2.13.2012

Ear plugs are amazing

As many of you know, I'm a person who's prone to anxiety.  The last several weeks have been filled with a higher-than-average level of anxiety for me--and that's saying a lot.  I think that this is at least in part because I've just passed through two pretty significant anniversaries:  the anniversary of the diagnosis of the brain tumor (which happened Dec. 24, 2009) and the anniversary of the surgery itself (which, thanks to Catherine, I now know was yesterday--Feb. 12, 2010).

Hurray that two solid years have passed since the surgery.  And perhaps an even bigger hurray that the anniversary itself has passed, because I think my body in some primordial way had identified the slant of the sun, the season, whatever, and knew that some bad stuff went down at this time a couple of years back, so it has gone into alert mode.

Part of that primordial warning system has meant that, as I told my friend Meg, "Every single sound in the city of Charleston wakes me up, from the gentle squeak of Biffle's nose to the trains past East Bay."  I have not been sleeping well.  Then yesterday I had the good fortune to be having brunch with another friend, Marguerite, who mentioned how much she relies on her ear plugs for good sleeping.  She says she buys the mega-pack from the Rite Aid.

"Hmmm," thought I, "perhaps this would work."

Maybelle and I made a trip to the Rite Aid yesterday afternoon and with hopeful good will bought a mega-pack.  I used them last night.  I couldn't hear a thing.  Not the clickety-clickety of Gabe trotting through the house at night, not Maybelle's sigh as she rolls over in her sleep, not Biffle's footsteps as he quietly comes home from a gig.  Nothing.  I slept seven hours and twenty minutes, friends.  That is a big deal for me these days.  I mean, I woke up a few times, but I was able to go right back to sleep.

Perhaps we've turned a corner.

14 comments:

Chuck Boyd said...

I've used foam ear plugs for years as well as a sleep mask. I really didn't know how great they both would be until I tried.

Shhh...welcome to the quiet club.

Cate Bush said...

Such good news! I'm a huge fan of ear plugs myself, especially when I'm home with all the Bush night owls :).

sarahmartin said...

Huh, I've been on the hunt for days now for a sleep mask because suddenly, inexplicably, my body decided it couldn't abide the light from the back alley streaming through my window. Is it the time of year? Are we all afflicted as we reach and pass our mid-thirties? And, most importantly, did the earplugs interfere with your need for white noise to sleep?

The Mom said...

Alison, your dad used them when you were a baby because, due to his anxiety, he heard you crying whether or not you were. He was able to sleep when he KNEW he couldn't hear you because of the ear plugs. Of course, that meant I had to be the one who always got up with you when you needed something in the night... Oh, well - I wasn't as bothered as he was, and I could nap when you did.

krlr said...

Congrats on being 2 yrs out (& on finding ear plugs). I suspect I'm *almost* as happy you're still here as your family is. xoxoxo.

Kenneth Burns said...

I've used earplugs for sleeping every night since college. I kinda wish I didn't have to rely on them, but on the other hand, I like sleeping.

Trey said...

Holy crap. I would be kept up by the sound of blood flowing in my ears.

starrlife said...

Oh what happy anniversaries!Wish that ear plugs could help me sleep! We've been fans of those wax earplugs for years since kayli can be very sensitive to loud sharp noise so we take them to the movies, to concerts, to museums and of course she needs them for swimming 'cause of ear tubes. We love ear plugs too....
your word veri is killing me!

Alison said...

I'm very interested in how many folks have a relationship with ear plugs--either using and relying on them or being somewhat fearful. For what it's worth, Trey, I find the sound of my breathing and heartbeat sort of soothing.

I'm afraid we haven't yet turned a corner, but the ear plugs certainly don't hurt.

And yes, Sarah, I do think things about sleep change as we get older. Weird.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to read that ear plugs work for you! But, I'm with Trey; wearing them makes me feel claustrophobic, partly because of the sound of my blood & breath & partly because I have more anxiety about what I can't hear than what I can. I tried to sleep on a LOOONNG airplane trip recently using ear plugs & was reminded that they make me feel too much like I'm trapped in an oceanic world I can't see.

Deandra

Anonymous said...

I still look in on your blog from time to time. I enjoy your cogent and passionate arguments. You have a beautiful brain and it was an honor to be one of the many who labored with you to keep it so. Happy (belated) Anniversary!!!
Joel

Darren Mcandrews said...

Hi there, Alison! I’m glad you’ve successfully overcome your two significant anniversaries. It’s also good that you remember them from time to time to remind you about hope and that overcoming these things isn’t impossible. And yes, ear plugs are your lifesaver when it comes to having a good night’s sleep.

Nasir DZ said...
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