Saturday, February 7, 2009

DANGER: Sleeping Poses Unknown Hazards

If you have known me for any time in the last two years, you have have seen me write or talk about my “sleeping injury”. At the encouragement of my wife I decided it was time to expose the truth about my bad feet.

The truth is I did not survive a failed parachute while skydiving. I did not hurt them jumping from the second story burning building to rescue a baby/cat/dog or any other variation of the same story I may have told. No, they do not bother me after surviving frostbite on a failed attempt at scaling Mt. Everest. It is time for the truth to come out.

I hurt them sleeping.

Ok, I wasn’t sleeping, but that’s how this all started.

Over two years ago during the early Emily years, there were many late night feeding and comforting sessions. On one particular night I got up to feed/comfort Emily (I cannot even remember now), and as usual I fell asleep sitting in the glider holding Em, my knees up in the air with my feet propped up on the edge of the ottoman.

I don’t know how long we slept there, but when I came to one of the lower levels of sub consciousness, I realized it was time to go to bed.

In a haze of sleep I magically stood up. Not only did I magically stand up, but I stood up and took a step to the side. This placed me standing next to the crib, between it and the glider. Think of the gap between the glider and the crib as a small narrow alleyway.

I say I magically stood up for a reason. You see when I woke up I realized that one of my legs had fallen asleep. I could FEEL that it had fallen asleep. Once I was standing, cradling my sleeping daughter in my arms I realized that my left leg was more than a little asleep, it was unable to hold my weight, so I attempted to shift my weight to my right leg. This was my biggest mistake.

My right leg might as well have been removed from my body. There was no sensation, no control, no feeling whatsoever.

This is why I use the word magic to describe the process of my standing up. I have no idea how I got vertical in the first place.

So, there I am standing there with two useless legs when the magic fades and gravity took over. I was falling and I was going straight down to my knees.

I managed to prevent Emily from hitting the crib by inserting my elbow between the crib and her head. Because I had no control of anything between my waist and the floor my feet stayed planted to the ground as if they had been glued there and I went straight to my knees and fell forward landing on my elbows. I was doing everything to protect the baby I was holding in my arms. When I hit, I was able to gently roll Emily to the floor and she started screaming. She screamed because she was scared. She escaped the fall without so much as a bump.

The time from my magical ascent to a vertical stance to my rag doll crumple took only a matter of seconds.

During this plunge I felt and heard something snap in my feet and yes, I yelled in pain, loud. I thought, “Oh, FSM! I woke Susanne. Now I am going to get it.” I did. She came in, freaked out by the sight of Emily and I on the floor, and as I lay crying in pain she yells “Oh my god, is Emily ok?”.

If I only had the ability to be sarcastic while in pain, I would have let her have it.

So over the next few days my feet turned purple. I had them x-rayed and nothing was broken. I should have gone to a foot doctor, but I didn’t. I wobbled and hobbled and limped about for almost a year before they hurt less and impacted me less. Just when I thought they were getting better I did something to them at the gym. I don’t know what and it doesn’t really matter.

So now they bug me. Quite often my toes are numb, and often they bother me. That’s that. I have orthotics, I have had cortisone shots. I live with it. I am not telling this story for sympathy, but now when someone asks me why I am limping or why I don’t want to go for a run I can say:

“Sorry. I have a sleeping injury.”

And I can point them to this blog post so I don’t have to explain the hidden dangers of sleeping.

Moral of the story: Make your wife feed and comfort the kids at night.


  1. Good God. There but for the grace. I've taken a dive holding a tiny baby, but I didn't do permanent damage to myself. (Or him.)

  2. I think you should call Dr. Derek Anders...Reno Foot Doctor.