It’s not very often that I can lie down and fall asleep right away. When I’m really sick, like I was for most of the past two weeks, I can…but that’s about the only time. When life is back to normal – and I knew it was getting there last night – I can’t turn my thoughts off. I have to keep a battery operated clock beside my bed so I can focus on the ticking of the second hand. As long as I do that, I’ll nod off a little faster.
Doesn’t always work though. Last night (I know, with my schedule it was actually this morning, but that’s pretty much night to me), I was waiting to pay a visit to dreamland and the ticking didn’t help. My brain was bouncing from one memory to another like I was a guy holding a television remote control.
When I’m tired, those memories tend to be the kind that make me giggle. You know, so if my kids are awake they’ll think I’m a flaming lunatic…
This time my thoughts took me back to the birth of my son, who was born almost three months early by emergency C-section. I’ve shared this photo before, but here it is again…
Between being really afraid, hauling around an I.V. pole with three different bags of antibiotics (because of the infection I wound up with from the surgery), and being pretty doped up on pain meds, I wasn’t exactly myself for most of the eight days I was in the hospital.
Around day three, all I wanted was a shower. My hair felt dirty (probably because I hadn’t washed it in three days), but the doctor said no dice. They weren’t taking the I.V. out.
That day, I’d walked down to the intensive care unit two or three times to see C.J., but when the neonatologists were making their rounds, parents weren’t allowed in the nursery. And for some reason, it was taking them forever.
So my hair was filthy. I’d made several long trips to see my son – only to be turned away each time. And I really, really wanted a shower. When my nurse came in to check my vital signs, I guess she saw that I was seriously bummed out – and she offered to wash my hair.
She put me in a wheelchair and made a stop outside their supply room, where she tossed a handful of packets in my lap. My brain immediately registered the fact that those packets were labeled ‘Enema Soap,’ and I was completely, utterly horrified.
I couldn’t come up with a good excuse to tell her I’d changed my mind. I didn’t want my hair washed after all. The whole time she was scrubbing that soap into my scalp, I felt contaminated. Even after she rinsed it out.
Yeah, I know. It was just soap. Unused soap, but like I said, I was pretty drugged up on pain medication.
My mother called shortly after I was taken back to my room – and I burst into tears. After all of those long walks to the nursery, I still hadn’t been able to see C.J. yet. … and the nurse had just washed my hair with enema soap.
I don’t remember anything else about that conversation, but an hour or so later she showed up in my room, brand name bottle of shampoo in hand, and she washed the offending enema soap out of my hair.
At the time, there was nothing remotely close to amusing about that experience, but when I’m lying in bed … when I should be listening to the clock ticking so I can fall asleep … that’s one of the memories that will keep me awake. But, like another I mentioned in this post, when you can’t sleep because you’re laughing, that kind of makes it okay.