I had become used to dozing off, often the similarities of consciousness and sleep were too close to differentiate. Given any opportunity, my mind would draw inward with a natural desire to figure out all that had transpired over the last month. The most troubling part of it all was the starting point. I couldn't be sure when, exactly, the coma arrived.
Nevertheless, I was in my mother's spare bedroom and had to focus on the present. She was attempting to help me ready the bed that I would be sleeping on until I was well enough to go home. At the time, I was unaware that I was the only one who considered this bedroom to be anything other than my last stop. My last resting place. My death bed.
However, my ghastly prognosis never prevented me from preparing for the next day. Everything I did had a purpose. No matter what dire circumstances had occurred, or what tragic end was to come, I only needed to focus on the moment I was in. Each movement that I would normally take for granted required my full attention and effort.
Now that I was on the small unstable mattress, I had to change into a clean set of clothes to sleep in. Trying to maintain some sort of humility, I insisted on changing my enormous sweatpants myself while my mother waited outside the bedroom door. Since I spent most of my time trying to keep my pants up around my swollen waste, the XXL cotton bottoms slid off with ease. Except the ankles.
While on my back, I scraped the arches of my feet along the inside of my legs, shoving my trousers down until they rolled into a ball around my feet. The elastic on the ends of the pants would not allow the fabric to move any further, and I looked as if I had been snared by a dirty laundry trap.
Only a month before this moment, I would have sat up, grabbed the ends of the sweats, and pulled them over my feet. That was no longer the case. I had no muscles to lift myself with my abdomen, and scarcely enough strength to roll myself onto my side. Using the last measure of force in my upper body, I twisted and manipulated into an attempt at a fetal position.
I stretched my fingers reaching for the confining cotton grappling my ankles. All the while my puffed-up belly left little room for crunching my torso together. When my fingertips finally snagged the waistband I celebrated with a pause to catch my breath, and then tugged with all I could muster. With luck, my less than clean underpants came off with the oversized perspiration pants.
In accordance with Murphy's Law, I assumed that once I was in a new pair of underwear and pajama bottoms I would immediately feel the pressure of a overdue trip to the toilet, however I was eager to make myself look decent. After I pulled myself together my mother returned to assist me the rest of the way. Tuck me in. She brought the portable commode into the bedroom and presented what looked like a pee pad for a small dog. It was an absorbent protector for the mattress that was placed under my danger areas. Between my waist and my thighs laid the greatest risk of bedding damage.
Since my digestive issues were dicey at best I still could not rest my head parallel to my body. I had a fear of vomiting in my sleep as my head would swim searching for a focal point once the lights were shut off. Mom propped three fluffy pillows behind my back and began to dole out my narcotics.
The idea of me having easy access to the Oxcodone and Attivan the docs sent home with me would have been the absolute wrong decision. An addict in pain and off his rocker in possession of opiates. No good.
Unsurprisingly, I do not remember falling asleep that night, but I did have a memorable mid-morning experience. Fortunately, I awoke when my bladder was ready to be evacuated. Hardly examining my options I determined that I could take care of the matter alone. Stubborn, I was confident that I did not have to utilize the demoralizing portable throne three feet away from the bed. I wanted to use the private restroom immediately down the hall.
To accomplish this, all I had to execute was a lurch from the bed that would be enough to grasp the door frame of the closet. From there the molding along the wall could be my life line preventing me from crashing to the floor. I was devising the plan in broken thought processes while I shifted myself upright on the edge of the mattress.
All I had to do was stand upright long enough to fall forward and grasp the door jam. There was obvious risk, but I was a man with intent. I dug the balls of my feet into the carpet and wedged my heals against the bottom of the bed. I tightened my torso like a broken spring and shoved my hands down into the mattress with everything I had. Simultaneously, I attempted to draw on my leg muscles.
As soon as I began my journey, it was over. I was buried face first into cardboard boxes, and hanging clothes. It took me a moment to gather myself before I realized I had been sabotaged by the bed. The mattress slid off the frame when I forced my weight into it. I pictured myself diving into the keepsakes and coats and chuckled.
"Seriously?" I asked myself.