Sleep would be useful, here

I am really feeling SO much better. It’s funny how you don’t realize exactly how fond you are of oxygen—and the partaking of it with unencumbered lungs!—until that part of your life is a bit hampered. It’s been a long time since my asthma got aggravated like that, and I’d forgotten that the so-tired-and-achy feeling I was having often signals an inability to breathe. So. Definitely enjoying taking deep breaths, again, and trying to finish recovering from this stupid cold/allergy thing.

HOWEVER. Oh, steroids. How you eat into the gunk in my lungs! And then on into my brain! I’m sure there’s a perfectly valid scientific explanation for why Prednisone makes it hard to sleep, but I neither know nor care what it is. All I know is that I am awake and I must GO and MOVE and DO and be extremely cranky about it.

This, of course, means I am really a joy to be around. What with the BUSY and the CRANKY and the SLEEPY and the enhanced NEUROTIC from the convergence of all these things. Prednisone’s tagline should be: “You, only TOTALLY MORE ANNOYING.”

First there was the vacuuming. I would love to tell you that I’m a super-vigilant housekeeper, but that would be a total lie. I don’t know how often I vacuum, normally. And it’s very, very rare for me to do the entire house. Generally I will do the downstairs one week and the upstairs the next, maybe; or I’ll do the bare floors one week and the carpets the next. Or I’ll just vacuum my office after Licorice destroys a toy in there. (Yes, my decorating style could most often be described as “Eclectic Toy Detritus.” It’s all the rage in Paris.) Or I won’t vacuum anything until the cobwebs are really thick. Whatever.

Well. We were due for a good vacuuming. Plus my mother-in-law is coming to visit this week (for the first time ever!), so it seems like a good time to pretend we normally keep the house clean. PLUS who doesn’t want to spend hours vacuuming after a long night of tossing, turning, and staring at the clock? EXACTLY! Yesterday I vacuumed the HECK out of this house. I sure did. Woo! I went everywhere. I used crevice tools! I traumatized the dog! And when it was all done, I collapsed in an exhausted heap.

Ten minutes later a child walked from one end of the house to the other in a pair of mud-crusted shoes. Suffice it to say that the shoes were nice and clean by the time said child finally made it outside. Also suffice it to say that as I didn’t beat anyone to death with the vacuum, I am awesome. Ahem.

So I vacuumed some more, after that.

I did many many loads of laundry. I meal-planned and prepped and dusted and tidied and FILED. (I never file. My desk is where paperwork goes to die.)

I played with the dog up until 10:00 last night, at which point we had to pick up her dishes and not allow her to have any more food or water in preparation for her teeth cleaning today. See, if you’re having company, there are a few basic things you need to do. You need to vacuum the cobwebs, plan to have enough food, and make sure that your adorable family pet is not only totally lovable but also doesn’t have breath that smells like rotting cheese. I am nothing if not an incredibly thoughtful hostess, you know.

Now, it had been a productive weekend. The house is clean. Cleanish. Cleaner than usual. I got some stuff done. I’m breathing well. Heck, I ever got to have that trip to Target. By all accounts, I’m on top of the world!

And I was. Right up until I had to pick up the dog’s dishes and I collapsed into a fit of OH MAH PRESHUS BABY DOGGIE IS HAVING SURGERY WHAT IF SHE DIEEEEEEEEEEES.

That loud smack you heard last night was me hitting the wall of the Prednisone lack of sleep, I think.

There is no reason to believe that Licorice will not only be perfectly fine, but will return home this afternoon sweet-smelling and exuberant to be back with us. But on very little sleep I found myself whimpering that HER BREATH IS REALLY NOT ALL THAT NASTY IF YOU DON’T BREATHE IT DIRECTLY and I WILL BUY HER SOME MORE DOGGIE MOUTHWASH. And then after a good night’s sleep (translation: another night of staring at the clock, sleeping in half-hour fits and bursts, and generally examining the ceiling in detail), this morning she was all WHERE’S MY BREAKFAST, BITCHES?? and I got upset all over again.

Because how do you explain to a dog that really, withholding food and taking her to the vet and leaving her with strangers is for her own good? (Hint: Whispering, “DON’T YOU DARE DIE TODAY” into her furry little ears is probably not all that helpful. Not that it stopped me.) When I walked out of the vet’s office this morning she was doing that pitiful cartoon-scrabble of her paws on the linoleum, trying to follow me, but foiled by the leash and the slippery floor.

But everything is going to be fine. I took my last dose of Prednisone this morning and someday soon I am planning on sleeping again. Licorice will come home this afternoon and her breath will smell like minty newborn kittens and she will not be too mad at me. I hope. And all children will be forbidden from wearing shoes in the house. Hallelujah and amen.


  1. Midj

    Poor, dear Mir. Sleep on the horizon. Stay strong, you’ll make it!

  2. karen p

    Ha, good luck with the prednisone. I took it once and it made me very jittery. Also gained 8 pounds in less than a week. The weight didn’t come off when I stopped taking it either. Not planning on taking it again. Glad you are feeling better!

  3. getsheila

    It’s a thankless job, the cleaning of the house and raising of the children/pet/husband, isn’t it?

  4. Mary

    Of course she’ll be okay, but please do post an update, just so we can be sure!!!!!!!

  5. Jennifer Joyner

    I, too, recently learned that a good night’s sleep is something you should never, ever take for granted. In four weeks, I slept well four nights. That math adds up to one big ‘ole bitch! I went to the doc last week and cried a pitiful uncle….and have been dancing the happy, well-rested dance ever since. Sweet dreams, Mir.

  6. Jan

    May I point out that maybe, just mayyybe, you don’t actually want your dog’s breath to smell like newborn kittens?

  7. Becky

    Ah…prednisone. I wrote a grocery list, aisle by aisle, for my poor husband. Feel better and I second the Licorice update idea.

  8. Heather

    I’ve heard really good things about that sleep business. Wishing you some good stuff, very soon!

  9. meghann

    Reminds me a little of the time I was put on a flouroquinolone antibiotic. (which is a drug I will never willingly take again.) Besides tendon rupture, vision loss, and hearing damage, possible side effects include anxiety, insomnia, and suicide.

    That was a “fun” week.

  10. Katie in MA

    Wait – what? They’re feeding her minty newborn kittens at the vets?? No wonder she gets scared!! Or, um, maybe it’s possible that the pain meds they’ve given me for my kidney stone have also robbed me of my sleep and I missed the point of your post because of said lack or sleep. (Or something. With words.)

  11. Frank

    I would like to second the idea that doggie breath in ANY form should not resemble Kittens…. And take it from someone who has taken Prednisone for many years for his allergy and asthma flares… it CAN be beaten. you may not believe it… but it can. Took me many years to learn the secrets of getting some restful (if maybe not exactly ENOUGH) sleep.

  12. Anna

    Clean ALL the things!
    My mother arrived two days ago, and I did the same thing. I even cleaned out the bedroom and vacuumed. We have two cats, and the pet dander was BAD. Vacuum, clean the filter and vacuum again- TWICE- bad.

  13. Megan

    Yesyesyes – no newborn kitten breath. Just… no. Is wrong on EVERY level.

    The muddy child story is not only all too familiar, it struck home this very day because after I had meticulously, beeyewtifully vacuumed, swept and mopped every last darn floor in this house I looked up and realized that the big fan? The one in the living room? The room with the WAAAY ginormous cathedral ceiling? Was furry.

    Nope, I still haven’t cleaned it as I’m too busy sitting here alternating between mourning my lovely clean floors and wonder just how one does effectively dust fan blades that are 16 feet or so off the ground…

  14. Megan

    Ugh – ‘wonderING’ … stoopid proof reading…

  15. Flea

    Oh crap. I need to move laundry.

  16. Pamela

    I sympathize. I took my darling cat to the vet today for much postponed dental work and another minor procedure. She was incredibly annoying all last night, as she’s wearing one of those ridiculous cones to keep her from chewing, and I kept thinking “what if she dies tomorrow from the anaesthetic and all I can remember is how cranky I was every time she woke me up?”

    My husband was supportive, but thinks I’m nuts.

  17. StacyQ

    I read somewhere you should vacuum once a week for each member of your household. If I was reliably vacuuming more than once a week I’d give myself the freakin’ Holly Homemaker badge of honor!

  18. PandaWriter

    Hold tight to the comforting thought that at least you haven’t had to put Licorice on the Prednisone.

    I once had a rescue Chocolate Lab that had some, um, issues. Among other things, we had to put her on Prednisone for her lungs permanently. Best dog ever (sorry Licorice!), she loved us to death BUT she would eat bags of flour, boxes of couscous(box and all), soap, washcloths, a 5 lb bag of Halloween candy wrappers and lollipop sticks and plastic bag and all, an entire bowl of assorted nuts with the shells still on, etc, etc, etc… Yes, everything was kept “out of reach”, but once every year or so she would come up with some new previously-inedible object extravaganza. And to top it off, she was OCD about 1. retrieving and 2. being next to us. Prednisone psychosis is a power of nature in an already genetically-bred-to-be-single-minded-and-enthusiastic Labrador retriever.

    Hoping you are off the steroids soon!

  19. squorkymama

    A friend’s 2-year-old is on Prednisone, and he alternates staring blankly at a TV screen (that is *turned off*) and running around maniacally.

    And not falling asleep until 4am.

    Good times, I tell you. It would at least be somewhat useful if he would clean the house.

  20. mamaspeak

    Not sure how you get up to the 16′ ceiling fan (a 10′ ladder, I’m guessing) but once you do, you can clean the blades w/out undoing your vacuuming by using a pillow case. Put over each blade, pull along top, dust falls into the case. Brilliant, no? (Not, my idea, but so cleaver, I had to pass it on.) Now, if I would only use it myself. (And I can reach my ceiling fans.)

  21. Brigitte

    So . . the itinerary for the MIL visit is “Hi, Otto’s Mom, so wonderful you could come see us! Excuse me a moment!”, then go collapse in your room and sleep for a week? ;-)

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