What to do at 4am

My flare up this time is rather atypical. I've been having good days, and some really terrible days. It's like a roller coaster ride.

I woke up suddenly this morning at 3am with the dryest, most painful mouth and throat I've ever had - I had to try and rinse with water several times before I could swallow what felt like a mouthful of dry sand. So, now wide awake, muscles hurting like heck and restless - only mind numbing rubbish on tv, what to do with myself?

Go for a drive to the beach. Moist, salty, cool air ahhhhh. It's pre-dawn under an almost full moon, and I can see quite clearly out in the bay several humpback whales making their way up north. The cold air makes their spouts steamy and much more obvious. Nice hot cup of coffee in hand, checking email on tablet (why is my internet signal on a beach in the middle of nowhere better thzn in town at home?).

This is a much nicer way to greet the dawn than sitting at home feeling sorry for myself :)

Sounds beautiful, the beach. I’m up at nearly 4 am today, but not in pain. I have foster kittens and one was in very bad shape twelve hours ago. Now? Eating and playing.

I love the predawn hours. I like to sit outside and watch nature.

Hi Tog,

Good to hear from you! You are fortunate to live so close to the ocean and her bounties. What a great way to spend a restless night. After seeing your fantastic photography, I can almost imagine you there with the whales in view.

I agree about the roller coaster ride, and who can predict where it will take us, it seems to be a different ride every time!

We had yet another terrible storm yesterday, this one so intense I thought all of our 5 story trees would come down around us. My sister in law is without power again after just being restored, she has downed power lines all over her yard, my husband cannot even get to her to run a generator for her. They are a daily occurence, getting more severe by the day. The barometric pressure never seems to rise to normal anymore, and I don't need the weather reading to know it.

I hope that you have a more restful night ahead of you. Take good care of yourself!

Wishing you well,


I love this post, Tog. Wish we could all be there with you and see the whales. :)

Wow I am going to have to call you when I have one of my bad days. Going to the beach to whale watch is so much better than pacing the floor!

I understand the ride and I love how strongly you took charge. Great therapy!

Tog, with me it's the birds, after many a restless night I'll find myself perched on the back or side deck or the front porch with the birds at dawn. I've always had 'a thing' for the winged ones. Though I cannot see all of them, I know that some of my buddies are beautiful Blue Jays and Mockingbirds, and I go out and whistle with them! They start to squawk and sing to greet me the minute I come out the door, and the exchange begins!

My mom, husband and grand kids marvel at the response I get from them! It's one of the joys of my life!

Absolutely, do not drive on that little sleep. You are driving blind per a University of Rochester Flaum Eye Institute eye doctor, Dr James Aquavella. He is a research doctor for the N.I.H. and a practicing physician at 88. "You put everyone you encounter on the road in jeopardy."

Get in the bathtub or put on construction site eye goggles after drinking several glasses of water and putting eye drops in your eyes. Another suggestion... sit in front of a humidifer.

Hi Maureen

I agree with you in principle, and recognise that fatigue and reduced visual acuity plus night driving is a high risk activity. We see our share of road accidents and deaths here due to the nature of long country stretches of roads and long distance driving necessary over here. I've been on drives where I haven't seen another living soul for hours at a time (One time in Northern Western Australia, I went for two days before I saw another car).

But, in my defense I woud like to point out that I am (what my friends call me) a safety gal. Particularly behind the wheel of a car. I wouldn't have gone for the drive if I didn't feel confident in being able to keep myself and others safe from harm. The lack of sleep wasn't an issue - I have been highly functional at work and in my private life for many years usually on little more than 3 or 4 hours a day sleep. 25 years in ICU and sometimes 24 hour shifts, I do fine in terms of mental allertness. I put drops in my eyes, had a coffee and took my time well and truly under the speed limit.

The kangaroo that jumped in front of my car on the way appreciated my allertness. (You know, just like deer they see a car and say to themselves... oh, a car... I must cross the road LOL).

I believe as I said in the generalism made by Dr Aquavella, but it doesn't take into account an individuals abilities or skills. No two of us are alike after all.

In my particular case - I made the decision keeping in mind that the benefit far outweighed the risk. The expeience helped me physically and mentally, the sea air, the beaurty and serenity of the place buoyed me at a time when I felt alone and (I am not embarrassed to say) depressed.

Would I have felt as uplifted sitting in a bath with goggles on?

Sometimes, we have to treat the whole person - not just the disease.

Hi SK, sorry to hear about the storms and damage - seems the weather is a little messed up at the moment everywhere. We've been in the grips of some odd stuff too, down south they are having blizards, it's getting down to 0 degrees C at night here with frost but the days are warm balmy 18C with blue skies and drought! Go figure - thanks el nino.

I know what you mean about the birds - that's one of my happy places too. We have so many beautiful birds that live in and around the house - but my all time favourite is the Willy Wagtail. Tiny, plucky smart little birds who look like they are wearing tuxedos and the voices of angels. They describe their call as "sweet - pretty - creature" in the books, and pre dawn they all start up singing to each other. It's always been the sound of happiness to me, and it's a reassuring comfort when they call, almost like they are saying it's okay, we're here and awake too, you aren't alone.

Hi Stoney, must be the good TLC you are giving :)

Any chance of some pictures and an update? Pleeeeeasse! LOL

Stoney said:

Sounds beautiful, the beach. I'm up at nearly 4 am today, but not in pain. I have foster kittens and one was in very bad shape twelve hours ago. Now? Eating and playing.

Oh they ARE beautiful!


"Willy Wagtail singing & helpin Watch g with the gardening" on YouTube


Cheeky little things too !


I was totally unaware that when our eyes are dry,confirmed by a Schirmer's test score, we are legally blind according to the letter of the law in the U.S.. Fatigue and insomnia add to our problems. Having this since 1980 and only having been recently diagnosed, the puzzle pieces fall into place. I also am the type A individual who worked 20 hours per day and 7 days per week for decades only to have my physical body fall apart.

It is all about self care. With this piece of information, I am definitely more cautious about getting behind the wheel of a car.

As for the goggles, they work and are very inexpensive.

Blessings to you on your journey.

Where does it state that we are legally blind with dry eyes? If my vision was blurred from dryness I would consider it temporary and not a permanent disability. Of course I would never consider driving if my vision was even temporarily affected. Just wondering??

Talk to a dry eye opthamologist.

There seems to be some confusion here, though I am not an ophthalmologist, not everyone with dry eyes is legally blind or headed that way. Corneal erosions and infections are a concern with dry eyes, and retina damage is possible, in a small percentage of patients, but not guaranteed.

I just went to a retina specialist and my eyes were as dry as dust, the drops they placed in my eyes stung like crazy and the specialist told me it was because of the dryness. My retinas are in perfect health and my eye exam was good with my glasses, and I do drive with my glasses. I also just passed my driver's renewal eye exam, with my glasses.

I do not wish to discredit a medical professional, or have discord on the boards, but do not want to alarm members with this. Maureen, if there is a link that you can offer, I would very much like for you to share it, please. :)



I am sorry if my reply caused any impression of discord. I was just seeking clarification if this is something new or if it pertained to a particular state’s laws. I did not intend for anyone to take offense.
Again I am sorry.

No need for apology, Cassi, I am seeking clarification as well.

Boy, I love your creative ideas. I was just going to say that I go into the bathroom after gargling with NeutraSal for my dry mouth and putting in eye drops for my eyes. I sit there and read without my glasses in solitude until I am so tired I can go back to sleep.