Next Time

Well, this blog shall be short, but not sweet.

Life hit us last night in the form of a medical emergency, all in the family, and let me point out, now totally resolved. The ending being a happy one.

Meanwhile, Jane was suddenly gone. She spent the evening at a Bay Area hospital, and I faced an uncertain prospect. It wasn’t clear when she would be home. It was clear that it was time to go to bed. So I did my best. And “my best” consisted of undressing on my own, by now a slow but doable process. And then getting into bed. The latter has been fraught for some time. Getting out of bed has become a highly modified activity, necessitating a series of ropes with which I haul myself into the vertical. This works, it still works.

But getting into the sleep position on my own, well, I had forgotten some of the tricks. Note that I had not done this since last summer, June to be exact. And I managed this process in a London hotel. But what I forgot was that I have to put on a shoe. That’s right. I slip my neurologically functional left foot into a shoe with a good, sheet-gripping sole. Thus shod, I can push the shoe against the sheet and thereby push my body into alignment. Again, it works.

But I forgot the shoe, didn’t I. And there I was in the bed, after a fairly exhausting reeducation in what the physical therapy community calls “activities of daily living.” That is to say, getting my clothes off. And I insisted on doing my best with what I had. And what I had was tired, anxious, and not adequately hydrated. I should have had more water.

In other words, all these physical systems interlock. For some reason, and a physical therapist has explained this to me, my paralyzed foot can sting if I have not had enough water. So to compensate, I cranked up the end of the bed. And truth to tell, I am grateful to have a bed that can do this. Problem is, cranking up the end of the bed puts lots of strain on my lower back. Which leads me to this very day. The crisis is over, but the back pain isn’t.

What is the lesson? The lesson is that I am old. Bedtime maneuverings are what they are, and what they are is difficult. So give up. Give way. And get help. Jane did get home eventually. And frankly we would all have been better off if I had just waited for her. Next time I will know. Well, I hope that next time I will know.

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