It is the day after yesterday. The day after the fun. The day after the meeting and hugging, the laughing and teasing, the catching up and reminiscing. The day after the singing and talking until the lungs couldn’t cope. The day after the walking and moving until the body got weak. The day after the good times. But now it is today, and today and yesterday are very different.
I’ve been awake since the early hours with a head that’s hammering. I try to sleep past it, massage it, dowse it in paracetamol, but still it is a banging. It lessens slightly as the day progresses, but it is always there, at the front of my head. The pain is telling me that yesterday I did too much. My body is weak and tired. I can’t clinch my fist. I can’t carry my tray. I need two hands to lift the kettle. I’m too exhausted to get dressed, or make the bed, or boil my egg. My body wants to rest- all day, lying down, doing nothing. My weakness is telling me that yesterday I did too much. My hands are a tremor. All day my fingers shake and shiver, and quake and quiver. I spill the milk, I drop the tea bag, my writing turns to squiggles. I can’t walk in a straight line, my eyes sometimes lose their focus, I start to spin. My shakes are telling me that yesterday I did too much. I feel sick. One moment gentle distaste in my throat, the next waves of gut-clenching heaving. My nausea is telling me that yesterday I did too much. My lungs feel closed and small. They were the size of a large carrier bag, now they are the size of a tennis ball. I can only use the very top of my lungs, I shallow breathe. I occasionally force them to open, to take a deeper breath, but they are tired. If I need to move, I do so slowly and stop frequently so my lungs can keep up. My breathing is reminding me that yesterday I did too much.
The day is spent seeking refuge from the pain and the problems. Trying to find some way to ease it all. The TV is my comfort, a constant to try and numb the day and get me through the hours. Watching clippings of programs, then shutting my eyes, reading my book, then shutting my eyes. Moving around trying to get comfy, then ten minutes later moving again. Always seeking the next bit of comfort, but nothing is helping me today. I crave carbohydrates and junk food, hoping the calories will stop the shakes or the nausea or the weakness.
So today I spend my day waiting. Waiting for the pain to subside. Waiting for the body to strengthen. Waiting for the shakes to stop. Waiting for the breathing to get deeper. When each day is precious, when each day brings me closer to the end, I feel guilty about watching the clock. But still today is a day when I need to wish away the hours. As the largest clock hand slowly moves around the circle, I start to feel more human again. As Phil arrives home from work, the shakes start to subside and the arms feel a little stronger. As dark falls, I can walk a little further without needing to stop. Still in my pyjamas, I transfer from the sofa to my unmade bed, ready for a full night of sleeping and lying down again.
Today was the day after yesterday. I paid the price for my good day. And I would do so again and again and again. For it is the yesterdays that keep me going. The good times that keep me smiling. The chatting- laughing-hugging-reminiscing that make me feel alive still. It is the yesterdays that make a life.