The stand-off lasted five stops on the L train last week. A kind gentlemen, seated in front of me, continued to offer me his seat, a request I continued to decline. I was content to stand for the duration of the trip. He mentioned something about the fear of me falling. Then it hit me. . .
HE THINKS I AM PREGNANT!
The dilemma was real: If I explained to him I was not pregnant and that I was happy to be standing instead of sitting, then he might have felt better at first. . . but in the end, not really. Neither would I. We would both be horrified. So I politely said, “No thank you,” again and again.
I bemoan my swollen belly, not as a means of cathartic self-loathing. No. Instead I mourn the complicated outcomes of long-term, chronic illness like Lyme (and infection-informed PANDAS). The weakness of my body, the dizziness in my head, the difficulties with executive function, and paralyzing ODC thoughts left me stationary for much of the last six months. My days went like this: I did what I “had” to do. Then rested. I did another “must” task. Then slept. And so forth. And. . . to make matters worse, I found it helpful to use sugar as quick energy to get through laborious tasks. And, by the way, everything was laborious. And now, I look like I should be preparing for labor. But I’m not.
Instead, I’M BETTER!
I returned to the YMCA for the first time last week. I went three times. My muscles in my back are sore. I have shin splints. This is a wonderful, welcomed outcome.
Having been on antibiotics for several weeks now, I am starting to see my life become “normal” again. Right after I started antibiotics, I felt worse. Many of my symptoms flared. But now, I’m productive. I enjoy talking to people more. I feel safe driving. I rarely take naps. And I feel strong enough to stand up on trips downtown riding the L train.
Categories: The story continues