Page 53

Julie Wilson

A Will to Live After my work is done and my evening complete, I end each day with a bath. I put three handfuls of Epsom salt and four drops of sage essential oil in my bathtub with the hottest water I can stand. I crawl into the tub and immerse myself in water that covers my broken body, leaving just enough of my face exposed that I can continue to breathe. Then I cry. I cry because by the end of the day I am so tired I don’t know how I will go on. I cry because of the pain that no God, not even the gods of medicine and morphine, have alleviated. I cry because the night is when I feel the futility of my efforts most acutely. I cry because despite the love of a wonderful understanding husband, I am and always will be alone in my suffering. I also cry because each day I lose function and ability that I will never get back. Mostly I cry because despite my love of words and any attempts I’ve made to earn a living through them, the impotent rage that consumes me cannot be communicated with such banal methods as conversation. No matter what I do, I will be sick. No matter how many medications I take or how much constancy I bring to following doctors instructions, I will never be well. A drug will never be found nor will a treatment be perfected that will give me the health that most people take for granted through the majority of their lives. I live a life of frustration. I envy the functionality and vigor of my in-laws in their 60s. I long to be the stressed woman on the commercials whose largest worry is her high cholesterol. I have begged on my knees for God to leave me with just one horribly disabling illness. My pleas have fallen on deaf ears; I am screwed and I know it. I also cry because I know that I am one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful and supportive husband who knows what it is like to be disabled, and he loves me disabling diseases and all. We manage to find joy in a life where, on paper, 44

Connective Tissue 2013 | Volume 6