Moon beams glitter
over crescent shaped dreams
of a muse left bemused
by a world deaf
to her sweet murmurings.
Hero shaped stars
flicker in deep dark skies
hoping for tales anew.
While down below
so many weary souls
merely survive their days
too numb to see
ev’ry day miracles.
And so she sleeps
restless in her dreaming
lost to those souls searching
until they too
find rest and renewal.
(reblogging here so I have it collected here as well – originally published on Tumblr 11/19/14)
For a while now, I’ve had a bit of a rotten sleep cycle. Last night was another example.
I tried started to get ready for bed/away from the TV and screens earlier. It was about 10:15pm. By the time Terry was dozing off and only somewhat coherently responding to quiet conversation, it was 11:20pm. I know, because I asked him to look at the clock I can’t read with my glasses off. I don’t know when I fell asleep, because I tried even more than usual not to pick up the phone and look/play at tiles or puzzles til I dozed off. I do know I woke up at 3:40am, overheated and convinced I heard something crash.
This of course woke up the cats, because I got up to use the bathroom and sip some cold water. They were pretty good though, and other than allowing some head scritching did not try to keep me awake. Until about 5:05am. So I got up, fed them breakfast, gave Phoenix his pill and cuddle, gave them treats, gave Shadow a little extra attention because she seemed uncomfortable for some reason. And then tried to go back to bed at 5:24am.
Terry’s alarm went off at 6:30am. I’d been dreaming about my crazy aunt who was being more crazy than usual. I’ve forgotten about what, but I was annoyed with her and just as happy to be woken up. After nudging him to get up and shutting off his alarm, I tried to find a cool spot in the bed and doze til my alarm. It didn’t exactly work. I was obviously out a bit, because I was dreaming about one of my sisters, but it was very easy to wake me up. And in fact, when Terry came in after his shower about 20 minutes later I spoke to him. He let me know he was leaving with a kiss and “I love you” at about 7:20am, 10 minutes before my alarm.
This morning I gave up. I just got up then and got things done. But I can already tell that around 2pm I’m going to have burning eyes and an achey neck and shoulders.
I can’t figure out what is disrupting my sleep. We have a new bed, but it’s a month old now, and it’s comfortable. I’ve been too warm, but we have the temperature in the house where I usually like it. And if I kick off the sheets, I do get too cold. I’ve been cutting back caffeine and sugar earlier, so I don’t think it’s that (although it probably wouldn’t hurt me to cut sodas back again). My brain just isn’t shutting off. I’m probably going to have to experiment with an over-the-counter sleep aid again. Melatonin doesn’t typically help (it just makes the dreams even more manic and nightmarish), and honestly the sleep aids often do as well.
I wish sometimes I had the ability I had as a kid to just crash and be out until 6 or 8 hours later and then actually feel rested. But I haven’t had that since… probably before puberty, with random hints at it here and there, usually after I’d exhausted myself by staying away for too many days in a row or being ill. Neither of those options (obviously) is a healthy solution.
The last 3 to 5 days have been odder than usual for dreams.
I had a very vivid dream about being at a friend’s house with my sister. It was a writer’s night type situation, but for some reason it was implied we were staying the night. My sister and I were helping him tidy the kitchen after folks had eaten and before moving onto writing and art projects. His husband was going back and forth with dishes before being dragged out to work on a computer for another attendee. None of that was the weird stuff. Although I haven’t been to a writer’s night in much longer than I like to think about, those were all logical activities to a varying degree. The weird part was the actual house and kitchen. It was an enormous log cabin. Think Beorn’s home, in the second recent Hobbit movie.
The kitchen was where most of the dream occurred. There were counters along the exterior of the room, except for where archways and doors existed, and several long tables in the center of the room. They were covered with things. Dishes with casseroles, plates to be cleaned, and assorted clutter that everyone acquires in their home, including some new gadgets, one of which was a coffee maker. And I think I’ve just realized that might be what triggered the dream. The coffee maker. But the amount of detail buried in it and the sheer size of the fantastical home (which my friends definitely deserve but that does not resemble their actual home at all) was staggering.
Another night had me revisiting a friend I haven’t talked to in over a year. He’s had some health issues, and I peeked at his Facebook profile to see if he had updated recently. Which was triggered by someone else posting their wedding photos upon the event of their anniversary, and seeing him in them. I don’t entirely remember what we were doing other than I was in his general area of the United States and visiting. At the time, the dream was vivid enough to wake me up and make me frown, but it hasn’t stuck as badly as the previous dream (probably because I knew immediately why I was dreaming of HIM, whereas I couldn’t figure out the logic for the older dream, so have been picking at it in my subconscious).
And then this morning, I had a dream that my sister had arrived several days early. Actually about a week early. And she was planning on working remotely for the next week. Our house had grown in size and she was chatting about if she could do any chores while I was at work for me. Again, semi-logical, except that my house doesn’t look like that, she can’t work remotely for an entire week, and the detail was staggering. In that case, I think I just want her here faster.
I just wish I felt rested after these dreams, but it always feels like my brain is exerting so much energy in the minutiae of the set dressing that I feel mentally exhausted upon waking. Since I’m in a particularly uneven sleep cycle right now, that is not helpful. Some of it is probably seasonal. I have a love/hate relationship with fall and the holiday seasons, and the stores are already pushing Halloween and I’ve seen some Christmas online. Some of it is just that my body resents being diurnal and occasionally pushes back at me trying to function the way the majority of our culture functions.
I would just like a good solid 6 hours of dreamless sleep. Soon. Hopefully.
Apparently, when I’m overheating or otherwise distracted when sleeping, I dream a lot.
That’s not quite accurate. I dream pretty much every night. Just most nights it either makes sense (in terms of being a dream) or I don’t particularly remember the next day.
At one point recently, I was dreaming things that cause me to wake up frustrated, go off to do a thing to feel normal and settled, then go back to bed, only to do have it happen again a few hours later. In general, I wasn’t remembering details of the dreams, but the cast seemed much larger than normal. People I hadn’t thought of in years popping up, or just random acquaintances featured in prominent roles that were counter to their actual personalities.
A couple of nights ago, I was having one of those “you should get up and get ready or you’ll be late for work” dreams that I sometimes get after hitting snooze a few times. In one of them, I had gotten up. And dressed. And was headed to work when I thought, I should call and let him know I’m going to be late because weather is causing weird traffic. And I looked up, and there across the river valley and above the hills were two enormous charcoal grey thunderclouds smashing into a center third and creating two tornados of a lighter grey. I then thought, Yeah, I gotta pull off to the shoulder and capture that image to send him and explain. It was in a spot of my route that I often want to stop and photograph, because the river bends there.
Then the dream morphed, as they do, to me being sure I was going to fail that semester of college due to never attending class. Why wasn’t I attending class? I’d lost the keys to my dorm room, which wasn’t a big deal, except that all my books and class materials were inside. I was living with my boyfriend (who in real life is my husband, and we hadn’t even met each other yet when I was in college). That absolute lack of continuity in plot (and couple with real life jarring impossibilities) made me wake up before my 3rd snooze alarm went off.
There were a lot of details to both dreams that I didn’t write down this time. My dreams (when I remember them) are extremely vivid. My husband rarely recalls his dreams, although I know he dreams because occasionally he talks in his sleep in that garbled dream speak that makes no sense. On occasion, I can at least guess the theme of the dream depending on the cadence of whatever he’s mumbling or shouting.
At various points, I’ve both assumed everyone dreams the way I do (when I was a kid) and that hardly anyone dreams the way I do (at points when I haven’t spoken to some friends on the internet and am reminded that I’m not actually the only one). Shortly after the late-to-work dream, I mentioned it to the co-worker I was dreaming I needed to notify I was running late. He mentioned relief that he wasn’t the only one to dream vividly, as his wife doesn’t particularly remember her dreams either, and isn’t sure she dreams.
It was interesting. I wonder if we find our opposites on occasion because they help to stabilize us…
As of tomorrow, Phoenix will have been on a 5mg dose of prednisolone for 30 days. So, we scheduled in an appointment for him to be weighed officially, generally checked over, and get his prescription renewed.
He’s been doing pretty well lately. I feel like he’s hit a plateau in his weight, which is frustrating. He should be more than 10 and a half pounds, and he’s just not, but in general he plays and has a cheerful, laid back attitude on life (unless instigated by Shadow into a tag or boxing match). He’s had a few somewhat lethargic spells over the last month, but in general I knew he’d gained a bit of weight, his coat was looking good and his paw pads seemed much less swollen.
The results are as follows: he weighed in at 9.6 pounds (and that was after 8 and a half hours of fasting), his temperature was not remarkable, his teeth and eyes looked good, his heart and lungs sounded good, his paw pads are a teeny bit puffy but better. The vet still couldn’t find his spleen by palpitating, and his lymph nodes are still drastically reduced (almost not locatable, definitely not biopsy-able sized).
So, we’re leaving things as is. He’s going to continue the current dose of prednisolone for another 50 days. We’re going to hope he continues to gain weight back up to at least his highest point (which was 10.4), and make sure he’s still enjoying life and being well-spoiled.
Like I told the doctor, the part of me that has had experience with human cancer especially wants to get the nasty badness out of him. The part of me that is terrified at putting cats under any sort of general anesthesia is willing to wait if this treatment continues to work. The doctor is excited that such a relatively mild treatment is working. Steroids are hard on any body, although cats can handle oral type, and prednisolone especially, relatively well. They do compromise the immune system though, and so some plans to train the cats to harness and leash, and take them on park outings this summer have been shelved. Insect bites and other outdoor flora and fauna could be especially hard for him to fight the effects of.
Overall, I’m very happy. Phoenix was very happy not to be poked or prodded any more, or shaved again, or had blood drawn. And he was especially happy to have access to food again! More than anything, having his appetite back is probably going to help him.
I didn’t expect my first tattoo to be as grounding as it was.
I’d wanted to get some kind of tattoo for years before I actually did. And by “years” I mean over a decade. I tend to overthink things a bit, although as I saw it, any ink I had put on me was going to have to be treated as if it couldn’t be removed. Back then, tattoos were less removed than covered up. So I’d gone through quite a few designs before I came up with the one I eventually got. Some were discarded because they came from a different time and place in my life, or reminded me of someone I didn’t necessarily want given such a permanent place in my day to day life.