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.