On Saturday, Lisa, over at Privilege put up a post about being a morning person. I am a morning person. I wake up before the dawn, really not so hard in Tennessee where the sun seems to rise so late. It is in the early moring that I miss NY the most, those 6 AM walks in my garden, cup of coffee in hand.... but I digress.
At least I am basically, by nature a morning person. I awake early. I jump out of bed with a glad cry. And by mid afternoon I am already beginning to fade. When George was alive, I called myself a nap person. Naps were my way of coping, of bridging the gap between my inner lark and his inner owl. I thanked heaven that my working day usually ended earlier, that I had time for a brief nap between the business of work and the business of home, but still, more often than I care to recall, I fell asleep on the sofa my head on his shoulder or chest -- safe.
But that is not that my point either. My mind wanders. The problem now is that I am but a shadow of a lark, a morning person wanna-be. I awaken early. Such is my nature. I lie in my comfortable bed, I stretch, I imagine the world as it should be, full of promise. Then I try to stand and my world is shattered. We think I have a problem at S1, a herniation really. My doctor probably knows by now but I do not. I had an MRI last week, but I won't know the results before Wednesday. We anticipated that I will have a cortisone injection and once I can manage the pain I can begin to heal. My life is never without back problems, it has not been so since I was 10 years old and was diagnosed with scoliosis. I am grateful for my life. I have done well, I have been blessed. But this is different from anything I have experienced so far. Yet I know I will survive it.
Please remind me of that statement early in the morning when I am struggling to cross the kitchen floor. Suddenly, I am not a morning person.... or I am a morning person imprisoned. My brain and my soul rejoice in the morning yet my body is not convinced. I lie in bed dreading that first step... will I scream in pain? Will the 20 feet or so to the kitchen, the cat bowls, and a new ice pack, the symbiosis of drugs that help me cope, that maintain the myth that I can actually function, be hell on earth, or merely tolerable disomfort? It is not my nature to worry so. For the last two weeks, a normal morning means that it will take me 2 hours just to contemplate being able to stand long enough to take a shower. There I am, mentally wide awake and ready to dance around the earth welcoming the dawn (even thought technically dawn isn't even awake yet) and my body is still clinging to the bed. And yet I know there are people who are worse off. I have a new appreciation for pain, for the things pain can drive people to do. I can even understand the horrible choices that people are sometimes driven to make.
For my morning-person self the worst part is the evening. My brain is beginning to shut down, my inner worry-wart is slowly rearing his ugly head, and my body, which took so long to wake up in the morning, is not yet ready to get comfortable for the night. It doesn't matter if I was up, or if I spent the day resting....the body is not ready to wind down, even though my brain is fading and is begging for respite. So I lie awake praying for pain free sleep.
Who knew this could happen? Surely not I?
This is not actually a complaint. It is just what it is. Here I am writing this post, late at night, late for me anyway, although I will post it in the morning, living a life that is me and yet simultaneously is not me. What am I to do? I have been blessed in my life in so many ways, although I admit I have not always seen it as such. I am blessed now. People are willing to help me. I have hope. I cannot imagine not having hope, and yet such is the life so many must endure. I drove someone to church on Sunday, even though I was initially unsure as to whether I would be able to walk into the same service. I delivered a meal. These small things bring grace, and make everything worthwhile. Today I am able to sit. I am able to type this post. I haven't yet figured out a way to write when I am flat on my back, but if that were my only option I am sure I would find a way. So much of how I understand who I am depends on my ability to write it down.
Here it is, late at night, and I realize that there is no point to what I am writing. I have no conclusion, no denoument as it were. So I will say it again. I am blessed. I have friends. Long ago when I lived in NY I was in the hospital for a week and no one wrote me or emailed me, no one called, no one came by. I was not particularly ill, and although I was there for a reason, it was mostly for obsevation. No one wanted to bother me. Here people email. People call. I am lucky to have found this place, these friends, friends I wouldn't have thought possible. Perhaps I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. So this is what I ask. Pray for all those people who don't have people who email or call. Pray for those people who don't feel loved, who don't feel hope. If you don't believe in prayer or God, think of them anyway; they need your thoughts, your psychic karma. In the end it doesn't matter if you are laid low by chronic pain or a hangnail, if you can't walk to the freezer, or if your boyfriend forgot to call. We all suffer. We all need love. Share the love.