I had another post scheduled for today, and then this happened…
My body has been happier for the last month or so than I remember it feeling for a few years now. My mom and I had a mostly wonderful outing to the theatre today(Saturday). We watched an incredible tribute to the phenomenal Leonard Cohen by Les Ballets Jazzs de Montreal.
Normally I print the tickets at home but for whatever reason I chose ‘pick up at box office’. We had to wait outside in the beautiful but freezing cold day (for Victoria standards – we’re wimps compared to most Canadians 😉), and by the time we got into the lobby, the MS monster was in full force.
Right or wrong, I resorted to a glass of wine which always calms the shakes and the nasty. Despite the plastic cup with a lid, I spilled all over my light purple pants. Nice. Of course, if I’d been wearing black it wouldn’t have happened. 🤣
Anyway, the following spilled out of me a few hours after I got home today. I wanted to share because I imagine it’s not an uncommon feeling. The pain’s bad enough but coupled with the anxiety of whether it’s signalling a relapse makes it almost unbearable.
I’m going to assume that when I wake in the morning, after this post is published, the monster will have retreated again and I will keep on keeping on. To all the warriors out there, I send you courage and positive vibes in the battle.
The pain heaves my stomach and sparks my anxiety.
It’s like too much blood in my foot, pushing out against my skin.
The foot wants to fold in half too, a taco of toes.
I breathe out against the pain, hoping it’s that my shoes are too tight.
The pain gets worse lying in bed later, legs bare, unconstricted.
There’s a python in my leg, squeezing, squeezing until I can’t breathe.
I move the leg to dispel the pain but it follows me, hungry.
I reprimand the foot.
It’s the misfiring of neurons, it’s not really happening.
A futile attempt.
The pains roars louder.
I swallow the nausea, blink against the headache.
The pain runs up and down my leg, into my arm, my jaw, my shoulder, my back.
Controlling my body and my mind, I’m lost in the misery.
Then the anxiety yells above the pain.
Is it happening?
Will I be down for the count?
Is it going to take me out for good this time?
I want to cry.
I want to hide.
I want out of this body.
I feel the grimace on my face and try to correct it with a smile.
A smile marinated in pain, a crone’s smile.
My face slackens, my mouth sliding down my chin.
The foot is sharing, pain travelling up my leg into my hip socket.
A live wire sizzling its anger from the inside.
My eyes squint, I swallow the lump of tears, blink away the moisture.
Crying won’t help, it makes the headache worse.
Lie still, lie still, breathe it away.
Shoulders tense, jaw clenched, abs contracted to hold it down.
Now the python’s in my arms too, too much blood in my whole body.
A burning tingle numbing my body and mounting my panic.
It circles my ribs.
They click together, compress my lungs.
I take a long, slow breath but my lungs won’t fill.
My tongue tingles.
I swallow the nausea again, the bile crawling up my throat.
The wrinkles deepen on my face, crevasses of pain.
The pain shoots down to my big toe, throbbing its nasty foulness.
The python circles my throat and I choke on my saliva, coughing and sputtering.
I hold my neck, coaxing the muscles to relax, the python to release its grip.
The panic screams but I have no time for that right now.
I need to breathe, to relax my body before I turn to stone.
But if I relax, the python will take over, squeezing me until I burst.
Nothing makes sense, the pain clouds reason.
No focus except stopping the python, controlling the panic.
The worry that it’s not here just for tonight.
That it wants to settle in for awhile.
Stopping my life again.