I know this may come as a surprise to you because I am hip to the lingo of today’s youth, fam, but I am old enough to be going through the change. You know, the change. *wink*
As a result of the change, I am experiencing a few inconvenient symptoms. Errant chin hairs, indescribable rage followed by sobbing that turns into inappropriate laughter, insomnia, and nightmares where I have chopped up my father’s corpse and run his remains through the garbage disposal.
Now, before you report me to the authorities, my father has been gone for years. And I played no part in it, thank you very much. So, he’s not in any danger, nor will he be able to read this. I mean, I don’t think he’ll be able to read this. I’m a little unsure of the wifi situation in the great beyond. They didn’t cover that in catechism classes.
And it’s normal for one to experience increased anxiety and insomnia during menopause, which can lead to instances of vivid and sometimes disturbing dreams. Plus, my garbage disposal can’t even handle potato peels. I highly doubt it’s grinding up a femur. So, everybody just calm down.
I’ve tried everything to get some decent sleep. Abstaining from alcohol, limiting my caffeine consumption, hot baths with epsom salts, melatonin, valerian root, magnesium. I’ve tried keeping my room cool, white noise, limiting my use of electronics. Nothing has helped.
Then one day, my husband bought me a gift that would heal me. You may recall my husband’s previous attempt at healing me, a gift certificate to a float therapy spa to help my ailing back. He became singularly obsessed with trying to convince me that floating in a pool of water with more salt than a cheap ramen seasoning packet would make me a star basketball player. I think that’s how it went. I haven’t read that blog post in awhile.
Needless to say, I tried it and the float therapy thing did nothing for me. I refused to book the other session he bought me. So I tried to talk him into it, but once I described how slimy the water felt he suddenly lost interest in the miracle of floating in salt water. This is how it goes. I’m the guinea pig for whatever cockamamie scheme he falls for on the internet.
And this time it’s a weighted blanket.
I don’t know the science behind linens that crush you a little bit, but apparently weighted blankets cure everything from insomnia to anxiety. They’re supposed to help with sensory issues. I think maybe they cure rickets, too. Or was it scurvy? I don’t know.
So, the husband is very excited about his internet research and he comes in one day like Oprah. You get a weighted blanket and you get a weighted blanket! Seriously. This man spent a lot of money from his yearly bonus to have really expensive heavy blankets shipped to his entire family. Sorry, UPS guy. Sorry.
One day a box arrives, a really heavy box. Yep, you guessed it, a weighted blanket. I lug the thing in, thinking it’s all the really expensive heavy blankets. But it’s just the one. And it’s really fucking heavy. So damn heavy. I have to enlist the help of my son to carry the thing upstairs. That heavy.
And I roll it out and peel the corner up so I can shimmy my misshapen body underneath it and, I guess, have the anxiety squeezed out from the pressure? I have no idea how this thing works. But I get underneath it and I’m like, it’s not horrible. It’s kind of soothing. Maybe this will work.
Later on that evening, I’m prepping for bed and I’m almost excited about the notion that I may possibly have more than 3 and one half seconds of sleep. At this point I’d consider 4 seconds of sleep a victory, assuming there were no more dreams of dismembering loved ones.
Somehow I find the Hulk level strength to pick it up, get underneath it, and just wait for the magic to begin. Slowly, I start to feel a little relaxed. At first I think it’s because the weight of my blanket is crushing my lungs and making the intake of oxygen impossible. Like maybe I’m slipping into unconsciousness and I just haven’t realized it yet.
But no, I was breathing. It was just a really comforting feeling. Like the time I had my surgery and they gave me a bag of magic juice with a happy button that I could push whenever I wanted and it just sort of made me catatonic and not care that they’d spent hours taking a softball sized tumor out of my leg. In fact, the magic juice made me so catatonic that the nurse kindly asked me to please not die on her shift. True story.
So, I’m under this weighted blanket and amazingly, miraculously I fall asleep. No, like someone call the Pope so he can canonize this damn blanket because I’ve never fallen asleep faster. All is well for at least a few hours. I think that’s how long it was. I have zero memory of it because I WAS ASLEEP.
Then, at some point in the darkest hours, panic set in. I woke up, startled by the fact that I felt as though I was being asphyxiated. And normally when you’re startled in bed you sort of hop to and make sure all is well, but I was trapped like a tuna in a fishing net. And the more I tried to get up, the more the panic set in because I was trapped by the damn blanket.
It took me a minute to realize it was the blanket that was crushing me and not my house having collapsed on me after crumbling from a record setting tornado. So, after the panic came the anger. But the anger was trapped under the blanket too, so it was festering inside my body as I struggled to extricate myself from the very heavy blanket. Really fucking heavy. So damn heavy, people.
Here I am, middle aged woman, slightly menopausal with the upper body strength of Screech from Saved by the Bell and the bone density of a hummingbird, trying to get a blanket that weighs as much as a food truck off of me. I’m pushing and kicking. The flailing was reduced by the sheer tonnage, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Eventually I get the thing off me and kick it onto the floor with a mighty thud. Registered a 2.3 on the Richter scale, woke the dog up, but finally I was free. All the struggling triggered a hot flash and then I was up for another hour. I hope he never tells me how much he paid for this damn heavy blanket. The hot flash subsided, I swallowed the rest of the anger so it could fester even deeper, and I was able to get back to sleep.
When the sun rose, so did I. I can begrudgingly admit I felt slightly refreshed. I had, after all, experienced considerably more than 4 seconds of sleep and without any nightmares. Well, other than the one I lived to tell you about. So, I can’t even be mad at the husband because it didn’t completely fail.
But, if he ever tries to make me be his latest internet health craze guinea pig again I’m going to wrap him up in this blanket like a really heavy sushi roll and force him to watch unlimited hours of Housewives reruns until he throws his computer over the side of a mountain. And personally, I think I’d be letting him off lightly.
*Featured image by Pixabay