I felt that familiar pressure, worming its way into my consciousness. Even though it was Dark O'Clock, I had to deal with it, the consequences too great to ignore.
Lilly, the matron feline of the household, wasn't helping any, laying on me just the wrong way. I stirred, moved my right arm, and she glanced at me languidly, then eased herself off me.
I knew I couldn't move my right leg - it lay propped on two pillows, to drain it of the excess blood pooling there during the day.
I could use my left leg, though, and I thought about how to use it to get my right leg over the side.
I used my left toes to walk my left leg over, slowly pushing my right leg off the pillows.
It felt like one of thone iPhone apps, you know, like "Get The Wounded Cyclist Off The Bed". In this case the Wounded Cyclist has a bum right shoulder and limited movement in a bum right leg. Okay, bum hip, but the result is a bum right leg.
How would you get the Wounded Cyclist off the bed?
With my Left Foot Toe Wiggle steadily pushing my right leg to the right, it finally dropped down to the bed. I pushed the pillows out of the way with my good leg.
I shifted my legs right, towards the right edge of the bed, using my Left Foot Toe Wiggle. As my right leg approached the right edge of the bed, though, I stopped.
If my leg dropped down towards the floor and pulled sideways in my hip, I'd probably scream in agony. That is, if I stayed conscious long enough to scream. I knew I couldn't exert lateral pressure on the right leg-hip, no lifting either.
Out of deference to the missus, I wanted to avoid any unecessary screaming and such.
I needed to turn my body a bit so that my legs would drop down off the bed relatively straight. I couldn't lift my torso though, because when I tried to sit up even a bit, hot pain bathed both my shoulder and hip.
I contemplated waking the missus, but I couldn't give up just yet. That initial pressure never left, though, and actually increased by the minute.
I started getting a bit desperate.
After laying there for a few minutes, I used my neck in as a last resort, arching it so I created a bridge with my head and my left shoulder. I could shift my body sideways just a touch by doing this shuffle.
This had some promise.
By inchworming my body in a circle using the Neck Bridge Shuffle, I managed to get my torso rotated about 60 or 70 degrees. I used the Left Foot Toe Wiggle to get my legs to keep in alignment with my torso.
Lined up like a (slightly crooked) luger getting ready for a run, I felt like I could slide my legs down to the floor. Once my feet got there, my torso would follow down the side of the bed, ending upright. My head would stay vertical, basically in a vertical crouch. Then I'd be able to stand.
My toes touched some sharp, edgy stuff - my little bedside bookrack. I thought that maybe I should move over a bit so I don't end up trying to stand on some sharp, painful wood.
But gravity started taking over my torso, and out of control, I started sliding down into the abyss.
I started to make contingency plans - if I fell to the right, I'd headbutt the wall to keep my (hurt) right shoulder from hitting it. If I fell to the left, I could extend my left arm, try to fall onto my left side and back. If I fell left and started rolling right, I'd try and do a Rotating Neck Bridge to keep pressure off the right shoulder.
My torso accelerated, my feet hit the floor, I prepared for a sideways topple...
And I was still, essentially in a squat, my back against the bed.
I leaned forward, putting my weight over my knees and feet, and straightened up. My right shoulder protested when my arm swung forward a touch, so I quickly stabilized it with my good arm.
I stood, tottering a bit.
I Toe Wiggled to turn my body to the side a touch, just enough so I could grab the cane. I used this chance to put on my glasses as well - things were now sharply dark, not blurry and dark.
Properly armed, I started to hobble to my goal. It takes me a few steps to relearn exactly how to walk, the shooting pains in my hip vivid reminders on what not to do.
Hal, the white male, meowed in anticipation as I walked towards the goal, knowing that I usually find time to scritch him when I go there.
Hobbling done, a slight sheen of sweat the only evidence of effort, I messed around with my PJs. Once clear of my wounded hip, they went freely.
I turned around, grabbed the newly installed grab bar (thanks SOC), and lowered myself down.
I had to ignore Hal for a moment because I could finally relieve that doggone pressure.
That done, I could pay attention to Hal. He put his paws on my knees, meowed. I scritched, and he started to purr loudly.
Once he rolled onto the floor and out of reach, I stopped. He'd get back up and repeated the process, wondering why I wasn't scritching him when he lay down.
The third time he rolled himself onto the floor, he stayed there, kneading the rug.
Bella, the slender female tabby, walked in right on cue, her tail up, quivering, curled at the tip.
She stopped to let me scritch her back, also rolling onto the floor. After a minute or two, she lay on the floor too, purring contentedly.
I took this moment to get up. I knew I couldn't get back into bed without the missus's help, so I hobbled out to the kitchen table.
I started reading one of the bike magazines a friend dropped off last night.
Estelle wandered around my shins. After a few brushes of her back, she scampered back to her spot on the stairs.
Mike ran up, a worried look on his face, my oddness (wound smells, cane, wheelchair, etc.) making me a stranger. He sniffed my bandaged ankle and scurried off. Obviously I wasn't me.
Tiger also approached, wary, but after confirming I was just sitting there, he trotted off.
Riley, normally shy, kept her distance, her nose twtching furiously. She kept her spot on the stairs, one that lets her (gently) bat at Estelle.
Then I heard the missus stirring. She appeared, a bit dishevled, and asked if I was okay.
"I'm fine. I just had to pee. And I couldn't get back into bed by myself."
"Want me to help you?"
"Yeah, would you?"
I got up and shuffled towards the bedroom.