Friday, 13 May 2016

14 Hours

It's amazing the difference that 14 hours of sleep can make. Last night, after dinner, Katherine and I were sitting on the couch. I was dozing off, something that happens often around dinner time. Suddenly she sat up, looked at me, and said "You're going to bed". This was a different kind of dozing off; we both knew it. So she helped me with the transfer from the couch to the wheelchair, a task I likely would not have done without her help, something that would have resulted in me spending another night sleeping on the couch.

Once in my wheelchair, it was off to bed, at 7:30 PM. I fell asleep almost immediately, waking once or twice before she got me up to take my evening pills. I fell asleep again. The next thing I knew it was 9:30 AM, a full 14 hours after I went to bed. Even then, I didn't get up. Home care was coming at 10:30 for my exercises and shower. So I just stayed in bed, dozing off and on until the HCA arrived.

What surprises me is not the amount of sleep as much as it is having that much sleep in a contiguous pattern. My "normal" sleep requirements these days run between 10 and 12 hours a night. Typically I get around 10 at night, and then I take a nap during the afternoon, either before dinner or after. Sometimes I sleep as little as 8 hours a night, but then I really need that nap.

My exhaustion over the last couple of days is probably a combination of not enough sleep, too much activity, and the vagaries of ALS. It hasn't been a depressive period, witnessed by the fact that Katherine merely had to walk through the door to improve my mood. Nor was it completely an exhaustive period; I was napping and taking it easy as much as I could. It was just one of those things.

These Rip Van Winkle days happen every once in a while. Sometimes I just need more rest. Sometimes I don't really know why, or can't really pin it down. It just comes on, and wears me out. Then I collapse in a comatose of tiredness. The really sad part is that when I wake up, I don't really feel refreshed. Certainly my energy level is up, a bit. It's the tiredness, though. It never really goes away. Even now I can feel it.

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