Sleepless, no dreams to tie my mind down. Only the dull drumming of my pulse in my ear. The ache of a big toe constricted by bed clothes. The air on my face shushing as my CPAP machine quietly stops my palette from collapsing. Aching shoulders gripped with tension. The tiredness continues, but I am awake. I try different ploys, reading by low lamplight until the book thuds to the floor, which generally wakes me up again. Multiple thoughts whirl around my head, they are like several butterflies or fireflies all swirling around. Try and pin one under a finger and another flits off towards the ceiling or the floor. Gouty aches twist my limbs. Was I ever so uncomfortable? I know I need to get up and use the bathroom, stubbornness and the hope of sleeping hold me in place for a few minutes, then I swing my legs out of bed and grapple with my balance before venturing down creaky stairs into the cold. Once again, like on many other nights, I make myself a warm drink to calm the shivers and try and relax. I may stay downstairs for half an hour, waiting for my hubby, who I disturbed, to get back to sleep. Often on returning to bed I put the radio on low on a speech channel, I don’t like music playing, but often I get drawn into a programme, the sound so soft it becomes hard to detect what is being said and my brain tries to decipher the words. At some stage I will either drift into sleep or get up and turn off the radio. Often the dawn is breaking before I finally get any rest. Sometimes I remember to try relaxation techniques. Or repeating the word ‘the’ over and over in my head. Sometimes I even stay downstairs and try and sleep in my armchair. Tonight might be one of those…..