Just not one to lie abead, listening to my bones creaking and hoping to fall back asleep.
I come from a long line of nightowls, and learned early how to be stealthy so as not to disturb others when wide awake and restless. When I lived at home, Mom and I would greet each other over the kitchen table for a game of scrabble or cards, and chat the night away upon occasion. Intimate conversations where we’d fix the world if we had our druthers, or simply laugh and enjoy the company until it was a decent hour.
Other nights, I’d be out cold and wake to find she’d cooked dinner and desert for later that evening, had made donuts or bread, and now had a full breakfast ready to send me and my sister on our way.
I’m a big fan of breakfast, and it would be horrible if she got that urge to cook on a school day as I couldn’t eat, once I started going to high school.
I’ve had many repairs to my body, one of which involved tightening up my bladder to give me more than 2 seconds warning before it would be too late to matter once Nature called.
However, in High School, they felt it was reasonable and right to lock ALL bathrooms except those in the gym locker rooms, where the coaches hung out all day. In a school of 2,000 kids (roughly 500 per grade). Crazy. You can get an idea of how large the school was with that many kids, and only 3 minutes between classes, and locked bathrooms EXCEPT way out in the fieldhouse, near the track. Unless I had Gym (or was willing to skip lunch (a 20 minute free period), there was no time to use the facilities between 6am when I left the house, and 2:30 / 3:00pm when I finally made it home. (That scene in “Sybil” was particularly meaningful – where her mother told her to “hold her water” as a little girl tied to the piano, being tortured).
So, I learned to hold my water by not eating or drinking each day until lunch hour, at the earliest, because the school was adamant in its desire to not police the smokers in the bathrooms, and the teachers were adamant that you weren’t getting a hall pass and the bathroom key to skip their class.
As my body is breaking down as I’m getting older, though, I find I’m juggling common sense about keeping hydrated with the need to NOT be camped out in the bathroom hourly. Either the meds I’m on won’t let me empty things completely (leaving me feeling always on the verge of disaster, and distracted by a need to go), or I am running to make the bathroom with very short notice in order to avoid peeing my pants. It’s crazy, but I’m back to what I was going through in high school, trying to pass for normal but limiting my intake to avoid disaster.
At any rate, I tell you all that to tell you this… COPD and growing old aren’t for sissies. I’m turning in my grownup card if it gets to the point where I have to rely on Depends. Camping out in the bathroom for a couple of hours a day is a bit much, but compared to being in a diaper? I’ll find a way to make it work.
Are you up at 3 am regularly, and what are you doing to fill your time until you can fall back asleep?