4:00am is an annoying time of the morning. It is the time I usually wake up wondering if today is the day I won’t go back to sleep. I lie there for 30 minutes debating whether or not I should go downstairs and switch the coffee maker to manual mode. Instead, I stay in bed, fall back to sleep, and wake up around 6:30am feeling groggy, thinking that I should have just gotten up when I was truly awake.
My recovery is going well, but since surgery, I have yet to sleep through the night. The muscles around my hip get stiff when I don’t move them. When I roll over while sleeping, my muscles wake me up to remind me that they are still healing. Last week, I came close to sleeping through the night, but a bad dream woke one of my sons, and an earthquake ensured that he slept with Stacie and me until morning. While I stayed awake wondering how four feet of squirming skin and bones could drive me helplessly to the edge of my mattress, my son remained fast asleep. He lay in my bed with a gaping mouth and contorted arms, taunting me that I should dare to sleep so soundly.
All three of my kids are good sleepers. At bedtime, it’s like herding cats getting them to brush their teeth, put on their pajamas, and get settled for a story. But once their heads are on their pillows, and their eyes are shut, they are gone. They remind me of the scene in Fight Club, when the insomniac narrator, after finally getting a good night sleep, says, “Babies don’t sleep this well.” Well, my
babies do. In our house, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus could announce their arrival with air horns, without causing so much as a stir from the boys.
My kids don’t nap anymore, but they used to be spectacular at it. Stacie took the above photo while our twins napped after laying waste to their bedroom. They stayed in that position for hours. I could also catch up on lost sleep by taking a nap during the day. Unlike my sons, I wouldn’t need hours. During the week after I returned home from the hospital, I took a 20 to 30 minute nap each afternoon. Afterwards, I felt refreshed. But now that I am back at work, I can’t easily lie down and doze off in my office.
Despite my fitful sleeping patterns, my hip continues to feel better. I walk without pain and my flexibility has dramatically improved. I don’t even
suffer through one-legged dips anymore. The next hurdle is sleeping through the night. Hopefully, I will return to regular sleep through continued improvements in my physical rehab. Otherwise, I am going to refuse to brush my teeth, delay putting on my pajamas as long as possible, and trade in my copy of Fight Club, so that Stacie can read me Scooby-Doo and The Thanksgiving Terror. Maybe then, I’ll get ten straight hours of sleep.