A Good Night's Sleep

>> Sunday, May 1, 2011

It’s bedtime. After the nightly ritual of drops and ointment in eyes, I climb into bed. The love of my life and I exchange a few goodnight words … and I go to sleep. Isn’t that what going to bed is for? I sleep soundly and awaken when the alarm goes off. Night after night I receive a good night’s sleep.

Not so this night.

I try to stifle the cough I feel building in my throat. Finally it explodes into the air. I change positions. Still coughing. I lay on my face. Doesn’t help. So far, I’ve not awakened my husband (or the dog). The coughing is relentless. I slip from the bed, picking up my slippers and housecoat as I leave the room.

The clock chimes 1:15.

Moving quietly to the t.v. room, I use the leather stuffed chair as a bed, placing a cover over me. I cough on. The light from the DVR seems blinding in the darkness. I make a pile with the cover to block the light from reaching me.

The clock chimes 1:30.

I think of my friend who lies in a hospital bed after having cranial surgery for eight hours. She’s not having such a good night. And what about all those homeless people I saw in Seattle a few weeks ago. Do they ever get a good night’s sleep? And the coughing continues.

The clock chimes 1:45.

There are people in Alabama trying to sleep on the floor of a gymnasium with hundreds of other people. Their homes have been destroyed. They aren’t getting a good night’s sleep. And what about the brave souls who are in places like Afghanistan, fighting to help keep our world a better place? They would love to be sitting in a chair in my peaceful home. My coughing fit seems to be over. I sneak back to bed.

The clock chimes 2:00.

The minute my head hits the pillow, I cough. This is not going to happen. I grit my teeth and turn over. I cough again. Quickly moving through all the sleeping positions known to man, I try to find the one that will stifle the coughing. It is not to be.

The clock chimes 2:15.

Once again I sneak from the bedroom. I don’t head for the chair in the t.v. room. I’m wide awake, so I walk to my office and turn on the light. The computer beckons me. I’ve got words in my head to put on paper (so to speak … since it’s really just on the screen). And so I type these words.

The clock chimes 2:30.

I would like to have a good night’s sleep. But since I can’t, I’ve talked to you. And I’m not coughing.

“I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.” Psalms 3:5 (NLT)


Diana Dart May 1, 2011 at 10:07 AM  

Sometimes the body (and the brain) do NOT want to cooperate with a normal schedule, eh? But you were able to ponder some meaningful, deep thoughts and share them with us. Thanks!

Now go and take care of that cough. :)

Joy Bach May 1, 2011 at 12:11 PM  

Good afternoon, Diana. Yes, pondering in the middle of the night can get pretty deep. Last night wasn't much better, but I have more energy today. Soon I will sleep again.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps May 2, 2011 at 8:54 AM  

I have had sleepless times and found that I have grown so sensitive to caffeine that I can't even eat one little Dove chocolate or WAKEFULNESS ensues - how is that for a bummer?

Joy Bach May 2, 2011 at 9:58 AM  

Yes, Marijo, I'm the same. I try to never have caffeine, but if I do it's no later than lunch.

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