Friday, March 19, 2010
sleeping beauty: a fairytale in reverse
I've always had trouble sleeping. Insomnia is common in epileptics, since sleep cycles are a brain function. It's so ironic since anti-epileptic medicine makes you want to sleep for like 20 hours a day. I struggle to understand it myself.
When I was a baby, I just wasn't a good sleeper. When I needed a nap, my mom would strap me into my baby bike seat and ride tirelessly around the neighborhood till she felt my head hit her back. At night my parents would put me in my car seat and drive around in the wee hours of the morning till I quit jabbering and fell asleep.
In Junior high it turned into full blown insomnia and panic attacks. Colby would tell me stories or sing me to sleep every night. (Our phone bills were REALLY high.) When he left, I would wake up during the night screaming from nightmares that I don't remember. (Yeah, I know, but I swear Bella in New Moon was loosely modeled after me.)
In college the insomnia wasn't really an issue, because let's face it, we were all nocturnal creatures, right? But I always had this fantasy when I would finally lay my head on my pillow...that someone with magic arms could hold me and help me fall asleep. Even Colby never got to do that.
Spencer and I had our first official date on New Years Eve. After the festivities we all went to Spencer's mom's house and watched So I Married an Axe Murderer. This was only at about 2 am; early for me. Spencer and I snuggled up on the couch and the next thing I knew, we were awakened by Spencer's phone ringing. It was my dad. "Hey...so I know Chels doesn't have a curfew or anything and it's New Year's Eve....and I don't wanna be a dud or anything...but Holly and I were just worried. She wasn't answering my texts or phone calls." It was 5 am. All of the other couples had gotten up and left. Spencer and I were sound, sound asleep, sitting semi-upright. We raced back to my house and I didn't end up getting in trouble. But I was amazed. I fell asleep? I fell asleep with like 10 people in a room, with a movie blaring, and sitting upright? On a date? At 3 am? And so soundly? Miraculous. It was like my fantasy.
After we got engaged we spent every waking moment aside from class and working together, but it wasn't enough. I would cry upon finally saying goodnight. Finally, one night I begged him to let me sleep over. His roommate had a girlfriend who slept over every night, so why couldn't I? (I know, BAD Chelsi. He would hardly even kiss me after I got my ring, so I knew we wouldn't get into any trouble, but still...wrong.) Anyway, the first night I slept over I fell asleep within seconds, all wrapped up in his arms. Suddenly I woke up and had the urge to throw up IMMEDIATELY. I made it to the bathroom, but puked all over his bathroom floor. He opened the door with a bottle of water and offered to hold my hair. I yelled at him, "OUT!!!" and he tossed the water bottle my direction and told me that if I tried to clean it up myself, the engagement was off. I took my chances. I figured it might be off anyway if he had to clean up my puke. I was so sick, but he took care of me and I fell immediately back asleep. His arms were magical.
Obviously, it became an every-night thing until school ended and I moved into our chaperon-free apartment. I've never slept so well in my entire life. It was incredible. After the honeymoon, I started having frequent seizures at the time I would fall asleep, and the miracle was over. The insomnia got worse and worse and worse as my seizures did. It's gotten better the past year, but I have to take a high dose of Ambien every other night, and when I'm on my period...forget about it. It's stressful since sleep deprivation can cause grand mal seizures, so I sleep when I can. I hate it though. I want to be a normal-functioning human being and sometimes I get down on myself. Spencer has been worried about me.
It was my birthday this Wednesday. I hadn't slept for about a week. When I got home from shopping with my mom and grandma, Spencer made me a candlelit gourmet meal and gave me my birthday present.
He wrote me a song.
It's based on some poems I wrote him. And insomnia.
And that night, I slept like a baby.