Monday, November 27, 2017

My Neck

I’m writing this from the couch, flat on my back, phone in the air. At some point, inevitably, I will fumble and drop it on my face. (This is a universally shared experience, I think. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s most likely because I took your turn for you. I text from bed a lot.)

I’m on my back because it hurts to be any other way. I don’t know what happened while I was asleep last night, but my best guess is that a robber snuck into my house and, upon finding nothing of value to steal, karate-chopped my neck in frustration. I should’ve set my diamonds and gold out in a little bowl on my headboard with a Free Take One sign. You live, you learn.

Anyway, the point is: THE PAAAAAAAAINNNNN! Agonyagonyagony, etc. It's radiating from my neck down into my arm and across my back. It hurts so much I feel nauseous. I’ve taken plenty of extra-strength ibuprofen, rubbed peppermint oil on it, and am now applying yet another hot water bottle, but nothing really helps except complete and total immobility. It even hurts to raise my voice.

Sully is unsympathetic. He’s usually quite independent, but today he needs everything he can’t reach. As soon as I lay down, he needs me to stand up. I shut my eyes and he climbs on my head. Blinding pain. I try not to say to him, “WHY ARE YOU TORTURING ME?!” Sometimes it feels like kids do this stuff on purpose.

"Sulls,” I say, "can we just quietly read a book here on the couch?"

"Can we play cars actually?"

"No, Sully, I just need to lay here. It hurts to move."

He leans in and studies my face.

“Is it a heart murmur, Mom?” He is very concerned about everyone's hearts lately.

“No, it's my neck—”

“Well then can you please get up?”

Oh right, because moms don’t get to lie down, even when they are dying, unless it is a heart murmur. I’d forgotten that rule.

Now he’s stacking everything he owns in a pile in the middle of the living room, in silent protest of my stillness. Books. Lego. Blankets. Stuffed animals. And I’m letting him, because it’s silent. I hope it lasts for hours and hours; I hope our entire house ends up in a mountainous heap right here beside me. I hope the robber who messed up my neck comes back and gets him a snack and gets the toys down for him from his closet's top shelf and plays a round of Go Fish with him.

But the chances of that are very slim because, I have noticed, robbers are dreadfully inconsiderate.