Now that I’ve had an opportunity to give a heartfelt salute to my amazing inner circle, let me tell you how happy I was to get home from the hospital to my own bed. The older I get, the more high maintenance I have proudly become. Camping was fun when I was a child, but I’ll admit that even then I was not a fan of waking up with sticks poking up from under my sleeping bag. Nights on tattered and smelly couches were acceptable after late-night college parties, but that was half-my-life ago. I’m 40 now, and this girl needs her sleep…big time. There are three words for me when I do not get at least eight hours of sleep: I CAN’T DEAL!
Last Tuesday night, we checked in for what turned out to be a three-night stay. Naturally, I was so absorbed worrying about Tom that the last thing on my mind was where (or if) I would actually sleep that night. Luckily, we had a private room, and although it was tiny, I was overjoyed not to be sharing space with strangers. Once Tom was settled, and his treatment had begun, I had my first glimpse of what would be my bed:
If the chair could be humanized, our brief interaction would have gone something like this:
Brooke: “Hello, Newman…what gives?”
I remember giving birth three times and having my husband sleep on the same type of chair beside me. At the time, spending his nights on that chair felt like a right of passage to me. A few nights on a flimsy piece of vinyl would give him a small taste of what several months of physical discomfort during pregnancy feels like. I recall rolling my eyes when he complained about how he hadn’t slept a wink, thinking to myself that he had it so easy.
Let’s just say, as in many other moments in our relationship, I did not cut him enough slack. I think the hospitals could save a lot of money by having parents either sleep directly on the linoleum floor or outside on the sidewalk. I am convinced that there is cement underneath that vinyl covering. Never mind the bedding that they supplied me with: sheets that felt as coarse as cheap toilet paper and a flimsy white bedspread that looked like it had been picked up at a second-hand shop. Tom had three pillows on his bed, and I had to lobby for them to find me one.
I was so happy to get home and leave that contraption behind. It’s amazing to me that someone invented that chair and felt proud about it. I understand that it’s practical, but what good is a parent who has to go home to a chiropractor after enduring sleepless nights on such an atrocious piece of furniture? Now I know the next time my friend K. offers a blow-up mattress that I need to take immediate action and take her up on her offer. She is one of those practical-think-of-everything friends, and I can’t believe I let my husband tell her I would be fine on the pull-out chair.
Tom went back to school today and is doing really well. As for me? I’m rolling out my back , putting a heating pad on my hip, stretching my neck out, and hoping for a speedy recovery.