Sleep, Perchance to Dream

I’ve been sick for about 6 weeks now. Last Friday, after I realized I’d gotten strep on top of the bronchitis I’d been diagnosed with a couple of weeks before, I went in to the Urgent Care center, and got a better diagnosis – walking pneumonia – plus a shot of one antibiotic for the strep, and 5 days of another antibiotic for the ick that had settled in my chest. It helped tremendously. Within a day I stopped feeling like I’d been hit by a train, and a few days later my lungs had cleared.

I’m still a bit congested, and I cough a couple of times of day, but for the most part my health is rebounding. Except, I’m so tired. I get up, go to work, go home, take a nap, am up for an hour or two, and go to bed at 9. Sleep 9 or 10 hours, and start again. I know this rest, and keeping warm (yay, hats and scarves!), are vital to recovering, but I’m not someone who looks forward to sleep. It’s a waste of hours I could be writing instead. Oh, I do love those moments right before I pass out, exhausted, curled up with someone else, but it’s the part before my brain turns off that I care about. Once I’m out, the clock marches forward and I’m not getting anything useful done.

It wasn’t until I’d started oversleeping this week that I realized how little I’d slept the last month. I was coughing so much that I was waking up every hour, which I knew, but once that stopped happening, I started dreaming again. Mostly, you dream whenever you sleep, and you don’t remember it. You have to be asleep enough, though. You have to get to REM, you have to settle into your unconscious. If you don’t get there, no dreams, no real rest, no recovery. I hadn’t slept that well for weeks. Now that I am?

A few days ago, I put the final revision on an essay I’d started weeks ago, and turned it in. Yesterday, I sketched out the draft of a poem. This is the first real blog post I’ve written since mid-November. I have been thinking about story ideas – nothing concrete, no notes written down yet, but, thinking. I’m itching to push through this and get back to work, meet some deadlines, finish off projects I’ve got promised to people, but I’m forcing myself to take it slow and actually get well instead of powering through a few days and paying for it by getting sicker again.

What dreams may come while I wait patiently? I don’t care about that. I care about the writing that comes from being rested, and if I have to waste some time being asleep to put words on the page, then maybe closing my eyes at night isn’t so bad.

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