November 2009

A little insight into the sleepy life of our quiet house…

We all stay in bed until it’s light, which means a nice lie-in on days like today when it doesn’t get light until half past nine.  Okay, that’s not true – actually, we were all up by 8:30am and each of us taking our tablets soon afterwards.  I am the tablet-taking loser of the household, as the other residents all finish theirs before I do; but I am also the tablet-taking winner, as – although I am only equal-first in number of tablets to be taken in the morning – during a whole day, I take the most tablets and at the most times, too.

I’m also the undisputed jigsaw-champ, having recently completed my second 1000-piecer of the season.  However, I only boast about this because I can get the hang of the crossword.

The sprightly young things in the home took me out for a little drive yesterday.  To hospital, it’s true, but it’s nice to get out and, at my age, you don’t get many opportunities.  I had a scan and it was ever so interesting:  I saw bones and limbs and internal organs and all sorts.  They said everything was fine, so off home I went for a cup of tea.

By evening, we were all of us sitting round the telly, pretending not to fall asleep.  What a busy day!

Have you ever started a day wondering how you will fill the hours till it ends?  Stuck in the house feeling fairly unwell because of a cocktail of drugs, miles away from your family and your normal life?  Well, I’ve been there – and here’s my advice…

…sleep as late in the day as you can.  Get up only when you’re desperate for food.  If you’re pregnant, this’ll probably be quite early anyway.

…eat cereal and at least four slices of toast, but not all at the same time.  You can while away most of the morning eating breakfast.

…take your tablets.  This will fill the rest of your morning.

…enjoy lunch – actually, enjoy all your meals and snacks.  Food and sleep are two of the greatest things in life and not to be undervalued.

…have a nap, to recover from the exertion of the morning’s activities.  Don’t forget your medicine if you need it around now.

…read the paper, thoroughly.  Cultivate an interest in politics, and world news – from whatever country it may come.  Try to cultivate an interest in business and sport – this is much much harder and I’m still struggling with it.  Do the sudokus (4 in my paper!) and the concise crossword.  Do the cryptic crossword if you’re clever enough.  (I’m not.)

…sit and look around the room for a while.  You don’t want to overdo it, now!

…wonder vaguely why you’re yawning when it’s only 6 o’clock and you only woke from your nap three hours ago.

…spend the evening yawning.  Listen to conversations, join in if feeling very alert, watch TV if there’s something good on, read a book or at least open it on your lap so that your eyes have something to do if they feel the urge.

…go to bed early.  Don’t think at all about how many times you will be up in the night.  Sleep is great, and what you miss in quality you can always make up for in quantity.

Well, I do hope you’ve found something useful in there.  I can’t imagine who my audience might be for this post, as I don’t think I know of anyone in this peculiar situation.  Still, if you ever find yourself unexpectedly plunged into a similar predicament, you are now armed with some ideas!


An apt follow-up to my last, up-beat post, I feel…

Went to town again yesterday.  Needed more medicine from the chemist, so thought I’d try getting it myself.  Popped into the toy shop on the way past.  It’s brilliant – much bigger than last time I went and full of lovely things.  Couldn’t decide on anything to buy there and then, but spent a while looking at all the gorgeous doll’s house things you can get for not too much…  That was probably my mistake.

Next stop the stationer’s, for a couple of things I need if I’m to make Christmas cards this year.  (Reading the newspaper cover to cover and doing the sudokus only takes you so far through a day…)  Feeling a bit woozy, but it’s only as I approach the cash desk to pay that I realise I really have to sit down.  And as I do, everything goes fuzzy and sounds are distant.  I need to lie down.  Or be sick.  Or get to a loo?  Glass of water, maybe?  Oooh, I feel dreadful.  And so hot!  Need to get my coat off.  And my jumper.  Better phone Dad…

I guess I was on the verge of fainting, but having only done that once before, I don’t have a clear idea how it feels.  In any case, it was rather embarrassing – take up the time of the shop assistant in a busy shop with my requests for water and help finding the loo…  A lovely, lovely customer with wonderfully chilly hands from being outside put one hand on my forehead and one on the back of my neck as I sat, unable to move and only partially aware of my surroundings, beside the till.  Funny, that.  In any other situation, it would be incredibly odd to accept such touches!

Dad came to pick me up, and I felt wobbly for a little while, and headachy and fragile for the rest of the afternoon.  And I thought I was getting back to normal, a healthy 30-something pregnant woman.  Was I naive?

I just walked back from the doctor’s (about a ten minute walk).  To some people that might not sound like much to remark on, but you may have gathered from earlier entries that I’ve been housebound.  Seriously.  In the “shuffling walk” days a couple of weeks ago, I could shuffle from the living room to the kitchen, but gratefully made use of the chair in the hall on the way.  That awful drug was to blame, of course, and two weeks ago my dose was halved.  Some of the side-effects lessened straight away (eg the dry mouth – suddenly I was able to go twenty minutes without having a sip of drink!); others disappeared (shuffling walk), but some hung around persistently and inability to walk further than the next room was one of them.

Perhaps it’s taken a while for my system to adjust to the new dose, but over the past two or three days, I’ve been feeling better:  getting up less in the night, feeling less nauseous, getting dressed before lunchtime, able to stand for more than ten seconds.  Maybe it’s a miracle.  Or just pregnancy changes.  Whatever it is, that’s the furthest I’ve been able to walk for three months.  Three months!

It would be just the right time, too.  Although I’ve been persuading myself to believe that I’m just an incubator for the next few months and my own health (serious issues aside) and spirits are of limited consequence, there is the persistent awareness of children and a husband that used to be part of my life… and whom, indeed, I’m hoping to see at the end of the month when they next have a school holiday.  If I continue at this level, I will be able to enjoy their company rather than just struggle through it with a painted smile for the sakes of the children.  Wouldn’t that be great!