You know the kind of insomnia you get where you lie in bed and you're comfortable enough but you can't fall asleep because your mind starts going too fast and you plan what you're going to put in the loot bags for your kid's next birthday party and try to figure out if you have all the ingredients for lasagna in the fridge for tomorrow night and go through the entire song list from Miss Saigon and finally you drift off?
Silvano was suffering from a rare disease called
fatal familial insomnia (FFI),
in which sleep is replaced by a terrible
"state of hallucinated lucidity".
That's NOT the kind of insomnia I've had this week.
This week I had the kind of insomnia where you put down your book, turn off the light and lie down in the innocent expectation that you will shortly be off to Dreamland, and then within the subsequent two to three minutes reality shift sideways into some sort of infernal parallel reality wherein your really-quite-respectable-threadcount sheets suddenly morph into a bed of nails, your pajamas feel like they're lined with barbed wire and fire ants take up residence inside every bone and joint. Your feet get inexplicably twitchy, every position you switch to feels absolutely right the second you switch to it and then feels horribly, agonizingly, inhumanly WRONG a few seconds later.
If I tried to turn on the light and sit up and read some more, my tailbone ached. I got up and walked around a little to see if that would help. It didn't. My husband fled to the peace and safety of the downstairs couch - I'm not sure whether this was precipitated by the heaving of the bed or my increasingly menacing glare every time I had to rock him gently to stop him from snoring and he woke up and asked - as he does, every single fucking time - "was I snoring?". NO, Dumbass, I just thought of a good JOKE I wanted to share AT THREE A.M.
I seriously considered the possibility that I had died and gone to hell. I took half a sleeping pill. Nothing. I took the other half. Nothing. I considered taking the rest of the bottle of sleeping pills. I decided not to, not only because I love my children, but because obviously this was just one of those times when NOTHING. WAS GOING. TO WORK.
I moved and almost cried out because it hurt my knee so badly. Which isn't that weird, since I've been seeing a physiotherapist for months trying to fix my patellar femoral syndrome. Except it was the other knee. Right. Stupid topsy-turvy land. I laid on my right side and my shoulder hurt. I couldn't remember how I usually positioned my arms - how the hell are you supposed to sleep on your side with arms, shouldn't arms be removable for sleeping purposes? My hair kept falling in my face. Why do I have all this stupid hair? I propped myself up on pillows and laid my arms out at my sides and tried to breathe deeply. I tried to cup my palms around little mounds of my soft green blanket. My soft green blanket now felt like sandpaper.
Oh, and the song Somebody That I Used to Know was on permanent loop in my mind.
During the very worst night, I consoled myself with the fact that at least I don't have a full-time job. All I had to do in the morning was get up and go volunteer.... in my daughter's grade 3 class.
To be continued...