Go Home, Fibromyalgia. You’re Drunk.

27 02 2015

If you see somebody stumbling around & slurring their words at 11PM on a Friday, your instinct might be to raise your glass to them & yell “Cheers, mate!” Or “Show us your boobs!! WOOOO!” because you are also drunk.

If you see somebody stumbling around and slurring their words at 11AM on a Friday, you hit social media & post “Damn, girl had a 40 for breakfast. #SMH.” But for real it might be fibromyalgia (or MS, or ALS, or MD, or any neuromuscular issue).

Most people start out their day with about five bucks worth of energy. In quarters. Normals have 20 shiny quarters jingling in their perfectly tailored pockets. Every activity costs a quarter, which means 15 minutes of parking in Los Angeles is worth about an hour of human effort. Believe that.

People with fibro (or lupus or the conditions mentioned above) start every day with $2.50. We also have holes in our pockets. Today I started with fifty cents. I wish I’d started with 50 Cent, cos then I’d have a ride to work (I presume in a Benz) & a shoulder to cry on when I learned Leonard Nimoy died. We might also have poured out a bottle of Crys. Anyhow, today would have been easier.

I had exactly enough quarters to get ready for work, then drive to work. I spoke to one client at work before realizing I sounded like that girl at the club at 2AM telling you how she was gonna be a nurse but she’s on, like, a spaniel journey. Uh, spirulina. No, spit…spiiii…spiritual journey! Yah!

I should have known when walking to my car felt like wading in the ocean. You always have pain with fibro, & a certain amount of weakness, but sometimes you don’t notice the low level flu-like pain because moving is tremendous effort. It doesn’t hurt, it just doesn’t work. Every step is like walking through mud, high snow (shout out to my East Coasties), or crashing waves.

By the time I got to work, I was like a marionette with a string cut. Lots of swooning. Falling into a chair, rather than lowering. My purse felt like three sacks of potatoes. A coworker said I reminded him of a Pokemon, Spinda,  that apparently sways a lot. I took a client, but could not say the words in my brain. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but my mouth made something else. I may have said “pumice” instead of “proposal”. Forming sentences with my mouth continues to be arduous. I just told a cat to get off the whatever.

You can’t tell because I’m typing, & I get to take forever to say the right things.

So after an hour of seeming drunk at work, I decided to go, and seem drunk in my car. It’s really hard to turn a steering wheel when one of your arms is floppy & the other one is achy. But I made it home safe, without hurting anyone. I cannot say the same of the able bodied drivers of the San Fernando valley, but that’s a given.

Once your quarters are spent, you are running on whatever lint is left in your holey pockets. It becomes about nutrition, rest, fluids. It’s going to rain, and I’m almost certain that was my trigger today. Nothing I can do about that.

All I ask is that if you see somebody that appears drunk during an inappropriate time of day, don’t assume. We might have spent the 50 cents we woke up with just trying to get to wherever you are. Please don’t be impatient when we speak; we are trying so hard. And would it kill ya to bring us a bowl of soup?* You don’t have to do that last part.

*But for reals some soup would be nice.

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One response

28 02 2015
sailingpenguin

Brilliant piece and I can so relate!

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