Folding Organs

Do your organs fold up when you sleep?

Among the displeasures of growing old (really old) is the anomaly of twisting all the organs in your body into strange and painful shapes when sleeping.  I must spend my sleeping hours engulfed in dreams where I ward off demons, crawl through mazes, pretend that I am a ball of twine or participate in the old folks’ version of a James Bond action scene or Cirque du Soleil.

I wake up with all my organs rearranged in places they don’t belong.  My spleen should not be visiting my tonsils; my liver should not be securely ensconced in my pelvis and my small intestines should not look as though it had won a prize at a sailor’s knot contest.

I sometimes feel that my insides are illustrations for a new, gruesome version of Grey’s Anatomy meets Animal Kingdom Origami:

Normal spleen/My spleen

Normal liver/My liver

Normal kidney/My kidney

Not only are such transformations painful but it takes a long time for each organ to approach its pre-bedtime shape.  On top of that, the organs have folds and bends from all this twisting and turning and it just makes it easier for them to twist into weird shapes the next time I participate in this strange bedtime yoga ritual.  Too bad your organs can’t be sent out to the laundry to be dry cleaned and pressed to remove these bends and folds.

Something similar is happening to all the pipes and tubes in my body.  I feel as though parts of me are dropping off when I walk down the street.  If I looked behind me, I would find a trail of nuts, bolts, bits of rust and some foul oozing liquid.  My parts are in such bad shape that, if the “cash for clunkers” program were still operating and they let people submit their bodies, mine wouldn’t even qualify.

What I don’t understand is, with the constant loss of parts, why don’t I lose weight?  Perhaps it’s because 80% of what I consume never makes it to my stomach for digestion because my esophagus has openings the size of the Lincoln Tunnel and lots of stuff accumulates in odd, assorted places.

My esophagus (on better days)

To correct my twisted organs, I have purchased, at great expense, a new kind of mattress complete with trained assistants to maintain a straight alignment of all my innards while sleeping.  I’ll let you know how it works out.


35 thoughts on “Folding Organs

  1. That is one nasty spleen! So far my organs haven’t decided to fold themselves, but the rest of my body feels corrugated in the morning. If I woke up and nothing hurt, I’d check the obits in case I’d died in the night and nobody told me.

  2. Maybe you need to wear shrink-wrapped pajamas to bed so that everything is so suckered into place that nothing can move, or breathe. Not pleasant, but it sounds like you’re battling the alternatives right now.

  3. Like it (even checked the button … did you see? did you see?) and it rings true, so very true.

    I have parts of my body that actually “wake up at different times.”

    That sucks.


      • My entire life, is some form of unwritten apology …. but yes, getting old and not getting any smarter, is proving to be a real drag.

        I sure hope I do not live long enough to see the demise of twinkies, they are the only thing that got me thru the sixties and of course, contributed to the great shape I am in today.

        (I am my perfect weight if I were seven feet tall)


  4. Ah Curmudgeon, my heartfelt and enormous sympathy! I love the comparitive photos, very good! You have my full sympathy and understanding.
    It’s not my organs, though. It’s dem bones! And ligaments, tendons, muscles, et al. Being hugely accident prone has really come back to rip my ass to shreds! I ache in places I didn’t know existed. I have the body of a stunt man of 70! Arthritis kicking my shredded ass too!
    It’s hard work making light of these aches and pains, but better than allowing them to overwhelm you. Big hugs mate!

  5. Perhaps you should just get a window installed in your torso and hold a puppet show. A dragon, an armadillo and a squirrel could get up to some mighty adventures.
    Getting older does have it’s less than enjoyable bits, but it is much more suitable than the alternative.

  6. I laughed out loud when I scrolled down on that first photo and saw Statler’s head at the bottom. And your esophagus has holes as big as the Lincoln Tunnel? That’s unfortunate. But your organs are a lot more photogenic than mine are. I’m jealous. And why haven’t we as humans evolved to a stage where our organs are wash & wear, no ironing required? Or at least with a bit of Lycra so they retain their original shape?

  7. Unfortunately, I understand perfectly what you’re talking about, from personal experience. And I’m not that old. How do you manage to take pain and turn it into laughter? That’s some serious origami talent right there!

  8. “Grey’s Anatomy meets Animal Kingdom Origami”—Haha. That was brilliant. I’d hate to see what your bladder looks like. The good news is, you would make a great case study for eager, young medical students.

  9. Keeping those tubes open and aligned and the various fluids and energies flowing smoothly is a big chore! Yoga is useful for this. have noticed that the lines on my face that I wake up with from the pillow take hours to disappear. I have been told this is because I am getting older.

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