Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Battle for Sanity

As previously communicated, we have been plagued with frequent night wakings, this morning was day 27 of the siege. It really has felt like a war. Thursday night was the girl's Tet offensive...or maybe it was just plain offensive.

It started for Grace as it normally does this past few weeks. She wakes at midnight, finds herself lonely, and decides to seek out mommy for companionship. She goes into the living room and finds a warm body to seek comfort with. She curls up by her head and goes back to sleep. From the other side of the head, a potentially explosive situation is brewing, because it is not my wife on the couch, but my mother in law. She barely registers that a human body has taken residence by her head, being a cat person, these things are common at night. But, the sleeping arrangement becomes increasingly uncomfortable as the restless Grace uses her as a lumpy mattress. Finally, grandma can take it no more. "Gracie, you need to sleep in the bed on the floor." The first two 'Mommie'-s were that of a frightened child, who had the mommie morph into some evil bloodsucking monster. The next two mommies were of desperation looking for that lost mommie. It took several minutes to calm her back down, but she finally realized grandma was not in the bloodsucking mood.

Meanwhile, back at the girl's room, Livie has also woken up. Hers is a more complicated insomnia as she will wake up a little more than every other day, and her times are more varied. Linda's chance at actually sleeping in her own bed shattered, she moves into Liv's bed. in for it...

The first and fatal mistake is I did not properly crush up the 1/2 Clonidine. Either it did not get in her mouth, or she spit it out when she realized there was an extra crispy piece in her regular teaspoon of applesauce. Without benefit of hindsight yet, I tick the minutes before the Clonidine should take effect. 3:45 should be the magic minute. 3:55, stiiiilll going, OK maybe she's a little more feisty tonight. 4:15, something is wrong here, I'm in trouble. I put back on the nighttime pull-up she's pulled off as she will have the habit of taking it off when she's bored. I am getting kicked when I turn my back on her and she demands gentle scratches, massages and conversations if I face her. 5:54 am- the final attack. I thought I had heard her take off her diaper again a few minutes before. I had rolled over facing my back to her. Suddenly, the biological weaponry that had been banned through treaty streams onto my back. That word that rhymes with duck echoes through the house as I carry her back into her room.

My wife said she was so close to uncontrolled laughter, but saw the expression I wore and thought better of it. "SHE PISSED ALL OVER ME" I said through gritted teeth, I deposit Liv in Grace's smaller bed and go back to my own to find a dry spot. After stripping the sheets and mattress pad, I still find a semi wet mattress cover (plastic coated, of course for just such an emergency). I insert a towel and collapse on the unmade bed. I don't even drift because I knew it would happen before it even happened... I knew it was coming... "WCBS radio, it's 6:08, time for traffic and weather togeth.." snooze? Yea, right...

I did surprisingly well for 4.5 hours of sleep Friday. On a somewhat positive note, Linda DID get more sleep than she had in a week. Grandma, who did 10 years as a nurse on the night shift seemed unaffected.

We have mounted an offensive of our own this weekend. Thankfully, Friday Liv slept and we hit the Clonidine correctly last night just right so I got some decent sleep, allowing Linda to work on Grace's habitual need for companionship. She keeps sending her back into bed, eventually lying next to her until she drifts off. We knew what Grace's insomnia was and how to deal with it, and had just been too exhausted to implement.

We're still trying to figure out Liv's issues. It could be some complex yeast imbalance, just plain old stomach discomfort, even a desire to pee in the middle of the night that she can't quite express. But we need to divide and conquer before we can assault her issues. An army cannot fight without sleep...

No comments: