A chilly December evening, and on my side of the bed is my dog Howie, soundly asleep, nose curled underneath him, tail keeping his hind legs warm, his stripes not at all clashing with the purple flowers on my pillowcase.
He's confident about taking over my half of the bed; he knows that when Muvver beds down for the night, she won't order him off. Why not, when he has his own cushy pillow bed beside the dresser?
In one of those weirdo old age phases, for some unknown reason, I've begun having painful back and shoulder issues when I sleep. Painful enough that I wasn't sleeping well at all. I'd shift from right to left, rearrange my pillows, move my legs ... and then fall back to sleep only to awaken again with a numb left arm and a burning ache of muscle spasms from the base of my skull to mid back.
Of course, the less I would sleep, the more tense I would get, and the worse the symptoms. Feh. What was more, I was keeping Bernie awake with my shifting and sighing in the night.
Fed up with disturbing Bernie's sleep, one night last week I hoicked myself out of bed in the dark, found a thick throw blanket, which I threw on the floor. I found (by touch) a sheet and a couple extra blankets, and curled up on the carpet beside the bed.
The next morning I felt better rested than I had in weeks.
On subsequent nights, I added another thick throw to make my sleeping pad, and I am in absolute bliss. My dreams are better, more peaceful. I wake with energy and no pain. My arm doesn't fall asleep. The muscle spasms have stopped. And I find it easier and less old-woman-achey to get up from the floor than I did from the bed.
Muvver now sleeps on a mat beside the bed. Why shouldn't Howie curl up on the bed to keep his Daddeh company? At least while Daddeh naps. At night, Howie returns to his cushion on the floor, too. Maybe he has the same achey issues as I do. Who knows? We just find solutions when we can.
The picture above is Howie curled on my pillows, rendered in Paint program.