When I was a little kid, my mom would take the laundry from the dryer, put it into our antique wicker oval basket, switch the next load, and start folding. As she would reach into the basket, she would encounter a sock, an undershirt, a soft giggly calf, a pair of underwear, a small hand, a t-shirt, a shoulder…being the wonderful mom that she is, she would tickle said body part for a moment and then move on to the next piece of clothing.
There is nothing quite like a warm pile of clean laundry. In law school, I remember vividly that during exams, I would do a load of laundry, dump it into a chair, and then sit in it for ten minutes. It didn’t matter if it got wrinkly; it was all jeans and socks and long-sleeved t-shirts that wouldn’t get folded because I would just reach into the pile for the next four days and get what I needed. But as I was buried in it for ten minutes, a shoulder would drop slowly from my ear to where it belonged, my lower back would relax back into its natural curve, my thut (the part where ones thighs meet ones butt) would release, unclinching both my hamstrings and my butt. It’s like a ten minute massage without the bother of paying someone or a warm bath without the bother of getting wet (an important consideration when “break from studying” time is broken into 15 minute increments).
This morning around 5, my nurse came in to do a vesicant check and noticed that I was cuddled up tightly on my side, not totally awake as she gently and quietly did what she needed to do. I normally sleep on my back, with one amazing furry creature pressed up against my left side, another at my feet, and my lovely husband on my right. I have none of those in my bed with me in the hospital, so it’s harder for me to fix my temperature (considering my body is not doing a good job of it on its own at this point). She came back in a few minutes later with a warm blanket and tucked it around my shoulders, barely disturbing me. Slowly, my shoulders relaxed, my spine and legs straightened, and eventually, I turned onto my back.
I have the best nurses ever.