Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sleep Deprivation and Stressful Days

The past couple of days have been pretty stressful.  Putting on a Thanksgiving dinner for family and the birth family, misunderstandings, sick household, daughter getting an immunization that I normally wouldn't give but felt she needed it because of fear of FASD behaviors, a sick son who was extra needy and wanted 100% attention, a friend in need, kids that get dysregulated during holidays, daughter with hives, household and homeschool work waiting...all this plus sleep deprivation and a mild sickness that wasn't as bad as the rest of the family brought me over the edge.

Every time I tried to get a nap yesterday something would happen, a phone call, a boy asking for food, a boy wanting to know if he could watch a movie, a delivery, a knock on the door, a boy wanting to know if I'm awake. Fortunately, after Hubby came home from work, most of the family cooperated and let me rest a bit.  I still had a difficult phone conversation, but the kids took the food from the pan to the table, set the table, and in general helped or at least left me alone the rest of the night. I think they knew I had enough, too much, to function any longer and needed to sleep.  So I went to bed before 8:00! I hadn't done that in a long time! But it was good! I did get up after an hour to pray for the kids, and woke up a little during the night once or twice, but I was able to sleep until 5:30! I felt so much better!

I no longer had that fuzzy, odd, achy feeling. My stomach felt better. I realized that I wasn't just tired the day before, but I was pretty sick too! A migraine? The virus that was going on? I don't know. But I was too tired to notice how sick I was the day before. Aren't I odd?  I do that sometimes, though. I've been known to have a backache or a headache but not realize it until someone asks me. I have one friend in particular, who moved away this year, that could spot a migraine in me in time for me to take care of it before it got too bad. I guess I'll have to train some family members. I already have Hubby trained to notice when I have a backache.

But I learned something from all this. No, a couple of things. One, I need to take care of myself and get enough rest. Having kids with FASD is like having a baby sometimes. If I'm too worn out there is just no way I can help them through the day. I don't know what is worse, the underlaying stress of raising special needs kids or a lack of sleep, but I need to do what I can to take care of myself. I need to rest. I need to get good sleep, whatever it takes. And I need to do things that I can control to relieve the stress, like exercise, eat right, pray, talk to real live adults, and make things. And most of all, when I am at the edge and know that I can't talk to people in a civil manner, I need to not get sucked into working things out immediately. I know the earlier that things are resolved the better, but when a person is too tired or ill, things really can wait another day.

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