My body hurts.
This isn’t a new experience for me. I have several back and neck herniations from a bad car crash and being thrown and trampled by a horse. One leg is also shorter than the other due to some curvature of my spine.
(Totally sexy imagry, no?)
It exacerbates matters that I have a bed that sucks. We are going to replace it this year, but I’ve been suffering with it for the last 6 years.
I never wake up feeling refreshed. I usually start feeling like knives are being stuck in various body parts before my eyelids flutter open. I imagine it is similar to what one would feel like if thrown out of a moving train. Then run over by a tractor. Then peed on by the guy driving the tractor.
Point is, I hurt most of the time that I am conscious.
Aleve is my friend and for the most part I just suck it up and deal. You get used to it after awhile.
Right now, my body hurts more than the same-old, same-old.
Why, you ask?
See this fuzzy, poorly lit photo?
Yah, sorry about that. It’s the best I could do under the circumstances.
This gem of a theater will be my home for the next three weeks. I will spend more time there than in my own bed. (Again-given the extreme hideousness of it, I’m not sure that this is a bad thing.)
I am in the final weeks of appearing in a little musical called “The King & I“.
I’m just in the chorus. Specifically, I’m one of “The Royal Wives”. (The King of Siam was into polygamy. And yes, I find the irony that I’m doing this in Utah amusing.)
Normally, being in a choral role isn’t that difficult. Usually the toughest thing about it is the hours you have to wait around the theater doing nothing and wishing you could go home already.
Musically and character-wise, this is a VERY easy show but this choral role IS ABOUT TO KILL ME.
Apparently, the King is married to nine submissive women that drop to their knees and put their foreheads on the floor whenever he enters the room and freeze in that position until he finishes talking and says we can get up.
Before the bitchfest gets out of control I will say that this is turning into a great little production. I had such huge reservations at first, but it is going to be great. The orchestra is excellent, they flew in a great conductor from Florida and the costuming is as good, if not better than many of the professional productions I’ve been in. Because this is the debut musical for this theater company, they are investing thousands and thousands of dollars into it. Even the scene I LOATHE in musical theater (Uncle Tom’s Cabin) is good because they brought in an excellent choreographer and ballet company to perform it.
I am very happy and non-embarrassed to be a part of it.
Do you know how freaking long you have to be on your knees as a Royal Siamese Wife?
A FREAKING LONG TIME would be the answer. (The King enters the room a lot. He is also very long-winded.)
You would think that with that many wives we could rotate and schedule to keep it down to a minimum. (Was that inappropriate? Probably.)
Up! Down! Up! Down! Put your forehead on the ground!
For hours, and hours, and HOURS A DAY.
All of the bending and contorting into such extreme angles is taking its toll on my body. The other wives are even feeling it and I have EIGHT YEARS on the next oldest wife.
During the long-ass scenes where the King delivers amusing, pithy and long-winded dialog, etc. etc. etc., I am kneeling on the very hard stage floor feeling the blood pool and swell in my already damaged leg.
What? You mean you didn’t know that my 33-year-old body is totally falling apart? There’s more wrong with me than just back suck?
Eight years ago, three weeks after my son, Christopher was born, I developed a massive blood clot in my abdomen that went down the length of my entire leg. I have a clotting disorder (Leiden V Factor) that means I am much more susceptible to blood clots than normal people. Since I have already thrown a clot, my chances of reclotting are even higher. It damn near killed me and left me with a damaged circulatory system and perpetually swollen leg.
(Oh, and did I mention that they SUCK?)
Don’t believe me? Here. Some honest photography for you.
You can see the size difference and the bluish, purple tone to my damaged leg.
You can see the pressure that is put on my left leg by how much the veins in my left foot “Pop” compared to my right foot.
I already struggle with poorly shaped legs. I am a bit bow-legged, I have a really hard time gaining muscle mass and have big feet and cankles. The blood clot just makes it all so much more attractive. Yippee.
It is why I always wear long pants and skirts. I never show my legs unless it is absolutely necessary. It isn’t just a vanity issue. I have been approached more times than I care to remember by well-meaning medical people who tell me that I may have a blood clot and should go to the nearest ER.
In their defense, it is a life-threatening condition. Plus, my leg looks like I could be in serious trouble; Most clots resolve where the leg returns to normal size. My clot was GINORMOUS. When It first happened my leg the size of both my legs put together and was dark purple.
I was in the hospital for a month. They told me to “Make arrangements” and prepare. They didn’t even dare put a filter in there were that scared that it would cause a piece to break off and go to my heart or brain and kill me. I was on Oxycontin for 8 months (It was rather new at the time. My doctors had no idea the hell it would be to get off of it after that long. Post for another day but lets just say that I understand why people hold up liquor stores and drive to Tijuana!)
This condition is permanent and painful. It sucks.
As much as I have enjoyed aspects of this musical and know that I auditioned willingly, I can’t wait for it to be over. It will be quite the effort to sit up there hurting and swelling and stay perfectly still and serene-looking.
There is zero point to this post. I have no “How I conquered my pain” or management tips or motivational tales about how I reached deep inside of myself and started wearing skirts to show that I love my body just as it is.
I just wanted to bitch and whine about unattractive legs, crappy medical conditions and back pain. (And my piece of crap bed. We can’t forget about that.)
Thanks for listening. You all deserve a cookie for making it to the end of such long-winded, self-serving drivel.