Thursday, August 28, 2008

A day in the life

Today, I had a booking for my small business. I awoke with my alarm, and took a pain pill, resetting my alarm for half an hour later, so I could get up once the pain medicine kicked in. Without it, I have a hard time getting up even to use the restroom, and I usually hold it as long as I can just to avoid the pain of getting up and going.

Half an hour after the first alarm, the second one goes off. I can get up now; it still hurts, but not as much. I pull the clothing I want out of my closet and dresser, but don't put them on right away; clothes are actually painful to me, and I'd rather get some other things done first (I bathe/shower at night, so that my hair will be dry by morning). Using hypoallergenic cosmetics, I put my face in order so I no longer look like a painting from Picasso's Blue Period. I pull on part of my clothing, and go downstairs to pack the rolling rubbermaid bin I need for my gig.

Using a written list, I make sure I haven't forgotten anything important; I've done this many times, but I still need to make sure the brain fog doesn't make me omit a key part of my repertoire. The bending and lifting I have to do for this is causing my lower back to protest, but I keep moving, grabbing a small bit of food on the way out.

I have to load the bin into my car, which I can do--I'm strong--but it hurts. My lower back feels like a knife has twisted in it, and it continues broadcasting pain signals even after I've settled into the driver's seat. Driving is a particular nuisance; the use of my body in this way often gives me leg cramps, a spasming back, neck pain, and a headache. Fortunately, my drive today is less than five minutes, and I arrive at my destination no worse for the drive, for once.

I haul the bin out of the car, along with a couple of bags that had been on the front seat. I try to pick up the bin's handle, but my purse is on that shoulder, and it slides down. Stupidly, I slide my purse back up and try to pick up the handle again, repeating this three or four times before my logic circuits burn through the brain fog and tell me to put the purse on the OTHER shoulder.

Once at my gig, I set up quickly, then use my spare time to read the novel I'd brought along. The time comes, and I perform well, as usual. This is the easy part for me; it comes naturally and easily. After I'm done, I receive applause, and many audience members come up afterwards to personally thank me, and to tell me how much they enjoyed it. I accept their compliments graciously, and then thank them for being there.

I leave some literature with the person who organizes events for that client, then pack up and haul the bin back out to my car. It feels heavier than it was before, even though it's technically lost some mass. My back can't take much more than this, and when I get home, I feel my abdominal muscles giving way this time as I lift the bin back up to the porch. I'm still not done, though; I have to get its contents put away--it's not a task that can be left until later. More bending, kneeling, lifting, and it's done. And so am I.


Scattered Marbles said...

Man you had a hard day, it makes me wish I could have helped you out somehow. I can't imagine what you go through everyday but I thank you for a glimpse into what it is like living with fibromyalgia which is something I can't even wrap my head around. I have such respect for you , and I am sending you some healing wishes :)

Anonymous said...

i thank you for this. it's a good answer to some of the questions your earlier post raised for me.

i think for me what resonates most is that you are a normal person living your normal life with this one huge extra thing that has to be considered in almost everything you do. that's very similar to my experience with eating disorder- but i think from the outside people have a tendency to split "normal you" and "sick you" as if they're two seperate people.