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.