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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2010-01-28 05:44
Subject: [cancer|personal] Sleep fail and other details of life
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, child, personal, shellyrae, work
Yesterday was miserable physically, though not emotionally. The previous night's sleep issues bordered on catastrophic. A pointed reminder that while I'm on chemotherapy, my usual reserves simply are voting 'not present.' Even when I might feel otherwise okay, there's no depth. I'm a lake with all surface, no bottom.

(Note to self: you might need to reconsider that last metaphor.)

I made it through the workday constructively and productively, and even managed to regretfully put shelly_rae on a train back to her Seattle. This leaves me quietly alone at home for the first time in :: mumble mumble :: Lacking any energy, I did not even pretend to write, though I caught part of The Color of Magic on DVD. the_child came by after school and I watched her play Wii Sports for a while as we chattered. If you're tired enough, just hanging around someone else being active can be wearing.

By yesterday afternoon, my brain was definitely checked out to the point where I avoided email, blogging or anything else where I might later regret what I'd written. Did manage some personal correspondence last night, and even read the last few pages of John Burdett's excellent Bangkok 8 before crashing out for eight and a half hours. Let myself oversleep the "get up and walk" alarm this morning, but did make 30 minutes on the bike.

So, wow. Lessons learned? I'm not sure what. There wasn't much I could do to control Tuesday's digestive misadventures — even Imodium didn't slow it down at all. That stuff is usually solid for me, if I am in bad enough shape to need it. I definitely should have been more diligent about managing my sleep problems that night, but I'm not sure how. shelly_rae pointed out yesterday I'd have probably been better off sleeping in the recliner than crawling in and out of bed as I was, but by the time that point was reached, my brain was too fogged to figure it out.

It's back to spoon theory. I can still do anything I want, but not everything. And sometimes the "do" choices are out of my control, such as when the chemo takes over my body for a while as it did Tuesday day and overnight. Even my spoons are not always my own.

In slightly related news, down the road a little, I want to frame up two blog posts. One, I want to explore my previously stated notion that conservatism is fundamentally a failure of empathy. That points to some odd conclusions when I work it through, and I need to be very thoughtful in expressing them. Two, I recently mentioned on Twitter and Facebook that there are topics on which I self-censor. I find I want to talk about that, and why I do so, but even raising the question opens the issues that cause me to self-censor in the first place. Again, much thoughtfulness is needed, along with a timeframe where donning a fireproof suit to manage my comment stream will seem like a reasonable idea.

In the mean time, the workday beckons.

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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
scarlettina: Crankyverse
User: scarlettina
Date: 2010-01-28 16:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Crankyverse
There's no harm in making a big donation when you can claim it on your tax return. Conservatives make it seem like it's all about taxes in almost every debate; if my observation seems cynical, consider the tax angle and it may be purely practical from a Conservative standpoint.
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Laurel Amberdine: sky
User: amberdine
Date: 2010-01-28 15:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:sky
I frequently deal with a debilitating, energy-sucking, physical situation which makes me have use the bathroom every hour, so I sympathized with your troubles.

I've engineered my whole lifestyle to cope with my situation, but after over 30 years, I've got pretty good at it too. I hope you won't mind some suggestions.

Spoon theory is nice, as an explanation, but it was devised by someone with a chronic condition, not an acute, recurrent condition, like you and I both have. It's not quite accurate.

While you may appear to have enough energy to do X, Y, and Z but no more, in reality you don't even have that. You have, essentially, a traumatic injury situation going on, and you need to heal. Anything you do which drains your physical resources takes away from your ability to heal.

Be utterly ruthless about this. If there is the tiniest thing you can skip, or put off, or have someone else do, DO IT. Prepared meals, disposable dishes, extra clothes so you can put off the laundry, etc. Simplify everything possible. Do not try to be strong and manage whatever you can -- in the end it's less efficient, since you're just putting off full recovery.

And take really, really, really super good care of yourself. Ultimate pampering. Get the very best quality foods. Massages. Nice music. Warm snuggly slippers. Fancy tea. Meditation. Anything that helps you recuperate and feel good (while not, of course requiring you to exert any energy to enjoy). Stress hormones and healing do not mix well. Staying relaxed makes everything work better.

Most important is to sleep as much as you can, whenever you can. There are some healing processes that only work when you sleep.

I'll post more of I think of it. I hope this helps a little, and isn't in any way bothersome.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-01-28 15:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not the least bit bothersome. And thank you.
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jimvanpelt
User: jimvanpelt
Date: 2010-01-28 15:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hi, Jay. I don't comment often, but I wanted to let you know I'm reading you all the time. I think you're doing a whole host of people, including me, a favor by documenting your experiences.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-01-28 15:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you, Jim.
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scarlettina: Cancer
User: scarlettina
Date: 2010-01-28 16:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Cancer
shelly_rae's got a point, given the current geography of your household. The furniture redeployment project couldn't happen soon enough. Wish I could be there to help.

I look forward to your planned posts, whenever you decide you have enough energy and brainpower to get to them. But take it easy and give yourself all the rest you can get. We'll all be ready to read whatever you have to say whenever you have to say it. No one's going anywhere.

::hug::
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User: twinkelbelpeach
Date: 2010-01-28 18:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Will your doctor let you take Lomotil? It's prescription, but I've relied on it since I had my gall bladder out, and it works much better than Imodium.
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sheelangig
User: sheelangig
Date: 2010-01-28 18:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

I remember reading/hearing something about how there is a strong correlation between conservatism and fear/anxiety. I can certainly see how being fearful/anxious could lead towards a tendency towards having less empathy than normal (whatever normal is).

Now, speaking directly to the rest of this peanut gallery, don't any of y'all get up in Jay's face about this statement, it's MINE, okay? Man needs his rest.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-01-28 18:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I thoroughly understand the concept of spoon management, especially today, where I'm at home (until I start seeing doctors today) because of the foot pain. You were definitely dancing on the edge Tuesday night--hugs.

You just have to ride with the flow. On the good side, once you get through it--everything does come back. One of our teachers went through chemo and radiation, and she now comes back to sub and she even looks like she did pre-diagnosis--good color, good weight, etc.

This too will pass. Hugs. Just ride the flow you're on.

And I do plan to be there on Saturday--especially if there is organizational stuff I can do with minimal walkies.
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shelly_rae: Elephant Poop!
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-01-28 18:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Elephant Poop!
Jay when you're that wiped wake up the person with you. Don't hold back. I'd much rather you wake me to help you figure it out than to keep suffering. Remember that my time sense at night is foggy. I KNEW you were up and down but didn't realize how much. I'm there to help you get through it--that doesn't mean just while I'm awake.

Remember me? How long did I stay up in hospital? How many nights? Sheesh. Ask for help dude. That's one of the reasons we're here. We have the spoons you need. It's not a weakness, nor annoying, nor irritating--it's part of loving you. I don't mind the sofa if you need the recliner.

Lecture ended. Or as Buffy says, "here endeth the lesson."

Looking forward to your blog posts and to getting my brain to work on mine.
Anon

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Sarah
User: bookish_girl_
Date: 2010-01-29 02:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Jay, I want to thank you for your thoughtfulness in all of your posts. Your careful consideration and thorough explanations of your writing, your life, and your writing life have been truly helpful to me over the last few years. I am lucky enough to have found a mate and cadre of friends who are also thoughtful and intelligent, but I still struggle with the day-to-day interaction with others who at least seem not to care enough to truly think things through. Thank you for giving me a daily respite from the world. I especially appreciate your discussions of your self-censorship, as I struggle with those ideas myself. Take care of yourself.

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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-01-29 02:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am glad my words are helpful to you. I say a lot of things that an earlier me might not have, but I think they need to be said. That they reach some people is a goodness.
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