The Zebras Plight

Posted: November 10, 2013 in Stories
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(Photo Courtesy of Trisha @ You Know You Have EDS When on Facebook!)

She wakes quickly, though not startled, she goes from sleep to awake amazingly fast. She didn’t move for a long moment, enjoying the still silence. She takes a deep breath and rolls slowly to the left, feeling her sacroiliac joint slide askew as she got to her feet with a hitch. Her hip socket decided to joint into the party, and gave a sickening, staccato snap as she attempted her first step. She pulled on her jeans, and her shoulders and the ribs in her chest all snapped in rhythm. Her neck ached, so she tossed it from side to side to crack it, both sides producing a terrifying tattoo that more resembled a machine gun than any sort of drum. Every single crack hurt, the louder the snap, the more painful the aftermath.

She takes a deep breath, heading for the door after leashing up the dog, serenaded by a series of cracks and clicks courtesy of her spine on the way down to secure her furry friend. She opens the door, managing not to falter when it feels like her heart stops for a moment and her head feels too damned light to still be attached, it’s intensity rivaled only by its briefness. On she walks with the little dog, and every step brings a grinding sensation to her left hip. Grinding in the groin, grinding in the hip socket, and sometimes grinding at the knee as well, but thankfully not so far today. It was sharp today, instead of hot and achy. It threatened to give out on her. She looked down at her pup and felt her neck vertebrae slide around uncomfortably.

She hurried up with the dog, working with her limp instead of against it, and returned home. She unlatched the dog to more pops and snaps, then removed her shoes. She stood still for a second, and with a complete absence of dizziness, she tipped to the left, ramming her shoulder into the wall and out of socket. It slid back into place as she stood up with a loud ‘thunk’ sound. A series of bizarre feeling muscle spasms danced under the skin behind her calf muscles, looking like someone twiddling fingers under her skin. She sat, feeling another snap in the left hip, followed by a softer one in the right hip when she adjusted herself in her chair. She began to use the computer, ignoring the goose bumps that danced in stripes and patches along her arms, legs, and scalp.

Frowning, and suddenly urgently having to use the bathroom, she stood too quickly, and her sacroiliac joint gave out for good, causing her to falter, almost hitting the floor before regaining control of her hip. She righted herself, and continued walking to the privacy of the bathroom. Upon return from the bathroom, she felt a snapping sensation in her left thigh. It hurt, and made a full stride tricky, but didn’t slow her down. She returned to her seat. The next time she went outside, she’d have to alter her stride to hide it. She knew all too well that human vultures loved to pick on the wounded, so she fostered the image that she was just fine.

The world didn’t get to see the cracks in her skull, the decay in her entire spine, in her hip, and wrists, and every finger. The world didn’t see the random attacks of too much acid in her stomach that felt like she was going to die any second, or when it felt like her body slid forward four feet in forward in .0 seconds flat. The world didn’t know her leg muscles would randomly tighten, making it hard to move her not obviously injured left leg. It didn’t know that she often hear music in another room, sometimes in her room, that just wasn’t there (or that this fact didn’t mean she was crazy.)  It didn’t know that sometimes it felt like an elephant was standing royally on her right cheekbone, or that her spine was slowly being strangled by decaying and hyper mobile vertebrae. It didn’t see her list like a damaged ship for no earthly reason at all…

It didn’t see that she wore all of this under her smile, it only noticed her occasional dysfunctional ambulation when it got the better of her. It didn’t see the snarling gargoyle riding her, its feet planted firmly in her lower spine, holding fast to reigns tied about her shoulders, jerking them cruelly out of place at the slightest offence. It didn’t see the crawling demons that lived under her skin, skittering and making her writhe uncomfortably when she hurt too much in the middle of the night. Restless body syndrome is what it should really be called.

It was all invisible, thus the world couldn’t, and wouldn’t, bother to see beyond the smile. It would be cruel, judging, and unkind to those who looked fine but carried massive, swarming, black burdens under velvet skin. It wouldn’t hear of the aches housed in the pressure fractured porcelain, not when its shine was so beguiling. No…there could be no flaws in there, all seems well from here!! It’s all in your pretty little head, pixie girl! I hear the hoof beats, so there must be horses here!

But I am not a horse. My hoof beats signal the striped flesh of the zebra. What’s the difference?

Zebras keep running, even on broken legs…

  1. Lisa says:

    Wonderful! I will be sharing this!

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