Surviving Bed Rest


Say, for one reason or another, your doctor has consigned you to bed rest. In the interest of your health and the health of that little lollygagger inside of you, you have to stay put. Weeks and months will pass and there’s nothing you can do but wait. You’re trapped. Maybe forever. (N.B.: Probably not forever.)

You may be tempted to spend this time languishing on the Internet, whining to strangers, but we’re here to tell you: no one wants to hear it, and the ones who DO want to hear it will turn on you like rabid dogs the moment you start feeling better.

So what else can you do, if not reach out to the mentally unstable? Plenty! You can still be a productive member of society even flat on your back in a dark, stuffy room surrounded by dirty teacups. Where your body has failed you, your mind can now develop new paranoias you never knew existed!

Try to figure out what you did to deserve this.
Think back. Was it the time you laughed at your mom’s varicose veins? You definitely did something and the Universe waited until now to punish you.

Plot the demise of your enemies.
Since you have the time, why not spend it imagining deadly pranks that will take teams of science detectives a lifetime to figure out, by which time you’ll be dead yourself? For example, invent an undetectable acid that will, over the course of four decades, eat away the elevator cable in your enemy’s apartment building until it breaks, but only when she’s riding alone inside of it to a height greater than seven stories. That’ll show her!

Build a bed-fort.
We don’t mean one made out of pillows and sheets; you’re not a child! No, we mean an actual, working garrison fortified with twelve-pound Howitzers, horse-drawn ammunition caissons, a first-aid tent, bunkers, and barracks. Because what if there’s a war in your town? What if this war reaches your bed? Are you prepared?

Ask your friends and neighbors for assistance with fort-building.
Whether you construct your fort out of sandbags, salvaged logs, or solid masonry surrounded by a deep moat with spikes buried beneath the murky waters, you will most likely need to enlist the aid of your more able-bodied compatriots. Start by calling everyone in your book club and then work your way down the list of cousins, former employers, old boyfriends who still “owe” you, people you used to stand in line with at Starbucks, and weak-willed neighbors.

Make a list of those friend and neighbors who refuse to assist you with said fort-building. Title the list “New Enemies.”
You can never have too many enemies. Also, here’s a little-known fact that only we will tell you: as long as your brain simmers with resentment and revenge-plotting, you can avoid contracting Bed-Rest Madness.

Build a deadly catapult. Point it toward the homes of your new enemies.
A simple counterweight trebuchet is easy and fun to build. Ordering diseased carcasses to fling toward enemy lines might take some time, but then, time is what you have quite a lot of.

Chat up telemarketers.
After they insist that they cannot ship you any diseased carcasses via the postal service, you can get to talking about more personal matters. Like, “Wouldn’t you haul slabs of limestone to your friend’s bedside? You wouldn’t think that was too much to ask, would you, Shonda?”

Imagine you’re on a boat!
On the other hand, don’t imagine that.

Regress into some past lives.
We bet you never refused help polishing the spikes for your freshwater moat when you were the Macedonian Emperor Constantine VII.

Write a best-selling memoir.
You can write all about the madcap, whirlwind existence you led before you were marooned on this soft, pillow-strewn bed-island.

Knit all of your baby’s clothing for the next fifteen years.
For years, every time your child dresses it will be a reminder of how much you sacrificed so that he might be born. Just let him try and complain that his woolen swim trunks bunch up during pool time at camp. LET HIM TRY.

Grow a beard
If you’re ever going to do it, now’s the time.

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