I am a klutz. If it is possible for me to hurt myself on something I will. In fact, there are days that I wish I lived in a padded apartment. But, that wish is just insane. Many of you have heard that I fell the other night getting up to feed Alfalfa. I’ll do my best to relay this painfully funny story to you. Please be kind with your comments as I am a klutz…
At 3 am most of us are in some form of deep sleep. I am blessed with the ability to sleep through the night without interruption. It is something I take for granted…until it is interrupted. On Monday night I feed Alfalfa his nightly ‘snack’ before I went to bed. The purpose of this snack is simple: If he is occupied while I’m falling asleep, he can’t keep me awake. I fall asleep while he is munching away at his food. If he wants more, tough…I’m asleep and won’t wake up normally. The system works well for us both.
For some odd reason at 3 am on Tuesday morning, I woke with a need to use the ladies room. I take care not to drink before I go to bed specifically to avoid this inconvenience. I got out of bed went to take care of my business. Alfalfa stirred and eeped quietly for me. I acknowledged him with a, “Go back to bed, dude…” as I went into the bathroom. When I was finished he was still quietly eeping. I ignored this and made a b-line for my bed.
Alfalfa let out the loudest screech possible when he realized I was going for the bedroom and not the refrigerator in the kitchen. “Alfalfa,” I admonished, “be quiet…it’s 3 am…” I continued to my bed, got in, and pulled the covers over my head. I heard Alfalfa running in excited circles on the floor. I began to drift off when he started again. *screech* the small yet powerful voice rang out from the left side of my bed on the floor. I turned over to my right side away from the noise. He screeched again. I grabbed the pillow from under my head and put it over my head to block the noise.
I began to drift off into dream land. The noise started up again. *wheek* I adjusted the pillow. *wheek, wheek* I shifted a bit. *wheek, screech, wheek* I rolled over and pulled the pillow back over my head. *wheek, screech, screech* I ignored the noise reassuring myself that it would stop. *screech, screech, screech* “That’s it!” I yelled pulling the pillow off of my head and sitting up in bed. “That’s it!” I said again huffing in anger. “I’m going to feed you to the boogie monster if you are not silent right now!”
The admonishment did not phase Alfalfa. He wheeked with excitement. The silly thing thought I was going to feed him. I heard him in the dark pop corning and dancing next to my left side of the bed. I turned towards the noise and scolded the noisy darkness, “Shhhh… You’re going to wake the entire building.” He softly cooed back at me. “Go to sleep…” There was no response. “Good boy,” I said as I laid back down to sleep and pulled the cold covers back over me.
*WHEEK* Alfalfa screamed and again *WHEEEEEEK*. I opened my eyes only to stare into complete darkness. I had to admit defeat. “Oh, sh*t,” I cursed throwing the covers back again. “I’ll get up…” I sat up and took a moment to adjust to my new position. I heard Alfalfa begin to run zoomies on the floor in excitement. “Oh, pig…” was all I could say as I stood in the darkness. I didn’t want to turn on the light and wait for eyes to adjust. I figured I could get Alfalfa a snack in the light of the refrigerator and leave it for him on the rug in the kitchen. He never minded getting food there.
I know the outlay of my apartment like the back of my hand. I can easily negotiate the place in the dark with little to no problems. So, I started toward the kitchen. My mental map must have been muddled by something this night. I ran into something with my right leg and went flying. I remember thinking, ‘Well, this is not good…’ as I flew through the air. I was so tired and disorientated I didn’t even bother to try to stop the fall.
I hit the floor on my left back/side with a bone crushing thud. I was immediately awake and in a lot of pain. “Ouch!” I yelled from the floor near my desk. Alfalfa was dead silent. I was in a lot of pain and all I could think was, ‘I JUST KILLED MY GUINEA PIG!’ I began to cry from the pain and worry. I sat up the best I could and began to feel the floor for the corpse of my beloved pet. I was in a full blown panic attack as I ran my hands across the floor. The entire left side of my body hurt. But, I didn’t care. I was more concerned about my guinea pig. I kept say, “Alfalfa? Alfalfa?” as I ran my hands across the rug.
I thought that I could be mistaking him as part of the rug. I got up as quickly as I could and turned on the nearest light. The sudden illumination was blinding. I covered my eyes to guard against the pain. “Alfalfa!” I called through my tears. He was nowhere to be seen. “Alll-fiii!” I called with weakening knees. Alfalfa came trotting out from under the bed. He was walking normally and seemed no worse for the wear. He squeaked at me and turned his head in curiosity. “Thank god,” I said with relief, “Come here, dude.” I went to bend over to pick him up and was met with a sharp pain in my left mid back. “Ouch,” I groaned. “I’ll put off the cuddles until the morning…”
I got the fridge and managed to get a nice snack for my butt-head and something for me to drink. I kept a light on the entire way back to the bed room not wanting another ‘trip’ on the way back. Smartly, I grabbed some medicine and took three before getting back into bed. I turned the light off and quickly drifted off to sleep.
I woke up to a quiet and peaceful morning. The apartment was cool and comfortable thanks to the new air-conditioner. I made the next huge mistake of my life…I stretched. Bad idea…very bad idea… I felt every bruise, pain, and inflamed area of my left side all at once. I swear it was one of the most painful moments in my life. I let out a moan of pain. Alfalfa heard me. Little feet came pattering across the rug and to the left of my bed. Small wheeks of anticipation drifted up from the side of the bed.
“I hear you,” I responded to my baby boy. “I’m not sure I can get up right now, butt…” The wheeks got a bit louder and a bit more urgent. “Ok, ok,” I said moving my legs. I felt 50 years older than my age. I slowly got to the sitting position moaning and groaning the entire way. Alfalfa was clueless. He walked up to my feet. I braced for a bite. He sat on my feet and snuggled in. “Oh, dude,” I said feeling him settle down. “You do love me…” I sighed and said, “Ok, let’s get breakfast…” Alfalfa bolted for the kitchen. I slowly got up and followed him. It was going to be a painful day.
I managed to make it through my internship. When I got home, I lay down on the bed and had a horrible back spasm. I made the decision when it subsided to go to the doctors. The doctor made me repeat the story of how I hurt myself several times. He couldn’t help but laugh at me. I tried to laugh too but it hurt. I think I made the whole office’s day. They started calling me “The Guinea Pig Lady”. I took it all in good stride. They poked, they prodded, they sampled, they x-rayed, they looked at me with funny faces and then told me I had a small hair-line fracture in my mid-ribs on my left side. There was nothing to be done but rest, ice, and medication. I gave out address of Alfalfa’s website to several of the staff members. So, if you’re reading this, thanks for the excellent care. And I told that it was the guinea pig’s fault! lol!