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‘If you boil a funny bone, does it become a laughing stock?’ - Anon

From a very unscientific study carried out last night, I can confirm that an apparently sleeping man, namely Simon my husband, wriggles every thirty seconds. I’m not sure as to the ‘whys and wherefores’, but I can 100% definitely state that this is a fact. I am absolutely certain he is definitely asleep as we have the telltale snorts, then ‘pfff pfff pffffs’ that indicate deep sleep is achieved.

Plus the alarming ‘scraunch’ as the sleep apnoea kicks in.

This is not conducive to getting a good and restful night’s sleep. For anyone.

I hope he’s OK and I know he is, but it won’t stop me counting the seconds from when he stops breathing until he starts again.

In addition, my nocturnal worrying is escalating, mainly about ‘how will I get to the loo at night post-op?’ or ‘will our freezing house be warm enough?’, even ‘will Simon cope with looking after me as well as everything else he now has to do as my back dictates?’, and most recently ‘will I be able to understand the nurses if I’m drugged up with heavy duty pain killers?’

Simon remarks on my nighttime searing body temperature and my ‘lady snores’. No need for me to witter on about everything you already know from my point of view. Although…

I had previously left out the loud expulsions of bottom wind that pepper his fidgeting until now, but they definitely warrant a mention too. No less for their pungency as indeed their volume.

Of course, my farts smell like roses.

Nights are busy times.

As my anxiety levels seem permanently elevated, my brain refuses to rest, and pre-empts an early morning alarm, spending all night waiting for it to go off. Sleep does not come easily at all now and most nights I lie awake for a couple of hours as I go to bed, even on the rare nights when Simon slumbers peacefully. Waking with a jolt as I try to turn over when I finally do drift off, vast chunks of the dark hours are spent corkscrewing in the duvet, desperately uncomfortable, although rarely in huge amounts of pain. Lying down is good however not sleeping is tedious and wearing. The night sweats are depressing and I don’t know why that is happening, as my menopause came and went several years hence.

Small questions or doubts in my nocturnal mind are turning into really big deals and that of course, feeds the anxiety. Ruby, one of our two dogs, was due to have a tiny operation to have a lump removed on her ear recently. By about 03h00 on that morning I was drenched in sweat and planning where to bury her in the garden, as fat tears rolled down my face. Morning came and black-eyed, I dropped Ruby with Mathieu our vet first thing in the morning, having irrationally wept for most of the car ride there.

Of course, Ruby was completely fine and as the veterinary nurse confirmed, her ‘very small operation’ went swimmingly well. She was barely even drowsy when I collected her. Now, she is fully recovered and spends her days chasing her ball or digging for mice in the garden with Arnie, her son. All thoughts of her final resting place under the lime tree, in a blousy sea of cyclamen and snowdrops, are thankfully far behind me.

Nevertheless, that night under the cloak of nocturnal darkness, listening to the beating rain pounding the roof tiles, the fear of her imminent, nay certain death was real and completely unbearable.

I feel neurotic and permanently anxious.

It’s so bad that I resolve to contact a lady who helped me through a very dark patch indeed a few years ago. This wonderful giver of light and living asked if I would like to try hypnosis. So it came about that I am hypnotised through the ether no less, on a Skype call. I didn’t even know that was a thing. Bizarrely, I remember everything about how she starts and finishes the session but no matter how hard I try, absolutely nothing about what happened between.

The proof of the hypnosis pudding will be put to the test on Tuesday when the surgeon sharpens his scalpel and charges his drills.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I’m Jill, a RHS gold medal winning English professional gardener, garden designer and landscaper living in South West France since 2012. This is a personal account of my gardening life, some of the jolly and occasionally not so jolly japes that ensued while working, that probably caused my subsequent back problems.

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