Continuing adventures in sleepyland

Do you have any coffee? No? It’s because I’ve taken possession of All The Coffee. I drink it all day long, now, instead of just my usual mug in the morning. You know that song Smoke Two Joints by Bob Marley? That’s me and coffee, now. I drink two cups in the morning, I drink two cups at night! I drink two cups before I drink two cups, then I drink two more!

Unlike the song, however, it doesn’t “make me feel alright.” It makes me feel… less like death. But still very sleepy.

Monkey was kind enough to come down with some sort of cold this week (step right up, come see the miracle boy with no immune system as he catches every virus in town!), which means that he’s been sleeping in, which means that I’ve been dragging my sorry butt out of bed at o’dark thirty to fix Chickadee’s breakfast and pack lunches, and then after she and Otto leave for school I go back to sleep until Monkey gets up. That part is handy, but the part where we’re both cranky after we get up is not so great.

I went back to the specialist who is prescribing me the medication that’s making me so tired and explained that I can barely stay awake, but at least on the up side of things, I still hate everyone.

Doc: Oh, you don’t really hate everyone. Do you?
Me: Kind of. Well… yes. I think I do.
Doc: Okay, well is that normal for you?
Me: Sure. I mean, I have a certain baseline level of hatred of people in general that is normal for me, yes. But this may go beyond that.
Doc: Do you hate the people who live in your house? Or just other people?
Me: Mostly other people. But I’m not so fond of even the ones in my house lately. That seems… bad?
Doc: I tell you what. Let’s try increasing the dosage one more time.
Me: Really? But I’m already practically comatose.
Doc: Pushing the dosage may not change that, but it might help with the hating everyone thing. Let’s try it for a week.
Me: Okay…?
Doc: If you’re still exhausted in a week, we’ll move on to Plan B.
Me: Which is what?
Doc: Something else.
Me: Oh. Okay. Starting to hate you a little, too.
Doc: I can work with that. Just give it another week.
Me: Whatever you say. Your couch looks comfy. Can I take a nap here?
Doc: Also I’m going to send you to another specialist for some more testing. Here’s his name, find out if he’s in-network and if you need a referral and let me know if you do.
Me: Zzzzzzzzzz….

So I agreed to everything because I was too sleepy to argue, and now I’m taking more of the comatose-making medication and sleeping all the time, except when I’m drinking a lot of coffee or trying to get Monkey to do his schoolwork.

As for the second specialist, my handy-dandy look-up-in-network-doctors website from my health insurance assured me that he exists and that he takes some forms of their insurance, but not the plan I’m actually on. So I called the insurance to figure out if that was true, and after a roundabout of who’s-in-first proportions, they located the doctor in their database and told me that no, it was okay, I was allowed to see him.

Except I need a referral, and it has to come from my primary doctor, not from another specialist.

So I called my primary doctor, who is out of the office for a week. Of course.

Then I drank some more coffee.

* * * * *

This week for his literature class, Monkey has an assignment to cast a Nathaniel Hawthorne short story as a movie with “well-known modern-day actors,” explaining his reasoning behind the casting “beyond how they look.” The only thing better than being so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open is having to deal with a face-blind, completely literal, very-little-screen-watching Aspie as he tries to figure out if he can use the cast of The Big Bang Theory to populate this assignment. Guess what! He can’t. Because “there weren’t any physicists during the Salem Witch Trials, I don’t think.” Also we had a 20-minute-long argument about whether he could cast an actress in her 30s for the part of the “new, young wife” when women were married off back then at around age 14. The argument finally ended when I realized he didn’t have anyone in mind, anyway, he just thought it was “creepy” that girls got married so young.

The teacher was kind enough to give him an alternate assignment where, instead, he rewrites the ending of the story. He’s working on it now. $5 says it involves a spaceship landing in Salem. I hope his teacher is prepared for that.

* * * * *

Otto and I haven’t been so good about having quality couple time, lately, mostly because I am asleep. So yesterday he put two dates on my calendar for us for this weekend, one for the movies and one for apple-picking. It’s because he wants to nurture our relationship. (I couldn’t even type that with a straight face. It’s because there’s a movie he’s dying to see, and he likes apples.) I told him I might fall asleep at the movies and he tried really hard to look disappointed, but I think as long as I wait until we’re seated in the theater it’ll be okay.

When I questioned him about the apple picking, the following chat ensued:
Me: I don’t know if I’m up for apple picking or not. Monkey is still sickly and I’m still mostly asleep.
Otto: We can figure that out Sunday morning, I suppose.
Otto: Doesn’t take a lot of planning.
Otto: Step 1: Get in car.
Otto: Step 2: Drive towards mountains.
Me: I am telling you now because I think you often get disappointed by this stuff.
Otto: Step 3: Stop driving when it smells good.
Me: And I am trying to avoid that.
Otto: Step 4: Hunt for apples.
Otto: Step 5: Tell kids to stop complaining.
Me: Step 6: Break hand.
Otto: Step 6: Shove fruit pies in their faces.
Otto: Step 7: Drive home.
Otto: Step 8: Stop the dog from eating a bushel of apples.
Otto: Step 9: … wait …
Otto: Step 0.5: Throw away the apple corer.

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to have him looking out for me like that, I tell you what.


  1. Anne

    I try to avoid taking medication for exactly the reasons you are describing! The side effects are sometimes as bad as the reasons you wanted the medicine for in the first place!

    Our medical system is screwy. Unbelievable the whole ‘you have to have a primary doctor refer you’ dance. Really, it’s just about them making more money. We have become almost powerless as patients. We have no rights to make out own informed choices and purchases without someone overseeing it? That’s just wrong.

    Re: the school assignment. Monkey’s teacher should have been more specific about what age, etc. was needed for each character. She/he set Monkey up to fail by not doing so.
    I am looking forward to the re-write!

    Husband should go apple picking by himself. You aren’t feeling well and neither is Monkey.
    My empathy!

  2. Little Bird

    Please tell me you’ll let us know how the re-write of that Hawthorne ending goes?
    And eating an apple first thing in the morning is supposedly better at waking you up than coffee, if that helps with the desicion making of going apple picking….

  3. Chris G

    So ready for plan B…..this sleeping all the time sucks the life out of you. I don’t know how you function helping Monkey with his assignment…the assignment might of made me really want to kill someone…likely the teacher…that alone would have made me tired. Will keep you in my prayers…I hope something works for you soon. Thank God Otto threw away the apple peeler…just saying…

  4. meghann @ midgetinvasion

    Monkey may be onto something big if he adds aliens. Pride & Prejudice and Zombies was a huge hit.

    I’ve been that same level of tired for weeks, now, although I don’t have medication to blame, so that’s neat. Ooh, maybe Otto could leave you all home and let you sleep, and take MY kids apple picking! Then I would get to sleep, too, and Otto could pretend he had his family with him. Seriously, he would need to include Step 5 and everything, so it would be exactly the same! Win/win!

  5. Brigitte

    Having been an insomniac for over 40 years, I rather relish my sleeeeepy. But it does get in the way of accomplishing, well, ANYthing.

  6. Paige

    In high school, I was an undiagnosed Aspie with facial blindness. I hated those ‘assign the movie actors’ assignments with a vengeance, and we got one every single year. The first year, I simply skipped the assignment and asked if there was extra credit I could do to make it up.

    The second year I convinced my (younger) sister to help me do the assignment, which mainly involved writing a description of the character and letting her pick the name of an actor who may or may not have have acted a character that might have done something similar. Since she only knew a few actors’ names herself, I doubt they were very good matches. I got a good grade though – turns out the character descriptions were all the teacher cared about, really.

    It wasn’t until I was 16 that it even occurred to me to ask the teacher for an alternate assignment. And I still had to put up with “what kind of teenage girl doesn’t know the name of current movie actors?!?” On the plus side, I had seen that coming and hadn’t asked in front of the entire class. Monkey is LUCKY, and you are awesome.

  7. Sarah B.

    I can only imagine my son trying to do that assignment. I suspect it would look and sound much like Monkey’s attempt. He would probably populate it, if Big Bang Theory was off the table, with the cast of Dr. Who. David Tennant iteration. So that spaceship landing in Salem? Would be the Tardis. Sounds about right.

  8. Karen R

    If the med is once a day, would it be possible to take it at night and get the worst of the sleepies out of the way when you need them?

    And, sleeping in an apple orchard might be fun. Just let Otto handle the slicing and peeling afterward.

  9. JennyA

    Ugh, good luck with figuring out the meds. I have definitely been there. The drug that took care of my paralyzing anxiety plunged me into a paralyzing lassitude. I still wasn’t getting anything done, but at least I wasn’t worried about it….

    • Brigitte


  10. dad

    I may have a solution for several of your ailments.

    Take a deep breath. Meditate on good times. Clear your mind of negative feelings.
    Then read your blog.
    No one can sleep and laugh really hard at the same time.

    If that doesn’t work, come and visit us.
    My woman is a great barista.

    We love you and you don’t hate us….I’m pretty sure.

  11. Lucinda

    Medication induced sleepiness is the worst. Hope you can find a balance that keeps you awake but not wanting to kill anyone near you. That’s a sentence I never expected to type.

  12. Brenda

    I recall freshman year of high school when we were studying the story of The Odyssey (and I think after we watched an older movie version), we had to cast it with modern actors. I’m pretty sure I had Whoopi Goldberg and Bernadette Peters in my cast. And maybe Russell Crowe.

  13. Holly

    Mir, I don’t comment on here often, but I’ve been lurking for a while. I love every single post, even when you post just to say, “Nothing to see here, move along.” A friend of mine is a science blogger (and a freaking awesome one, at that). She recently had an experience similar to one I remember you mentioning a while back; a blog editor asked her to contribute an article pro bono, she said no. But then… the editor flat-out called her a whore. I thought you might appreciate her story and her video response. And actually, Monkey might enjoy her blog, Urban Scientist (

    Here’s a link to her response, with the backstory:

  14. Brigid

    In normal conversation the other day I said “Well, I wouldn’t be very good at that because I hate people.” The sweet woman I was talking to was a tad but horrified. “No you don’t, do you?” she asked. “Um, yeah, I kind of do. Not the ones in my computer as much as the ones in person.” She is now a little terrified of me, but YOU have made me feel so much better. :)

  15. Jessica

    I have to admit, I kind of have the same low-level general hate going on. It started years and years ago (I can pinpoint the actual day, but I won’t go into that), but yeah, it kind of buzzes under the surface. I mean, I like MY people, but those are people who are my chosen ones, if that makes sense. I have a seal of approval and everything, because my friends decided that I needed one to let those chosen know of their special status. ;~)

  16. addy

    As a toddler into my young years I often slept in the apple orchard. A very pleasant experience for me. You just wander out – find a nice tree with a little sun and a little shade – lay down cover up with your blankie – and go to sleep. Upon waking – return to house thru kitchen – wash hands – eat apple. I still eat apples every day. Not so bad! I vote for spaceships and phasers.

  17. Kate

    Hi Mir…Sublime sings Smoke 2 Joints, not Bob M & prolly not the same effect as drinking coffee :) downer vs upper. not to be picky, just a reggae buff. One Love

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