I have been in negotiations with my body lately.
It’s not counting, not really. I wake up in pain and try to get myself through the day. I am awake and I feel my legs; they have gone rock hard in the night, the muscles knotted into tree trunks. Elephant legs.
I think to my legs: We’re going to have a nice shower and get relaxed. They seem to like this idea because they allow me to get up, to move myself into the washroom.
In the shower, I tell them: You’ve got a long day ahead of you. You can do this.
They relax a little bit more. They like it when I show confidence in them, that I am trying to trust them.
Sometimes they slip up though; sometimes, there are brief flashes of hot pain in my back, my legs. I try to ignore them, try to concentrate on something else to keep my mind occupied.
Later, I remind my body the deal we had: Listen, I thought we agreed. You can do this. Just remember to breathe. Try not to look unfocused and give it a rest, will you?
My body seems not to like this attitude very much as it responds with a quick loss of balance or I trip on my own feet while walking.
Later, my body relaxes, just for a moment. It’s apologizing. A brief release from pain, a breath of air. Sorry, it says.
Then it starts again. I wait until I can get home to my husband, to a piece of joy so that the pain isn’t too difficult. I wait until I can sit, somewhat comfortably (my legs moving and shaking) so that I can read a good book.
Usually during my reading, it will occur to me that I was talking to myself. I am negotiating with me.