drama quees

I pulled into the last available VIP parking space at the Super Stuff Mart, turned off my car and reached for my placard; the blue one with the icon. The van in the parking space next to mine had a lift; parked opposite of me, a lady with a cane was locking her car door. Here we go, I thought taking a deep breath, I grabbed my purse, opened the door and stepped out. So far so good!

I was unable to run this errand earlier in the week as I had planned because I had over indulged in physical activity during the weekend. I should have known better, but sometimes when you get going, you know, it’s tough to stop, to say enough is enough, I’ve hit my limit of movement; and boy did I pay for it! Two days in bed, barely able to lift my head off the couch, that’ll teach me…

…TO HAVE FUN!

Oh the nerve of me; I dared to get dressed up and go out for a night on the town with friends and my handsome husband, so now, I am paying the price. The fatigue is incredible and pain rips through me without warning. A picture taken of us that night, the gorgeous, smiling couple captured by a magazine photographer, belied this inevitable backlash brewing inside of me.

WHEN WILL I EVER LEARN?

I have to pace myself, choose my activities. I just can’t throw caution to the wind; don heels for an evening out and then engage in any other physical activities in the same weekend. I know this is a difficult concept to understand, let alone explain to people driven by accelerated pulse rates, a society that is forever on the go.

I stood beside the car and steadied myself before taking that first step, one whose outcome is often unpredictable. Huston, we have lift off, all systems go! Thus begins my solo flight into the abyss of the Stuff Mart, something I seldom do. People are staring as I move further from the car. The woman with the cane looks at me and shakes her head as I walk past her. I should be used to the stares by now, disapproving shakes of the head from people whose perceived notion of disabled I do not fit; but does one ever really get used to how judgment feels?

“You wouldn’t know you have any problems, you look so good!”

I hear that a lot. Thank you, I work hard to stand up straight, walk without a limp, to always smile. No, my disability isn’t readily apparent; I have all my limbs and right now, I am not in a brace or using an assistive device to ambulate. I thank God for these graces daily and I know there are others who are not as fortunate.

Today, though the fatigue punishing me for the outlandish weekend behavior has lifted, my body aches from the cold. Titanium pins in my pelvis complain with each step and every place that has been broken, drilled into or cut through aches. I should have waited for Tom to get home but I needed to make this trip alone, to get out of the house, to feel… normal. I am whiney, with good reason, but feel guilty for this emotion. It’s not all in my head, I am not seeking attention, or in any way exaggerating my symptoms; I have chronic conditions that are at times debilitating. Sometimes I feel like a burden, I worry I am viewed as a…

Drama Queen!

Thirty minutes later I’m back home standing at the base of the stairs to the second floor gazing up at the landing; a staggering six stairs away and contemplating the ascent like I was about to tackle Mt. Everest. With my feline Sherpas by my side, I grab the railing and begin to hoist my 1++lbs up the stairs. I feel like I have lead weights strapped to my calves. “Oh Bother” I mumble a quote from A.A. Miline, while standing on the landing, six more stairs loom before me. One of my Sherpas races ahead of me and quickly returns offering a tiny ball with a bell. Why yes, of course, this will help, thank you!

I am not a Drama Queen, though some days I am so consumed by medical issues that I don’t know what I am. If I think about it too much, my heart feels heavy, my eyes well with tears and my lip quivers. I take the tiny ball and throw it down the stairs, furry bodies rush by and fluffy tails disappear in a flash around the corner. Whatever is upstairs can wait, I turn around and head back down Mt. Everest; a game of fetch is more important and I can play from the recliner. I take a deep breath and straighten up saying aloud to no one in particular…

I, am not a Drama Queen!

I, am not a diagnosis code!

I, am not defined by my chronic ailments!

I, am a Princess!

I, am a Wife and a Mother!

I, am a Precious Child that was uniquely designed for a purpose and

each day I am given enough grace to get me through until the next.