Most days I'm okay and even happy even though I have this unrelenting illness. I get up, do what I can to help out, rest a lot, cook a simple meal, visit doctors and sleep. I kiss my husband and listen to his stories. I sit in the yard and watch the clouds and the bugs. That is about the extent of my days.
Every once in a while something sneaks up on me and upsets my domestic bliss. This time it was a receipt. In preparation for my upcoming disability claim review I'm already sorting papers. I'm giving myself several months because I can only work on it sporadically and only for short bursts of time. Two days ago I was sorting through old receipts looking for slips from the pharmacy for all the meds I take. Since I haven't sorted receipts since before I got sick there were several years worth to go through. Most of them were from the supermarket (I save and then destroy them since I use a credit card to pay: call me paranoid but both hubs and I have had our cards cloned). I was almost done. I was nearing the bottom of the shoe box when I found it. A receipt from Cooke's Skate Shop for some minor work I had done to repair my figure skates a couple of months before I got sick. Then it hit me. That overwhelming grief. The deluge of tears. That yearning to be normal again The desire for my old life. The hatred of my illness and all the things it has robbed me of. I cried. I wept. I wailed. My cat looked at me funny. As fast as it had snuck up on me, it was gone. My tears dried up and I went back to sorting receipts. Within the hour and one last wistful glance I ran the receipt through the shredder.
For some reason figure skating does that to me like nothing else can. The last major moment of grief and tears occurred when I found out that the 2014 Adult National Figure Skating Competition is going to be held in my home state. The big goal I had when I started figure skating again was competing at adult nationals and here it was coming to my backyard and I am stuck in the house with CFS. Even if by some miracle of God I was instantly cured I probably wouldn't be able to compete since it had taken me two years to even get close to qualifying and now I have the muscle tone of a limp noodle and would have to start from scratch. Again, I cried. I wailed. I soaked hubs' shirt with tears. Then I got over it and carried on.
It has taken two years but I can finally watch figure skating on television again, well actually the internet since they have crappy TV coverage. For the first year I couldn't watch it at all. Then, last year, only if I was in the right mood. Now I can finally enjoy watching it. I miss it terribly. I've had dreams/nightmares about being on the ice. Most of them had me trying to skate in tiny spaces or jumping over obstacles There were always barriers in my way of skating freely and fast. I miss it. I miss it terribly. And if I let myself, I would pine for it. It is something I have to ignore for now. Stuff it down and hope that someday I'll be able to skate again. Even if it is just figures. Just to be able to walk into the rink to visit my coach and friends would make me happy.
Grief is part of this illness. We never know if we will be among the chosen few who will recover. I hope I am. But in the meantime I'll have a few crying jags when skating sneaks back into my life and blindsides me.