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 Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"

Is It Morning Yet?

by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal

Bad night, busy day, turkey for supper. Lots of it. So you know what I did. I stretched out to "read." Oh, I knew what was going to happen, but I did it anyway. I figured I would read for real for ten or fifteen minutes and then doze for an hour and then get up for a couple of hours and then go to bed for real. But my anticipated hour long nap turned out to be three and half hours long. I slept long enough to have a whole big dream (and if dreams really do come true I will be buying a gigantic log cabin and renting out rooms soon. Check the classifieds. Even my dream life is boring!).

I slept so long that it got dark while I slept. When I woke up I thought it was morning and stumbled out to make coffee. At first I couldnít figure out why everybody was up, watching tv and eating ice cream. Iím usually the only one in the house that likes ice cream for breakfast. Then I realized. It was still yesterday. I turned right around, eyes at half mast, and hurried back to bed. But it was too late. I was awake. Am awake. Will be awake. Until tomorrow when I will be very, very sleepy all day long.

I blame the snoring. If it wasnít for the hellacious snoring all night every night, I wouldnít need a nap. Oh no, folks. I will not tell a lie. Itís not Long Suffering Husband keeping me up nights. Quite the opposite. He has a dainty, girlish little wheeze now and then. Snuffles delicately sometimes. For a great big olí Oklahoma boy he sleeps surprisingly like a Disney Princess.

It is me that sounds like an Ice Road Truck trying to make the grade in first gear. All night every night. And itís wearing me down. And Iím a nurse. So you know Iím thinking sleep study. And CPAP. And the problem with that is that while I joke around a lot about being a little old lady, I am not one. Not quite yet. So after I have snorted myself awake for the 10,000th time each night I try to sort the whole thing out in my mind.

I imagine going to the doctor secretly. Inventing some emergency with mother or sister that will keep me away for a night. Then sneaking the machine into the house, hiding it under the bed, waiting patiently for Long Suffering to fall asleep each night and then hooking myself up. Because while I occasionally go long stretches without shaving my legs and sleep in XXL t-shirts and boxers I have not given up my romantic notions entirely. I still brush my teeth every night and hope for the best. I will admit that bristly legs are not all that attractive, but how much less attractive is the CPAP going to be? "Gum on baby (whooooo) gib us a giss!" As it stands, Long Suffering can just pretend Iím French and ignore the fuzz, but howís he going to react to snuggling in with Darth Vader? Welcome to the Dark Side, bay-bee!

Itís a conundrum. Go to bed looking like Barbar the Elephant or continue on the way things are risking exhaustion (his and mine) and heart disease and who knows what else. A tragic and untimely death versus yet another blow to my poor abused vanity. Double edged sword, idinnit?

Donít think for a minute that Iím just being a typical nurse and jumping straight to the brain surgery conclusion when what is needed is an aspirin. I have tried every snore remedy known to man. I have slept flat and slept on a pile of pillows so high I worried about nose bleeds and altitude sickness. I have tried strips and sprays and pills and drops and this little V shaped bending thing thatís supposed to hold your nostrils open. I bought a very pricey mouth piece. It was wonderful. When I put it in I had an airway the size of the Holland Tunnel. Bliss! It had advantages and disadvantages. The major drawback was that it made my jaw ache and so the minute I fell asleep I would take it out and throw it across the room. Why I couldnít fall asleep, take it out and keep it in my hand, or drop it on the night stand or something, I donít know. But I threw it every time. Hard. Evidently you donít mess with my jaw and get away with it. -

The other thing was that I couldnít talk in it or kiss in it. So my family got TONS of entertainment asking me question after question after question and wanting just one more kiss good night, so that I would have to try to surreptitiously plop the thing out into my cupped hand, make nice for a minute, wait for them to go away, jam it back in, and then there theyíd be again asking something else. Very funny. I have told you before they can be cruel.

So, itís worrisome. As it turns out, though, I will have plenty of time to think about it tonight. Hours and hours and hours and hours. Thatís the downside. The upside is thereís a brand new half gallon of ice cream in the freezer. And I know where we keep the spoons.

© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" July 2, 2009 Column
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