I always had pretty sensitive nerves but a few years ago, I was diagnosed with both neuropathy and fibromyalgia. The only thing my doctor did was offer up some hydrocodone. Yay. Just what I aspire to be, a prescription drug addict. I filled them a few times, but this haunting thought of myself with gray hair popping pill after pill made it impossible for me to take them. I don’t wanna be the old lady licking cough syrup off the floor. I’ve seen that lady….
The past two years I’ve been dodging a few scares. There’s this “abnormal thickening” of my mammary ridge that requires a special mammogram, and since I can’t seem to get an approval to have that test, I just tell myself I don’t need it. Then there’s my A1C- it has my doctor wondering how I’m not in a coma yet. All I can think is that God knows there’s nobody to step in and raise my nutty family. Funny I don’t really worry about the big picture. I should, but if I let myself go there, I’ll get lost in the pity party and Lord knows that’s one party I don’t need an invite to. It’s the little stuff that gets to me- like the fact that my once beautiful handwriting has turned to chicken scratch or the fact that I used to decorate beautiful cakes and now I can hardly hold the tube of frosting. I struggle sometimes to do things that used to be so easy, like braiding hair or threading a needle and I get so frustrated.
At one point a few months ago I was so exhausted I started skipping work just to sleep while the kids were gone. Then that wasn’t enough anymore, and I started skipping out on family dinners or household chores just to stay in bed. I could feel the depression taking over. It’s bullshit to feel that sick, to have a bucket of pills you’re supposed to take everyday, to have a doctor that ignores your reluctance to take all those medications and just adds another Rx to the list.
Then a few months ago I decided to quit. I just couldn’t take another pill. I know, with my list, I’m taking some chances here. But somehow I’ve dropped 35 pounds. Then I started walking. At first, it was just to the end of my street, then I went around the block. Then I made the mile around my neighborhood. The last Wednesday I hit my Forrest Gump stride.
It was late, I hadn’t walked yet. I almost decided it wasn’t important. I put the kids to bed. I stepped out to look at my flower beds. It was dark outside, so I thought I’d just walk down a few houses. Two, maybe three, but then I hit a stride and I said to myself “could I still run?”
I started to jog. I couldn’t believe it. I was running. I thought I would go a house or two more, but I kept going. I waited for my feet to fail me, but they didn’t! All the way to Wal-Mart I ran. Maybe that’s half a mile, I don’t know. All I know is that for a moment, I was free. I felt wind on my face and sweat pouring down my neck. Ok, so that night I was plagued by muscle spasms and the next day I came down with a fever that has beat me down all week, but I’m going to do it again. Maybe not tonight but before this week ends.
There is a world full of marathon runners who can’t possibly imagine a half-mile victory, but I conquered the world in that moment. Someday, I am going to run a 5k, but today I’m just happy to say I was running..