Underneath my yellow skin

Of (not-so) sound mind and body

drinkin' tea 24/7.
All the tea in Taiwan.

I slept for nine hours the other night, which makes me think I’m getting sick again. I don’t sleep for that long unless I’m sick. I slept nearly seven hours last night, which is still a bit much for me. When I saw my taiji teacher yesterday, she was like, “I hope your week is filled with shitty sleep.” That was her way of wishing me well, and while it made me laugh, it’s sadly apt. The best way for me to gauge how sick I am is to look at my sleep. The ratio for sickness is directly proportional–the more sleep I get, the sicker I am. It’s not something that makes me happy, obviously, but it’s handy to know.

I don’t know what it says about me that my body only allows me to get a good night’s sleep when I’m really sick, but it’s as frustrating as hell. Is it too much to ask that I sleep a full night when I’m not sick? When I’m not sick, I sleep maybe six hours a night, and I wake up at least once. That’s not very restful, as I bet you could guess. I can’t help but think it hearkens back to the days when sleeping through the night was dangerous, and my body hasn’t yet realized it’s not necessary.

Side Note: I don’t sleep in a bed. I’ve found that I sleep marginally better on the couch. I think that’s part of the reason my back is messed up, however, so I might try sleeping in a bed again.

I also wonder if my shenanigans in college contribute to my sleep woes. My first semester I was there, I had a class at 7:45 a.m. (or some such ungodly hour), and I wouldn’t go to bed until three in the morning at the earliest. That meant I got at best three hours of sleep a night on the days I had that class. I think it was a T/Th class, so twice a week. I probably got 4, maybe 5 hours. In other words, I was severely sleep-deprived for my first semester of college.

I’ve told this story before, but there was one time when I woke up and couldn’t find my portable alarm clock. I looked everywhere in my (small) dorm room to no avail. I opened my mini-fridge to grab a Diet Pepsi (the way I always started my day), and there was my alarm as pretty as you please. I had no recollection of putting it there, which was worrisome. I put it on the sink across the room, which meant no more stowing it in my mini-fridge, but didn’t change the fact that I was having serious sleep issues.

I used to get four hours of sleep a night on the regular. Now, I’m up to six, and I owe it all to taiji. Well, taiji and therapy, but mostly taiji. It’s frustrating that it’s not more (and, yes, I know eight hours a night is ideal), but it’s amazing I even get that much*.

I hate sleep. Or rather, I hate that I have so much problems with sleeping. I know people who feel refreshed when they wake up, and that is not me. I’m always tired when I wake up, and I know that my sleep isn’t restful most of the time. It doesn’t help that Shadow has taken to meowing in my face when I wake up. Then, he frantically scratches at my blanket if the meowing doesn’t work. He also nudges my face with his nose, which i hate. I love my boy to bits, but I hate his wet nose. I used to think he started meowing the second I was awake, but I’ve heard from outside sources that he does it before I’m awake.

In this latest incantation of sickness, I’ve been incredibly exhausted. There was one day I dozed on and off for a good six or seven hours. It’s really frustrating because I feel as if I’m mostly better from the illness, but my exhaustion state tells me this isn’t true. In the past day or two, I’ve started getting alternating chills/fever, and my throat is starting to scratch a bit. Both of these are indications that round three of the crud isn’t far behind, and I feel helpless to do anything about it.

Side Note: I went to the coffee shop next to my taiji studio yesterday because I was early, and there was this customer there who I swear I know from somewhere. She had flaming (dyed) red hair, and she was extremely outgoing. A cheesy ballad from the eighties came on over the radio. I smiled because it’s so goddamn cheesy (but I’ll still sing to it every time I hear it unless I’m in public), and I was trying to remember who sang it.** The other customer say me laughing quietly to myself, and she said, “I know, right?!” And we got into this fun discussion about cheesy ballads from the eighties. She said she remembered dancing to the song back in the day, and I said I was sure I had, too, if only in my own bedroom. She mentioned how awesome it was, and then the asshole barista butted in and said, “It’s not awesome; it’s terrible. It’s just a terrible song.” He ranted in this vein for a minute (he’s a jerk in many ways), and his coworker said, “What about The Pretenders?” He said, “Why can’t we put something on like The Black Keys?” The minute he said that, I thought to myself, “Of course it’d be The Black Keys.” They fit him perfectly. Hipster music that isn’t really outre but makes the (usually white male) fan feel superior for listening to them.

The other customer continued chatting with me, and I told her I loved her  hair. We talked more about hair until I had to leave for class. I was reflecting how different we were. She had no qualms talking with me, a perfect stranger in a coffee shop, whereas I would rather break all the bones in my body than start an unneeded conversation. However, once she struck up the conversation, I was more than willing to carry it out with her. In fact, it was a pleasant way to pass ten minutes.*** That doesn’t mean I want to do it every time I go out, but it’s good to keep in mind that talking to other people doesn’t have to be like eating ground glass.

I do not want to get sick again. I am tired of it. Once I have a little more energy, I’m going to the doc to see if she can figure out what’s wrong with me. Or at least give me a recommendation for an acupuncturist. I need to figure this shit out.



*I wake up at least once a night unless I’m sick. I read an article about how it’s more normal to sleep in chunks rather than eight hours at one time, which makes sense to me.

**Chicago. I looked it up later. Look Away. 

***No, it shouldn’t take ten minutes to get a cup of decaf coffee, but asshole jerk does the absolute minimum to skate by while the energetic and friendly female barista works her ass off. My taiji teacher offered the theory that he’s related to the owner, which makes total sense.


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