Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Bottom Bunk

I slept on the bottom bunk in Claire's room last night.

The Bottom Bunk.

The Bottom Bunk holds a lot of meaning for me, believe it or not.  I have spent a lot of time there.

Not that I ever wanted to.

When my artificial hip went bad, the bottom bunk was one of two places I was able to lay down.  For the better part of a year, from June 20th, 2010, to February 25, 2011 when I had my second hip replacement and then for several weeks afterwards during my recovery from surgery, I lay or slept (when I could sleep) on the floor or on the bottom bunk in my daughter's room.  The partial dislocation of my titanium hip joint was causing severe nerve inflammation that in turn caused constant pain and at times, attacks of pulsating, stabbing, white-hot pain so bad I had to go to the hospital.  For some reason, laying on my stomach was the only position that was even tolerable and would allow the nerve some relief.  So on my stomach I was, nearly 24 hours a day, for the better part of eleven months, with only brief periods of relief here and there along the way.

I could not use my own bed for several reasons.  It was too high for me to get into easily.  I could not have anyone in bed with me because their movement would cause me pain.  Ted needed to get dressed and ready for work in the mornings in our room and that would mean disturbing me if I did happen to be asleep.  So it was decided early on, that if I could lay in a bed and if I could sleep, it would be in Claire's room on the bottom bunk.  When my pain was at its most intense, on my stomach on the floor was my only option.  But when I could tolerate it, I lay on the bottom bunk.

I was never comfortable there. 

Lying on my stomach has never been comfortable for me.  It causes me neck pain, back pain, arm numbness and pain and all over body stiffness.  So even though that position offered me some relief from my hip pain, I was far from comfortable any where else in my body.  There were some times, on the bottom bunk, that I was able to lay on my back with my leg propped on a pillow.  It was a great blessing.  But even then, I was still in some pain and could not move at all.  I felt stiff, paralyzed and claustrophobic.

Most of the time that I was on the bottom bunk, I was on heavy narcotics.  I was nauseous, drowsy, sometimes incoherent.  Even so, I was often unable to sleep.  The rest of the family tended to me lovingly, but they had other things to do too, so in between my med times, which were set on an alarm, I was mostly alone.....for hours.....and days....and weeks....and months. 

I was bored on the bottom bunk.  Sometimes, Kate would set up a movie for me on her laptop if I was able to be on my back for awhile, but for the most part, I had nothing to do.  I could not read or watch TV because of the position I had to be in and the narcotics I was on. 

For eleven months, I could not cuddle my husband.  I could not cuddle with my children.  I could not participate in daily family life.  I could not fix dinner for my family, or do any kind of housework.  For eleven months, I could not see my animals down at the barn.  I could not do my fair share of the work on our farm.  All I could do was lie on my stomach on the floor...or the bottom bunk.  So, in addition to the severe pain I was in, my time on the bottom bunk was filled with feelings of boredom, loneliness, sadness, frustration and uselessness.   

As the months dragged on, I began to feel hopelessness and despair. 

I was afraid on the bottom bunk. 

Would I ever be fixed?  Would I ever walk again?  Would I ever be rid of this torturous pain?

Well, the answer to all those questions was eventually, yes.  I am fixed.  My new hip is great.  I'm back to my normal routine and at night, I am back where I belong in my own bed next to my sweet man.  I haven't been on the bottom bunk in a long time.  ClaireAnna sleeps there now. 

So a few days ago, Ted woke up with a crick in his neck. It had just gotten worse and worse each day till he could barely move.  Last night, I decided to sleep in Claire's room so I would not disturb him or bump him during the middle of the night.  I made her sleep on top. 

And last night, I slept on the bottom bunk. 

That place, that holds so many memories for me. 

Wonderful, precious, joy filled memories........

You see, it was there, on the bottom bunk, that Jesus came to me.  It was there, that he never left me.  While I was on the bottom bunk, in despair and hopelessness, Jesus carried me.  He sustained me.  He comforted me.  It was there that all the negativity of my situation was defeated by the power of His Peace within me.  It is not so much that I'm better that I am grateful for, though I am so very grateful for that. But so much more, it is that while I was sick, and weak, and at the end of myself, He lived within me, and was strong for me. 

When I crawled into bed last night, on the bottom bunk in my daughter's room....I was overwhelmed with memories.....of His faithfulness and Love for me.  His Presence is what I remember.  The rest of it....happened a long time ago. 

I love that bottom bunk.  I'll never forget what He did for me there. 

I slept like a baby. 


  1. Your post prompted my memory of these verses that are so comforting: And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:7-10)

  2. Your story touched my heart. I'm glad all is well for you now!
    I too was on the "bottom bunk" for while. That is also where I had to learn to let Jesus carry me. He comforted me, spoke to me, gave me peace ~ the Peace that surpasses all understanding. I remembered that when I read your blog. No, I didn't sleep on the bottom bunk like you did, but I was "there" and when I go back "there" I am filled with gratitude for what He gave me and for what He took away.

    Love your blogs!


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