Storms

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I have fibromyalgia. That means, for me at least, that at any given moment pain or exhaustion can take over my body and steal the rest of my day. I have little to no control over what will push me over, thugh I do what I can to delay that crash. I bribe my body with exercise and sleep, vitamins and a careful diet, meditation and stress-reduction. But I have as little control over its function, ultimately, as I do over the weather. On occasion my nerve endings send pain signals from all over my body, making me believe that I have suddenly been attacked by a swarm of bees. Or that invisible spirits have started stabbing me. Or that an electrical storm has started sweeping over all my muscles, all my bones, all my skin. I sometimes jump up or yell out from the pain. When I am home it is all right. My boys and my husband know what is happening. When I am at my son’s soccer game, and the temperature drops from 68 degrees to 48 degrees in less than an hour, when a real storm rolls in and I am trying to keep my other son warm and dry and make sure my Mom and Dad watching the game are also okay, when I am trying to remember how to do simple addition to get snacks for the team, when my oldest son gets angry at me for insisting he put on his jacket and for not asking him what kind of Gatorade he wanted, when my muscles cramp up so badly I’m twisted up in pain, when my own personal storm has started shocking me everywhere I can feel, when other nice parents are trying to keep up small talk, when something is stabbing my eyes and I want to cry but I can’t, I just can’t, not in front of the whole world, not again, it is not all right. As soon as that soccer game was done, I ran our stadium chairs and my youngest child back to the car. Threw up in the parking lot. Sat in the car and cried. Hoped no one saw that. Hoped that if they did they didn’t think the worst. What the worst is, I don’t know. A sudden drop in temperature, a sudden storm destroyed that day. There was slow, gradual recovery, but I never got the rest of that time back. I thought about that day again the other night at soccer practice as black clouds rolled in across the sky, and I tried not to panic and make myself worse. This time the clouds only opened up to a drizzle and my body didn’t betray me. I thought quickly enough to stop myself from yelling to the sky, “Why? Why not this time? What did I do to deserve that last time? What did I do to deserve this now?” Instead I was able to laugh dryly for just a second. I muttered quietly to myself or God or someone, “Thank you. Thank you for letting this time not be as bad.” Though, I would still like to know why.

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