Friday, 27 March 2009

In The Dead Of Night

Tonight is another night nurse night. Things have improve from the earliest encounters. (See here, here, and here, for previous posts about the night nurse saga.) Aside from some rather iffy understanding regarding how electric over-blankets work and me trying to find the doorbell to press and summon the nurse I have made some progress in getting a nights sleep. Polly is also getting a better nights sleep when she moves to the sofa-bed but the jury is still out on whether the disruption is worth it. Mind you, after last night she will probably be grateful for any sleep at all.

I was awoken at 4.30 this morning by an irate Polly. “What is it now?” she demanded of me. “Do you want a painkiller or what?” I swam into wakefulness and croaked, “what?” (I'm not at my most loquacious at that time of morning.) My mouth was sandpaper dry so I asked if I could have a sip of water. The reaction I got was akin to me having asked her to rustle up a grilled sturgeon with peeled grapes on a bed of larks tongue and slipper orchid petals whilst gently massaging my toes in calf-skin mittens. There are US army patented incendiary devices that give off less heat and fury than my beloved wife early this morning. Bemused I responded wittily with another “what?”

Polly stomped around the bed (or rather as she describes it, climbed around the end of the metal framed bedstead, negotiated the air-mattress pump, stubbed her toe on a wheelchair wheel, tripped over the charging cable and caught her hand in a ventilator hose) and shoved a glass under my nose and indelicately inserted a straw between my parched lips.

“Thank you, darling,” I said and prepared to drift off back to sleep. Polly seemed to find this offensive.”Oh no you don't,” she said through gritted teeth. “Five times! Five times you have woken me up. Don't you dare just go back to sleep.” “What?” I replied. (I swear it was all I could think of to say.) “I haven't done anything.” Talk about 'light the blue touch-paper'. She went incandescent. Apparently I had woken her several times through out the night to move my leg, shoulder or arm. I had absolutely no memory of this, I promise you.

Polly listed the catalogue of interruptions she had endured. “ You keep waking me up by shouting Polly, Polly, help me! Help me! Move my shoulder! Help! Help!” When I intimated that she may be exaggerating I inadvertently took my life in my hands. “It's all right for you,” she growled. “You just go straight back to sleep! I, on the other hand, am left wide awake, unable to go back to sleep, because I'm listening out for for your every groan, creek or fart in case you are suffocating or choking or something!”

All I could think to say was “What?”

Polly stomped back around the bed, stubbing her toe on the battery charger, and crashed huffily back under her duvet. “If you just go back to sleep I will poke you with a sharp stick.” I was going to ask her to scratch my shoulder blade but thought better of it. I closed my eyes instead.

So, tonight, as she snuggles down on the sofa-bed, I hope she appreciates the sacrifice I'm making. Instead of simply calling out for help I will have to press the button on my doorbell and wait for the nurse. That's love that is.

Sleep well.