By Judi Curry
10:00pm Got into bed to watch the nightly local news. Set the timer on the television to go off at 11:00pm. Fell asleep
11:15pm Wide awake. Turned on the light and read some of a new book.
12:00am Crappy book; still wide awake.
12:30am Can’t turn off the thought processes. Turned on the news on the radio – KNX – 1070 Los Angeles
1:07am Mind going a mile a minute. When did I become an insomniac? Probably about eight years ago, shortly after
my husband Bob was diagnosed with lung cancer. Wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, and as the end was nearing and it was difficult for him to speak, he would turn on a light that would signal he needed help. Now when a light turns on – from one of my students; from an animal that is in the backyard – sensor lights – I am wide
awake and cannot go back to sleep.
1:30am Why awake now? Because I am scared to death. A long time ago I wrote an article about my dentist – Pablo Liciaga – and called him the “god of dentistry in Ocean Beach.” My mother used to tell me that if I were a bad girl she would take me to the dentist. The fear of all dentists has been with me since I was 4 years old. And then I found Dr. Liciaga. He was wonderful, and I actually looked forward to seeing him again. Today at 2:00pm I will see him again, and the fear is back. I will be having a bone graft with the understanding that in 4-5 months I will have two implants to help the decaying bones in my upper jaw. I have thought of all different reasons to call and cancel the appointment – too expensive, maybe I won’t live long enough to enjoy the new teeth, the pain involved – I am not one of those people that marched in Berkeley holding placards that said, “Masochists Unite – pray for pain.” No. I’m just simply scared!
I’m taking steroids – bone rejection? – anti-biotics – infection? and have all of the symptoms a person gets when taking those meds. I am ready to open the bottle of Vicodin first thing tomorrow morning. (Oops. In a few short hours now!)
2:01am The realization of just how lonely I am has just hit me. So many people have offered to drive me to the dentist. (I am having the procedure done under a local so have turned everyone down.) But I am alone. There is no one that will put his arms around me and hold me before I leave; no one to administer to me if I need help after I get home. No one tofill an ice pack for me or even to bring it to me if needed.
No one to give me the medications if I am too tired to get up and get it myself. Even Shadow, my loving Golden Retriever has forsaken me. Ever since I “introduced” him to Meredith, his new “dog walker” buddy he is too tired to go from the living room into the bedroom where he sleeps at night. I called him to come to bed and he looked at me, wagged his tail and closed his eyes. I can’t even cuddle up to him.
Both of my students are going to Las Vegas – which could be a blessing since I won’t have to take care of breakfast and dinner for them. Mary my friend from Desert Hot Springs is here studying for a test for the California LCSW Certificate on Friday. I certainly would not ask her to stop her studying to help me.
2:25am Loneliness is one of the saddest words in the English Language. I don’t want to be lonely. Maybe I should stand on one of the corners of Newport with a sign that says “will cook for you if you relieve my loneliness.” I shudder to think that in the 15-20 years I have left I will be alone. Yes, I am sure there are worse things than being alone – I don’t want to think about those things. I am a 20 year breast cancer survivor. I’ve been there.
2:30am Am going to try and go to sleep again – seem wide awake even after having herbal tea. And when I wake – at 5:30am to get breakfast for three students – Ben has a friend sleeping over tonight – I hope that I feel rested and ready to face Dr. Liciaga. And maybe there will be a lonely gentleman sitting in his waiting room just waiting for me to appear. Yeah!
2:42am Sleep well, you lucky people.