Knees and Elbows Don’t Mix

Another thing that doesn’t happen often has happened twice in two weeks.  Twice I have had to get out of bed to grab a tissue, and when I get back into bed, somehow my knee has come up high enough to hit one of my elbows.  It’s really frustrating when I count on something to be routine, and an unexpected event disrupts everything, especially my sleep.  I mean, how much experience have I had climbing into bed carefully while not touching any corners or other areas that could possibly be dirty?  I have the pattern down; nothing should go wrong.

But it does.  The first time this happened I was in suspended animation for about one minute.  It probably would have been longer but my arm got tired of holding the bedspread up in the air.  Yes, there I was, groggy from only a partial night’s sleep, yet stunned by this knee/elbow collision, and I was holding the covers in the air in the same spot when the bump occurred while I decided what to do.  Did I need to get back out of bed and go to the bathroom to wash my arm, or was there another solution to this problem?  A lot of things went through my mind in that minute.  I decided that, since I was going to get up in only a couple of hours and I thought that I could keep still for that amount of time, and since it was my day to wash my sheets and bedspread anyway, I would be able to stay in bed.  I carefully lowered my arm, bedspread in hand, and I made sure that my contaminated elbow was bent outward as far as possible.

So there I lay.  Upset by the event, I would like to say that I tossed and turned.  But I could not toss and turn.  I had to keep my elbow in one spot.  It could not touch anything else lest there be even more cross-contamination.  I had to be very still.  Not washing was clearly a mistake.  Although there had been times in the past when I had been able to fall back asleep for a while in similar situations, this was definitely not one of those times.

As noted, this is such a rare event that I was absolutely stunned when it happened again so soon.  There I was frozen once again while trying to decide what to do.  This time it really was the middle of the night; I was going to be in bed for at least four or five hours yet.  I thought back a couple of weeks to last time, and I thought how I had managed then without getting up for a superwash.  Then I recalled how I also was not able to go back to sleep.  Not washing is never a good idea.  So I got up.  It took a minute for me to orient myself and devise a plan.  I grabbed some paper towels, folded them in half, and poured rubbing alcohol on them.  Then I started above the elbow and wiped downward.  I did this seven times.  Then I had to get ready for the wash.  In the past I would have gone straight to the bathroom sink for a superwash, but using the paper towels and alcohol precluded the need for that.  That was a good decision; it made the whole process much easier.  I could now do a regular washing, more or less.

One thing I realized before heading in for the washup was that my shirt sleeves were going to be a problem.  I should have rolled up them while my hands were still clean.  Thankfully I have devised a way to surmount a problem such as this.  I took a plastic sandwich bag and turned it inside out.  I now had a clean pseudo-glove with which to roll up my sleeves.  I used one for each sleeve, then went in, washed up, and crawled very cautiously back into bed, lay there for about an hour, then fell asleep.

About admin

I am a female in my early 40's who has been dealing with OCD since age 10 and a fear of germs since 14.
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