My wrinkles are almost all gone. My skin has this--healthy--radiance. My eyes sparkle with life.
Do I sound like I'm having a late-in-life baby? Has the GNC guy finally sold me something worth the $20 for 30 pills he's always trying to talk me into? After ten years of reading Prevention magazine, did I say Yes and jump on the drink eight glasses of water a day bandwagon?
Wait. It gets better.
3 p.m. no longer finds me drooling and head bobbing, begging for a nap. My mind is now quick, nimble, sharp. When I hold my arms up over my head during my 30 minutes of Body by Bethenny, my hands no longer feel like they're made out of 25 pounds of red clay. Each.
Is it a new drug?
Yes it is. And it's called SLEEP. Sleep is the drug and I need some more.
For about 17 years now; coincidentally since the time my first baby was born, I have been falling asleep at the proverbial wheel. No place is off-limits; anywhere, in any body pose - I can do it. I can even fall asleep while you're talking to me and you'd never know I was grabbing a power-nap.
|"... and so then I said to him Zzzzzzzz ..."|
Finally, during my last physical exam, I begged my M.D. to please do some blood work, because for months now, I have been feeling more tired than Rip Van Winkle. Tired like I'm sledging through knee-deep mud in a celebrity boot camp training exercise. I knew there must be some thyroid/cholesterol/red blood cells/glycohemoglobin/iron stores thing going on inside my body. Something must be at the root of my mid-sentence segueing into a snore.
My Doctor's response was one I loved, "Well, you appear to be a healthy, well nourished female younger than your stated years (that was my favorite part). Your nail beds are pink and so are your inner eyelids. However, based on the look of concern you have on your face, I'll order some tests."
Yee-haw. I grinned - positive that there must be an organic cause to my fatigue, something beyond the surprise baby at age 42. I offered my hand up to my M.D. in a high-five. Or at least I wanted to. In actuality, I was too tired to do it live, so I just gave her one in my mind, feeling much too listless to raise my hand up off my paper-gowned lap.
My Doctor promised to call me as soon as the preliminary lab work was ready, which would be two to three days. Soon oh soon, I'd have that prescription of something that would give me back the pre-baby days of tireless, enthusiastic possibility. I couldn't wait and began taking notes for my eager beaver list of all that I knew I was going to get done: closet de-cluttering, yard weeding, photo organization, sparkling tile grout! Oh! the places I'll clean!
The bloodwork was drawn on Monday, and three days after that would be Thursday. I circled Thursday on my calendar in red crayon. The Big Day.
Thursday finally arrives, and my Doctor calls as promised:
Awesome M.D.: Good morning! I've got your blood results here. I can tell you pretty quickly what's going on.
Me: ::yawn:: Hi, Doctor. Thanks so much for calling. I've been waiting to find out.
Awesome M.D.: Everything looks great. All readings within normal ranges. You are very healthy and the lab findings are right where they should be for your age.
Me: Huh. Really. That's good news. Um ... I ... I just can't believe that everything looks so good and I'm dying here.
Awesome M.D.: Well, are you tired right now?
Me: Dead tired.
Awesome M.D.: How much sleep do you get a night?
Me: Like, all the time? Or, on average?
Awesome M.D.: Tell me how much sleep you get a night on average.
Me: It's not a good answer so I don't want to say it.
Awesome M.D. It's Okay. You can say it. No lectures.
Me: About five hours.
Awesome M.D.: Oh.
Me: ::silence:: (He who speaks first loses. I learned this when I was working and I know it doesn't apply in this case but it's where my mind goes whenever there's silence.)
Awesome MD: Yeah. You need to get a lot more sleep than you do. You're tired because you're tired. Try seven or eight hours, and let's see how you feel. It'll make a big difference.
Me: (so red-faced you can hear it) Will do, Doc. Thank you.
I tried it.
And I liked it.
In bed by midnight, up by 7 a.m. Seven hours of sleep a night and I have less anxiety. I have enlightenment and vitality. I have energy.
I have awakened reserves in myself that I had forgotten I was capable of.
I have become considerate and kind toward others and my relationships have improved due to this limitless amount of patience I've found.
I handle conflicts constructively rather than the pre-sleeping response of and so what are you going to do about it?
I have become tranquil, tolerant, relaxed.
Naaah. I haven't. DNA is DNA.
But I can promise you this--I look a heck of a lot better now than any jar of $50 eye cream could ever make me. No more do mornings find me packing the only Coach bags I'll ever be able to afford--the ones under my eyes.
Image via Flickr
--Thrilled to be featured on mamapedia today, with a post where my pain will hopefully be the source of a smile for you today. Read about what happens when the cutest boy I'd ever seen in college tries to convince me to fall in love with him. Painful, but not too painful. I hope you stop by!