There are many thieves of time. There is the “swallow you whole” busyness of day to day life that finds you breathless and slightly discombobulated at the end of the day. You think to yourself “how is it THIS time already? Where did the day go?”. There are the milestones that surprise us, so mired in the minutia of the many steps to achieve them that we suddenly find ourselves face to face with the moment and asking the universe if we are sure we should be here already? It all goes so fast.
Then there is the fickleness of the human body, succumbing to something that diverts our plans entirely, railroading you into plan B, C, or any number of other “not plan A’s”. These moments are frustrating. They grab you by the shoulders mid dash and set you down on the bench. You’re not going anywhere for a while. I am not a patient woman by nature. I am passionate, irreverent, prone to living my life at speeds that cause my friends and colleagues to shake their heads and attempt caffeine-free interventions, so certain are they that I’ll likely put out an eye at the pace I keep.
I have a dubious relationship with my body. I have written before of the precarious balance of love and loathing I have for both its amazing capacity for strength, and its antagonizing predilection for failing me when I just don’t have the TIME. I have stymied the experts in several fields as to just why my body does the things it does. One of my sister in laws encouragingly suggested to me after countless neurologists, rheumatologists, endocrinologists, and many other “ologists” after repeated and often unpleasant tests and treatments that yielded little relief and even less insight to say “Cheer up, maybe they’ll name this after YOU!” *for the record, after glaring at her darkly, I decided she was an ally I could not do without, forgave her such cheekiness, and still talk to her to this day.
This decade long dance has landed me with the diagnosis my initial Doctor informed me would be my fate, should the medical community fail to figure me out: Fibromyalgia. I resisted it strongly when my lovely, patient and brilliant rheumatologist at Tufts gently explained it was in fact, a real diagnosis despite the body of people who insist it’s a made up malady, one that your are coined with when all else fails. A nice general “everything hurts but we can’t figure out why” label. I was pretty sure that despite all of her well documented education and experience, and the team of doctors equally impressive around her, that it was all hooey. However, it is not. It is real. The Mayo clinic defines it as:
Fibromyalgia; a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
I define it as a thief of time. I’m a busy girl. I don’t sit still, in fact if I sit at all at work, I sit on an exercise ball! Then yesterday..Ugh. I woke up to a massive flare up of fibromyalgia, my feet won’t work and are painful, my hands are swollen and useless, my whole body hurts and the fatigue is at a 9 along with the pain. I’ve given in and slept but really need to move to work through this pain. Yoga usually is my go to, but my balance is non existent because of my feet. I’m still in bed because of this and it’s day two! DAY TWO! I don’t have time for this. I have a job, kids, a race coming up, a half marathon I’m training for. I have things to do, people! I left out the disaster area of my house that needs cleaning, also at this rate it looks like it will be Christmas here on our funny farm for a few weeks longer. I haven’t slept like this since, well, the last time. *sigh. A thief of time…
And yet. And YET. My minions have poured in to make dinners, lunches, tidy, feed animals, drive siblings where they need to go. My family and friends have made me laugh and feel loved over texts, knowing that talking is tiring when pain levels are high. I look through my bedroom window at the slice of winter sky visible and while I long to be out on a nice long run, today is not that day. But tomorrow…tomorrow is another day closer, and another story entirely.