Exhaustion is an Ugly Thing in the Zoot House

I’ve not been prone to severe anxiety or depression as an adult. Not of the likes I knew as a teenager, anyway. But when I get too tired? I suddenly find myself wondering if I need to seek therapy or be medicated. Exhaustion has a very bad effect on my emotional stability. I have never found myself in darker places than when I have been deprived of sleep, and last week? Deprived me of sleep to levels I’ve not known since college. In those days I self-medicated with beer and cigarettes, so it wasn’t so bad. Last week? Was much uglier. Not only was I an emotional basket case, but I was also sincerely INSANE.

At one point in time last week, I convinced myself that there must be a flag on my file at my OB/GYN that said, “Has Tattoos. Must Be A Drug Addict.” I knew several high-risk pregnant women who had been given real cough medicine while pregnant, yet my doctor was only telling me to take Over The Counter crap. (Which does not work, by the way.) Since I called crying on several occasions, begging for relief so I could sleep, I could not figure out why they were holding out on me. Why wouldn’t they give me the good stuff? It must be because they flagged me as a risk to sell it on the corner or main-line it when no one was looking.

I also met MrZ every afternoon as he came home from work with tears. Every day I was crying for various reasons. Either because the pain of the cough was so intense I couldn’t help but cry, or because Pablo lost his Treasure Map on the Backyardigans. Both tragedies were met with the same level of extreme emotion.

So tell me, am I alone? Or do your emotions and rational thinking go the way of the 8-track when you’re deprived a minimal night’s sleep? Is my reaction extreme or the norm? And is there a support group my poor husband can join to help teach him how to handle me when I’m like that? How to balance on the egg shells without sending me over the edge permanently? Because he was a little scared of me last week.

A Story She’ll Probably Make Me Delete When She Turns 12.

NikkiZ has a few things she’ll say once in awhile that we should probably discourage, or at least teach her to re-phrase, but they are so hysterically cute we just leave them as is.

Awhile ago, NikkiZ was petting Sweetie’s belly and started kinda creeping toward the area under the tail. Instead of trying to give her a canine anatomy lesson and explain what those parts were and why we shouldn’t touch them, MrZ just grouped it all into one word: Her Junk. He told NikkiZ that that was Sweetie’s “Junk” and we shouldn’t touch that. Now, of course, if anyone else is rubbing Sweetie’s belly, NikkiZ makes sure to point out to them, “That’s Sweetie’s Junk. We don’t touch Sweetie’s Junk.” We didn’t think there was anything quite as hysterical as her telling us that, but we always tried to keep a straight face as a response. Lord knows, if we laugh even a bit she’ll start yelling it to the hills because if it makes us laugh? She knows she must repeat it OVER and OVER again. In public.

Even with our good effort at not recognizing the use of the word “Junk” as funny in any way, she has still decided she simply likes the term. Even though she knows the correct words for the parts of her body, she has decided that she’d rather use the word “Junk” for herself as well. It’s easy to say and it is all-encompassing for males and females. Of course, the best is when she is hanging out with me while I take a bath and she reminds me to, “Wash your Junk, Momma!”

Thanks, dear. That is exactly why I had kids. To remind me of the important things like that.

Hi! Remember me?

Do you know that I have never taken a blogging “break” since the day I started this blog? Not an official one anyway. That must show you how sick I was/am — my blog was even neglected! Anyway – I’m alive. I’m by no means 100% and I won’t catch up with emails or announcing winners for contests until Monday or Tuesday. (The winners know they won — don’t worry!) But I’ve gotten so many kind emails I thought I’d pop in and say…Hi. And actually? For the first time in a week – I feel like I’m getting better instead of worse. Two weeks ago if I had spent the night in the recliner, waking up 4 times throughout the night with coughing fits, one of those time resulting in a 30-minute soak in a tub, I would have called that a BAD NIGHT. But – if it tells you anything about my week? That’s how I slept last night and I woke up this morning almost in tears I was so happy. Sleep. I actually slept some last night. I feel like a new woman.

There are a few things I would like to thank for existing during my time of need. This week has been rough and I’ll fill you in on all of the gory details later. Until then — let me thank a few things for keeping me from killing myself this past week.

  • Dora. Dora. Dora. You know her, right? The Explorer? If she were not so mesmerizing there is no way my daughter would still be alive after this long sickness of mine. Luckily, Dora kept my daughter entertained while I rotated between coughing fits in bed, taking baths, coughing fits in the recliner, and taking baths. Thank you, Dora. I actually found you quite entertaining in my delirium as well. Several times I found myself yelling at the TV, in what little voice I had, “Espera! Espera!” to try to get that damn donkey to wait for you to get on.
  • Johnson & Johnson vapor bath. I have a feeling that it’s probably bad form right now as a Mommy Blogger to pimp out a J&J product, but I can not help it. There have been several nights in the last week that the only sleep I got, was while soaking in a tub full of that stuff. Did you get that last sentence? I slept in the bathtub. Not the safe way to use the product, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I know it’s not marketed to me, but it has given me a few moments of peace and I have gone through FOUR BOTTLES of the stuff since I’ve been sick. Of course, I now permanently smell like a cough drop…but at least there was something to escape to when I was desperate.
  • The recliner I claimed from my brother-in-law before he put it on the street that my husband has wanted to get rid of for quite some time. It’s ugly and broken but I have always loved it dearly. I talked MrZ to moving it to the bedroom to make room for the Christmas tree this year, and it gave me one place I could sleep that would keep me propped up enough to keep the coughing at bay for at least 20 minutes here and there. It made it a possibility for me to get 10-minute cat naps throughout the night and without those few doses of sleep, my sanity would have left me on Tuesday. (MrZ might argue that it kinda did.)

Anyway. I’m alive. Still coughing, very tired, achy (the recliner, although awesome, not the best place for a pregnant woman to sleep), and no where near functioning at 100% — but I’m getting better. And since I spent several nights this week getting worse, this is a good thing. I’ve got stories to tell from the war zone, of extreme emotional meltdowns of the likes I have never experienced before (lack of sleep is NOT GOOD FOR EMOTIONAL STABILITY) to wonderful gestures of kindness from my family. (LilZ woke up several times in the middle of the night to check on my coughing self. Granted – the coughing woke him up – but the fact that he checked on me instead of cursing me from underneath a pillow wrapped around his ears – I think is a sign of how awesome he is.) Anyway – I’ll be back to normal some time next week. Hopefully.

Until then, fill me in on your lives! Anything exciting happen while I was gone? If you have an accompanying blog entry to link to I promise to read it and comment. But please be warned that my comment may not make sense as I’m still not rested enough to make proper use of the English language.

Sick Leave

It’s 4:13am and I’ve essentially been up all night. AGAIN. This is day 2 of my antibiotics but so far my cough is getting worse. It is now associated with violent spasms and headaches. I’m supposed to give this Z-pack a full run (5 days. Or is it 6? I have no idea.) before I start demanding other treatments. In the meantime? I just wanted to post something saying that I’m going to just back away from the computer until I feel better. I keep trying to come up with stuff to talk about every day but I can’t seem to leave the topic of my cough behind. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this crappy before and I have cried more the last five days over this damn cough that I have in years. Last night – after ever violent surge of coughing – I would just sit there with my face in my hands and cry. Because these coughs just kill my body. It sounds like I’m about to throw up, I start gagging, my headaches intensify and my abdomen pains. So, of course, I try to not cough, which only makes the eventual fit that much worse.

Essentially – I feel like shit and I can’t stop crying.

I’m functioning below normal. Keeping the family alive and in clean clothes, but that’s about it. I had to take NikkiZ to the doctor for her own issues yesterday and thought I was going to have a breakdown right there in the waiting room as I couldn’t stop coughing and I had forgotten my cough drops.

I’m simply a mess.

So – here is my notice. I probably won’t be blogging until I feel better because I know everyone is sick of reading about my cough. And I definitely don’t have the energy or desire to respond to emails. I’m essentially taking a Sick Leave from my blog life until I can function and an emotionally stable level after having at least one good night’s sleep. Going without sleep for five nights in a row now, is turning me into a very unhappy person.

Please don’t let anything too exciting happen while I’m gone, okay? I don’t want to miss anything good.

Regarding Emails

I’ve gotten a few emails lately about two different topics. I thought I’d address them for everyone to read!

Yes, MrZ is growing his hair out. I think it started as a “punishment” type of thing to himself for not running the marathon this year he had intended to run. He is saying he won’t cut it now until he runs the marathon in December. I think he thought it would be motivation but it’s turning out that he likes the hair and I’m not sure if he’ll want to cut it after the marathon. I’ve been shocked that it has so much body to it. I would have predicted it would be straight and stringy. But it’s not! It’s kinda wavy and almost thick. ALMOST. I really like it and he’s having a ball with it. He was running his fingers through it last night and said, “How do you live with so much hair?” Heh.

I’ve also been asked about my decision to put AndyZ in a room with NikkiZ. A few suggested he room with LilZ instead since they’re both boys. To which LilZ said, “Uh…seriously?” It was not ever even an option. LilZ needs a reprieve from his siblings. If AndyZ is anything like NikkiZ, he will want to spend every waking moment with his big brother. LilZ needs a room to hide in when he needs some quiet time.

Also – I shared a room with my brother off an on when we were little. I don’t think it’s a big deal. I think having your own room is a luxury past generations did not know, so I’m not stressing out about it. The room is big and NikkiZ is excited to have a roommate. If you’ll remember, NikkiZ slept with us until she was 10 months old, so I’m not even worrying about if the baby will wake her up because he’ll sleep with us for awhile. Also – she sleeps like a damn LOG. She has slept through tornado siren, vacuuming, and the dogs scratching at her door. I think she’ll be fine.

Any other questions that need addressing? Anything else to keep me from talking about the fact that I got no sleep again last night and MrZ found me balled up on the couch this morning crying from exhaustion? Because that topic is getting old and I need new material.