I am grateful that Karl is the early bird in our family, while I am the night owl. It’s been that way from the beginning, but even more so now.
Today, I had to do the safety patrol run because Karl had an unusually early start at Publix. I tried to get to sleep as fast as I could last night after my night class. With the help of an Ativan*** for anxiety and an Ambien*** for sleep. I think I was asleep by 10:30ish.
This morning, Karl woke me gently to give me a chance to orient myself . When my alarm sounded a few minutes later, I moved and stretched, trying to get systems off “standby.”
As I stood, I was glad to see I have regained some of my strength and balance. This is the first time I’ve been up this early in quite some time. Actually it was during the summer when we got up to go to the hot air balloon festival. That was a rough morning!
Part of my post-chemo “new normal” is that it takes my systems longer to get going and the transition from horizontal to vertical is much more jarring. As I understand it, it has to do with my blood pressure which is affected by my kidneys. Early mornings are something I cannot do regularly because it is such a push. For example, I cannot be scheduled for 8 a.m. classes, nor can I teach more than two classes back to back without a break. This post-cancer body has some limits that need to be respected.
So, this morning , I wobble-walked to Kai’s room to snuggle him awake, grateful that I only bumped into one wall on the way! LOL. As I climbed into bed, he groan-whined, “Let’s just forget school and declare it a day of snuggling!” ALERT. ALERT. TEMPTATION ALERT. My body screamed, “YES, DEAR GOD, YES! In the recesses of my adult mind, I see the fingerwag and voice with as much enthusiasm as I can muster, “Come on, buddy, let’s do this!”
As we made our way into the kitchen, once again, I mentally thanked Karl for the fresh brewed coffee. He had already left for work by the time I was taking my first sip, hoping the caffeine would give at least a temporary boost to my challenged adrenals.
( 😉 And yes I believe I’d be better off Coffee. Turtle step-by-turtle step. )
We both got busy and were ready fairly quickly. Kai, in fact, said we were earlier than most days. I came home, poured myself another cup of coffee, and decided to write, grateful for the time since today is a later start following my night class. I learned through my cancer journey that writing is one of the places I find myself. I am getting better at finding, or more accurately, making, the time to feel and express my feelings, and I am grateful for finding my voice.
I am truly grateful for all that I can do, even if it means a slow start to the day. But I do struggle with fears and anxieties about my limitations. What if I can’t teach…What if it takes me half a day to get going….What if I cannot provide for our family… What if I can’t work and have no insurance? So while I actively work to lesson these thoughts, I am trying to focus on what I can do, and grateful that Karl is working on his pieces. I am turtling along in the right direction! ❤
***I try to use these meds infrequently, but all my docs have cautioned me that the benefits of sound sleep outweigh occasional use. I learned through cancer that I must be open to the good of modern Western medicine. It is very effective in acute situations. And I can continue to nourish and give my body what it needs through traditional Eastern approaches, satisfying my belief in more holistic approaches. Rather than reject either, I am striving to find a balance. Isn’t that Life’s journey in the microcosm?!