A Pain In The Neck
I woke up this morning when a lightning bolt of pain shot through my neck when I rolled over in bed. I did a quick check – no rope, no pair of gnarled hands around my throat, and my head was still attached to the rest of my body.
The Verdict: I slept funny.
The nights I had slept in that bed have reached a goodly number. There has never been a problem before, but last night – to quote Tom Jones, wildly popular singer of the 1970s, “Oh, Sweet Daughter of Darkness.”
All I can think of is that I must have been having one heck of a nasty dream and twisted myself up like a bag of cheap, gas station mini-mart, pretzels. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I do not remember my dreams. The moment my eyes pop open like a plastic Easter egg my dreams disappear. Good dreams, bad dreams, none of your business dreams – it makes no difference. They’re gone. I wish I could remember my dreams. It would make writing a novel a whole lot easier and probably more profitable. I’ll bet that Stephen King remembers his dreams. It would explain a lot. Of course, the ultimate in that must be Robert Ludlum. He’s published more books since his death than he ever did while he was alive. The man must have contacts in the business.
But, back to my neck.
I sat up on the edge of the bed, my feet not reaching the floor (This is an old brass bed at my Mother-in-Law’s house in Texas. The bed is so high that I have to take a running leap to get into it.). After a couple of minutes of self-massaging my neck I was able to move my head from side to side a good two inches. I feared that I was going to be doomed to life as a sock puppet.
Moving those two inches, while progress, hurt worse than watching the entire 10th season of “American Idol.”
I figured that I had to do something. What worked when my legs were being non-cooperative? So, I slid down off the bed and walked around quietly so I wouldn’t awaken my wife, the lovely and blissfully unconscious, Dawn.
Strangely enough, the walking seemed to help. Maybe it was just the movement, or maybe my silent sobbing and whining, or maybe it was the self inflicted neck rubbing, but it all helped my range of motion. I wasn’t quite at the Linda Blair head turning stage in the “Exorcist,” but it was getting better. I could now dress myself. I wasn’t going to have to go through the day in my Sylvester Stallone Jimmy-jams. “I am the Law!”
The neck still hurt somewhat, but I was limber enough to put on my shoes and socks. Me, tying my own shoes, essentially one-handed, is tricky enough, but doing it with your head locked at a 45 degree angle to the floor doesn’t help. Twenty minutes of shoe-tying wore me out, but I was afraid to lie back down in the bed. Finding me fully dressed, unconscious, and stiff as a length of 6” Schedule 40 steel drainage pipe would have just scared Dawn half to death and started a raft of strange family stories that would get retold every Christmas.
Let me tell you – “Sleeping Funny” is no laughing matter.