Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Confessions of a Reluctant Insomniac

It's 2am. Do you know where your insomniac is?

It's been a few weeks since my diurnal nature has come into question. Wikipedia confirms that diurnal animals are indeed active during the day and rest during the night, and my personal experience confirms that, yes, I was once a diurnal creature myself. For the time being, at least, that seems to have changed, much to my chagrin.

So, what does a fatigued nurse do when the going gets tough at 2am? The trusty laptop is always a nice distraction, but if my mind is reluctant to be engaged, soft music or desultory attempts at meditation sometimes manage to keep my mind at bay. And then there's always TV, every insomniac's potential best friend, infomercials and all.

My sleeping patterns are apparently in flux, and as I navigate the beginning of my third week without pharmaceutical antidepressants, I assume that my nocturnal discombombulation is a direct result of that most apparent physiological and chemical change.

The acupuncturist/naturopath who is guiding me through my current health crises has been working diligently to cut through to the essence of my symptoms, focusing in on pain and depression as the issues most in need of immediate succor, an assessment with which I am in full agreement. Whereas no provider has been able to pinpoint a physical cause of my chronic pain, we are led to believe that the pain is indeed of psychoemotional origins, and no combination of narcotics and physical manipulations is going to assuage it.

Battling unseen demons has become somewhat of a personal habit, and these wars being raged in my body and psyche have apparently led to the taking of prisoners, and my ability to waltz with Morpheus appears to have been first on the list of casualties. My hope is that, through acupuncture, herbs and emotional inquiry, we will get to the bottom of the pain, knock the depression on its head, and (finally) help me to move beyond this current state of sleeplessness.

I understand from my recent readings that Barack Obama is a night owl, frequently burning the midnight oil at a time of day when he does his best thinking and ruminating. I'm glad to have such stellar company, although I certainly do not have the weight of the world on my tired shoulders.

Perhaps in a few weeks I'll be able to look back on this period of disrupted sleep with equanimity, hindshight, and greater self-understanding. But for now, I'll continue to entertain and distract myself as well as I can during these lonely wee hours of the night. There are blog posts to write, Twitter to catch up on, French to study (my newest endeavor in self-improvement), and a plethora of infomercials to avoid as I surf the channels of television purgatory. If you happen to be up, send me an email (see my Blogger profile) and we can have a late-night chat about the weather or the news of the day. Til then, enjoy your own sleep, treasure those uninterrupted hours of rest, and say a prayer for those of us whose circadian rhythms are hopelessly askew.

As was once so aptly stated, "to sleep, perchance to dream."

(c) 2009 NurseKeith
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