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12th January 2015

Answer for question 4190. @ 19:39

What is the longest you've ever had to go without sleep? Why?
There have been a number of long times I have had to go without sleep. Most have been because of work, involuntary or due to travelling. But possibly the longest was when I was unemployed.

Back in the luxurious decadent times of the 1990s when I had a flat of my own and no job, I spent most of my time idling away life playing computer games on my trusty Amiga 1200 and watching X-Files.

Of course, not having a job to wake up for, one exciting day I chose to stay up for as long as I could and play computer games.

As I had woke up late in the afternoon anyway, I spent the first 24 hours successfully mooching about killing things and watching Duchovny and Anderson ham their way through series one and two. However, midway through the 26th hour my phone rang.

I had a little side line in doing the occasional "as required" evening at a bar, a bar that was known to have lock-ins. The phone call was from the manageress asking if I was available to work for a function that evening. Being low on cash and still full of beans (of the instant coffee variety) I thought that it would be a good idea to do a couple of hours there. So it wasn't any surprise that by twist of fate it turned out that I sacrificed my hours of killing stuff and ended up nipping out to work.

Of course things are not as clear cut as they seem. The function was an Irish function. Anyone of Irish decent will tell you that Irish functions go on forever. Anyone that has worked in an Irish bar will tell you that the bar only closes when the last person leaves.

36 hours later I was knackered but I managed to get out at a reasonable hour. Something like 2am in the morning I managed to get home. I got into my pyjamas and crawled into bed, switching out the light. With my head on the pillow and my eyes closing the doorbell rang. Looking out of the window it was 3 of my friends on their way back from a night out on the town laden with kebab.

It wasn't until 5am that I managed to get to bed again and it wasn't until 2 days later that I felt back to my normal self. The lesson I learnt? Never plan a 48 hour gaming fest without disconnecting the phone first!
 
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From:fj_warren
Date:12th January 2015 20:52 (UTC)
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I vary but my sleep patterns are all over the place these days so I tend to have really long waking splurges followed by ridiculous 'cat-naps' during the days that follow.

When my mother's dementia was galloping along nicely she used to ring me up in the middle of the night to tell me 'things' and trying to explain to her that: "No, there is not a man in the roof stealing the water tank!" was not a five minute job so I gave up on going back to sleep and used to stay up as the business operated a 24 hour call out so I had to get to the ringing phone before the old man heard it and started to get into his overalls. Luckily for all of us the poor soul became convinced that the phone was inhabited by 'speaking people' and finally refused to pick it up and telephone communications between us ceased.

I loved the idea of the friends bearing gifts of kebabs! How your heart must have soared with joy at the sight! :-D
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From:stegzy
Date:13th January 2015 07:05 (UTC)
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Think the father of someone I know is heading down the dementia route as they are getting similar calls throughout the day.

To be fair the kebabs from the shop they got them from (now closed) were quality. Fiery hot chilli sauce and flavoursome meat. These days kebabs tend to be bland and flavourless.

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From:fj_warren
Date:13th January 2015 09:38 (UTC)
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Tell your friend to seek some help. There's much more available these days than there was a dozen years ago when my mother was skipping the light fantastic. They have more drugs available as well - back in the day they knocked dear mama out with 'Zombie Drops'. Didn't stop her doing weird things but she couldn't do them at breakneck speed anymore! Seriously, believe me if it is the dawning of dementia your friend will need all the help that's out there because not only does the parent lose their own sanity the strain it puts on the carer means they are in danger of losing theirs!

I made a really hot chilli the other evening to help get rid of our colds. Couldn't taste it but we knew it was hot as we had to eat bowls of ice cream afterwards to cool off!!! :-D
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From:zoefruitcake
Date:13th January 2015 12:44 (UTC)
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I couldn't have managed it, as you well know. The only time I've really had to do it was when my stupid French-Canadian drama teacher (who never turned up to lessons) took my A-level course work and said 'ziz is not what we want!' and I had 24 hours to re-do 3 months work (which if she had turned up to the bloody lessons wouldn't have happened). I took a lot of pro-plus and managed to get it done, but I was no human. I put my poor results in the subject entirely down to her as not only did she fuck that up but also then managed to fuck up our practical too.
Cow.

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