Friday, 31 January 2014

A Very Bad Night

I had a rough night last night. It wasn't the evening part; the evening, late as it was, was great. I went out to a musical dinner theatre show with a group of people, some of whom I know and others who I don't know. Then a buddy of mine came over later and we sat up and talked until about 1:30 AM. So it was a late evening, but definitely not hard.

Then, at about 4:15 AM, I woke up shivering. It was probably an 9 on the human Richter scale. I was shivering violently, uncontrollably. To top it all off, my bladder decided that this was the very moment it needed to empty itself, yet the part of me in charge of that process was unable to gain control of the body parts needed to complete the process. I sat up, and could not deliver. So there I was shaking like mad, shivering like crazy, desperate to go pee, and unable to do so.

The way I chose to approach this problem was to start with the shivering first. I pulled myself back into bed and back under the covers, seeking the warmth that I knew would slow the shivering. I also got into my own head and calmed it, seeking to have my body feel the safety and warmth around it. As nature would have it, I dozed off, my mind reclaiming peaceful slumber from rattling wakefulness. Then, as I was finally settling down, my bladder and the rest of my system decided it was now safe to release its contents. Yes, it happened.

I managed to gain control of the process somewhat but the damage had been done. I pulled the sheets from my bed and then went to the bathroom to finish what my sleepy corpus had started. Yet in this process the shivering started again. I was rattling once again, a human earthquake reaching from shoulder to seat. Oddly enough, my teeth were not chattering nor was my head cold in any way. My feet were freezing but this is more an effect of blood flow than anything else. ALS has stolen the muscles in my upper leg, the muscles that pump blood into, and out of, my lower legs.

After doing what had to be done, I got back into bed and pulled myself under the covers, seeking to be warm once again. My quilts, the combination of the one my Mom's friends made for me and the one that I bought for my bed, did the trick. As warmth came the shivering settled. Then I slept. As I awoke this morning I still felt a small shiver and even as I type now there is a faint quivering in my torso. Mostly this event has passed and I am truly grateful for its passing. Perhaps I can have a decent day today, a day that makes up for my very bad night.


  1. You are so open and honest in your writing, Richard .Life, with all its realities, not fairy tales,life, with all its shakes and shivers, life with all its bodily functions and body failures...but it is still LIFE.! I admire you.!

  2. Oh dear I am sorry you had such a terrible night. Was that shivering episode a part of the ALS. No wonder you were no wanting to get up this morning.

    1. It's a fairly common problem for PALS, Mom. For many it is because muscle atrophy means muscles can't work to keep your body warm. For others, like me, it has to do with general deterioration of the body.