It's 3:04 in the morning. I know this because on the table to my right there is a digital clock with large green numbers. It's light is a little too bright, -especially when you have nothing else to look at, but I haven't gotten around to buy a new clock. It is creating a shade at the end of the bed, and I can see my feet.
I know I'm not thinking clearly, that I am not really awake, but its partly because of the morphine and the other meds. I can't believe I crashed the chair into the kitchen wall when she told me. I really need to get a new wall, too. My thoughts are floating into one another... I can tell now, that the cover has fallen off my swollen left foot. I'm going to get cold, even more so than usual. It's hard for me to keep warm. I like this cover, because it is old and very soft. -It has probably been washed a thousand times. I know this bare foot is going to bug me now, so that I can't sleep properly, like an itch on a spot that you can't reach.
Its 3:45. I try to shake my foot for the cover to fall back into place, but the signals get lost on the way. Instead there is a tiny tremor, a twitch, -just under the skin of my left shin. I'm almost expecting my leg to cramp up, and I try to take a deep breath. The cover is too heavy. I try to will my foot to move. Bitterly I think to myself; -if superman could... -or wait, -he couldn't. I don't know why I torture myself. I will have to stay cold. I don't want to get cold, as it affects my chest. My crippled chest and lungs. When I was younger I could still breath unassisted. Now I have a tube in my throat, connected to a ventilator. I can be off the ventilator for 12 minutes a time. At least last time I checked; I don't try my luck too often. It's not very long. I'm 44 years old now. I'm too old to be a father. The trach area is a bit sore, but it's a good feeling in an absurd demented way, in this numbness that is meant to be the rest of my body. I don't tell a lot of people that, why I enjoy it. It's not caused by aching muscles, and it's not a sharp burning sensation or a thousand prickly needles. Just to prove to myself that I can still do it, I adjust my arm a little, and of course; -my hand slips. My left hand is supported by a splint to try to keep my fingers straight. It's already too late for my right hand. How am I supposed to hold him? My mind keeps wandering, drifting back to sleep. My fingernails are going to leave a mark on my skin. My palm is sweaty. It can't be helped now. My arms and knees are aching. The trach effectively prevents me from turning my head, even if I could.
I think the pillow under my arm has moved.
4:10. The ventilator makes a low wheezing noise but the green light shows that everything is OK: It has a much more pleasant light than the clock. -I really need to get a new clock.
It's now 4:30 and I know I've nodded off. My back is hurting badly. I know its too early for more pain killers. I don't want to put anyone trough this. I'm guessing the button for the alarm fell out when I moved my arm, because now I can't press it. She is right there. I don't want to wake her up but I need her to. I know she didn't plan for this. I can feel the back of her hand, resting on my shoulder, and I can hear her breathing. Times like these I wish she wasn't so used to the ventilator. Anyone else's sleep would have been interrupted by the puffing sounds and they'd be easy to wake up. -It's times like these I wish I hadn't just had a trach change, -preventing me from talking. My knee is becoming too heavy, leaning on the other, and I grin at the familiar strain on my body.
6:20. My feet are tightly wrapped. She has even put my soft socks on. My knees have been flipped the other way. She has placed the other, bigger, pillow between them, just the way I want it when my knees are facing the door. The pillow under my arm is there, further up now. The pillow that she made me herself. I can almost feel her breath on my skin. I know how careful and gentle she is, when she sleeps next to me. She knows she can't twist or turn, she knows she must not touch the tubes to the ventilator, not even in her sleep. I know how sad it makes her, when she can't hold my hand or wrap her arm around me when we go to sleep, because it would be too heavy on my chest. I know that in a little while, she is going to sneak out of bed, for a few minutes on her own, to make coffee for my nurse who will be coming soon, and to start preparing my breakfast and meds. I know that she will always go the extra length for me.
My body aches and I am so tired. Even one nights restless sleep wears me out. She knows it's hard for me to keep my spirits up at times. But I know I shouldn't make it even harder for her.
-When she wakes up, I will tell her I'm sorry for arguing with her, even if she did put the groceries in the hallway, so that I couldn't pass it with my chair. I will tell her I'm sorry for complaining, when I know that it was an accident when my elbow bumped into the wall, when she helped me with the lift, and when she stretched my leg too far. I will tell her I'm sorry for being too tired to stay up with her and share that glass of wine on Friday evening. I will tell her I'm sorry for being upset when she spilled the food on my shirt and when she nicked my chin when she was shaving me yesterday morning.
I will tell her how much I love her and that even though I am so scared; because I never want to put a child trough this, -I want us to keep the baby. I will tell her that I know that my child will be OK, no matter what, because he or she will always have the one thing that keeps me going and makes every second of my life worth living; her.