By Lily Joseph
Have you ever been told that you’re lucky to be able to spend so much time in bed? Or had the accusation of, “I wish I could do nothing but just lie around all day,” or the more passive aggressive equivalent, “I’d love to be able to stay in bed all day,” levelled at you?
For many people, the idea of spending a whole day lazying around, must seem like heaven on earth. It’s not for me, because I hate my bed.
It is not as others might think – holiday of daytime TV, gossiping on the phone and lounging luxuriously in comfort. It’s painful, soul destroying and lonely.
But this wasn’t always so.
As a child, my bed was the source of many wondrous adventures and a space in which to contemplate the confusion of a world I didn’t yet understand. As a pre-teen, it was the place where I had my first magical kiss. When I became a young adult, I couldn’t wait to get home and bury myself beneath the soft fabric of my eiderdown after a particularly heavy night of partying. And as a fully fledged, paid-up member of the grown up society, it was my haven from a hard day’s work…as well as a place for all manner of lascivious and lewd behavior. Ah, good times.
When motherhood came a-knockin’, it became, once again, the prime location of wondrous adventures where stories were told, secrets revealed and where talks of hopes and dreams where met with laughter and amazement.
But now, it is my prison.
Being bed-ridden is not something that I ever foresaw in my future. Those nights of longing for five more minutes, or wishing that I could while away the weekend in deep slumber, are no more.
Today I cried. I left my room in order to wash a few dishes after my son had graciously served me dinner in bed and I went to retrieve the clothes that had been slowly fermenting in the washing machine for over 12 hours. And it hurt.
Just climbing out of bed proved to be a job in itself. As my feet landed on the floor, my body felt so weighed down, it was as if I was about to become absorbed into the carpet. It took all my strength and effort to land one foot in front of the other as gravity played it’s game of trying to keep me firmly rooted to the spot.
But I managed to climb down the 13 steps in my usual crab-like manner, ever fearful of falling, and then I could go no further. I slumped into the nearest chair and there I sat and wept. I wept because of the pain. I wept at my inability to perform even the simplest of tasks. I wept at my lack of energy. I wept because I physically couldn’t move any more. I wept as my son came downstairs, washed the dishes and took the clothes out of the washing machine without being told to do so. And I wept because I felt like a pathetic excuse for a mother as I let guilt consume me. Lastly, I wept because I knew that soon, I would have to return to my bed. My prison.
Sitting hurts, standing more so, but because my bed has a memory foam mattress that moulds itself to the shape of my body, it is the only place where I can get some pain relief.
Every activity that I do, is succeeded by a place on that bed. If there is shopping to be done, appointments to be met and functions to attend, then my spell in that bed could last a whole week or longer.
A week in bed. That would have sounded so good when I was who I used to be. So yeah, I hate my bed, because as the world outside continues to turn, I remain laid up and enfolded in the one thing that eases any physical pain. The mental pain it causes however, hurts much more than the ones that wrack my body, and the derisive comments that suggest that I should be grateful for my predicament, even more so.