October 15th, 2014…
I never should have done it. I knew I shouldn’t have done it. Truly and honestly, it’s the last thing I should have done before going to bed. I couldn’t help myself.
It started out as just watching the Ebola news. Can’t hurt to watch the news, right? No fear mongering going on there. Then I started researching Ebola some more. I need to be prepared. I’m not sure what I’m planning to do to be prepared, because I don’t have a lab in my basement where I manufacture ZMapp, but whatever else I can do to be prepared, I’m going to do it.
My research revealed that the Black Death, a plague that struck Eurasia in the 14th century (and intermittently for 300 years after that) and wiped out one fourth to one third of the population, is now thought to have been caused by an Ebola like virus. Oh joy. But I couldn’t stop there. Knowledge is power, and I needed to know what was coming. The last thing I did before going to bed rather late was to look up pictures of Ebola. Yep. My brain needed that before bedtime like my butt needed the leftover pizza from dinner I absentmindedly finished off. (Staying up late makes me hungry!)
Scary things do not bother some people. I am not one of those people. I purposely avoid scary movies, scary stories, scary places… I’m going to have to add looking up pictures of a scary disease before bed to that list.
I was kind of afraid to even make it upstairs to my bedroom. I contemplated crashing on the couch with all the lights on downstairs. But the protection of my hubby sleeping in the bed next to me outweighed the dread at having to turn all the lights off and climb the stairs in the dark. I don’t know exactly what his sleeping body was going to protect me from, but I’m pretty sure he provides some degree of protection against my own imagination.
It wasn’t just normal Ebola pictures that I came across — although those are terrifying enough — but pictures that had clearly been altered in Photoshop to look like Ebola victim zombie demons. Do people not have better things to do with their time?! (Because I should be judging what people do with their time.) My brain knows about Photoshop, yet somehow, it doesn’t stop imagining Photoshopped images coming to life and jumping out of the dark recesses of the room. I’m happy to report that I made it upstairs without being attacked by a Photoshop image.
(I should also report how thrilled my husband is during the times I run, jump, and crash like an eight ton elephant onto our bed — while he’s sleeping — so that nothing grabs my ankles. He’s absolutely thrilled. I’m sure of it. Ebola was not grabbing my ankle that night — no, sir!) At one AM, I snuggled into my husband and drifted off to sleep…
…Until four AM, when I knew I had contracted Ebola. All the kids had it, too. I had to warn my husband not to touch us or he would also become infected. “Stay away!” I yelled. “We have it! We have Ebola! The CDC couldn’t stop it! It’s here!!!”
“Huh?” my husband muttered sleepily.
“I’m having nightmares!” I screamed my revelation– “Save yourself!” –but not all parts of my brain had registered it. “We’re ALL going to die, Chris!!!”
His arm pulled me close. “Shhhh, you’re fine. You don’t have Ebola.” He paused. “What were you doing before bed?”
“GAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! You touched me and you’re contaminated!!! Photoshop Ebola zombies on the internet.” I opened my eyes and moved as close to my hubby as possible. Ahhhhh. Protection. I knew there was a reason I braved the dark stairs instead of sleeping on the couch.
My husband sighed. This is not the first nightmare of mine he’s ever soothed, and it probably won’t be the last. We drifted back to sleep. It was good to know I hadn’t contracted Ebola.
I knew I really needed to calm down about Ebola. I didn’t check the status of Ebola in the US all morning. Our handyman stopped by to fix a couple things, and I made small talk with him as I herded my two year-old in and out of the bathroom (the fun of potty training). I had calmed down considerably since the night before. Then our handyman mentioned Ebola.
“It’s going to spread everywhere. They can’t contain it. It’s here and there’s no stopping it.”
I wonder if he has nightmares, too???