Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's inadvertently and somewhat mordantly hilarious that...

...for the time being, TJ's death has, against my will, turned me into a morning person.

My sleep has improved from where it was at, say, week #2, but at week #10 it's still nowhere near what it was when he was alive. And I'm prone to nightmares at the best of times.

Among the many characteristics we shared was circadian rhythm: both of us were night owls and shunned early morning unless we had to wrangle with it, i.e. when he'd rise before dawn to climb or ski or I'd do so when I hadn't finished a piece the night before and had to awake at 5:00 a.m. to polish it for an NYC-based publication that wanted it by noon EST. (If my health continues to improve and I take on deadlines at the rate at which I did during '04 to '07, then I imagine I'll find myself in the latter groove again. Which would, of course, thrill me.)

But nights, individually and collectively, were our thing. So that I now awake at 5:30 a.m., as I said, against my will, just feels fucked up and wrong. Also, if you have a chronic illness and a limited number of "good" hours in any given day, it's a little odd when you sometimes use them up by noon and find yourself nearly blacking out from exhaustion, napping, starting the second part of your day at 3:00 p.m. and often falling into fitful sleep by 7:30 p.m., awaking every few hours, then starting the whole thing all over again at 5:30 a.m.

On the flip side, and defying logic or scientific explanation, my remission is now in week #6. As I've explained a number of times throughout the years and as TJ was one of the few to truly understand, I am never asymptomatic. I always have what feels like a powerful flu and the other symptoms persist uninterrupted; it's a question of degree. But for the past six weeks, I've walked without cane or crutches for the first time since the four month remission ended in January. And, of course, I'm delighted.

Still wish he were here to walk with me, though.

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