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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sleep, Depression and all that jazz

I'm starting to think that if I want Janey to do something, I should just say here on this blog she never does it, because then she will.  I said the other day she never naps, so of course a long nap of hers about ruined this weekend.

Friday night was a little tough.  There were meltdowns, which I wrote about, but I did practice what I preached here and got her calmed down and sleeping.  For a while.  She was up about 3am, ready to party. She hasn't done too much night waking lately, but when she does, well, it's not easy.  I'd say it's almost like torture.  I feel desperately tired but I have to make myself stay awake, to keep Janey safe.  I do everything within my power to try to get her to sleep, but if you have a child who has no desire to do things just to please you, who understands what you say only some of the time, who has an inner motor which goes off at its own times---trying to get them asleep is about as successful as trying to herd cats.  Janey alternated between crying and hysterically laughing.  We did what we often give in and do and put on Netflix, and let her watch some TV, which allows us to sometimes drift off for a minisecond if we are sure she's engrossed, but no longer than that, or she'll go into the kitchen and toss stuff around, or suddenly get a notion to jump on Tony or me, elbows out, poking us hard.  Even if none of those things happen, after a while something triggers a desire for a snack, and she starts demanding "I want ketchup!  I want sauce (tomato sauce)!  I want noodles!  I want chicken!  I want purple ice cream (which is what she calls all ice cream now)!" For variety she throws in a few "I want to go outside!  I want snuggle with Mama! (which always sounds so promising but only lasts a few seconds before she hops up again)  I want shoes on! (which means she wants to go someplace in the car)"  We say the right things---we don't eat in the middle of night, we are all going to sleep right now, it's not time to get up---but saying them, truthfully, does less than no good.  And so we exist in a zombie-like state until she falls back asleep, which she did about 7, and then she woke up again about 8.  

Usually she's up for the day, but for some reason, not Saturday.  She lay down about 11 and slept right until 2.  We tried to wake her half-heartedly a few times, but to be perfectly frank, it was pretty relaxing having her nap.  We had 3 hours of Saturday to do what we wanted with---of course, within the house and boys allowing.  When she got up, though, she was not in a good mood.  It was a fussy afternoon and evening, until she got back to sleep about 8 (no matter what, she goes to bed about 8.  Now watch that not be the case tonight).  And yes indeed, she was up at 2am.  We gave in pretty much and just got up with her.  We watched TV, including at around 4 a very interesting nature show about Australia.  Janey drifted off around then, and we were back to sleep until about 7.

That's a long story of sleep and not sleep---you are probably asleep now reading it.  And it has induced in me today a huge bout of depressed feelings.  When I have a few nights like that, I get NOTHING done the next day.  I don't get laundry done, work done, cleaning done, dishes done, anything at all.  Tony does a little better, and he has been a saint today---cooking and taking Janey to the playground and all that.  And I sit around and hate myself for being so tired all the time.  I try to reason with myself---I say all the right things---that anyone would be tired after a few nights like that, that just getting up and taking care of Janey every day is work enough, so on and so on.  But I hate days like this.  I hate feeling like a loser, like someone who barely has the energy to crawl to the couch and crochet all day.  I hate the mess around me that never gets cleaned up, because I never have the energy to do it.  I hate my medical issues that make me even tireder---the latest fun additions there are Sjogren's Syndrome  and Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disorder, which I won't get into the details of because my mother always taught me that no-one wants to hear all the details of your medical issues, but you can click on the names for a link if you are interested---but they both have the side effect of severe fatigue, as does my thyroid disorder.  And yet I still feel like a lazy person for being tired, a hypochondriac although I have blood tests with concrete numbers to show I do have a reason for being so exhausted, beyond just being 47 and caring for a toddler in an 8 year old's body.

This isn't my best written entry here, I know.  I am rambling a bit, probably because I can barely keep my eyes open.  But it helps to write.  Thanks for listening, if you've made it this far!


Sophie's Trains said...

It sounds like a tough weekend! I am one of those people that can go on very few hours of sleep, without much side effect (haven't had a full night of sleep in 10 years it feels like, lol). But with your health issues I think it must be totally different. I am remembering how exhausted I feel when have the flu or when I was pregnant, and I guess you sort of feel like that all the time... That's hard. Take all the breaks you can and enjoy them. You need to be gentle with yourself and your health.

audball said...

I'm sorry to hear about your health issues; that must have a huge impact on your being able to get through the day with minimal sleep. I suppose you have tried all the typical things for kiddos who have issues sleeping (melatonin, long walks/physical activity, etc.). I know brains are wired differently; ASD kids have very different sleep patterns!

I was curious about your keeping up to make sure Janey is safe. Is she pretty "independent" during these early morning wake-ups (meaning, does she need you to engage with her all the time, or is she okay watching tv)? Would it make sense to set up a safe room - one cozy room that has just the tv, lots of pillows, and fluffy blankets - where both you (and she) can nod off and you wouldn't have to worry about her? Maybe you can have a set of pre-made snacks for her nearby, so you wouldn't have to go to the kitchen? I keep thinking about how terribly exhausting it must be to sleep with one eye open :(.

Suzanne said...

Janey is pretty independent during her night wakings, except for constantly asking for food! I think the safe room idea would work, but we don't have a room for it. We have a strange housing situation in that we live on one floor of a very big Victorian house. Our own floor is small, way too small for 3 kids, but we also use the 3rd floor (we are on the first floor) That gives the boys enough room, but it doesn't help with Janey having room! I think a room like that on our main living level would help tremendously, and you've inspired me to think about some creative rearranging once both boys are in college a few years from now!

House Of D. said...

Last good night sleep i got was over 8 years ago before mys on was born, but its nothing compared to what you must go through every night on top of the entire day...not fun. its amazing you still have your sanity intact, keep strong, you are an amazing role model!