Monday, April 22, 2013

The April 2013 Dewey's Read-a-Thon is Upon Us

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The next 24 hour Read-a-Thon, an event for book bloggers created by Dewey in 2006 and carried on in her name after she was lost to us in 2008, is scheduled for this Saturday, April 27.  For me in the Pacific Coast time zone it starts at 5am.

Book lovers from around the globe participate in a marathon of reading, blogging, social networking, leaving cheering on comments, and entering mini-challenges (games, tasks, trivia) and drawings for prizes.

I have participated in every one since April 2006 and have always prided myself in participating the full 24 hours.  With my visual impairment I couldn't compete in number of pages or books finished and I've always had a talent for the 24 and more hours awake so it seemed a natural fit.

This time will probably have to be different for me.  Anyone following the recent events associated with what I call the lifequake that hit me in January will know that I've been under medical care to address my issues with sleep and a mood disorder.  There has been great progress.  I'd even made it nearly a month without a 24 hour day and then a week ago fell off that wagon and into a meltdown that consumed most of this past week.  It turned out to be the disruption in one of my meds at the root of it so it would be an unhealthy choice to disrupt the med schedule for this.

Even for this.  My head knows.  My heart resists.

Add to this, I will be on duty with my Mom all day Saturday, responsible for lunch and dinner and at least some socializing.  For the latter, I can spend some extra time reading aloud from the Mitford series that we have been working through this year at the pace of a chapter or so each evening she is home.

She usually spends the weekends with my brother's family but she is staying home this weekend because she will be staying there Monday thru Wednesday next week while my sister drives me down to Phoenix and comes back with another van load of my stuff, leaving me behind for about ten days to help Ed finish packing up and deep cleaning the trailer in preparation for his vacate date May 15th.

Which adds another level of complexity to this for me.  If I were to stay up the full 24 hours I would have only another 28 or so to recuperate and prepare for the trip.  This could put me at risk for another week of disrupted sleep and mood, leaving me vulnerable to more meltdowns.  Not exactly the healthy choice for the fragile state of our relationship as we continue to climb out of the abyss we had tumbled into.

So I ran all of this past Ed in an email this morning and asked for his honest input and during our Skype session this afternoon he gave it.  Essentially he made most of the above points and then said he would support whatever decision I made.

He understands how important the Dewey Read-a-Thon has been for me and has always supported my participation and believes it is important that I continue to participate but he hopes that I am able to let go of the need to do the full 24 hours.

I tend to have an all or nothing mind set.  I can't imagine not participating.  But I know how hard it would be to quit before it was over.

I didn't make a commitment about the 24hr part but I did commit to zero energy drinks, no extra caffeine beyond my two cups a day and none after 3pm and to getting a solid 8 hour sleep the night before.  Which means if I'm not asleep by 9pm Friday night I can't get up at 5am.  

He was encouraging me to keep my med schedule in place at both ends.  Which would mean between 1am and 2am for the night meds which has me waking up between 9am and 10am.  Which means starting 4 to 5 hours late and quitting 3 to 4 hours early.  *grimace*

I countered with taking them between 11 and 12 Friday night and then between 3 and 4am Sunday.  He countered with 12 and 2.  I'm still dithering.  All scenarios have drawbacks.  Like having to go to sleep before time to take meds and then wake up later to take them.  Kinda silly.  And at the other end of the thon purposely inducing a drowse state while intent on fighting it while committed to no stimulants...

I've been going around and around with this all day.  The only given so far is that I will be participating.  I signed up this evening.

The rest is up in the air.  A lot depends on how the rest of this week goes and where things stand Friday night.  I'm rarely posted for the day by 9pm let alone ready to crawl into bed.  So it would take some planning ahead.  Then too there is a new med in the mix.  The med nurse prescribed a low dose of Ritalin for mornings to see if it has any impact on the frustrating way my brain won't come online for six to ten hours after I wake up if I've slept more than six hours.

That's the single most significant issue that contributes to my tendency to stay awake for upwards of 24 hours or string together weeks of 4 hour nights or chase the clock by staying awake 20 hours and sleeping for 5 or 6.  And so on.  It is also the one thing making staying on the schedule so difficult.  So I'm really hoping this helps.  Will be taking first dose in the morning.

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