Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alien in the Bedroom

I have had trouble sleeping my entire life. I still remember being at my aunt's house for a sleepover and I was in a room filled with children (she had 5 daughters) and I lay there listening to my cousins breathe for HOURS. At home at least I could turn on my secret flashlight and read my Trixie Belden books, but at my cousin's house I could ony stare into space.

Some time in the night, my aunt comes into the room and I pretend to sleep. Because if you are a kid and have as much trouble sleeping as I do and you grew up with my father, you learn to fake-sleep or you're hauled out of bed to stand in a corner. Because in the child-raising manual he got when I was born, punishment cures insomnia.

My aunt then takes the pillow from my head as I lay there fake-sleeping. And of course, not only do I have trouble sleeping, but I absolutely cannot sleep without a pillow. My aunt kind of did stuff like that to me my whole childhood--little things that just made me think, "Why do you hate me and what the hell have I ever done to you?"

After college, my constant insomnia turned into nightmare-laden sleep...and then, the most annoying part of this whole thing was that the family snoring on my father's side, which I thought I had escaped, came down on me--hard. Granted, I didn't bring the walls down like my dad's younger sister, nor did I snore as loud as my grandparents, I mean, talk about insomnia, when I went to visit them, I slept next to my grandmother on a futon and my grandfather slept on the other side of the room and the snoring IN STEREO drove me to get up and play with my dolls at 3am just about every night.

I was completely embarrassed about my snoring until one time I went on a road-trip with my friends and while I was in the back waking up from a nap, I overheard my friend Nicole complain about my snoring and my other friend Mike said, "I think it's kind of cute."

I stopped being embarrassed about it because if someone liked you, they would think it's "kind of cute."

I am so jealous of Peter because he can fall asleep the moment he presses a pillow under his head. I mean, it's pretty amazing. I'll be talking to him and he'll get into bed and as soon as he's in a horizontal position, he's fast asleep. Plus, he says that he's never had ANY trouble sleeping. I'm sure it's some kind of fairy godmother trick because I've never met another human who has NEVER had any trouble falling asleep.

If I had a fairy godmother, I'd ask for the gift of easy sleeping. And if I had two fairy godmothers, I'd ask for being able to find a parking spot in front of any place I visited. Yup, forget beauty and grace.

So Peter and I have been married for almost 7 years now and my snoring and nightmares have gotten really bad--so he made me go see a sleep specialist. I had to go in to a sleep lab a couple of times and I got hooked up to a zillion wires. The verdict is I have sleep apnea and now have to sleep hooked up with a CPAP machine that will blow air into my lungs.

Tonight I put the machine on for the first time and showed it to Peter.

"How sexy is this?" I said. "It's like sleeping with an alien."

He looked me straight in the eyes and said. "You. Need. This."

And then he rolled over and fell asleep.


erinthebear said...

Thank you for your post. My husband immediately falls asleep when he hits the bed - sometimes at 7pm. I am extremely jealous b/c I have had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep my whole life. Add to the fact that I live on the noisiest street in San Francisco, with windows made of paper. You are hilarious!

plue said...

Isn't it a cruel joke from God to pair insomniacs with people who can't relate at all?