Opening my eyes, I'm astonished to find that I feel awake, alert, and well-rested. Sun streams through the window, assuring me it's morning. Getting out of bed, my joints don't protest as much as they usually do. The realization that my kids are still sleeping and it must be fairly early in the morning amazes me. This never happens. I'm never the first one awake, and I'm pretty consistently the last one up. I go about my usual morning routine, enjoying the quiet house. Opening the front door to welcome the day, the sun's rays warm my face and my spirit. Recognizing that this newfound energy might not last, I check the time before attempting to get some work done - and I wake up.
Opening my eyes, the feeling of exhaustion overwhelms me and I close them again. Sounds filter through the haziness and I realize it must be morning, for some of the kids are up. I try to roll over, but the pain is too intense. My husband arrives with a heating pad for my lower back. I drift back to sleep, praying my body will cooperate when I once again regain consciousness.
Sleep hasn't been coming easily to me lately. My brain won't shut off. The brain that won't function properly all day conjures all sorts of thoughts and ideas as soon as I lay down and close my eyes. The body that's too lethargic all day suddenly wants to spring into action and get things done. All I want is sleep.
When I do sleep, I have the strangest dreams, such as the one last night about sneaking into a pretzel factory and mixing pretzel batter in a shopping cart - the most difficult part of which was squeezing dozens of tiny bottles full of blue or red fluid into the batter, which was transparent, and then fleeing into the night before getting caught. I have no idea what this means, or how the heck the batter stayed in the shopping cart.
Most nights pain wakes me up more than a handful of times. Some nights, getting back to sleep is all but impossible.
Ah, glorious sleep deprivation, how I love thee. Addling my brain, exhausting my body and my emotions, my life becomes a blur. Morning prayers implore that the day goes smoothly and internal resources aren't completely depleted. Afternoon prayers plead for the hasty arrival of bedtime. Bedtime prayers beseech sound, restful sleep.
Quality sleep will return eventually. I hope. Until then, should you inquire how I'm doing, expect the response to be some sort of grunt or guttural noise - or on good days something resembling, "I'm upright."