Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thoughts on Nutcrackers and Fibromyalgia

Physical pain. Sometimes it edges just over the rim of what seems tolerable, scattering a grim light on the ordinary world. I live daily with pain like the buzz of a refrigerator motor, a noise made almost-silence by its all-the-time presence in the background of my life. Then, the barometric pressure drops and, like a frost-bitten flower, I blacken and die. Today is one such day.

Every fork scraped on every plate is a glockenspiel; every door shut is a gong. I'm going to throw up. No, I'm not. I'm at sea, tossed this way and that, my stomach moving with the waves. The fine points of arrows have been driven into both my eye sockets and the joints that operate my jaw. From my neck to my toes, I am cast in plaster, moving only slowly, with caution—in this body that used to dance.

I take my medicine. I sit. And I do not resist. Instead, I live more and more in my thought-life, letting my body do the pain part on its own. Quietly, I watch it—the storm outside my window, the animal behind a cage. The pain knows what to do. I have fibromyalgia. But I also have children and chickens and books and a collection of ridiculous Nutcrackers, arrayed upon my shelf.

"How are you, Tara?" they ask me with concern.

"Fine," I always tell them. "I'm good enough. And how are you?"


  1. I'm going to give this to my hubby to read. He deals with chronic pain too (nerve damage from a neck injury) and I think your words could easily be his. And sometimes it helps just to know we aren't alone. Thank you for sharing

  2. Perfect word imagery. I couldn't have said it better. Feel well.

  3. *hugs* Hope the fibro will back off and that you feel better soon.

  4. And another hug ... (if hugs don't make things worse...) Feel better soon, Tara.

  5. Gosh! I have been terrible about replying to comments lately, although I have read and enjoyed every one. (That is a pretty lousy qualifier, I guess.) I do appreciate the thoughts and hugs. Once and a while, I encourage myself to try and nail down the description of pain in a new way, instead of just leaving it out of my writing life. And there are always people like your husband, Tamara, who will relate. It's always so gratifying to feel I have been heard and perhaps turned the experience into something useful.

  6. I am in awe of the way you bring such beauty to such a difficult topic.


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Faith in Ambiguity by Tara Adams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License