Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Power of Sleep

In recent months, I’ve been creeping up on a regular-person sleep schedule: sleeping a reasonable number of hours at night (often, the same number as Michael does!), and staying awake all day, every day. It’s been great--almost like being a real grown-up again. This has been highlighted for me lately, because the recent cognitive gains I’ve made have been accompanied by a return to earlier-in-the-recovery-process sleep patterns.

This means that every now and then, I simply have to go to sleep. Right now. And that I am needing more sleep at night on a regular basis. When I do presentations, they go well, especially now that I can hold a thought better and make more connections, but it has been taking several days to recover from the exertion--and sometimes, up to a week before I’m back at sleep equilibrium.

Sleep is a wonderful healer, and apparently, my brain is healing more right now and needs this medicine. Still, it’s an odd feeling to be fine one moment and completely collapsed, totally out of energy, the next moment. All of this makes me wonder at all the years that I often took regular naps, especially on weekends: was that a growing brain tumor symptom? I haven’t reverted to that pattern even now, so for the first time I’m wondering about that.

Snippets from life on the road: at the conference hotel, I ran into the same woman several times in two days, usually at the elevators. She was crabby and bossy to all around her, friends and strangers alike. She told people where to stand in the elevator, told some people to get off because it was too full, dressed down a friend for not grabbing enough food from a buffet, and “helpfully” told a woman her slip was showing. I’m guessing, as I listened to her, her internal script has her “being frank” or “saying what no one else will.” Belatedly, after watching her be rude and mean both to a range of people, usually while telling them what to do, I managed to summon up some compassion for how awful it must feel to be her. I’d really like to be the kind of person who has the compassion first, not only after thought. Even with the compassion, though, being around her must be horrible. It was a cautionary moment, because I’m often a person who is willing to say what no one else will; I try hard not to be mean and don’t think I am; how often, though, do I cross the bossy line? It’s worth more thought.

Not today, though, as we hurtle to the end of the semester. One more class this week and then one more the week after Thanksgiving, then final project presentations, and this semester is over. Then, all book all the time. I hope! the leaves are almost all gone from the trees here. The temperature is dropping. Thanksgiving is around the corner. Tempus fugit.

No comments:

Post a Comment