I know it's crazy, but even as an adult, I am still afraid of things that go bump in the night. There is just something about the blackness that crawls out of hiding after daylight is safely tucked into bed. The slightest sound can cause that icy fist to grab a hold of your stomach, and any movement out of the corner of your eye, no matter how slight (or imagined), makes your heart shimmy up into your throat... everything is magnified after dark.
I blame my fear on a very over-active imagination and a long-standing love for the stories spun by Mr. Stephen King. In fact, to this day I cannot sleep with my closet door open because of his short story called "The Boogeyman".
When I was 12, I was dared to read it by a friend of my older brother (and such a crush I had on this friend too), so of course I did. That night I was home alone with only my younger brother, and I'll never forget how the fear propelled me into a state of hyper-awareness... every sense was on high alert. Needless to say, I didn't get very much sleep that night.
These nights, I am not so much afraid of the monster under my bed (or the boogeyman in my closet) as I am something far scarier. Anybody on a first-name basis with diabetes knows that I am talking about what can happen to a type 1 diabetic if their blood sugar goes too low when they sleep.
They just never wake up.
That, my friends, is enough to give me a double-whammy of icy-fist and heart-in-throat when I hear something go "bump in the night". And there are so many "bumps" that cause the hairs on my neck to stand at attention.
A strange noise coming from Elise's room.
Or even the absence of noise.
Holding my breath as I watch for her breath to cause the rise and fall of her chest.
Medical devices alarming.
A soft, whispered cry heard over the baby monitor that reaches me even in the depths of my dreams.
These are my monsters. My boogeymen. They are responsible for hundreds of hours of lost sleep and countless bad dreams. They are why we get up to test Elise in the dark hours of the night.
Those who don't know are astounded. They have no idea about the ugly under-belly to this disease, the monsters that lurk.
So for now, I sleep with a flashlight under my pillow, and am careful to not let any appendages dangle off the side of the bed. Just in case the monster hiding under there is hungry.
6 days ago