Thursday, December 06, 2012

Life Under Pressure

Things like journaling and blogging were pushed to the back burner last month - there were articles to write and edit, the twitter stream I've been feeding for work, quite a bit to read and write about for school, and plenty of demands connected to the house and family. Life is full, and not just my life but the life of every member of my little family. Too often I've found myself carrying at least a low level of guilt and shame attached to unfinished tasks and failures. Next week D. comes back to us, and it's time to set the alarm clock for 5:30 again to get him to morning swim practice, every day.

I'm hoping things will lighten up a bit this winter but am trying to be realistic; it may go on like this for some time. And it's helpful to realize that I actually prefer it over the the depressed state that comes on me when I have plenty of time and nebulous responsibilities and still can't manage to get things done - the boredom of a life that's too empty or unstructured. Knowing I'm in over my head brings its own odd kind of comfort. It helps me sleep at night. I'd rather live something more like the contemplative, spiritual, relationship-driven way of life I tasted on sabbatical, but since that's not in the cards at present, I can find a form of contentment in the way things are.

Hubs, though, is struggling with what we think is sleep apnea, and feels rotten much of the time. He can rally his energy when he must for work, school, and fire department, but has little left when he comes home. Even though we are able to block out 8-10 hours and sometimes more for sleep, at 3:30 or 4:00 pm each day he starts to feel like death warmed over. He saw a doctor recently and has an appointment with a specialist next week, and those are hopeful developments.

Sleep apnea is a big deal but quite treatable. I hope it doesn't take months to jump the hoops to get him the C-PAP machine that is the usual prescription. Meanwhile, he built himself an interesting breathing contraption of his own design, one using a fan, a funnel, some small plastic tubing and a whole lot of duct tape... This does not do much, really, but it helps somewhat - and what fun to come up with and execute the plan!

I find a choice before me. Will I rise to the challenge of focusing on and caring for my not-all-there husband - and, at least when he's with us, our son - and love them? Or will I cultivate worry, self-righteousness and resentment because this is not what we had hoped for?

The path of self-pity, though I can "justify" it, only increases my own pain and everyone else's. It's like adding a 15% tip or tax onto whatever trouble comes our way.


Megan Noel said...

i can't tell you how cool i think it is that chris built his own cpap. i hope that he gets help soon. you are right, lack of restful sleep just makes everything else so much worse.

Marti said...

I thought you'd appreciate that. One of C's mottos is "I am willing to abuse any technology to accomplish the goal." As I also said, though, his breathing machine didn't work terribly well. A fan is not quite the right thing to actually create focused air pressure. But as the process rolls along I have no doubt he will create / adapt some of the tech he needs to treat this problem.

He is getting pretty desperate. Says he hates the thought of going to bed. It's getting worse. And he still has three papers to finish and two final exams to take in the next week.