My body hates doing things these days. It hates traveling, eating, lifting, going up stairs, drinking, running, stretching, and dancing. Some days, I can’t even convince it to stand up in the shower. I used to work for the conservation corps. Now being a lump is a fact of life.
It’s not so terrible. I can still read and write and watch Netflix. I can socialize online when I’m not well enough to socialize in real life. But every once in a while, the cabin fever overcomes the inertia of chronic illness, and I desperately need to get out of the house.
One of my many doctors recently gave me a prescription for a BIG SERIOUS PAINKILLER, a little white oblong pill that improves my quality of life considerably. It knocks my pain levels down to ‘mildly obnoxious,’ rather than ‘I hate everything and want to exist as a bodiless head.’ It also makes me feel sleepy and drunk. After years of being mostly housebound, being pain-free and dopey as hell may have led to some bad decisions.
For a few short days, I staggered around behaving almost like a normal person.
In one night, I saw Star Wars, hit up a karaoke bar, and went bowling. BOWLING. Some days, I can’t lift the milk jug out of the fridge, but I WENT BOWLING AND I DIDN’T DIE OF PAIN. It was like I’d broken the laws of physics somehow. BOWLING. FUN. UNBELIEVABLE.
I should have stopped there. I didn’t.
Long story short, the recommended dose of painkillers kept me going on this bizarre living-my-life high for almost three days, culminating in a New Year’s Eve party at a bar a few blocks from Times Square.
And then I crashed.
Waking up the next morning, I discovered that not only had I completely wrecked my body, which ached from stem to stern, but that the recommendation not to drink while taking painkillers should not be skirted, not even a little bit, not even for bad champagne. I felt like a pile of scrap.
And days later, despite hydrating and gentle stretching and eating like I’m supposed to, I still feel like someone is going to come along and hang a sign on my neck: “Disaster Area. Stay Clear.”
Was it worth it?
Probably. The demands of my body mean I spend a lot of time inside, in bed, in careful consideration of my health, and while that’s great for my physical health, it’s anathema to my emotional well-being. Sometimes girls just gotta have fun, even if it means a long stretch of recovery.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in bed until April or so.