I haven’t slept…it’s been four night , four sleepless nights. Irony is I am struggling to get up and yet while I lay down, my whole body is burning. The excess pain and needles have turned me into burning man. I am so haggard there isn’t a reason to look at the mirror. But I have to get up, I have to go to work, these bills will not pay themselves.
I struggle to get my moving pain(this is no longer a body) into the shower. My head is cheering hot shower, hot shower. I have to wake up a little bit extra early so as to spend more time with my only friend at the moment, hot shower. And it is worth it for those extra moments am in. It acts as a much needed muscle relaxant as well as a shoulder to cry on. It wipes away the tears ,anger and fears if only for a moment.
I try to get dressed. I have to look for any loose fitting clothes. I can’t afford to wear anything too fitting, it feels like someone is squeezing me. I look at my collection of shoes and look to the side. I can no longer look at them let alone think of the cute heels in my collection. It will have to be comfy flats or rubbers for now…thank you Bata for your flat comfy shoe collection. I am now dressed , standing next to the wall as I force a banana down my throat. My body is repulsing food, yet I know I should eat. I simply have to. Energy I need. What I wouldn’t do right now for a little energy. I pack a packet of Lucozade in my bag and head out.
As I walk, I am having a conversation with God, no I am angry at Him. This is not a conversation but I’m expressing my anger and displeasure at Him( ironically, I prayed this morning in bed and thanked Him for the night and for still giving me the gift of life. Now, I don’t know if this prayer is said out of habit or clinging onto hope). I have walked on the tarmac and the rest of the remaining distance is murram ( rough road where people have crashed some stones to make it passable). I stop. I shed an internal tear. Getting through this murram will finish me up. Every step is a whole new pain. I am halfway through and it feels like I’m dying. I pretend to look at the dresses as the roadside just to gather enough strength to finish the murram (no, this murram is not a few kilometres long, its approximately 200m or less).
I get to the stage and I am exhausted not because of the walking but because of the energy I have used to absorb the pain. I guess the pain meds I took this morning hasn’t started kicking in. The ride to town is rough. I feel every bump, sharp turn and sudden stop as if my body is being electrocuted. I am the last one to alight as I try to recover. All I seem to do is energy, pain, recover, repeat.
Everyone is the office is all cheery and all over. This is the hardest part. I have to smile, look cheery and all marsh mellow to fit in so as not to be looked at differently or sympathised with. (PS: all of you who feel the need to sympathise, shove it. Anyone in this situation hates it and thinks of you as doofus and will avoid you like a plague. So if you have a friend in pain and they suddenly start avoiding you, it’s not them coping with pain, its them avoiding your woiyeees and sympathetic look and actions. Just because I’m in chronic pain doesn’t mean I’m dead!!!).
Now my work involves a lot of sitting in front of the laptop most of the time. This is not good for me ( but then again, neither is this chronic pain) so I look for imaginary work to get me off my desk regularly. I even leave the office and take a lap to stretch my moving pain. By now its lunch time, I’ve added a few pain meds in my system and I’m slightly( read very) high. This I can work with. Everyone wants us to go outside and eat out there but I can’t so I give an excuse of how much work I got( well, it’s not an excuse because it’s true. I have to finish all my days work and any leftovers I had in this moment of highness before the meds wears off) Today I’m lucky, I finish all the work and hand in the reports on time. Yippee. Now I wait for 5 pm for the struggle to continue. I can’t pop any more meds as this will be borderline overdose and I got Lillian and Lillian(my kidneys) to think about.
I start on my journey home….Pain galore. At this point on an exhausted scale, I have broken it at the top. I pass by the local and they fill up my container with my dinner( I always leave some with them in the morning coz the energy to even start a fire is too damn much). I get home and I want to collapse at the door. Hot shower, hot shower, my brain screams. That helps me from not sleeping by the door.
Its 2.30am now and am lying flat on the floor with a hot water bottle listening to the wailing of the dogs. I listen and I pray. Even if I know tomorrow might be record, play, repeat, I still pray for hope, I still cling on the fact I will collapse in a deep sleep and wake up from this nightmare that is (add the chronic illness both visible and invisible here).
I live to fight for another day, another milestone. I will live to get(crawl, walk, run) to that elusive light at the end of the tunnel.