When Life Hands You Lymes, part 48.
I woke up what seemed like a moment later when Mom hit the rumble strip, I kept my eyes closed, not wanting to begin a conversation with Mom. Usually, I loved to ride. Feeling the rhythm of the road gave me a chance to think, and rest. Rest. That’s all I wanted, really. It seemed so long – so – unfairly long – since I had shut my eyes and simply existed without this exhaustion, this numbing tiredness that medicine could not relieve, and sleep could not relax. Yes, I loved to ride. But now? How can you relax when your craving for relief is only trumped by the knowledge that every mile is taking you closer to needles, without a cure, and pain without answers?
The tired was so heavy now, like a ball and chain, immovable. Some days the chain seemed longer, freeing me to pretend – almost – that it wasn’t really there, that maybe somehow it wouldn’t be there tomorrow. That this was all just a fluke, that things that broke for no reason could somehow be fixed by no reason. But now it was back, and the chain was short and taunting. I closed my eyes. Needles, or not, I had to.
“It’s just…so…so heavy right now.” The quote from a movie I had watched echoed through my brain. It was about a girl who was sick with an incurable disease and slept all the time. When I watched the movie a year ago I had thought it was weird. I mean, really, who could be tired all that time? It seemed rather dramatic and I had actually had the nerve to laugh at it.
Now I felt dread rising and falling with each exhausted breath I took as I imagined that this was how I would live out the rest of my days. Life itself was heavy and tedious. How was I expected to continue on with life when I didn’t have anything to look forward to. At times it seemed the tired was all there ever had been, or would be…
“Maddie, we’re here, wake up.” Mom’s voice came through my rapidly darkening thoughts. Reaching over, she gave me a light squeeze on my leg.
“I’m awake.” I mumbled the words as I unbuckled and got out of the car, then I opened my eyes. The world looked light and cheery as normal, not the solemn and sad world I had some how fallen into.
“Are you ok?” Mom gave me a side hug and then held the door open for me.
Mom went up to the window to sign me in, but I just slumped down in the first chair I could find. I glared down at my arm, trying to wish away the needle I would have stuck into me in just a moment. Needles and I are enemies.
“Madalyn Emerson.” The nurse stuck her head out the door in an all-too familiar way. It was like them calling me to my punishment for living life. Life should be a gift, not a punishment. But who asked me?