDs in the first place?

  4. Oh, sleep elusive sleep. Yes, house of cards is right. I cringe every time a doc suggests a new med when I finally got the last pharm circus plan in order. Good luck Zoom.

  5. HAHA!

    With MS you have to snooze so you do not loose. =)