As I lay here in the quiet tranquility of the night, I reminisce of days gone by and of a life well lived.
I think of the days where walking in the enticing sunshine meant strength and vigor belonged to me. The air I breathed left me feeling energized and strong instead of breathless and weak. Every step I took made me feel stronger as increased energy surged through my body instead of the pain and agony that has now taken its place with each step I take.
Feeling breathless was the result of an hour long walk and jog tolerated at a swift and vigorous pace building yet more strength; not due to walking across the room or up the stairs zapping every ounce of strength left within me as my heart rapidly beats out of my chest.
I think of the days I could carry on conversations about the meaning of life, current events and everyday happenings and never give it a second thought instead of having to choose every word carefully getting lost in thought and having people finish my sentences in uncomfortable moments of silence and embarrassment drawing me further into this nightmare that has become my life.
Doctor appointments meant yearly visits with a clean bill of health instead of weekly or monthly appointments trying to tackle yet another symptom that has no explanation and worse yet no treatment.
Extra money spent meant fun times and frivolity instead of skimping and saving every last dime to afford the next round of medications.
I look around and what do I see? It’s the same 4 walls of the bedroom that has become my prison cell. Too much time spent here as the exhaustion and fatigue have stolen from me my freedom. The thought of an evening spent with friends or family seems almost beyond my reach now knowing that all too soon the long arms of chronic fatigue will once again reach for me and choke the life out of whatever fun there once used to be.
These thoughts, my reality, sting my eyes in the form of tears. Tears I cry alone. Tears no one else sees. Tears most others cannot understand.
Smiles through the pain………. so no one else can feel what I feel. So no one else is drawn out of their own reality, from their comfort of a pain free life, mostly taken for granted. Smiles so others may remain untouched by the reality that is mine and all too agonizingly real to me.
As I earnestly try to drift off to sleep, I find a comfort there. For this time I am free. Free from the pain, free from the breathlessness, free from the fatigue and foggy brain. No doctors, no tests, no scans. No pretending, no guilt, no pain. For this time I am free.
Perhaps even, maybe, if I am fortunate and blessed enough, I will dream of that time long ago before illness stole from me what once was. Maybe I will walk and run and enjoy those times once again….feel the warm sun on my face, feel the strength surge through my whole being as I laugh and play, heart steady, head clear. No pain, no tears. Perhaps………