Bedbound

Not as exciting or kinky as it sounds. It’s the way I’ve long described the times I’ve been stuck in bed due to illness. This year I’ve spent 41 days out of 121 stuck in bed. That’s 1/3. I’ve missed whole days due to sleep – last week I slept for 26 hours straight. The common reaction to this is that I am depressed – and that said depression explains the sleep. Now, I am a depressive – I am a Clinical Depressive, treated with pills. I’ve also had CBT and some Group Therapy. But there is a clear difference between how my Depression makes me behave, and the Great Sleep. Depression, I have found, may make me not want to leave the house, or not answer the phone, or will make me scratch marks into my skin, or contemplate the most effective way of taking my life. But I don’t even think Depression can make you sleep through a whole day without needed to urinate.

When not Bedbound through extreme sleep (is this a sport?), I can be stuck due to ‘Active Exhaustion’ – I will be awake, but too worn thin to do anything but lie down, or lie up, if I’m propped on pillows. This ‘Active Exhaustion’ became such a large part of my life that a feather mattress was procured by my Mother so that when I got hit by it, I could just lie down on the floor in the kitchen and sleep. And ‘hit’ is the correct term. I’d come home from work and be too tired to get up the stairs, so the floor became a resting place. Then, after about 3 hours, that poor woman would wake up her giant offspring, make sure she used the toilet and push her up the stairs to bed.

I am currently writing this from the same floor, but without the mattress nest. I spent until 11:30pm today, asleep. I tried sitting up on a chair at a desk to use my laptop; but I was too sore and heavy feeling, so I sat on the floor, still in my nightie from Friday, wrapped in a blanket, with my giant old laptop resting on my stomach. I’ve been awake for 4.5 hours, and I’m ready to return to bed. I feel I will make it up the stairs, and not just roll over on the lino and sleep here. I’m trying to be more ‘normal’ for my Dad, who is discombobulated by my being on the floor. When Mum was here, she smoothed my ‘weird’ ways over, but now she is missing, his distress is too palpable for me to ignore. Trying to be more ‘normal’ has led to more days Bedbound as I over do things and end up exhausted or ill. In this case ‘ill’ means having migraines, seizures and panic attacks – all of which have visited me this week. Three days of nervous system oddity culminating in a Saturday slept through – my normal from attempting the accepted ‘normal’.

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