Usually I try to only write one post a day, but this night before JJ’s surgery is an exception. This night I am Sleepless in Indianapolis.
Sunday night I would have slept wonderfully except EJ wasn’t feeling well and he was restless. His restlessness kept waking me and JJ up. When we got back from the consultation with the surgeon today (I mean, Monday), everyone took naps. Since EJ was still sick, I let him nap in the bed, JJ slept on the couch, and I tried to nap in the recliner, which is slippery and doesn’t recline far enough back for a restful sleep. After a short doze, I got up.
Tonight, I mean, Monday night, EJ went to bed at around 8 p.m. He immediately fell asleep and has been sleeping ever since. That is GOOD, since he didn’t sleep the night before. He really needs sleep so he can feel better.
I was very tired, but I didn’t want JJ to be alone all evening, so I stayed up with him a bit. I finally went to bed because I know we have long hours and days at the hospital ahead of us and we need to have energy to be there for JJ. I went to bed but tossed and turned and tossed and turned. I kept thinking that I MUST get to sleep because we have to get up at 3 a.m. to get ready to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. Of course, the more time passed and the later it got, the less I was able to sleep. I felt a frantic “Tick Tock” in my head. “Tick Tock, Every minute you are not asleep is one less minute of sleep. Tick Tock.”
Although I am VERY, VERY GLAD EJ is sleeping, I found a tiny, tiny part of myself thinking, as EJ slept soundly beside me, that it is totally unfair that he is sleeping while I can’t because HE can sleep ANYWHERE, including in hospital chairs, and I find it IMPOSSIBLE to sleep in chairs. I will not get a smidgen a sleep until bedtime tomorrow night. I think I will look like a bloodshot hag tomorrow and scare small children.
I also keep thinking that the nurse at the surgeon’s office had suggested yesterday that we call our insurance company to see if they would pay for a private room because private rooms have sleeper couches for patient’s families. So EJ called the insurance company when we got back to our hotel room and the insurance company DENIED our request. I am thinking slightly bad thoughts about insurance companies denying JJ a private room with a couch where I might have been able to sleep.
About 1 a.m. I finally gave up on the possibility of sleep, and I went out into the living room where JJ was still awake. Once I gave up the idea of sleeping, I felt ok with it. I made myself some coffee, thinking JJ and I could have some sleepless Mom/Son time. We spent a couple of minutes looking out the window at the lights of the very large city. Most of the buildings we can see from our windows are hospitals. There are blocks and blocks of hospitals. We can see the name of one of the hospitals from our hotel window: Sidney and Lois Askenazi Hospital. With such a name, I figured it had to have a story behind it, so I looked up the hospital on the Internet Monday afternoon. I learned that in June 2011 Sidney and Lois Askenazi donated $40 million to build the hospital. It was one of the largest donations ever made to a public hospital in the USA. Their story is very interesting. You can read it HERE.
Next door to us is a hotel that is identical to ours. It’s amazing how many people are awake in the wee hours of the morning. We saw cars traveling on the streets and we speculated where they were going so late (or early).
After a few minutes, JJ put aside his computer and said that he thought he’d try to get to sleep. He laid on the couch, which is where he sleeps. He asked, “Do you think it’s ok to panic about my surgery now?” I said, “Absolutely. Go ahead, panic for a bit! I mean, if not now, when?” We chatted and laughed for a few minutes. JJ told me that he had actually tried to stay awake so he’d sleep during his surgery. “You silly boy,” I said, “Go to SLEEP. You don’t have to try to stay awake so you will sleep later. You will have drugs to make you sleep and you won’t be able to keep awake. SLEEP.”
Now I am alone in the dark sipping coffee and writing. At first I thought, “Ugh, this is like Hell Week!” But it’s not so bad. I sort of like night-time. Night feels like being in a secret hiding place where I can observe but not be seen. I feel invisible at night, but a nice kind of invisible. Night is for keeping vigil and sharing secrets. It’s the day–an exhausting day–that will be difficult.
A friend just share this quote by Julie Wright on her FB page. I loved it and felt it was appropriate on this long night, a night in which I am sleepless in Indianapolis. Since I can’t sleep, I will write about it. Difficult times make good stories, I think, even if they are about nothing more than sleeplessness.
In 30 minutes–at 3 a.m.– the alarm will go off and we will begin the day.