You ever just have those nights. You go to bed exhausted, sure that once in the sanctity of your bed you will pass out cold to be disturbed by nothing other then your alarm. You get in the bed get the sheets just right, have your wife turn and suck the sheets away, wrestle them back, get the sheets just right again, slip your mask on (I wear a CPAP mask to bed as I have this fondness of stopping breathing in my sleep) and doze blissfully off. You get in a good dream, then without warning your awake.
It doesn't happen right away, you get a good 3 - 4 hours sleep. But without fail your awake, and NOTHING will let you go back. You stare at your alarm clock and see its 3:02 am....you went to bed at 11:30 pm. You lay back down, give it 20 minutes, 30 minutes,45 minutes and sleep will not come. To millions of we suffers of Multiple Sclerosis this is an all to common occurrence. To make matters worse, it is an occurrence that is only met with a marginal amount of success in solving. You can try sleeping pills, stronger sleeping pills, (even had a friend who would take Tylenol pm with a few glasses of scotch) but eventually these methods either stop working due to building up a tolerance, or in my case don't seem to make one bit of difference.
You slog through the first part of the day with those eyes that feel like they are laced with fire, the rims of your eyelids stiff and sore and dry, and that sort of jet lag feeling. And around 9:00 am when everyone else's day is just starting your body says ENOUGH...and you feel compelled to go back and lay down again. The longer your fight it the worse it gets. Yesterday was my son's sixthbirthday and I stayed up all day long not letting myself go down for a nap because I didn't want to miss anything. I know many of you think, "Chris what the heck you get to nap?, I wish I could do that". Trust me, its not what it is cracked up to be, those naps turn into 5 hour losses of my day. 5 hours I don't get to spend with my daughter or my beautiful wife. 5 hours I didn't get anything productive done (and with MS the days you feel able to get something productive done can be few and far between so you begin to cherish simple tasks like dish washing or taking the trash out, don't laugh, its true) 5 hours I don't write on my book or play any games or read a book. You begin to resent those naps for robbing you of your window time.
"What the heck is window time?" you may ask. Well simply put window time is something in my mind I thought of to describe a lot of how MS feels. MS is like walking down a very long hallway, The drugs you take, the drugs you take for the drugs you take etc, can leave you feeling pretty numb. To me the numbness are the plain white walls, blank empty nothing, the windows though, the windows are the good parts, The parts where your kids play with you, or you see them accomplish something, a good date with the wife, a funny movie. Quite simply the windows are where you stop your travel and just enjoy life. Every time I go to the Rocky Mountain MS clinic I find myself surrounded by a lot of folks who don't have many windows in their hallway. Those folks make me ensure that my hallway will be filled with LOTS of windows.
Yes, as I write this I am tired beyond measure. I yearn for sleep, but my son will get up soon and all these desires for sleep will go away for a bit. I think I am going to look out one of those windows for awhile.