Saturday, April 5, 2008

On taking things for granted.

Since the age of 15, exactly once each year I get a monster head and chest cold, often with a sinus infection. Usually I'm laid up for a week, which made things difficult in undergrad; I never wanted to miss class. In grad school, I worked in a lab where it was OK to take a couple of days off to recouperate, but it often still hung on for four or five days.

The worst part of these episodes, though, has always been getting enough sleep. Being propped up on pillows is never comfortable, and only works when my bed is in a corner. With each and every cold, about halfway through I always think to myself, "I'll never ever take a good night's sleep for granted again." That usually lasts about six weeks, and then I don't think about it again until the next time I'm sick.

Now, though, I'm pretty sure I'll never take it for granted again. I haven't slept for more than 90 minutes at a time since last August, and to tell you the truth I'm not entirely ungrateful. I've been able to function at work for the past few months relatively unchanged, and it's pretty good practice for once Bean comes. I'm just looking forward to getting 60 minutes of sleep at a time that's relatively pain-free.

I have both friends and family members who suffer from ailments that involve chronic pain, and while I can't say that I'm anywhere near their level, I've had a taste of it, and they will always have my support and respect for living their lives with dignity. With this pregnancy (which I will admit has been relatively uneventful), I've developed a lot of hip/pelvic/leg pain, and it's really starting to wear me down. Each time I wake up at night, sharp pain works its way from my waist to my knees, and holds on until I get up and walk around. It's more that pain than a constant need to go to the bathroom that's interrupting my sleep, and I can only guess that it's from carrying nearly all of my pregnancy weight out front. I can honestly say I would give up chocolate for a year if I could re-gain the ability to wake up, roll over in bed, and go back to sleep painlessly.

I know that the last time I spent a lazy Saturday in bed, which was about 6 months ago, was likely my last for a few years, and I'm OK with that. I know it'll eventually happen again, and I'm pretty sure that I'll appreciate it wholeheartedly next time :-)

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