Fatal Familial Insomnia is an extremely rare inherited condition where sufferers slowly go from insomnia and panic attacks to an absolute inability to sleep and weight loss, eventually resulting in dementia and death. I appear to be suffering from an even rarer form of non-inherited insomnia that is coupled with dementia and weight gain.
Tonight, partly so I can keep a record of just how much I’m sleeping, and partly for your entertainment, I’m going to keep a running diary of the night. The most recent entries will be at the top. I’ll update as I’m able to and if I can remember to do so in the middle of the night.
I already feel like this is a big mistake.
4:19 p.m. – Okay, so clearly the live blogging ended in the middle of the night, and no, I haven’t been asleep for the last twelve hours. Here’s what I learned from last night:
(a) I could not be a night nurse.
(b) If I could just remember to write them down right away, I have some pretty weird dreams.
(c) I should probably start drinking more often.
Most importantly, I think Marshall’s sleep is going to get better in the next few months. Apparently, it will take several months to really improve, and wow, I don’t know if I can wait that long, but I can sense it. As his breathing gets better, as a commenter and old friend noted, gentle sleep training is going to have to start.
One morning, I’m going to wake up and realize that I’ve slept eight straight hours. I cannot wait.
4:40 – Another wake up. Bottle again. Dreamed of rain forest. Giant plants. The Rock was gone.
2:30 – I think I just slept. Not sure. Marshy woke up. Giving him a bottle now. I think I remember dreaming about riding a roller coaster with The Rock. Weird. I don’t like roller coasters.
1:00 – I wake up and there’s screaming.
Some time in the last hour, Bridget and I switched spots and I ended up getting an hour of sleep in a bed, but it’s not working. I can hear Marshall’s apoplectic crying from the next room. I come back in, much to Bridget’s chagrin, and take over.
If anyone wants to bring over a bowl of noodles and a bottle of scotch, I probably have about an hour before he wakes up again.
10:25 – He’s still not fully asleep. I’ve given him a bottle to drink in his crib. I’m feeling oddly awake right now. If Marshall doesn’t fall asleep soon I’m going to start him on some early ukulele lessons tonight.
9:35 – I knew this wouldn’t last. He was getting all sweaty on me and finally woke up. Started screaming like he was being attacked or was forced to watch Jessica Jones on Netflix (it’s really not that good). Took me ten minutes to rock him back to sleep. He’s in his crib now.
The good news is that I’ve already gotten 20 minutes of sleep. I’m almost at my nightly quota.
9:00 – New strategy. I’ve brought him onto the floor to lie with me. Problem is his head is cradled in my left arm, and it’s starting to go numb. If I was a hiker, this is when I’d start thinking about sawing off my arm. Help.
8:35 – That was short-lived. He woke up screaming.
Fortunately, I am one of the greatest bum-patters in the Western hemisphere. Picked him up, soothed him with two minutes of bum patting and light cheek-kisses, before laying him on his side on his inclined mattress and patting his bum for two more minutes.
I’m going to test my powers tomorrow on the street. I’m going to pat a random pedestrian’s bum as they walk by and see if I can drop them into a deep sleep on the sidewalk. This power could make me rich and powerful.
Aaaaand…he’s crying again. Sweet mother of god, help me.
8:30 – I’m pretty sure he’s asleep, but he’s making gurgling noises right now. His surgical scars are still causing him to have some secretions to leak from his nose and into his mouth. It also runs out of his nose, and occasionally has a bit of bloodiness to it. The first morning after we brought him home, he woke up looking like he’d eaten a raw steak in the middle of the night. Technically, though, you have to sleep in order to wake up, so I guess he just ate a raw steak in the middle of the night.
I should go to sleep myself now, but…oh damn it, he’s making noise. Still settling down. So scared.
I have my cell phone, my laptop, a small boardgame that can be played solo on the floor, my CPAP machine, and the window through which I can jump if the night gets too difficult. I’m going to close my eyes now and hope for the best. If this is the last update to the post, one of the following has happened:
(a) He slept through the night. This is slightly less likely than me winning the next Miss Universe pageant.
(b) I slept through the night and ignored him – also unlikely, and will incur serious wrath from everyone in the house, including the cats.
(c) It was so crazily busy during the night that I forgot to post as the night went along, and by the time the sun rose, I was a crying mess on the floor. This has the same chance of happening as my odds of gaining twenty pounds in the next two weeks – in other words, pretty good.
(d) I forgot to update. Hey, I have a short attention span.
8:25 – There’s a chance he’s asleep. I’m lying on the floor on my little folding mattress, and I’m too scared to poke my head up to check. It’s like cooking turkey – if you open the oven to look, it won’t be done.
Outside the door, Quinn is still awake and running up and down the hall playing with this damned plastic bow-and-arrow set his mother bought him today from the dollar store. He thinks he’s Hawkeye or something like that. Why couldn’t he pretend to be Nicola Tesla or Sleeping Beauty instead?
8:20 – He just finished his bottle. I hear some heavy breathing. It might be from me. At this point, my sleep apnea is likely much worse than his. It’s possible I drifted off to sleep briefly and woke myself up with my snoring.
Note the dead eyes, and it’s only 8:00 p.m. And I swear, my forehead was smaller at one time. I should sell advertising on it.
8:05 – I just put Marshall down. I’m trying a strategy of keeping him up a bit later than usual to see if being extra tired will help him sleep for longer stretches. As most parents know, this is commonly referred to as “stupidity”. However, for some reason, when he needs to stay over at Bridget’s stepmom’s house, she does this and he sleeps for anywhere from four to six hours straight before his first wakeup. Incidentally, they just left yesterday for a Mexican vacation. I begged them to take me. They politely declined. I sobbed silently in the corner of a Starbucks.
Here’s Marshy just before I turned off the light:
I’m hoping he falls asleep as he finishes his bottle. We’ll see.