Friday, April 2, 2010

Miraculous things

i woke up at 645 this morning, my right arm lying peacefully next to me.

there are at least three miracles embedded in that sentence: first, no sling; second, no pain; and third, to wake up presumes that i slept -- which is the greatest miracle of all. nights over the last five weeks have been their own special hell. for the first couple nights, i slept in the spare room (if you could call it sleeping, those long hours of narcotic drift). on the third night, paranoid and borderline delusional with the combination of percocet, pain, and sleep deprivation, i came crying back into our bed. which was better, to the extent that it's a more comfortable mattress to lie on for hours at a time.

there is no way to sleep comfortably while you're wearing a sling, and you are required to wear it all night every night. next time you can't sleep, fold one arm across your midriff and imagine keeping it there for eight hours. the first thing you realize is that you can only lie in your back, although after a couple of weeks you figure out how to lie on your unoperated side, as long as you bolster the damaged arm. (the logistics of this are just as complicated as you might imagine.) as for sleeping on your tummy, or the other side, as for snuggling, or sex, or even reading comfortably in bed -- forget it, sister. even that 45° turn, from good side to back, is a major night endeavour.

i'm sure it doesn't help that i'm normally a good sleeper -- a great sleeper, in fact. it's a major blessing of this lifetime, worth the knock knees and the TMJ. i go to bed when i'm tired, i fall into a deep sleep within minutes, and i wake up wholly and completely seven or so hours later. i am that irritating person who says to the chronically insomniac, "have you tried chamomile tea?" they must feel about me the way i feel about people who suggest taking an aspirin for a five-star migraine. my standards for sleep are high, and i have come nowhere close to meeting them these last five weeks.

but enough about that: it doesn't bear reliving. i slept! without a sling! and woke up pain-free!! on this weekend of all weekends, the credulous days when people believe all manner of things -- that jesus is the son of god, that lamb's blood can protect you from the state's functionaries, that a four-day weekend is long enough to do all of the spring yard cleanup, that failing to land a SSHRC means something about you as an academic -- i am prepared to call this my own spring miracle, and i will add to the list of miraculous things pretty bras, pullover shirts, pulling up socks two-handed, a good haircut, retrieving my own glass of water and shaving my pits.


Anthony said...

glad yr arm is getting better---i have an unspeakably filthy easter joke if it would make you feel better

Dana Wilde said...

No wonder you are so brilliant! You sleep! Sleep is linked to higher brain functioning. And weight control to some degree. I bet you even had enough brilliance leftover from pre-op sleep to get you through the non-sleep weeks ;-)
The irony that is when one needs sleep the most, one is denied.