Tracey usually tucks the baby in at night; a more pleasant ritual for the baby than for her, but it does serve more than a ritual purpose.
I of course am the baby. She helps me turn on to the side I want to sleep. She then packs the blanket a little down my back, and we hope to have a good night’s sleep.
I usually sleep as if I have a total shut-down, and often not a muscle seems to have moved till morning. I can't say the same for Tracey, though, but it's not something I can control. There's not much of anything I can control these days.
Some nights like last night I have something I want to try to finish, and Tracey is tired earlier than I [I can't imagine why!], so I put myself to bed after she goes. It usually works out OK but never so good for me as the tucking-in routine. Getting a near-paralysed foot into the right position to sleep is no easy matter. If it's wrong, the ankle aches all night.
I woke at about 3.30 am with my right leg hanging over the right side of the bed. That's never happened before. I was diagonally across the bed but managed to get myself on my back, but couldn't get my leg back into the bed.
I could have called for Tracey but figured this was something I should be able to solve for myself.
The best solution was to get the left foot under the right leg and to drag it back in, but I had to be very careful not to slide right off the bed attempting that. We might have been in for another ambulance visit if I did so. Another complication was that the bedclothes – a doona and a light blanket – were slewed across and over the side with the leg. This complicated matters.
I managed to hook the right ankle with the left foot. With much groaning [in effort, not in pain, but enough to be afraid of waking Tracey, who has lock-on fix on noises from this room]. I dragged the leg back bit-by-bit like a creature going back to its den with its half-dead prey.
I took a few deep recovery breaths and then raised the bed using its electric hydraulics so I was high enough to turn on the lamp, and straightened myself in the bed. I had yet to unscramble the blankets sufficiently to cover myself. Bear in mind that I have to be able to find a corner of the cover I can grip with the left hand – not a bottom edge! – and bring up the covers in enough order to put them back into place, and that a semi-paralysed right side doesn't allow me to raise my body to do that without quite a bit of effort and a fair dash of luck.
I was more-or-less successful. I had blankets over me. I decided against trying to get out of the left side to relieve my bladder [it wasn’t urgent]. I didn't know what strength I had left and having succeeded in not-falling out of the right side of the bed I was determined not to do it out of the left.
I slept fitfully for some time, and then bowed to the inevitable and got up, being super-careful to balance enough to be able to grip the frame left-handed, then stand evenly on both feet before the right-side tremors became too violent to stop me grasping the right hand on to its grip and locking it on. Success. Narrowly.
That meant I could negotiate my way the one metre to the chair. Be grateful I don't ply you with the steps [mostly backward] that I take to get there. But I did it. I was awake till after the doctor visited at ten o’clock, and Tracey settled me to bed.
Before that, she told me that I had been making weird noises and movements at 2.30 AM, and she had stayed by the open door for ages in the darkness. When I had settled, she went back to bed. I suspect I had had some sort of seizure, leaving that leg out of the right side of the bed until I found it there. She wouldn't have seen it on the Baby Monitor from its position. I felt happy that I hadn’t called for help with the dangling leg that couple of hours later when she was deep asleep. Happier, I might add, than she was.
When I woke this afternoon, there was rain beating softly on the roof, and it was 2.15 pm. Every limb, every muscle, every finger and toe was exactly as it was when I closed my eyes. It was warm and blissfully peaceful. I could have stayed that way forever.