What it’s Like to Have Someone Else Wake You Up Everyday.

When you’re disabled and can’t drag your own ass out of bed, someone else has to do it for you. How this help is received varies by the person and the day. Overall, there are a few circumstances that convey the differing reactions to having someone else crash you’re slumber-party-for-one, everyday:

When you’re well rested. Wake-ups are wonderful when you’re well-rested. It’s pretty much your everyday hangout with a paid friend except it’s the crack of dawn and you’re naked for most of it. If you’re in college, the conversation consists of, “And then he was like______, and then I was like____, but he was like______.” If you’re beyond school, it’s more mutual bitching about work…you know, gossip for grown-ups.


Oh dear.

When you’re not ready to face the world. Maybe your boyfriend dumped you or you just found out NPH is gay, but for whatever reason you do not want to leave bed, much less see another human.This wake-up usually consists off the attendant greeting you in their friendly-professional manner, before prying the pillow you were smothering yourself with from your fingers.All your troubles dissipate when they fix your hair in a way that makes you look a little more fake-it-til-you-make-it and less Homeless Patty.

When you’re hung-so-over. The knock on the door sounds like bricks are  being hurled at your apartment. Their polite morning tiptoe sounds like the start of a remixed Nine Inch Nails song  And then they turn the light on, just to piss you off, and you can’t utter any complaints for fear of puking. The rest of the wakeup is spent reminding yourself that it’s inappropriate to punch perfectly nice people in the face and that you’re never drinking again.

When you have work to go to. This again? How do I communicate that coffee trumps getting dressed, even if it means drinking coffee naked? 

When you’re in a rush. “Oh, I’ll just wear this pair of mismatched golfing socks, these granny panties and my most uncomfortable bra.” Because you don’t matter, only time does.

And everything seems like it’s in slo-mo, because it’s you vs. attendant vs. time. Also, you’re disabled so time laughs at your attempts to manage it.

When they’re hours early because of a scheduling change. No…no…this isn’t happening, you’re having a nightmare. Oddly, it’s the same thought when they’re six minutes early.

When you’re not alone. Teddy bears don’t count. This refers to the unmatched awkward that is likely to be experienced by the person helping you, and the person in the bed beside you. It’s usually good to be as quiet as possible of the person is sleeping and at least wait til the shower’s running to diffuse the awkward for the helper, if need be.

Of course, every person is different. Some people, and attendants, don’t care. Others feel all kinds of uncomfortable, naturally. Wading through it in hopes of future jokes is generally the only course of action.

When you want to dress slutty. “Umm, I want to wear this one…” you point in a vague, circular direction at the slinky dress/ cropped crop top/ sparkly boob shirt dress thing.

“This one?” the person picks out dress that looks like its previous owner was a mennonite, and you wonder how/why you own it.


“Oh, this” Pulls out a baggy looking guy shit, “Op, no. Definitely not that.”

Finally grabs slutwear, and just glances at you, and it, and waits.

“Mm yes please”

All of this dragged out discomfort is overcome by starting the interaction with, “So I feel slutacular today.” or “I need a boob shirt,” a lesson that might be a long time coming.

When you want to stay in bed. “Good morning, how’re you?”


I probably missed a slew of them, but these are the ones that are common in my life.








  1. “Good morning, how’re you?”


    HA! That’s hilarious. I’ve totally been there, just a “No.”- no desire/energy for communication, other than a blanket refusal to acknowledge the day, people, responsibility, a world beyond bed…

  2. I always knew NPH was gay…but I COMPLETELY relate to almost everything in this post. My success at adulthood is based on trying to remember that for most people chips and salsa is not considered at meal. I LOVE this post and the fact that you have now provided me with the term “Slutwear” is…amazeballs. 🙂

  3. It’s been a while since someone has had to help me dress because of my disability. I do remember though. I was so thrilled when I finally didn’t need the help except for my shoes (laces are a big hassle for me still). Chances are as I grow old here (will be 60 later this year), I’ll be facing that help again in the future. Yuck!

    • Glynis, I imagine it would be a weird experience to be able to be free of that assistance, and then go back years later, likely as a person who’s changed a lot. I wonder how you’ll deal w care differently (if at all) now as opposed to before.
      And hey, I would choose assistance over Velcro shoes any day.

  4. Thankfully, the only thing that wakes me up is my alarm clock so I get to curse at it all I want and not feel bad about it afterward. Having to be nice to someone before my first cup of tea would be too much effort for my sleep befuddled brain 😉

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