The alarm goes off at 5:30 and I already know it’s going to be a rough day. I can feel my body’s warnings in the stiff resistance as I flex my fingers, in the subtle almost-ache in my knees, in the way I have to shift my head three or four times before my neck feels comfortable. I briefly contemplate the shower, perhaps fifteen steps away — the hot water will help, and I’m already naked so it won’t be too difficult, but I can’t face the thought of standing that long, struggling to figure out how to distribute my weight to produce the least pain. As my husband gets up, I roll over, struggling for five or ten minutes to figure out a comfortable position before drifting off to sleep.

He comes back once breakfast is ready, but I resist his attempts to rouse me. I’m awake enough, but I dread that first step when my feet have to support me and my whole body protests. Every joint I move feels stiff, even my toes. My neck already begins to hurt — I must have curled into a weird position with my pillows again. Eventually I rise, stumbling off to the bathroom blearily.

The next hurdle: after peeing, I often get pelvic pain. As I sit on the toilet, skimming through articles on my phone, I recount the days until I can see a specialist for that. August. That’s only two weeks and then four more and then another four and then some small change of days, it’ll go fast, right? I play these games in my head to keep from crying, pretending I’m okay with everything in my body betraying me.

Eventually I get up. I fumble with my bra — surely I’ll have less pain when the new bra arrives, I tell myself, intentionally forgetting how many bras I’ve tried in the past in an effort to find one that fits well. Pants are the worst, demanding I bend and lift my knees and fumble with buttons, all movements likely to cause pain. I remember to stretch my hamstrings; last week’s awful leg cramps in the middle of the night have only just begun to fade in my mind.

By the time I stumble out to breakfast, it’s perhaps 6:45. I pick at my breakfast; I’m in no mood to eat, but I’ll be hungry before long if I don’t. I take my allergy pills, checking the pollen forecast on my laptop and trying to remember why I’m awake at all. Work. I have to get to work. I check my calendar mentally; nothing of interest today, but I’ll have to go in anyway. I take some ibuprofen, trying not to think about what happens if I get a leg cramp while driving, and pile into my car for the almost hour-long drive to the office.

I haven’t written much lately. I think I’m okay with that. Eventually it’ll get better.

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2 Responses to Morning

  1. tonypervetich says:

    Normally I would just read this and lurk like normal but today, I think I am going to post. This all sounds way too familiar. I went through something fairly similar about three years ago. The only thing I can really say is that it’s going to get better. With enough work, good doctors, and a regimen most of the pain will subside. I still have back pain from time to time and every so often my knees will hurt after my morning jog, but it gets better as time goes on. As long as I stick to my regimen.

    As long as you have good people and friends besides you, a decent doctor who understands, and dedication to make a change, you can fix this. Hang in there!

  2. Firedrake says:

    I’ve been trying to think of something clever to say, but it didn’t happen, so: sympathies.

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