Sleep, where are you?

Ever sense my first real EMDR appointment last week, I haven’t been sleeping well. I’m not having nightmares, I just can’t STOP until around 1 a.m. And I have no clue if the therapy and this problem are related.

Like the Little Guy, I have always been a good sleeper. Once I’m out, I’m out. But lately, it has been a challenge to let my head hit the pillow. It almost feels like I’m trying to make up for lost time, packing more into each day. But what do I have to show for it other than completed math homework?

It’s as though I am trying to show myself how much I can do. Like I’m trying to give myself indisputable evidence that I am awesome. Last night was the best example yet. The Little Guy didn’t have any naps during the day because of his 1-year-old well-baby checkup. He was all out of sorts and he took a nap before dinner. Then, after dinner he got downright hysterical. He calmed down laying on my chest in bed, the dark. After about five minutes of the three of us laying together, my husband was out. The Little Guy and I fell asleep for about an hour, then he woke up again upset. He fell asleep in his crib soon afterward and I got to work.

I cleaned up the living room, rinsed the cloth diapers from that day, got the dishwasher loaded and running, folded laundry and got my stuff ready for today. When I went back upstairs it was nearly 1 a.m.

Less than five hours of sleep later I was in the shower facing down another day. That’s not enough sleep for someone with bad joints. Especially when that person lives in an area with constantly fluctuating air pressure systems. Damn, these fronts are terrible on my pelvis.

I am desperate for the sense of inner peace I had before my pelvis separated. Sure, there was chaos and struggle, but I knew I would come out of it. I don’t have that confidence anymore. I’m hopeful that the therapy can help me get it back. But I’m sure it will take time. I’m prepared for that. Meanwhile, I’m counting on my continuing yoga practice to pull me through.

When an air pressure system comes through I feel like I have a flu-like ache (the real, honest-to-goodness Influenza flu, not something you would generically call flu because you don’t feel well). The aches is concentrated in my pelvis, specifically in the two areas that have given me the most trouble from the beginning — my right side SI joint and my right side of the symphysis pubis. It was difficult to get out of bed today. Even more difficult to leave the super-hot shower. So when it came time for yoga this afternoon I considered not going.

Truly, I had about four minutes of debate with myself (in my head, don’t worry). Walking across campus in the frigid wind to make my body move even more did not sound like a good idea. But I remembered my mother-in-law and I made myself go. She and my mother both have fibromyalgia. (My mom has lots of other stuff going on in her body, too, but it is the fibromyalgia that is relevant here.) They have taken extremely different approaches to managing the associated muscle pain. My mother-in-law goes to Jazzercise almost every morning. She makes herself move no matter how bad she hurts. And she has told me more than once that it makes a huge difference for her. She hikes, camps and does everything I hope I am doing in another 20 years. My mom, in contrast, stopped all unnecessary physical activity when I still lived in her house. I haven’t lived there for nearly 15 years. These two women are not a case study and it is impossible to know how different my mom would be, or how she would feel, if she had kept up swimming in the heated pool. But I can’t afford to risk it. I’m far too young, with far too many plans, to risk losing my ability to DO. So when it gets tough I will think of my moms and push forward.

And for the most part it felt really good to move today. Even more than that, if felt good to be there and have time to focus on what my body felt like. When the weather is like this, only my pelvic ring hurts. The rest of me is great — strong arms, strong legs, strong neck, back, feet, chest, belly and face. How powerful to be reminded that everything else feels just as it should. And how lucky I am that is true.

I probably won’t get any extra sleep tonight — my husband is in Missouri with the basketball teams and the Little Guy and I will have to go get him from campus around 1 a.m. (We really should have thought about this before we opted to become a one-car family.) But Friday night I will sleep and Saturday I will already be where it is I need to be. I will rest. And I will remember that everything else feels strong.

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