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.