Thursday, August 1, 2013

Unhappy Pills

Have I mentioned to you guys how much I dislike steroids? They're the flip side of my happy pills.
photo source
My nurses still administer them to me with every dose of chemo, a preventative measure to stave off side effects like nausea. They also stave off sleep, leaving me buzzing well past midnight, which is too damn late for this old lady. You'd think rest would be a good thing, right? But the steroids, they will not allow it.

Instead, I lay in bed Monday night, exhausted but unable to sleep.

And as usual when insomnia strikes, my head started going to scary places. Damn you steroids and your potential for inducing mood swings. I wondered whether this chemo is working, what my scans later this month will show, how much of this period of our lives Quinn will remember. I looked over at Chris, sleeping soundly next to me, as I approached near panic with the shitstorm racing through my head. Quinn is finally sleeping in his own bed and suddenly, I had to have my family all in one place.

So I did the exact opposite of what any parenting book would tell you to do (especially after the sleep woes our household has experienced this year).

I tip-toed into Quinn's room, scooped him up, and brought him into our bed. And, yes, fine--judge me. Then feel free to ignore me--or smack me, whichever--if I ever complain about Quinn's sleep struggles again.

Just as we got back to my bed, Q woke up briefly to yell out, "I no want my blanket!"which woke Chris, who wondered what the hell was going on. I told him I'd explain in the morning. He persisted. "Are you okay?" he asked.

"No," I admitted. "But I'll explain in the morning," I whisper-yelled. I didn't want to wake Quinn up. Chris probably thought I'd lost my mind, but I just wanted to snuggle in close to both my boys, breathe in the scent of them, hold their hands as the steroids finally lost out to sleep.

Unlike my previous courses of chemo, I don't have to take three days' worth of this crap with each infusion, so you'd think my craziness and insomnia would have less staying power. Somehow, the steroids still stick around in my system for a couple of days, and while I'm sure they're good for something, they mostly turn me into a blubbering mess of worry, compounded by exhaustion.

Just to top it all off (as if crazy train over here wasn't enough), they also cause major breakouts. It's like I'm going through puberty again, which wasn't awesome the first time around.

Tonight, I fell asleep on Quinn's floor while putting him to sleep. Chris had to wake me up to come eat dinner. Three days post-chemo, and the exhaustion has caught up with me. I have a feeling I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight and feel like a brand new person tomorrow morning. Take that, unhappy pills.

2 comments:

  1. Jen, I don't know how you do it all. But the point is--you do! And every time I see your smiling, girlfriend. Keep at it.

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  2. Many people suffer from sleeplessness caused by depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Insomnia is a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. This state of mind can result in fatigue, tiredness, and mood swings.
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