Wednesday, 23 February 2011


Picture by PJ Robinson

Monday night after I went to the gallery, I went to bed at a sensible time, lay down, pulled up the covers to my chin and waited patiently to fall asleep. I was so wrung out I expected it to hit me like a freight train until I peeled my eyes open the next morning. Except I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned. I played back the entire movie I'd just watched over in my head (Coco Avant Chanel; I love it, it was a fated love story as it turned out; I may have teared up a little) and I stared at the fan idly spinning above me in the darkness as the torrential rain pattered on the tin roof. It was a night made for dreaming and I couldn't sleep.

I got up and had a glass of water. Then another. Then I sat on the edge of the couch in darkness willing my body to sleep. It wouldn't. I was so restless. My whole body filled with frenetic, anxious energy. I went outside, where the rain was still misting and sat in a corner of the verandah for half an hour and drank it in before I couldn't sit still some more. I was so wired I felt like I'd been mainlining coke. A 3 day caffeine bender with no sleep. I lay down on the couch inside and became engrossed in infomercials. Anything to take away from the horrible skin that I was wearing that wouldn't leave me be.

Bingley wandered out at about 2am and sensibly turned off the TV before I had bought the H2O mop and asked me what was wrong. Asked me to come back to bed, and so I did. And I curled up in bed, burst into tears and then sobbed for an hour, maybe two. I don't even remember. All I remember is hearing the rain splash outside and my whole body splashing with it. I don't know exactly what was wrong, aside from teh fact that I just had to get it out, and I practically crawled into him looking for comfort from the horrible pain in my skin.

Eventually, it must have been well after 3, I hiccuped my way to sleep. And woke the next morning at 6am with the girls, ready to start the day. Ready to go to work... Or not. I groggily got up, went to the bathroom and vomited. Curled up into a tiny ball on the bathroom floor and squeezed my eyes shut tight. And I thought about a 10 hour shift and trying to work through that, and I couldn't. So I called the hospital, helped Bingley get the kids ready for school and crawled back into bed. And Bingley stayed home too, and we slept, for all the hours we hadn't slept the night previously, and woke in the cool greyness of Tuesday. We didn't do much all day, just tidied the house a bit while I popped pain killers once I realised why I was in so much physical pain.

And then last night, we went out, went to a pub, had a "meal" and went to the movies and ate M&Ms without having to share. And we chatted a lot, about stuff that wasn't our children, and more to do with all the stuff that has had him be my best friend for years and years, and we enjoyed the movie, even though we hadn't heard of it 2 hours before we went to see it.

It was cold today, ridiculous weather for Brisbane in February, and when I left the hospital I shivered in the breeze. The sun was setting over the city as I walked towards my car, and the lightest mist of rain danced in the wind, keeping the air the bizarre shade of cool. And the pain low in my belly reared again, asking me for the tablets that are needed to keep it at bay, making me grip the doorframe of the car while I waited for the worst of it to pass; feeling the last of the Summer sun nuzzle the back of my neck; I looked up, and there above me was a rainbow.

Even in pain there are rainbows.


Pundelina said...

Ah Jenn, you write so beautifully. I'm sorry you've been feeling so awful - it sounds like you're overcooked. I know I end up in pain and on the emotional brink when I'm too busy and trying to fit too much in. Not much helps except exactly what you did - cuddles, pleasure and a day in bed (at least one). I hope your pain passes soon.


Jenn said...

Thanks Pundy. Sometimes one just hits that wall with force.


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