Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Today makes no sense

Posted by Oli on Monday 29th October, 2007

Today I am tired. Today made no sense. I think it’s because I’m tired. But really, it made no sense.

I woke up this morning at 6.30am – that’s really early. Luckily, it’s not dark, because the clocks have gone back. So I woke up in the light. But it was still really early. I didn’t get much sleep last night. It was past midnight when the light went out and I then spent the next hour or so getting to sleep, where I then spent the next four or five hours dozing and waking every hour or so to readjust my position because either a) Neve was coming off my face, b) my shoulder was hurting because of the port needle or c) I was lying too much over on my chest and giving myself breathing trouble.

I woke up grouchy. I don’t think many people wake up at 6.30am happy, but when you’ve slept badly two nights in a row, coupled with not sleeping long enough two nights in a row, coupled with being on really high doses of the most drowsy-making drugs in the world (with the notable exception, perhaps of sleeping pills, which I suppose really ought to win the most drowsy-making award and if they don’t then they should really have a different name, or get their makers sued under trading standards) then it’s pretty hard to wake up at 6.30 in the morning without being grouchy.

I did my drugs. This involves (at the moment) doing about 10-15 minutes worth of injecting solutions from a syringe down the tube then connecting up a big bubble-thing which works like a drip, but in a different way. (That doesn’t make sense, does it? If it works like a drip, then it must be a drip; if it works a different way then it’s not like a drip, is it? Told you today didn’t make sense.) That takes an hour to go through, then it’s a couple of quick syringe squirts and hey presto, all done.

So the whole shebang took me up to about 8am. Every Monday morning, I have a delivery of portable oxygen cylinders to give me enough to move around for the week when I want to go out. Invariably, the delivery driver arrives at 9am. Looking at the clock, tired and grouchy, I decided I didn’t want to go back to bed for an hour just to get woken up as I settle into a nice sleep to have to get up and answer the door. So I try to occupy myself to keep myself awake until 9.

Dutifully, the lovely Brummy gent turns up and drops of my new cylinders and whisks away my old ones. Following which I retire to bed for a catch-up nap, aware that I have to be up no later than 11.30 to get ready to go to the hospital for a physio appointment and drug-level check.

I clamber into bed and strap on my Neve-mask, only to discover that the condensation in the mask has done something – I don’t know what and boy, do I wish I did – which makes something on the mask make a really loud, annoying clunking sound every. Single. Time. I. Breathe. In.

Annoying? Slightly. Grumpy-making? Exceedingly.

After, oh I don’t know…. 5 minutes of trying, I give up and clamber out of bed, thoroughly bad-mooded for the day. I wash the mask up, in an effort to have cleared whatever the problem is for tonight, and sit myself quietly on the sofa to start reading Ian McEwan’s Atonement, which I’ve finally wrestled from K and am keen to get through before having the whole story spoiled for me by people who’ve seen the movie.

Bizarrely, all the time I’m sitting reading, I’m perfectly awake and alert, despite having had not enough sleep and being beside-myself with tiredness when I’d gone back to bed. As soon as I got up from my perch, however – to make tea, to fetch things, to do anything at all, really – I was exhausted. My chest was heaving, my legs felt like lead and my eyes couldn’t have been heavier if they’d entered a Weight Watchers programme and won the prize for world’s worst dieter by gaining their own body-weight three times over.

I was not a happy bunny.

By the time K got up I was happily reading away, but ready for some morning physio, which is never fun at the best of times but when you’re tired it becomes a peculiar kind of torture – long, drawn out, unpleasant, occasionally painful, sometimes exhausting, often breathless and very, very hot (this morning, anyway). Needless to say I ended in a mildly worse mood than I start – impressive, huh?

I did manage to lever myself into a bath and chill out for a fraction of an hour before throwing some clothes on and getting ready to head off to Oxford, only to be phoned and told that the physio I was supposed to be seeing had broken her tooth and wouldn’t be able to see me today, so could I come Wednesday instead? Of course, I said. Why not?

But here’s the weird thing: having not gone to Oxford, which I took to be a blessing on account of my overwhelming tiredness anyhow, my body then decided that actually, it was feeling pretty happy and perky. After 5 hours semi-sleep, a 6.30am start, a morning of trial after mood-blackening trial, I found myself suddenly feeling an urge to sit at my keyboard and write – to carry on with my screenplay with which I have been having so many recent tussles. (For “tussles”, read: “hit a structural bump which sapped all creativity and forward-momentum and left a big black mark against my 5-page-per-day copy book for the last month or so”)

So all afternoon I’ve been beavering away on my screenplay without so much as a care in the world, pausing only for the occasional break for food, water or the odd episode of Lost (just keeps getting better).

I have no idea what my brain is doing with itself, nor what my body is up to at the moment. My chest feels like it’s improving, but my sleep certainly isn’t. My mind is lost in a mire of lethargy which saps any mental strength and positivity right out of it, whilst still apparently providing me with enough drip-fed muse to be able to carry on doing the kind of creative writing which is usually the first thing to desert me when I’m feeling rubbish.

Literally nothing about this day is making any sense to me right now. But I guess that’s just because I’m tired. Can you tell?


One Response to “Today makes no sense”

  1. christina said

    Sorry you are feeling so tired, hope things improve for you

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