I'm Getting Older
I was never a good sleeper, even when I was young. I envied people who said they put their head right onto the pillow and that was that. Not sleeping was just one of the many things I could never do but it wasn’t very important. A little like not playing tennis, or not camping. As I got older (and older) not sleeping became more of an issue. I read a whole book by a famous Berkeley expert on why you have to sleep eight hours or else. And even that book did not put me to sleep. I’ve tried many apps that people recommend with names like CALM. And podcasts. My favorite of the podcasts, which I listen to often, is called Sleep With Me. The host, an odd kind of genius named Scooter, promises you every single night that he will bore you to death. His voice is lulling. His stories are guaranteed dull, replete with insane details (One was about roads in Cambodia.) Nonetheless for reasons I can’t explain, I get into his stories: why is he telling them? What percentage of people who listen are sleeping by now? Who is Scooter anyway.
About a year and a half ago, after I’d given the college try to a guaranteed sleep formula that a genetic nutritionist gave me (she gave me a DNA test, and then, a supplement prescription) with the spectacular name INSOMNITOL, when Insomnitol did not work inspire of my DNA and its name, I resorted to a conversation with a Psychopharmacologist, on Zoom. She’s a friend of a friend, and I liked her. Try half a pill of thi she said, prescribing Mirtazapine, and email me if you’re sleeping or not.
The pill makes me sleep, but I sometimes feel like I shouldn’t take a sleeping pill (why not? says my friend Barbara. She’s right and yet). So I subscribe to newsletters with names like Try This, and sometimes do yoga nidra. Recently I filled out forms to do a Columbia Sleep Study and the doctor running the study called me to see if I qualified. We had a telephone intake interview. Because I write down my life in poems, I wrote her call down.
Yesterday I had a scheduled pre-screening
with Dr. Hyun “Monica” Kim for a Columbia University
sleep study looking for volunteers.
Dr. Kim is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychiatry
and she is Enormously Interested in Sleep.
Sleep being an elusive naturally recurring state for me,
I am considering participation and agreed
for an initial intake interview which happened
at 4 PM. Are you
a non-binary person of color
Dr. Kim asked. In fact I am an old school
heterosexual white person was my reply.
That shouldn’t be a problem
replied Dr. Kim.
Meanwhile, I’m taking the pill.
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