Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Putting on the Mask

But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

--Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Ever since my husband wrote music to accompany this poem, it has intrigued me. It was one of the first pieces of composition he shared with me when we were dating, and it has stayed in my mind ever since. He even included it as part of his composition recital in college. All I can say is that its timbre, mood and haunting vocalization are exceptional. My husband is brilliant and gifted.

But that's not why this poem came to mind today. Last night I had one of the better nights of sleep I've had in awhile. I credit my sister for providing a simple suggestion as to how I can sleep more peacefully.

Sleep mask-- $2.99
Foam ear plugs-- $4.29
Sleeping all night--PRICELESS

I admit, I initially turned up my nose at the idea of wearing a sleep mask. I thought only pampered, high maintenance, snooty broads wore those things with their satin night gowns and matching feathery slippers. Well, maybe I am just a little bit pampered, but I was at the point where I'd try just about any non-drug to get to sleep. I've been on Ambien in the past and that made me so weird it was frightening. I've also tried Unisom, Tylenol Simply Sleep, Advil PM and pretty much anything else with benadryl or alcohol in it that might make me conk out.

The problem with the medications was, I was at their mercy. I could not reasonably predict when the drug would take effect. If I took it at 8pm, sometimes I was sawing logs by 8:30. Other times I would take it at bedtime (approx. 10pm) only to have it kick in by 4a.m. which left me dragging well into the next day. Besides, I already take so many medications that I was loathe to add another one for something as dumb as sleep. I know sleep is important, but I figured there must have been a better way to get my much needed rest.

I'm hoping that the earplugs and sleep mask combination is the right solution for me. I'm so tired of being exhausted. I'll keep you posted. At the very least, it was nice to wake up this morning and not feel like I had only slept for 15 minutes. Even though I feel well (gaining weight, eating right, not coughing up anything funky) I have been tired for far too long now. Maybe this will be a much anticipated turning point.

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