Life in a Centrifuge

Yesterday was a big day in many ways. It was the last official class for the Middle School Creative Writing class and they are ready for their show on Sunday. That’s a relief. Then I did a whole lot of medical records requests/communication that I’ve been dreading. Then date night, which is a weekly ritual, best as we can. And yesterday, I had nearly 200 hits on my Forgiveness blog post. I was aware of the existence of the sweet morsels life has to offer.

A few minutes into date night, I started experiencing pain like I had never experienced in my wrist and arm. Nerve pain, bone pain, joint pain. Ouch. I got hubby to lift it from my lap to the table and put it on ice. I couldn’t lift it by itself. And then, I remembered.

Not only is this what I experienced when my right shoulder started to freeze, but in 2006, I went to a same day appointment, with little baby in my other arm, with my big kid pulled out of school to help. My wrist/arm felt like it had been broken. Swollen, nerve pain, the whole bag.

One of the hardest things (and possibly the most self-preserving of all things) about my illness is my terrible memory. When things are bad, I’m present, I am aware. When things are okay, I forget the bad. It’s like the burning pain of childbearing. Most mothers are ready to do it all over again, forgetting how intense the pain and discomfort was. It’s the intermittent nature of this illness that makes Social Security disability, disability parking and overall awareness of an invisible illness elusive.

I sometimes feel like I’m in a centrifuge. Sometimes alone, sometimes with other people who share my illness. It turns off, it turns on, I try to right myself, and sometimes it takes forever for the spinning to stop and get back to ground zero.

I’m on a journey I never consciously chose. But I’m here. Better to be aware and awake and alive in it than to die asleep.

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