Friday morning, I went into withdrawal.
I take nine medications daily. Funny enough, if you can find humor in having a pill case at 27 which of course I do, none of the medications are for fibromyalgia. After years of trying combinations of different medications (from mood stabilizers, anti-seizure meds, anti-inflammatories), including all the ones currently advertised in sleek pharmaceutical ads online. Now, all I do for my fibromyalgia is a combination of psychotherapy, exercise and mind meds. I’ve come to realize that not too much can effect the pain so the way that I deal with it and react to it is really paramount.
This weekend I ran out of two of the medications that I rely on for homeostasis. Chalk up to not being able to add (so many pills, so little time) and mix it with being too strapped to see the psychiatrist early enough to get my medicinal cocktail ready for the weekend. Controlling fibromyalgia is all about maintaining equilibrium so Thursday, I spent most of my time praying that the weekend wouldn’t go awry thanks to some miracle of G-d.
And so of course, I totally forgot that I had to be up and about for Shabbos meals and the annual gala dinner for my husband’s school.
Friday morning , I woke up bright and early around 12:30pm. No energy. I crawled out of bed, stumbling over my feet as I reached for the buzzing alarm clock.
By 1:30pm, I could talk without sounding as if I was still asleep. By candle-lighting time, though I was at least able to dress myself, the world was spinning around me like a bad amusement park ride. Every step forward became precarious as the world careened left and then right.
Thank G-d for Shabbos hosts and guests who can make conversation about, well, homosexuality for hours. I didn’t need to add my two cents, though I like to think that I am an expert when it comes to gay men since I dated one as a teen. Most girls at my art high school did.
Saturday morning, my alarm clock read 1:30pm when I squinted and groaned awake. I congratulated myself for being able to serve myself and bumbled through conversation with my husband as I tried to make sense of The Jewish Week blur next to my plate. My husband and I love to burrow ourselves into our little library at home when we don’t have Shabbos guests. Sometimes, I even put on something decent.
By Sunday morning of dealing with his ghost of a wife, my husband almost had a nervous breakdown when I told him that our local CVS wouldn’t have my prescription in until Thursday. I decided, quite rightly, that I would spend every day until Thursday in bed.
I dreamed about going through my romantic comedy collection and forgoing all the essay writing I had planned. I would scribble in my journal instead. Once the husband was gone for the day, I figured I would sneak my vegan lemon cookies (hey, wait until you get high cholesterol to judge) into bed with my portable DVD player, two or three writing books and Latina and Entertainment Weekly. I do like enjoy a leisurely multi-task.
I was rudely disturbed from my reverie by my husband who first tried to drag me out of bed. Then stole my comforter. My sheets were later ripped from my cold, quivering body. Then he tossed outfits in garish combinations at my head. Withdrawal and fibromyalgia, apparently, are not good enough reasons to hide in bed away from impending social doom at gala events for the man’s school.
I tried sniffling. Then wailing. Unfortunately, for my husband, all the tantrums I never threw as a child (what with fearing death by mother and all), I throw now. Sometimes, I am mercilessly tickled out of a tantrum mid-rant. This time, though, he was bad cop. And bad cop wasn’t going alone to any fancy schmancy dinner.
My sister, the cruel turncoat, piped in: “Well, didn’t he marry you so that he wouldn’t have to go to these kinds of things by himself.” Ha, I thought it was for my body, er, my mind.
Squeezing into a dress that fit me ten pounds ago and wobbling into knee-high black boots that pooled around my ankles, we hitched a ride to the gala and made it just in time to snatch some goodies at cocktails. As I noshed mostly fruit, I contemplated the irony of my too-big black boots and my too-small H&M dress. At least I had managed to wrestle the frenetic frizz of my Afro into one merciful little beret that threatened to pop off every time I scratched.
A bunch of us were seated together in what we would lovingly come to call “the closet,” the table furthest away from any socialization with donors. We were either too embarrassing to seat with donors or we had scrimped and never sent a donation towards the gala meal. Considering that my good friend rabbi, in my dizzy state, had to coach me introducing myself to his parents, I have a sneaking suspicion that it was both. I purposely forgot to donate moula towards the meal and gave it instead to some homeless puppies on Long Island. Shrug.
I survived the gala without falling asleep in my plate. My head only bobbed downwards towards my plate once or twice. In the middle of a speech, my arm suddenly woke up and felt like it had been broken in several places. Now, that’s an alarm clock. Luckily, I was also seated with the kind comic geniuses who, inadvertently, cause giggles during the speaker’s serious stage schmooze. Neither the giggles or the yoga stretches to ease the pain forced my dress to rip over the expanse of my winter weight. It’s the little things that you find yourself thanking G-d for throughout the day.
I walked into my apartment a little less wobbly than when I had left. Drunk on the buzz from witty banter and compliments for my blog, I was ready to crawl into bed for the week and complete mission impossible, hunting down my medication at every local pharmacy the next morning.
Ah and then Monday arrived with all the glorious madness that it brings.
A 10am wake up time seemed to hint at the possibility of productivity. And then $250 later, I got my drug fix thanks to Discover. I also had a strong urge to watch Sicko after having my prescription denied by my health coverage. Sulking all the way home from the pharmacy, I gulped when I noticed a Sarah Lawrence envelope in my mailbox.
The cherry on top of an otherwise sad morning?
A thin letter from Sarah Lawrence. Once opened, it promised me a spot on the short list of wait listed applications. People, pray harder.