A Discontented Occupant in a Defiant Body

Silvia Ciccu, Cagliari, Italy 

I imagine it’s true of any autoimmune illness (or long term, chronic illness) you have good days and you have bad days.

With me, I usually know a “bad” day, before I even open my eyes.

The first thing I notice is the dull headache. It’s the same one I went to bed with, the night before. A few seconds later (as I try to turn over) I realise that my whole body is stiff and ungiving… {an image of the “Tin Man” crosses my mind, and a wan smile crosses my lips; because of all the characters in the world that I could have chosen to emulate, I have unwittingly chosen, the Tin Man, from the Wizard of Oz!}

As I slowly get out of bed and shuffle to the bathroom, my hips and thighs feel like I’ve run a marathon… or been hit by a bus (or I got hit by a bus, while running a marathon!) I actually have no idea what either of those things feels like, but I imagine this is pretty damn close.

“What the heck… Did someone lower the toilet in the middle of the night? I don’t remember it being this… loooow! *loud groaning noise*

While sitting there, much longer than I actually need to, I find myself wondering how much I had to drink the night before. I then realise, that I didn’t have anything to drink, the night before! Wow! Bummer, because this would be a real Jim Dandy of a hangover, as hangovers go.

My teeth are sensitive and on edge… it feels like I’ve been chewing on aluminium foil all night. What is this thick, gritty film covering my eyeballs? Also, my head won’t turn! WTF? “My neck must be broken!”

Getting dressed is always a challenge. As I attempt to put my socks on, I pretend that this menial task has become an official Olympic Event! Unfortunately, I usually get only the Bronze, because my timing is off and my technique is sloppy. I cant tell you how many times I have worm my left sock on my right foot and my right sock on my left foot, because I just didn’t have the energy to switch them around. (Why yes, yes I do. I have a few pair of sports socks that are made, so that each sock is made specifically to fit either your left, or right foot! Posh, huh?)

Once I’ve made it from the bed, to the bathroom, to the couch… I just sit and I slowly exhale.

My easy, breezy days of bouncing up, getting dressed, walking to the kitchen and making that first (heavenly) cup of hot coffee or tea are now well over! No, now, I have to take my Lansoprazole (a proton pump inhibitor) and then wait a half an hour. Then, I get to eat a small bowl of cold, plain, Greek Yogurt (okay I do put blueberries and honey on it, but still!) As that settles, I can now take Prednisolone (aka “The Devil’s Tic Tacs”) This is a curse, disguised as a blessing, or vice versa, I’m not sure! In any case it’s a corticosteroid used to treat, among other things, the dreaded “inflammation!”

Who even wants that freakin cup of coffee now???

With clothes on my back, yogurt and Pred in my belly, I’m now ready for anything! And if by anything, I mean a long sit down on the couch, to gather my thoughts, energy and stamina… yes, anything!

How can I be only 65, mentally feel like I’m 35, and physically feel like I’m 85?

It just doesn’t make sense… the Universe is playing a unscrupulous trick on me, of this I am sure! I keep waiting for a guy to jump out of a corner and say, “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera!”

The “good” days are not so readily recognised.

I think it’s that old “Fool me once, fool me twice…” adage. I tentatively open my eyes, thinking that any minute my body will begin to rebel to the movement I’m imposing on it; but much to my surprise, it doesn’t! I put one foot on the floor, and then the other. I wait a minute to see what part of my body is going to object. “Hmmmm? Odd. All seems well.” As I start to lumber to the bathroom, I notice I can actually move more nimbly… it’s my mind holding me back, NOT MY BODY! I begin to walk, upright and with conviction and to my surprise I find that the toilet has been been put back to it’s proper height! My eyes are seeing clearly and my head isn’t pounding. What on earth is going on?????

Now in the living room, raising the shades, I automatically turn my head to look out, at the weather and I realise, “Hey, I CAN turn my head!” I can actually look over my shoulder! It’s a miracle!

Living in a defiant, uncooperative, elderly body is, needless to say, a pain in the arse. I mean yea, sure, it’s my body; I’ve had it for quite some and I’m very fond of it… BUT recently, it fights me “tooth and nail,” every step of the way; it’s like an adolescent child struggling for it’s liberation and the inevitable unyoking, but still needing me for my money and a ride to the mall!

It won’t do as I say, but it doesn’t have a clue as to what it should (or wants to) do!

It attacks itself with passionate, violent and sometimes harmful intent and then cowers in the corner, begging for forgiveness, healing and to made whole again.

It yells and screams (at the top of it’s metaphorical lungs) and then it whimpers and whines, when the shit gets too real!

I honestly thought I was done “raising kids,” yet my own body has regressed to a point where it now requires 24 hour supervision and surveillance; and the occasional “time out” (…although it seems to like that, for some reason?)

I rant. I rage. I try to ignore it. I sometimes confront it, but I always acquiesce…

My goal is to be a patient, understanding, zen-like occupant; one who accepts whats happening, without judgement or condemnation… but it’s hard.

When your imperfect, defiant, elderly body kicks and screams and acts out like an inflamed (no pun intended) teenager, there is not a lot you can do.

Maybe just have a glass of wine, take a nap, watch a few movies; maybe some on-line retail therapy… and just try to go with it.


Because, in the end , we really have no choice… and as we all well know, this too shall pass. Hopefully.

“I seem to myself, as in a dream,
An accidental guest in this dreadful body.” ~ Anna Akhmatova,


  1. Hola chica!!!
    Needed to tell you that I have been praying for you!!!
    A year ago I also started to feel strange pains and other disconcerting symptoms that I don’t want to give too much power to; told Sand, she recommended special blend of Do Terra supplements and literally got my life back. I still have some symptoms but no way near the way it was.
    Hope this information could help you out in some way!
    Love ya my beautiful friend !
    Maritza Longtin (Dominguez

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s