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Lupus and the irony of sleeplessness

Posted Nov 20 2012 11:04am

Exhaustion and sleeplessness

Exhaustion and sleeplessness – two contradictory problems that stem from lupus when it flares.  The irony is that lupus brings on neuropathy pain and deep bone and tendon aches to my body in the midst of those nights when I am already exhausted and desperately need sleep the most.  Sometimes, on nights like last night, I take pain medication in the hopes of quieting the pain enough to sleep, and knowing the medication should also help knock me out.  Last night, I was resting physically, laying still in my bed, but the mental rest of sleep eluded me entirely.

jealous of those who slept

Morning neared as I heard the grandfather clock strike five o’clock.  I quietly listened to the song birds begin to stir in the predawn darkness, rustling in the lemon tree outside our bedroom window.  I was motionless and sleepless next to my sometimes snoring, slumbering husband.  To be honest, I felt intensely jealous of his ability to fall deep into restful sleep, while I stared at the dark ceiling awaiting the first rays of light.  Soon, there was chirping and some short bursts of morning bird song and cheerful chatter.  Even the birds made me envious!  I knew that they, like my husband, had slept all night and were just now waking a few moments ahead of first light.  Their tiny avian body clocks were in good working order, but alas, mine was not!

slipped my toes into waiting slippers

As smoky first light began to slowly illuminate the room, my body began to respond to acknowledge it was morning.  I sat up, pushed back the covers and slipped my toes into the waiting purple slippers on the hardwood floor.  Scuffling out to the kitchen, I accepted my weary plight.  Morning had now broken and I was completely and utterly exhausted.  Slightly brain-dead and concerned about the tendency of my CNS lupus to flare in the wake of sleep deprivation.

No time left for sleeping

There was no time left for sleeping and slumber, since my day was going to march forward whether I was rested for it.  Soon, we would be breakfasting with our son, daughter-in-law and their four little ones.  Today, I am determined to stifle and rise above my exhaustion, counting on the adrenaline of joy to fill my precious moments with our visiting grandchildren.

the joy of the Lord is my strength

Thanksgiving week is set out before us, and we are blessed with our out-of-town loved ones visiting.  Today, although I would love to be fully rested to enjoy them with full energy and bounce, I will make do with what energy reserves are left over from yesterday mixed with a bit of “faking it.”  The irony of wanting and needing sleep, and not getting a drop is not going to erode the blessings of the day and week ahead.

My thought for the day comes from one of my favorite Bible verses, Nehemiah 8:10, “the joy of the Lord is my strength,” and today God will have to be the sole source of my sustenance and power.  Sleep may have been lost to me, but this day it shall not take my joy with it!


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