Monday, August 13, 2012


I'm scared. My left elbow is cocked at an angle which can't even masquerade as straight, the joint swollen like a puffball mushroom, a balloon. When I move it, pain, cracking, heat, resistance.

I keep waking up to this. The anatomical ravages of a chronic disease. I thank God for a calm, mostly peaceful child who will sleep with me on those days, like today, where getting out of bed just plain hurts, and another couple of hours of sleep might make all the difference to allow me to get by until my husband comes home. There aren't a lot of those days, thankfully, but the ones that exist scare me.

I think, "What right do I have to complain? It's an elbow. An elbow. It's not like walking is off the table. And I always complained about the gym. Now there's an excuse." But I liked being strong. I miss the rock climbing and dancing with arms straight as iron bars.

I think, "I will take steroids today," and wonder if I will have to suffer the attacks upon my vanity, the weight gain, the moon face, the acne. When they don't work, I don't question the strength of my disease but the efficacy of my medication. Is it possible they sold me fakes? It happens here.

I think, "This, this is the catch." And as hard as I try to fight these thoughts, cunning little foxes, demons whose ears perk at the scent of inflammation, I have not eradicated the pests from my mind.
Doubt is my companion, a caretaker of my soul, pruning me so faith can flourish. I have no quibble with doubt. I think she's essential for the development of real belief. These foxes, however, are neither Doubt nor her admittedly evil sibling, Despair. They affirm, not question, they suggest, insinuate, and ply fallacies as if they were masters on the subject. Their names are "Fine Print" and "TooGoodToBeTrue."
Have you made their acquaintance?

I don't know why they still bother me. I know better than this. I know God isn't toying with us in some great cosmic reality show, altering the conditions to improve ratings (okay, except maybe for Job. I really, really hope I'm not in the category of Job!).

My life is blessed beyond what I can measure. Good things are poured into my lap: bigger and better medications, a son made of smiles, a kind man who I am proud to call "husband," who doesn't flinch as we plan our future and I mention "wheelchairs" and "accessibility." I have family and friends who push me to greatness and moreness and overcoming and love. I see these answered prayers and still cannot fight off the voice sniggering, "Gotta give something up. Too good to be true, where's the catch?" They would have me live in fear. I reject it, but cannot help feeling as though some sacrifice is required. Today it is my elbow, but tomorrow?

I suppose Matthew 6:4 will have to suffice. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Tomorrow I will take steroids, call my doctor again, not beat myself up for spending hours in bed. Today I will banish the critters, take time in the meandering hours to be thankful, write, play paddycake with the little one. The fear might knock on my door, may come cold-calling. It can stand outside and knock but I don't have to open the door. And I won't.

1 comment:

anne said...

dearest dear, I know those foxes. they creep around and try to get me as well -- not exactly the same ones, but same litter. Rap them briskly on the snout w/a rolled up newspaper, tell them to scat. Easier said than done, I know. Drink more water, eat less red meat, limit caffeine, fight the inflammation that our diets bring, can't hurt! be as active as possible, despite the bent arm --I have some recent experience w/bent arms....
deep breathing. conscious breathing. Prayer.
love you