When you live with chronic pain the day doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. And when you have housemates that make you consider living with monkeys might be a more gentile experience, it becomes even more of a challenge. This is my life.
Waking up is a struggle. Getting up and on with what’s left of the day is a battle in which I am grossly outmatched. I am the tiny rag tag band of rebels shaking sticks and the day has me outflanked on very side with Howitzers. The times I have slipped through enemy lines and made it to coffee and limited functionality this week have been few and worth celebrating!
Three hours after waking up the second time I have decided I have some semblance of consciousness and a wave of hungry discomfort takes over. I have to eat something or I will be sick. Making my way downstairs isn’t easy. My joints declare war with me and the second skirmish begins. I’m a little dizzy. I know my stomach is empty but it feels like it has been stuffed with stones. The stairwell is washed in the orange gold glow of early evening. Through one window I hear chirping birds and traffic. From the opposite side of the house the screams of happy children fill in for the full sweeping stereo effect of life I am missing.
It’s unclear yet if my housemate is home. The house itself is fairly quiet. This only means his girlfriend isn’t here. I peek outside and see his car but that doesn’t mean they aren’t together in hers. I pad into the foyer to check for mail then step into the living room empty handed. The expansive couch should be inviting but it’s littered with clothes. On the coffee table is an odd collection of some sort of sports bag, a CD, scraps of paper and a torn plastic bag. From here I can see the kitchen table has a similar collection of oddities which includes motorcycle helmets. Hades is home after all. I hear his voice. He’s been holed up in his den playing Smite.
We enter the kitchen from opposite ends and each mumble a greeting. “Hello” “what’s up”
I indicate the mound of clean dishes, “Hey! Thanks for finally washing all those dishes!”
He grunts, “Don’t thank me, (the girlfriend) did them”
”Hooray! (The girlfriend)” I exclaim,”But that doesn’t explain the monkeys in the bathroom.”
“Oh I came in late last night then wondered what the hell had happened in the bathroom.”
“What do you mean?”
“ Well it was a bit more than the usual disaster zone with things strewn about!”
He grunts humorless and maybe a bit confused. Why do I keep forgetting that, “Decor De Tornado” is normal for him?
As I fumble to fill the tea kettle and place it on the stove I notice he has a stabilizing cast on his left forearm and wrist. Thinking back to the time he punched a hole in his own head board I am wondering if he had an anger episode. Dare I ask?
“Oh wow! How long have you had the cast? Is it broken or just a bad sprain?”
“It’s not broken/ I did it playing softball.”
As I watch Hades fumble with the cap of a soda bottle it crosses my mind that I haven’t ever noticed if he’s left or right handed.
I ask, “Hey would you like to switch traditional gender roles for a moment ,and say” (I switch to a silly girly voice) “ would you open this for me?”
Hades manages a laugh, finally, “No that’s okay. I got it.”
Then he shambles off, his aura black and grimy, heading back to his video game, Note to self: Avoid injured housemate and his foul mood.
I pull my pretty red toaster from the niche, plug it in, fill the slots, push the lever down then turn to peruse the fridge. I’m not quite ready for last night’s leftovers and I’m definitely too wobbly and hungry to take the time to prepare something. On an upper shelf I spy a container of noodles and cheese that I put there several days ago after Hades left it out to rot. I make an executive decision. I’m the one who saved it in the first place. If they haven’t touched it for four days they’re not going to. I’m eating it. I usually say something but given my housemate’s demeanor I will slip it into the microwave without a word. While I wait for things to come together I pull out a teapot and choose a bag of toasted rice tea. It’s a toasted rice kind of day!
I wonder how long Hades has been sporting the cast. It looks fairly new. I chuckle as I wonder if the mess upgrade in the loo was due to trying to keep his cast dry. I realize I should let him off the hook for dishes and such until it comes off. I put the clean dishes away and decide to wash the dirty casserole dish that remains on the counter. I follow that by taking out the trash and recycling, returning to find the toast has popped and the microwave is beeping so I scoop up the food and ferry my little repast upstairs to my room. I’ll come back for the tea.
Opening the door, I’m immediately confronted by a wall of stuffy air. I’ve always found it interesting how we don’t notice the smells of our environment until we leave them for a bit and come back. I remedy this by opening a window which lets inside the chorus of traffic sounds, children and also the whistle of wind which I had not noticed before. My cat is meowing at me and I notice I am standing next to her empty bowl. I splash some fresh water in one bowl and scoop some kibble into the other and she adds a steady, crunch, crunch, crunch to the compilation of sound.
I leave my food (I’m lucky to have a cat who is only interested in her own) and head back downstairs to collect my tea. The air from outside was chilly so I’ll put on a sweater when I come back up. Then I’ll nestle on the bed with my kitty, eat my “thieves’ pasta” and let my batteries charge a little. I need a few grocery items and the nearby store is open late, but it’s unlikely I’ll leave the house at all. I am having a typically difficult day. There are many days I make “to do” lists purely as an exercise. It’s likely tomorrow may be a repeat of today. I may have to be content with, I got up, I got dressed, I ate, I washed dishes and took out the trash, I collapsed. When you have a chronic condition plans are always going to be suggestions.