My legs are all wrong today. Flimsy and weak as if, instead of bone and muscle and sinew they are made of paperclips and rubber bands.
They tremble under my weight so that I feel like I’m about to collapse at any moment. At the same time they feel taught, tied up too tightly. So tense it hurts. It hurts all the time. I massage them, stretch them and it only hurts more.
“You look fine.”
It’s only one of the many symptoms, the many glitches of my body screaming sick sick SICK.
It’s only one. But it’s the one that makes me feel the least in control of my body.
The legs that dances and jumped and kicked and ran. Powerful legs that once won me medals reduced to crumbling foundations.
If I can barely walk, what else will this take from me?
Your hands, my body replies.
Hands once splattered with paint and ink, sticky with fresh cookie dough. Eclipsed with pain and plagued by constant trembling.
I am full of words, frothing at the mouth with language eager to run out of me. I can hardly hold my pen. The letters I try and form look foreign to me now.
“You look fine,” they say. The surface of my skin unmarred and masking the chaos of nerves and pain and sickness.
“You look fine.” I carefully monitor what I eat. No sugar. No heavy oils. No gluten. No soy. No coffee. Jesus Christ no coffee. No coffee despite needing at least nine hours of sleep and still waking up exhausted. Eat clean. Reduce inflammation. Don’t fuel the fire.
“You look fine.” I count out the sevdn tablets I take every morning. Hormones. Stomach. Antidepressants. Anti-inflammatories. Vitamins vitamin vitamins. I eat so well but my body burns it up, my blood churns it out. Cries for more.
“You look fine.” I’m in the bathroom, aware it’s the second time in less than an hour I’ve had to step away from my desk. Did they notice? Are they counting?
“You look fine.” Another painkiller that I know won’t work. Muscles. Headaches. Cramps. Abdominal pain. More pain than pills. A body in revolt.
“You look fine.”