A Really Long Night

November 2, 2010

I hope there is a nap in my future today. It wasn’t a good night last night. Lauren was having mood swings and was noticeably uncomfortable yesterday. It was my educated (the calendar seemed to indicate) guess that she probably had cramps. Those of us who have dealt with the discomforts of having that double X chromosome have done our fair share of moaning and groaning. But I wasn’t sure. She could also have a seizure coming on. Or, she could be upset because her weekend caregiver had taken the weekend off. There’s been some changes in her staffing lately and sometimes that can make her unsettled and irritable. So the questions remained, what was the cause and do I medicate or not?

She seemed content as we put her to bed at 10:00, but a half hour later was making noise and sitting up. I laid her down and talked to her while stroking her hair. It didn’t help. I crawled into bed with her and tried to quiet her; she was better for a few minutes but still wanted to get up. So, I put her in her wheelchair and bundled her into a robe and slippers. The nights are getting really chilly now. I took her into the kitchen and gave her two ibuprophen and microwaved a rice bag. Promising her that she’d feel better soon, I settled her into her favorite recliner with a blanket and the warm rice bag on her tummy. As I cuddled next to her, watching a rerun of a very old sitcom, she was calm and seemingly content, but still alert and pale. About an hour later, her eyes started to drift closed. At last, the pills must have helped. Not wanting her to fall asleep in the chair, I put her back in her wheelchair and wheeled down the hall to her bedroom. I had placed a heating pad in her bed when I got her up so that she wouldn’t have to get back into a cold bed. I snuggled her under her fluffy down comforter and as her eyes drifted closed, there was a smile on her lips. Success. I went back to my own bed and lay there listening for awhile. Thankfully, the quiet house remained so, and I finally drifted off to sleep about 1:00 am.

Scritch, scritch, scratch. Scritch, scritch, scratch. What the heck! No, it wasn’t coming from Lauren's monitor. It was over my head. What could possible be making that much noise? It sounded large....really large. It was so loud that it had woken not only me, but my hearing-impaired husband as well. OK, so now I’m fully awake and I realize that, no, it’s not something large – it’s a mouse in the attic. But, this has to be Mighty Mouse...and he’s determined. No amount of wall banging is making him stop. We can’t sleep. It’s 3:00 am. We surrender. We get out of bed, and make a dash through the early morning cold to the spare bedroom. Jumping into the frigid bed, I realize that the monitor is still in the other room. I get back out; run across the hall and grab the monitor. Back in the other bedroom I am uncomfortably aware that.... it is freezing in here! I plug the monitor into the wall socket. No on light. Notoriously finicky, I wiggle the plug. No light. I find another outlet. Wiggle, wiggle, yes! Green light.

Finally under the covers, I realize why those home magazines always tell you to spend a night in your guest room to make sure that visitors will be comfortable. This is a full-size bed – wow, it’s really small for two people. And, for some reason it feels short! It shouldn’t be shorter than a queen size, should it? Well, the clock is creeping toward 3:30 now – and I’m just too tired to care. Of course, my double X chromosome has just kicked in and now and I’m clawing my way out of the covers, thankful for the cold night air. This is turning out to be a really long night.

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