This is a bit of a peculiar place to lie down for a thirty minute nap, or even just for a short mental break of sorts, but it is where I happened to land. The floor is beige laminate tile and I can feel the coolness of it permeating my skin and giving me a chill. I tilt my head to the right with as much delicacy as I can muster but I still feel it bang down as the spasming muscles in my neck contract, only to release again a moment later.
“Penny!” I call and within seconds the constantly goofy face of my guide dog appears at my side. I often imagine what she is thinking in moments like this. From her expression the only narration I can provide is “Okay. Cool. We are lying on the ground together now!” as she plops herself down beside me and places her head on my stomach. I watch as her head bobs up and down in time with my breathing, which admittedly is a bit laboured at this point.
I lay here considering all my options. I could crawl to the hallway, dragging my body across the floor in a style reminiscent of an injured snake. I could try to pull myself back into bed, but the chances of success in that endeavor are slim to none. I could try to figure out how to pull myself up enough to hit the call bell, but again the chances of any kind of success are limited. I could try to do many things, yet in this moment the best thing seems to be to just stay where I am and wait for help. We mustn’t forget that I am still in a state of perpetual spasm and my ability to control my body is lacking. I am hyper aware of this as my head bashes off the ground once more.
I have decided I kind of like it down here. The coolness which once stung against my skin is actually kind of nice. I am starting to be cognizant of the contrast between my frigid back and the warmth of Penny’s head on my front.
“JENNY!” says Kelly in a tone that is both panicked and furious, “What are you doing there?!?!”
“I fell.” I respond in a flat voice. I mean, what does it look like I am doing? It seems like a remarkably silly question to be ask someone when you find them lying on the floor in their hospital room. (more inside…)