I have really bad seasonal allergies. Every year, to signify the end of summer, to make the brutal transition even worse, my body reacts to the change in temperature with swollen hands and feet and heinous hives all over. Today, I felt that pain. My feet filled with some sort of fluid, making every step intolerable, my hands so immobile that holding a pen meant great pain and bringing my water bottle to my lips was no easy task.
I started with Benadryl and then moved on to the typical steroid my allergist prescribes. I wished the pain away, unsure how I would be able to focus myself and fight through the discomfort to get my schoolwork done for the day, to make it out of bed for some food. But, a small part of me didn’t want this discomfort to end. I guess I didn’t feel ready to feel good again. As I winced when I put pressure on my feet, I couldn’t remember the ease of just walking. The way my feet feel on the ground the other 364 days of the year. It’s kind of like when you have a cold for a few days, and you forget what it’s like to breathe normally, without thinking. The discomfort I was feeling today helped me to recognize the before when my brain wasn’t caught up in my discomfort. This reminded me that tomorrow, or the next day when the meds kick in I’ll be able to hold onto my pencil no problem, I’ll stop feeling itchy everywhere, and I’ll jump on my feet without pain. Hopefully, I’ll remember not to take it for granted
Feeling the pain, most of the time is the only way to acknowledge the before. Sometimes, I want to hold onto the pain because I’m not ready to go back to the me before. After all, things have changed now that I’ve felt the pain. But pain and discomfort are necessary for growth – for not taking the before for granted. For recognizing the value in ourselves, the way we can walk with ease, take care of ourselves, make each other laugh, and learn about the world. Now, I feel ready to go back to before, to feel like myself again.
and it would be nice if my hives went away too.