Mid-night waking

It’s 2:27am on Friday morning as I start to write this. This is the third out of four nights I’ve been awake in the wee hours of the morning. And it happened a couple of nights/mornings last week, too.

It’s starting to feel like a pattern.

I wake up some time between 1-2am, and can be awake for 2-3 hours. Last night, I laid in bed for the whole time. Tonight, I tried to sleep for an hour before just getting up and having tea.

I remember having trouble with sleep when I was fighting off depression last time. I seem to fall asleep pretty quickly, but when I wake up in the middle of the night, I can’t get back to sleep. I know I’m not the only one in my family with this pattern, so perhaps it’s partly genetics. Maybe partly age – I hear insomnia is common in menopause. We could form a club and have 3am meetings! What’s on the agenda this morning, girls?!

When I’m lying in bed and trying to sleep, my body falls into the groove of the gel foam bed topper. A couple of times, I’ve gotten up because I can’t get comfortable – the gel won’t adapt quickly enough; I’m too hot (the ceiling fan is on); my back hurts. Or, I’m just awake. This morning, I think a bowl of Cheerios might ease my tummy growls.

I’m not feeling tired right now – I’m awake and alert. I’ve scrolled through my emails, read a devotional, added to my to-do list, and printed a journal. I like blogging in the quiet of the morning hours – this is often when I write.

I have a book to read for next week’s book club – I could start that. Or I could quietly watch Netflix. Or knit. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself in these very early hours of the day!

The cats aren’t sure what to make of me being up, either. Last night, I think they knew I was awake even though I was still in bed, and I could hear them running through the hallway and wrestling in the bedroom. They even pounced on me a couple of times, without waking my husband. This morning, they both blinked at me as I disturbed their quiet. At first, they moved around me slowly, like they weren’t sure that they wanted to be up. But as our early minutes have turned into an hour, they’ve played in the cardboard cat house and grabbed a quick bite of kibble. The kitten is searching for a toy to chase across the floor while the lady is following me from room to room. It seems they’re accepting my mid-night roaming around the house.

I’m starting to feel a little sleepy, so maybe I’ll go back to bed. The problem is that the sheets are now cold. I could just curl up here on the couch under the cozy new throw blanket.

It always surprises my husband when he finds me in the living room in the morning. When his alarm goes off, he gets up very quietly so as not to wake me, not even noticing that I’m not in the bed! Then he comes out for breakfast and flips on the lights, and I’m awake again. Sometimes, I crawl back into bed and other times I stay on the couch and listen to him rustle around the kitchen, making toast or eggs. Sometimes, if I’ve slept well on the couch, I get up and eat breakfast and start my day, too. But not usually. I’m typically still tired from the middle-of-the-night hours of being awake, and sleep calls to me as the rest of the day awakens.

Getting older…

…is not for the faint of heart!

I turn 54 years old in just a couple of hours, and this week has been full of reminders of aging.

I went for an audiology test on Monday, because I couldn’t hear at my daughter’s show a couple of weeks ago. We were sitting four rows from the stage, and I had to cup my ear and lean forward to hear the actors. Earlier this week, I sat directly across the room from my friend, and had to sit on the edge of the couch and try to read her lips as she was speaking; I still missed at least 1/4 of what she said. And at Connection Group, when another friend bowed her head, I just “agreed in the Spirit,” since I couldn’t hear a word that was prayed!

The audiologist told me that there might be some physical reasons for my hearing loss, and recommended I see an ENT before continuing with her. Yet still, the graph she documented showed a distinct hearing loss from my last test, about four years ago. And there must be a genetic component, as I think both my dad and grandpa started wearing hearing aids about this time in their lives. Oh, goodie!

In the meantime, my husband just hands me the volume controls each night as we watch Netflix.

Additionally, my back has been hurting for months. It begins as a severe pain every morning when I first get out of bed. Then a month ago, it moved lower in my spine and started causing the sciatic nerve to flare up. Four weeks of increasing chiropractic and massage care hasn’t helped, and today I told my doctor that I couldn’t take the pain anymore. She thinks I should see an orthopedist, to check for a herniated disc. I walk hunched over and leaning to my right side as pain shoots down my left leg and I grasp for the counter so I don’t fall. Should I lean on a cane?

I watch YouTube videos on how to apply makeup tricks to aging skin. But I can’t seem to cover both my dark eye circles and my wrinkles.

I think I need new cheater glasses – my old ones don’t seem to be strong enough, and I can’t read a thing without them. Mostly, I wear them on the top of my head, since I refuse to wear them around my neck. At least I can usually find them, until I’ve laid them down who knows where – I can’t remember where I put them! I keep an extra pair in my purse, on my nightstand, and by my iPad. Still, I find myself looking all over for them when I need to read the instructions for cooking the take-and-bake bread.

I take 6 medications/vitamins in the morning, and 3 more at night. I’ve got my own little pharmacy by my toothbrush.

At least my body is in shape –  after all, round is a shape. right?!

I got my first gray hair when I was 19 years old, but now my whole head is gray.  Good thing it looks like highlights in the short haircut I wear. Just think current Jamie Lee Curtis.

Seriously, aging is not for cowards!