I Woke But My Legs Didn’t

Not twenty minutes ago, I succumbed to the drowsiness a pizza and pasta lunch will induce and fell asleep, head down on my dining table. Sesame Street played on the TV. The fairies were flying to school. I don’t think I was asleep long, but long enough that when I raised my head from the table, I noticed Sesame Street had progressed past the fairy school segment to “Elmo’s World.” My two daughters had become even more comfortable on the couch by lying down and snuggling side-by-side on the couch. Elmo was singing “Happy Birthday” to his pet goldfish, Dorothy.

I moved to stand. I took one step. And when I tried to take another, I heard a little snap and fell on the floor. My legs were completely asleep, so asleep that I couldn’t feel my feet, and it hurt to move anything below my waist. I think when I moved to take my second step, I didn’t even stand properly with my foot flat on the floor but rather I stood on my ankle.

I made a noise as I fell. An “ahh!” It should have roused the attention of my kids. I rolled on my back and tried to work through the tingling pain by moving my legs as they would allow me. I looked up at the ceiling. I felt alone in my predicament of am I requiring an ambulance or am I just temporarily messed up? I tuned in to my ankle and wondered if I had hurt it as terribly as the snapping sound indicated. I have sprained my ankle several times, enough that I think it’s permanently swollen in some spots. Experience said it was most likely okay. No 9-1-1 for this gal.

As the tingling subsided, I rolled on to all fours into cat position. All this time, me flailing about the floor, my daughters have not lost their focus on Sesame Street, making my job as a mom, which is usually done in isolation, feel even more isolated. I could’ve choked on my sandwich. I could’ve passed out from a heart attack. I could’ve knocked myself on conscious when I smacked into the cupboard door. My young children wouldn’t have even flinched.

“Corrigan,” I called. I wanted attention. I know they are only five and two, but I wanted someone to take care of me. “If I would really needed help, would you even notice?”

Corrigan turned away from the television. The image of me on the floor must’ve come into focus for her. She came to my side and offered to help me up. “Well, I heard you,” she said. “Com’on. This way.” Her maternal voice felt warm and hopeful. I limped a bit as she led me to sit down. She covered me with a blanket and smiled. She pulled the release on the side of the couch, letting my legs up into a resting position. She moved back to her place by her sister. And we finished watching Sesame Street together.


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