It’s just gone 4:30am as I write this. Just after dawn here, the early morning light peeking through the curtains.
This is the start of the day for me now, the time when I am awake in my new reality. It’s become habit.
It started in hospital – about now is when the nurses would come around and perform the first obs of the day (blood pressure and temperature). During the potassium crisis they would also be taking a small sample of blood from a finger prick to test for glucose. This was the pattern for two weeks or more.
The other factor is the toilet. Drinking as much as I am being asked to and with a kidney that, at the moment, isn’t working properly means a lot of urine is being produced. Unlike a healthy kidney which reabsorbs much of the water and concentrates the waste, my kidney releases a lot of water. I’m drinking 3L daily to flush the kidneys and restore health but it’s a process. So there are lots of loo trips!
Most nights it means getting up between four and six times a night. Thankfully and after initially being awake for hours on end in the early days I have now got into a habit of
- Waking up
- Getting up
- Going to the bathroom
- Back to bed
- Back to sleep
All this in little over ten minutes per trip, I reckon, which means that in a given night I’m now sleeping a lot better ……… until 4:30am.
That seems to be the point when my body clock says – that’s it time to wake up and there’s no point in trying to go back to sleep as much as I might try and I have tried.
I think the third factor here is equatorial living. In Tanzania sunrise and sunset are fairly fixed. The sun rises at 6:30am, sets about 7pm and it’s like that all year round with a half an hour shift at most. Tanzania is two hours ahead of yet U.K. – so 6:30am is 4:30am here in other words my body has not yet adjusted to my new time zone and maybe it won’t. Last summer, when life was fairly normal, it took weeks to adjust – that’s when I was sleeping through the night unbroken.
Good Morning World!