I wake up… Did I scream? I was screaming in my dreams, I know that much. Soaked, sweat running from my hairline, my upturned eye socket a puddle, my pillow damp but not soaked through. Not as bad as some wakenings. I grope for my glasses and look for the clock. Two hours, that’s my usual, two hours of sleep sometimes less very, very rarely more. I rush, as much as I can rush with a cane and the pain I’m constantly in, to the bathroom. My bladder brooks no delay. From need to pee to pee I’ve got a minute, if that, to get to the toilet… easily as many as fifteen times a day. Done with that I hobble into the ‘den’ to see if I’ve got mail. I usually don’t and when I do it’s only from one person ‘though I mail several people quite often. I sit here, have to while I wait for the bed and pillows to dry out and cool off enough to lie back down, as long as the pain lets me. Both arms, my right more than left, are constant sources of pain. I can’t even reach over to my left shoulder any more. Brushing my hair is unpleasantly painful. Years ago a doctor told me I needed four or five different surgeries on my arms, hands and shoulders (on top of the two carpel tunnel surgeries I’ve already had on my right hand) that I can’t afford and can’t imagine suffering during the recovery time. My right knee, the one I didn’t have surgery on 20 years ago, which blew out unexpectedly several months ago will lock up and have to be ‘clicked’ back into place before I can ‘walk’. This is my day, lather, rinse, repeat. Once a week I throw in a trip to the grocery store so I can feel like I contribute something to the effort of survival. This wipes me out to the point of near collapse when I reach the checkout soaked in sweat trying to push the shopping card and use a cane at the same time. Every few weeks the library might have something for me and occasionally I make a three AM trip to Walgreens or CVS to stock up on Diet Coke… this is the sum of my days. I don’t see them every getting better, I expect they’ll slowly get worse. How long is this worth doing?

Hawk (darkness…)

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