I’m sore. It feels like I fell down, which I did. I don’t remember it, but my husband says I did and he’s pretty reliable. There is a tender spot on the back of my head where it hit the wall and a bruise on my right arm from hitting God-only-knows what. My shoulder feels kind of wretched, too, like I strained the muscles in it somehow. The skin on three of my fingers on my right hand is mangled from grasping the metal mini blinds. I don’t remember doing that. I do remember lying on the floor next to the window, looking up at the mini blinds and wondering how they got so mangled. I was lying on my back. The lights were on in the bedroom. My son was in his small bed at the foot of my own bed, sound asleep.
I wondered what I was doing on the floor. I was drenched in sweat, which told me my blood sugar had dropped down really low. Had I gone into convulsions? I wasn’t sure. I’m never sure about that. When my sugar gets so low that I have convulsions, I am unconscious. During the convulsions my liver releases the emergency backup glucose it saves in case I am ever being chased by a Saber Tooth Tiger (this programming was handed from my most ancient of ancestors, who would be amazed at the shots I take and the meter that tests my blood sugar. Then again, they’d be amazed to see a battery operated flashlight, too). When this fight-or-flight sugar hits my bloodstream and I come to, I’m fine. Not normal, but aware of my surroundings and able to talk.
I’d never wound up on the floor like this. My head was on a pillow, which should not have been there by the window like that. I was soaking wet, like I’d been out in the rain. The adrenalin that my body releases to get to that emergency sugar and bring me back to life leaves me in a cold sweat. I hate it. It feels vile. It occurred to me that I needed to pee, so I pulled myself up just as Jeff was coming around the corning with a glass of orange juice.
“Don’t get up!” he barked.
“I have to. I’m fine,” I said.
“Be careful! I don’t want you getting up!” I had obviously pulled him out of a deep sleep, and he was freaked out. 22 years of living with me has not lessened how these incidents freak him out.
“I need to pee,” I said, and made my way to the bathroom. He put the glass of juice on the side table and went out to the garage, probably to smoke a cigarette. He no doubt needed the serotonin rush that the nicotine would give him.
I came back to the bathroom and lay on my side of the bed. The sheets were cold and wet. Gross. I reached over to the table to drink the juice. As alert as I was, everything was still a little too dreamlike for me to turn down a glass of juice. I didn’t want to ask Jeff what had happened. I don’t like him when he’s freaking out, and asking him for a blow by blow would make him freak out more. I wanted fresh sheets on the bed and was thinking about getting up to change them when he came back in the room, glanced at the empty glass, took that as a good sign, and got back into bed. Asking to change the sheets would only remind him of how bad this episode was, I thought. His side of the bed was dry, so he was comfortable. I decided to suffer through it rather than deal with his scowling face when I asked for dry sheets. I wrapped myself in my damp bedding and hoped it would warm up soon. I fell back asleep, despite the wet sheets, wet pajamas, and wet hair.
The next morning I noticed how bad my fingers were cut. I took a shower and changed the sheets.
By the afternoon, I breached the subject of what happened and how did I end up on the floor. That part was bugging me, since I had no memory of getting there.
I hate when my blood sugar drops in the night. In the daytime, I will notice it and do what needs to be done to correct it. At night, it’s a crap shoot whether or not I will wake up or not. If it happens when I’m in a light phase of sleep, I may awaken and make my way to the kitchen for juice. I have also known myself to make my way to the kitchen when I was not exactly awake, and become aware that I was there as the cold air from inside the refrigerator hit my wet skin. Apparently I was off on one of these sleep-walking self-rescue excursions on Sunday morning when something went wrong: my 6 year old son had fallen out of his bed, and when I walked around the foot of my bed in my stupor I tripped over him. Rather than fall on him, I fell back and hit the wall. That is what woke my husband up.
He put our son back in his bed. He tried to put me back in bed, but I was having convulsions and he couldn’t. He gave me a pillow to lie on, instead, and went off in search of orange juice, which works like magic.
“What happened to my fingers?” I asked.
“You had a death-grip on the mini blinds. I’m sorry. I guess I cut you when I was trying to get them out of your hand.”
I looked down at the Band-Aids I had on them. Beneath the bandages, my fingers looked like I had grabbed the wrong end of a knife. They don’t hurt as long as I have the wounds covered up, so I had four bandages making stripes around each finger.
“That’s okay,” I said, though I’m not sure why he couldn’t let me hold onto the blinds if I had wanted to. Apparently, I did want to; from the shape the blinds and my hands were both in, I had not surrendered them easily.
It wasn’t until that evening that I began to feel the sore spot on the back of my head, and the bruises on my back and arm. I kind of got the blinds looking like they should again, though it still looks like me own one of those kittens that has it in for mini blinds.
“Why is my head sore?”
“Probably because you hit the wall.”
It’s not like this happens all of the time. Months go by without it happening. A year or two can go by. I tread carefully around Jeff after it does, because it always freaks him out. I don’t get freaked out, only annoyed. It’s a drama that is scarier to watch than it is to act out (and since I am unconscious during the scariest scene, it doesn’t faze me). The only part that I can say really bothers me is the wet bed sheets. I really can't decribe how icky they feel to try to fall back asleep on.