A New You Every Day

“Google Chrome has crashed.”

“This page is unavailable.  Recover webpage?”

“Your last session closed unexpectedly.  Restore session?”

For the past hour, I have been on my prehistoric computer (which would make it about 7 years old now), attempting to log in to this blog.  Every time, a variety of these messages appear.  As I waited for anything to work, I realized this is how my life is each and every day.

“My neck has crashed.”

“My ability to drive is unavailable.  And yes, I would LOVE to recover that ability!”

“Being able to hold my head up on its own has closed unexpectedly.  Please, please, please!!!  Restore this immediately!”

The difference?  I know that eventually I will be able to connect to my blog and write a post as I’m doing now.  With my health, I don’t have that guarantee, and usually, it doesn’t happen at all.  It’s uncontrollable.

Earlier this afternoon, for instance, I drove 10 minutes from my house to meet a friend at a restaurant.   Today was especially difficult for driving because I couldn’t find my neck pillow.  My neck pillow  is vital for me to take anytime I go somewhere because it is the only way I am able to withstand the pain of driving or sitting in a car.  I even use it  sitting in public places when I have access to walls for supporting my head.  But since it was nowhere to be found and I was already late, I prayed my body would cooperate.  When I got to the restaurant, I asked for the necessary accommodations.  This essentially means I can’t sit in a regular chair.  I have to be placed in a booth because it’s the only thing that has a high enough backing to support my head.

As always, lunch was uncomfortable.  Not because of the company or the food, but because I had to lean my head on my arm throughout our conversation and meal.  I did enjoy the blessing of seeing an old friend, though, and got back in the car to drive home.  As soon as I pulled onto the road, my head drooped and I had nothing literally to back me up.  My jaw kept opening wide, involuntarily, trying to consume the stabbing pain.  But the whole ride home was excruciating as I held my head in one hand and the steering wheel with the other, a flashback to that first day four years ago when I realized something was incredibly wrong.  And just as I was about to collapse when I opened the garage door to make the walk to the back door of my house, guess what I saw!  My neck pillow squished in between the two doors!

The reality that I can’t control this pain, my lack of mobility, and the inability to be comfortable for just a few minutes of the day really hit me hard.  At least with a computer, I can turn it off and hope it behaves when I turn it back on.  I can try to find another computer.  Or I can walk away from it all together.  I can’t do any of those things with my body.  Jenny Lewis’s latest hit, “The New You”, was playing on The Current as I drove home.  I attempted to lighten the pain by singing along to this catchy smart tune.  But when I listened to her lyrics, I completely absorbed myself in knowing that there’s a new me every day.  I don’t know what kind of pain and blessings the day will bring, but I know both will exist.

My Hope:  I have been tired for days, and I still can’t sleep. For days I have been stumped by this surge in pain, and I think I finally figured it out.  I believe it’s been made worse by my current living situation in which I am constantly reminded of my ex-fiance. My plan is to set some boundaries for establishing and building a new friendship so that his name doesn’t even have to come up in our conversations.  The stress and constant mind movies are unbearable.  And then?  My hope is to finally get some sleep!

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2 thoughts on “A New You Every Day

  1. I am glad you are still able to write, and I am glad that you shared these posts with us. Instead of “one day at a time” for a twelve step program, chronic pain makes us take things one minute at a time. You capture this so well, how the mundane can become torrential when pain is involved, how a small trip to lunch can become arduous, and how it makes it hard to enjoy friendships and lunches and, really, everything. I am glad music can help sometimes, in little ways. Please keep writing and sharing. I wish you sleep and more moments free from pain.

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