Last week began with debilitating menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding which kept me tethered to a hot water bottle for two days, making frequent trips to the bathroom. When the cramps and flow finally subsided, I sunk a shovel into a long-abandoned garden bed in the backyard. It was warm and I was restless, wearing shorts for the first time this season. Before long I was sweating and up to my forearms in dirt, excavating subterranean boulders, ripping out snarl after snarl of tenacious mystery roots.
Tuesday night, cramps were easing away, nausea was easing in, and my eyelids were beginning to itch. By Wednesday it was obvious that I was suffering from a stomach bug or a bout of food poisoning. It was also becoming undeniable that the mystery roots I'd battled so heartily were not so mysterious after all: they were poison ivy. My face, my arms, my entire torso, my inner thighs, all erupted into angry itchy rash. My eyes were swollen almost shut, the very follicles of my eyelashes itched furiously. My wrists and my fingers, and in between my fingers, were a mass of red oozing blisters.
When J~ came home from work, I vomited into a soup pot. I slathered my erupting skin with cold oatmeal, calamine lotion, the clear gooey flesh of my aloe plant. He looked at me with a pained expression, brought me tea and bath solutions, shook his head, wondered if there was anything more he could do for me. Mostly, there was not.
And now, another week is beginning. Menstrual cramps are ancient history. Thankfully, the nausea is behind me too. And the rash is gradually subsiding—I can tolerate clothing again, even underwear, for hours at a stretch.
I will continue to heal. I'll work in the garden again (but not THAT bed). In a few days I will ovulate yet again. Who knows what else might happen.
Life's rhythms are so predictable, but the melody is always changing.