On Monday night, the boys slept nine hours.
I did not. I woke up puking at one a.m. The only night in six months that I could have slept a normal, healthy amount, and I missed it. That’s just cruel.
About a week ago, my feet started tingling. Sometimes my hands tingle, too. My doc says I’m likely compressing a nerve or two from sitting in the same position for hours on end to breastfeed. Rationally, this make sense.
But I am too tired to be rational. I think I am dying. The tingling is the onset of some heretofore undocumented disease that leads quickly and inexorably to death. Every time I notice my feet tingling, I have a panic attack.
So much for not being afraid, eh?
The past few days the anxiety and fear have been debilitating. I had to call for reinforcements, friends to come talk me down and help me care for my children. I feel like a total dork, because I’m just healthy enough to realize I’m being irrational but not healthy enough to stop being irrational.
Last night I came to the astonishing realization that I am sleep deprived. Okay, so I knew that. But I’d never made the connection between the sleep (or lack thereof) and these insanely high levels of anxiety over what ordinarily would be nothing.
I read this on Wikipedia and laughed:
The link between sleep deprivation and psychosis was further documented in 2007 through a study at Harvard Medical School and the University of California at Berkeley. The study revealed, using MRI scans, that lack of sleep causes the brain to become incapable of putting an emotional event into the proper perspective and incapable of making a controlled, suitable response to the event.
Hm. That sounds strangely familiar, though the term “psychotic” is a little harsh, don’t you think? Makes it sound like I shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near an axe or a chainsaw.
Psychosis notwithstanding, I feel much better knowing this. Really. Because it means there’s a solution to the whole inability-to-be-rational-when-one’s-feet-tingle thing. It’s called sleep.
Now, if I could just get me some of that.
In the meantime, I’m counting God’s mercies and clinging hard to His grace. Sometimes I actually do this out loud. I sound like Sonny fricking-what’s-his-name from The Apostle as I rant in the car or the kitchen, thanking God for His promises and reminding Him that He needs to flipping do something about them. Like get my babies sleeping.
(If I sound like I’m on speed, it’s because I am. Sleep deprivation causes manic behavior and attention deficit disor – ooh, look at that! It’s shiny! Let’s chase it!)
Anyhoo, here are a few more of what Ann Voskamp calls the endless gifts:
#1176. Snuggling with my daughter.
#1177. Ben’s big grins that light up his whole face. Heck, they light up the whole room.
#1178. Luke’s jerky happy kicks. He does the same jerky motions with his arms, but I don’t know what to call them – punches, perhaps?
#1179. A quiet moment outside after dark, with the wind in my face, and my face toward the sky, and the sky partly cloudy, partly lit by stars and the waning gibbous moon.
#1180. Treetops with only a few leaves dancing in sharply silhouetted relief against the dusky sky.
#1181. My in-laws come every Monday to help me with the kids.
#1182. And every Monday my mother-in-law sweeps my always-dirty floors.
#1183. A walk through the neighborhood with just Jack.
#1184. Scuffling through fallen leaves on the sidewalk.
#1185. My husband makes breakfast every morning, so I can get an extra half hour of sleep.