I’m awoken by movement, and the cat cuddling up against me.


“He’s been trying to eat my arm for the last hour!”

I need the toilet again, so I tentatively put my feet on the floor. G offers to help, but I try by myself first; grabbing the door handle to haul myself up. My legs are shaky, but experience tells me I’ll just about manage. Those few metres are slow – one hand leaning on the wall for support, the other on the walking stick. You lean to the left (wall) when you’re moving your right foot, then you move the stick forward and lean on that as you drag the left in front. Afterwards, I find the cat outside the bathroom waiting for me. I make to go to the living room, and he runs in (food time, yay!). The door gets swiftly shut. I feel a bit guilty, but undisturbed rest is essential. On the way back, it’s the other way round – right hand wall, left hand stick; my arms in agony and my legs threatening further strike actions. I’m asleep again in a few minutes – my deep, dreaming sleep – I don’t even notice G getting up.

In my ignorance, I’m being hunted. The prowler creeps along the mattress. Light as a feather, he weighs up his prey. He crouches… judges the distance…. In an instant- he strikes! Claws flash, raking my arm – sharp teeth sink in.

“AGH! No! Bad!

“TIBBY! Leave her alone!”

I try to hide myself, but he turns his attention to the other end of the bed and starts fishing under the duvet for my toes. G comes to my rescue; the fluffy menace is removed to the living room, to think about what he has done. The light from the computer screen is too bright; I force my protesting arms up to put on an eyemask, then drift off again, duvet still packed tight for protection.

Half twelve and half asleep, I snuggle up to G, who’s come back for a cuddle before he has to go. The cat has been fed and forgiven; he wolfs down the lunch G gave him and sits on the pillow, looking mighty pleased with himself. G gets ready for work, then he’s off again; Tibby leaves to stalk birds through the window; I fall back to sleep.

I wake up in the middle of another dream, delirious for a few minutes as I try to work out what’s going on. Real life mews at me, demanding love. I’m sorry sweetie, I’ve not been feeling well. I will play with you lots and lots when I’m better. Until G’s back, he will have to make do with cuddles and strokes. I worry that I don’t give him enough attention; G assures me he is an extremely spoiled kitten.

My legs have recovered from the morning’s jaunt, enough that I can use the wall-and-stick combo to get as far as the kitchen before needing to sit down. I eat an elaborate lunch of toast-and-jam, then come back through and turn on my laptop. I’m too tired to use it yet so I doze off for another hour or so: It can’t be proper sleep, because the boredom is really starting to get to me.

I open the laptop up, sunglasses on to shield my eyes from the brightness. Sitting up for lunch filled my head with flu and poison, so I try lying down with it propped up on my legs, flat on my back with the pillows under my knees to hold them up. My emails are fairly dull; some Groupons and Amazon Deals that I can’t afford, but I enjoy the window shopping. Simple scanning through, looking at the pictures, but somehow it took me almost an hour? I don’t feel up to any more reading, so I open up iplayer and put on a documentary (quietly). They’re pretty good for relaxing viewing; no drama, cringeyness or fights; no storyline to follow. Plus nowdays, they only contain about 5 minutes of fact: I read this paragraph it in a textbook, but I had to travel across three continents to really grasp what it meant. By about half way through, my eyes feel like they’ve been liberally salted, and the flueyness in my head is overwhelming. Documentary paused; laptop shut; back to resting.

I’ve exhausted my body of sleep again, so I focus on my breathing. Being awake for hours and unable to do anything is more frustrating than I can convey. A big scream builds up inside you, a big overwhelming bubble of wanting to do something, anything at all, but your body won’t obey. Thank you God, that this will pass. I’ve found the best thing is meditation. You breathe in, and out, and relax each of your muscles in turn – it helps a little with the pain as well, although no more than paracetamol. When I’m finished with that, I move on to the fruit of the Spirit, praising God for how He embodies each of them. The vice is starting to squeeze my skull again, so I let myself drift in the fog-and-pain ocean, where my thoughts used to make sense. After a while, a horrible tingling creeps up my legs and arms – it feels like you need to stretch, or move, or anything. I roll over, trying to get comfortable. Eventually my body goes back to the odd state of pain and numbness. I can just feel a slight tingling, like pins and needles, in my fingers and toes.

The cat leaping up disturbs me; G’s back. He’s just as loud as yesterday but it doesn’t hurt so much now. I can even manage a proper conversation. He makes me some soup and feeds the cat, then they playfight on the bed while I eat it. The cat learned early on that I’m for snuggles and G is for play- he goes mental the moment G comes through the door. When we go to bed, we listen to the Bible together. I try to concentrate, but we reach the end of the passage and I realise I haven’t taken in a word. G falls asleep quickly; I manage my whole prayer list and two trips to the bathroom before I finally nod off.


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