I love my bed. All 6080 square inches of its king-sized glory. I love my 100% cotton sheets (preferably 400 thread count or higher). I love that my pomeranian can safely sleep by my feet without fear that I’ll accidentally boot him off the bed. I love my seven pillows: four standard, one queen, one king, and a body pillow. Don’t judge me. Did I mention that it’s a Sleep Number bed? My charming spouse, Ace, put the thing together the day of our wedding. He’s a 90-100. I’m a 75.
You can imagine that travel makes me a tiny bit nervous. We just returned from three nights in Lanesboro, MN. Being hamsters of habit, we rented the same room that we’ve burrowed in before. This particular room boasts a queen-sized bed, a microwave, a fridge, and a toaster. The Big E “slept” on the creaky metal fold-out cot last year, the kind your grandma stuffed into a corner of the attic for the mice to nest in. When The Big E heard we were returning to the same room, he staged a mini protest, vehement enough to make his Oberlin mama proud. NO, I WILL NOT SLEEP ON THAT COT EVER AGAIN.
We dragged a twin blow-up mattress along and voted Papa Hamster off the island. Mama and Baby Oedipus slept in the queen-size bed. Papa crashed on the mattress in front of the heating/cooling unit.
I only took three pillows on the trip. You might think that’s why I slept poorly. <cough> I fell into a semi sleep <cough> after smothering the <cough> EXTREMELY BRIGHT LIGHT streaming through the blinds with our accessory <cough> blow-up mattress. <cough> I never woke up enough to <cough> recognize why my sleep was <cough> disrupted. Ace never woke enough to <cough> realize that the <cough> heater kept switching on and <cough> off.
The second night we drugged The Big E, fed him a healthy dose of Zyrtec. Ace adjusted the blower thing to “fan” only, a constant stream of cool outside air. And The Big E proceeded to cough just as before. Crabby from fatigue, I propped him upright on the couch around midnight with one of those weird fuzzy-yet-rubbery blankets that really should be reserved for making tub toys. I vowed to pour a shot of any alcohol I could get my hands on right down his gullet if the cough continued. He quit coughing.
Ace found him asleep on the couch around two am, covers on the floor, huddled in a shivering ball like the Little Match Boy. My charming husband tucked him back into bed with Mama Hamster. Let me tell you, baby hamsters are all elbows and knees.
The third night we drugged E at dinnertime, adjusted the fan, and all fell promptly to sleep. Whereupon I dreamed of LVADs. I’m in my intern year at HCMC. (Why does it always hafta be HCMC?) I’ve been dutifully holding retractors for eighteen hours straight while the cardiovascular surgeons do whatever. At the end of the surgery, they simply walk off and I’m left with the dude and his new LVAD. Apparently the two cotton balls sitting on the sternum needed to be removed for the device to function properly and when the dude coded shortly thereafter, the resident and the fellow and the staff all blamed me. Oh joy.
I can’t tell you how happy I was to slip into my very own hamster nest last night. I adjusted the five pillows under my head, stuffed the queen-size feather puff behind my back, grabbed my body pillow, and draped my foot over Ace’s warm gastrocnemius. Ah bliss.