Going through radiation means I’m spending a lot of time in bed right now. Steven Prince shares his Stuck In Bed story submission below:
So I’m stuck in bed at the moment. Well, willingly. I have this new adjustable bed, and it’s just too comfy to leave – I call it the “Uppie downie”, because it goes up and down.
I know a bit about being stuck in bed. The three main images this conjures up are my birth (well, I have to assume what that was like, not being able to remember it); my fourteenth birthday and now.
I was born three months premature in 1981. I spent the first six months or so in a humidi-crib, where I developed this neat trick of forgetting how to breathe. To this day, I’ll apparently stop breathing in my sleep some times, so my wife has to nudge me in my sleep to remind me.
The 14th birthday story is when I had this mutant cross between glandular fever (mono) and chronic fatigue syndrome. I was playing tennis one night after school, and I clearly remember seeing this blue tint when I was running across court to return a volley. This was unusual, to say the least. A few days later, I was indeed stuck in bed. I spent from September to February of the next year in bed, sleeping upwards of 14 hours a day, every day. It was, to this day, the most utterly wrung out and awful I’ve consistently felt. I remember my mum taking me to see a naturopath. This guy was asking me all kinds of questions, and he flat-out asked me WITH MY MOTHER IN THE ROOM if I masturbated. How many 14 year old kids would answer that question honestly? I mean sure, my bedsheets looked like I spilled coffee over them all the time and could stand up by themselves, but there was no way in hell I’d admit it. All I really remember about that summer (I’m Australian, for those of you playing at home) is sleeping and my parents fighting more until they split up that February. That’s all I have to say about that.
I’ve slept in a lot of different beds – the humidi-crib; a bunk bed with one of my brothers; a double bed; my sister’s old waterbed that I inherited; my very own Queen sized bed and now the uppie downie. To me, bed’s really just a place to lay one’s head, but lately it’s taken on more significance. In October 2009, I wrecked my back while I was sleeping on the floor at my place, as a female friend had been over for the night. I did the gentlemanly thing, and promptly woke up with a back in absolute pain the next morning. I was stuck in bed for a few days then, and until I got the uppie-downie last month, I would wake up a few times a night and be able to get back to sleep for hours on end. This unremitting agony started to drive home just how good the right kind of bed was.
Some times I’ve been stuck in bed due to injury or illness – like that time when I went to a friend’s birthday party, got food poisoning and spent three days straight vomiting. I drank a blue Gatorade and was throwing up blue water within 10 minutes. Some times I’ve been stuck in bed because if been occupied on a religious mission - helping my partner (or, on a few fun and usually unexpected occasions, partners) see God, and sometimes I’ve been stuck in bed because I’ve channelled Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and I’ve been rather shredded. However, I’m now stuck in bed due to it being Sunday, four thirty pm and I simply have nothing better to do than to chill out. I could get used to this.