When I wake in the first hours and hear the rustle of leaves birdsong and early traffic my mind turns to my body's pulling powers the state of its tides and what pain really means.
I check for changes. Flexing a little as if I am some new creation off the bench a born thing of bones and skin discovering for the first time what awareness is and what it will do to me.
The other days are there forward in my mind memories of other wakings when hurt wasn't and despair. I walk my junctions testing for creaks and groans
before I even attempt to move. What it will feel like must be considered and adjusted to for me to continue and for my force of will to be proved in the aching.
I am after all an old thing not a new one and it is the slippery trick of time that fooled me otherwise everyday born anew but at every dawn a Frankenstein.
I am 68yrs old. Recently diagnosed with Late Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis - my Auto-immune system possibly triggered by contracting Covid19 - I am moved into a different adventure. There are different tides of thoughts and feelings to explore and issues to perhaps promote and champion. We will see. Time Passes.
Last night I noticed that I'm dropping things far too often. Papers. Keys. Small plastic toys. Even round lemons. So far nothing fragile or important but still this worries me. I'm thirty-seven: not young anymore but, also, I'm not old. My first thought was: am I forgetting to hold them tight? Perhaps, I'm not grabbing them right. I sat for a while diagnosing my own mental health. No. I am not becoming forgetful. I can reason fine. Relieved, I put my worries behind me and went to sleep.
Darkness hurts my hands. When I close my eyes the pain starts. It shoves itself like a clattering elevator clawing its way up to my fingertips. Poundings and tensions and strains begin to disrupt my languid limbs. In my dream, my palms feel like lead: infinitely heavier than their normal weight. My fingers start curling in. But it's in my joints where the throbbing emanates. The discomfort becomes insufferable. It hurts to move my hands. My fists have turned into numb bricks. By now the pain has disrupted my sleep. I take my sore hands and place them on top of me as I turn my back and face the bed letting my hands soak the heat guarded between the sheets and my chest. This alleviates some of the pain. This is how I hope to get some rest.
Though I'm fully aware that the pain in my hands will never really go away.
when i was much younger, i worked at a meat packaging factory. There we worked with hot water in cool temperatures. Thus. This.
I feel as if my head is sliding off my neck like ice cream melting down the cone. I am a witch melting, shrinking smaller as my spine stacks horizontally like shiplap. My body has been refurbished into a pinball machine. Something so tiny as a silver ball destroys so much. It bullets through my body, shooting off like Cuban missiles. I feel the turmoil and chaos seeping through the gutters of this old home of bones. It's like spilled oil sludging through my blood vessels or rats scattering through a sewer, nibbling and feasting away on these muscles of mine until they are frayed like gnawed-on cable wires. At odd hours of the night when time is propelled by the safe travels of breath (that weave in and out like Victorians at a ball) from sleepy children who have yet been touched by monsters or nymphs, whereas each of my breaths steer Odysseus's weather-beaten boat through ten years of treachery. My heavy, melting head slowly sloping like clay off a bust makes its home on my dingy pillow as I lay on a prison bed with cold shackles around my ankles that make my bones shatter into a mosaic as if that could shrink my ankles so I can slip out. I feel like a chained hawk at these hours of the night when I just want to fly until I screech to a halt and flail over the cliff that waterfalls into the ends of the universe. I'd be reluctant at first, perhaps, but what other escape does one have other than to make an autopsist's Y-incision on one's body, then slip out like a hermit crab freeing himself from his heavy shell? Embarking onto a new dimension where there's hope for a radical swap of atoms that don't shape a crippled, deteriorating human is the only choice when you want to live a life other than what you were cursed with. May we then find peace and live as naked souls bearing no heavy shells.
She was only 30 She slowly rounded the corner of her hallway towards her little yellow kitchen The wallpaper flowers still giving off the faintest fragrance Her crutches creaking with each painful step After more effort than should ever be needed She finally was able to sit down at the dining table The one her mother left her Somehow she knew that was the last time she would ever walk She put her head in her hands and cried Like her tears might cure her She hadn't done that since her mother had passed away Arthritis took her legs that day But it didn't take her spirit
They gave her a motorized wheelchair She actually had fun zooming around the house But she had to hire me to help her with the little things Like going to the bathroom She could still knit And play her piano For awhile But soon she had trouble pressing buttons And reaching her face I would itch her nose and she would sigh in relief Pretty soon her hands were useless The bones had moved to a better neighborhood But still she laughed She called herself "Rubbermaid" Arthritis took her hands too But it didn't take her spirit
She got sick on a Sunday By Tuesday she had left this earth At her funeral her family and friends all thanked me "She always said you could make her laugh, even on a bad day." And now she was free She could knit again! Beautiful warm blankets made with care And she could play again! Her melodies entertaining all the angels And she could walk... All along the yellow brick road Over the rivers And through the woods Arthritis may have taken her life But it didn't **** her spirit Nothing could
Be grateful for what you have. She was. For Vicky <3