I was sitting in my wheelchair in the front of our house a couple days ago while Mary was in the back, doing some chores. It was about eight in the evening when I heard a loud thud, or was it a thump? Perhaps a whomp. Anyway, it was one of those noises where it felt like the whole house shook. As I sat there (sitting there is all that I can do as I am now paralyzed except for some small head and neck movements, and some twitching of my pinky and ring fingers) I couldn’t match the sound with anything that I knew.

After a few moments of contemplating, I started to hear moaning coming from the back of the house. ‘Oh, this is bad’ I thought. It’s a helpless feeling, waiting, and hoping that everything is alright. It turns out that Mary had athletically jumped up onto the toilet seat to check on something and rammed the top of her head into the rail of the ceiling lift machine. Luckily, it started to seem like everything was going to be OK, other than spending the rest of her evening with an ice pack on top of her head.

Our nights of sleep consist of me sleeping on my side because I would asphyxiate on saliva on my back. I wake up when I get sore on one side, call out to Mary, next to me, and she repositions me onto the other side. There is a lot more to it than that, but she gets it done. By buying a variable air pressure bed, fairly recently, we have gotten the number of rolls down to two per night, when things are going well. Before the new bed, things were getting unmanageable.

It’s about three AM, an optimal time for a roll (it’s best if you keep to the correct times). I call out to Mary, and nothing. My voice is getting weaker, especially through the mask of the breathing machine, but Mary is a pretty light sleeper. I call out as loud as I can a few more times and have to stop because I’m worn out. It’s a claustrophobic feeling when you are completely stuck, and your only method of any control of your situation is missing. It can be quite panic invoking. If there is nothing you can do about it, panic or not, life goes on.

Did she get up to read? That wasn’t like her. No, I could just make out the back of her head, just in front of me. I called out some more. ‘Oh my god, my wife cracked her skull and died in her sleep!’ I suddenly started to think likely. An awful lot starts going through your mind. I couldn’t even keep track of it all.

‘Wow, I can’t believe this–I’ve heard of this happening to others, I feel sorry for them-My poor Mary-How long are we going to be here before someone finds us?-Oh yes, Kerri is coming tomorrow-Will she be persistent and break in?-It wasn’t supposed to go this way-Do I want to live without her?-Put a leash on your thoughts, man-OK, leash not working-Think of something positive….hmm-If it wasn’t for the schedule, we could be here for a long time-Mary… The little kisses on the top of my head she sometimes sneaks when she’s wheeling me around the neighborhood-Nice-I miss that already-It was only twelve hours ago-seems a whole lot longer now-Some tears, not so much for sadness, more for powerful feelings-sadness will come, of course.’

‘It’s been a while, I’ve gotten a little rest. I will call again.’ There is a groggy sounding noise and a slight movement. “Oh Hallelujah!” Life has completely changed direction in a single instant! What a happy moment. All badness is instantly washed away.

All of this drama, which turned out to be no drama, apparently was caused by a combination of my weakening voice, Mary being very tired and some Benadryl, which she rarely takes.