When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you to ask for help? Photographers, artists, poets: show us HELP.
I Was Askin’ For It
I rarely have to ask for help. My dad, grandmother, and husband have taken good care of me without being asked, those rare times that I was unwell.
But last night I was asking.
I was desperately trying to ask for help, but I couldn’t move or make a sound. It was another episode of sleep paralysis.
My husband was still reading when I dozed into a light sleep. I felt the tingling sensation first, an electric wave, spreading through my body.
I imagine that’s how it feels to be beamed-up by Scotty; sort of a dissolving, effervescent feeling. I expect the Star-Trek transporter would be less frightening than sleep paralysis.
It’s not a dream, it’s a feeling. The tingling sensation is probably just the chemical coursing through my body, sent by my brain to keep me from physically acting out a dream. I don’t mind a little tinglyness from time to time, but the paralysis and the feels-like-dieing part scare the hell outta me.
On the inside I was struggling with all my might to move my leg, to touch my husband, to ask him for help. Wake me up, shake me, whatever it takes to unparalyze me.
But I couldn’t move a muscle. I was screaming on the inside, but he couldn’t hear me.
It lasted only seconds, maybe a minute. A long minute. Finally, I was able to utter a sound. I thought I said Help me! but what he heard was a “pathetic whimper”.
He said “Are you okay?”, and suddenly I was. I snapped right out of it. I always do.
It shouldn’t be so scary anymore. I know what’s happening. It’s just a little chemical mis-fire. But I can’t reassure myself with that, when it’s actually happening and I’m physically unable to ask for help.