Ordinarily, my many sleepless nights are exercises in boredom relief, but yesterday was different. In the early morning, around 3:00 am, despite overeating the day prior and ignoring an uncomfortable fullness in my gut, I allowed Parkinson’s to leverage my gluttony into an agonizing near-win for the disease. Maybe.
Almost immediately after finishing a bowl of granola, I doubled over in excruciating pain. It felt like my intestines were being twisted and yanked back firmly in a repeated cycle of torment. At the same time, my body’s temperature regulation went haywire, causing me to stagger across the room, sweating profusely and leaving a trail of perspiration.
After thirty minutes of constant pain, I woke Laurie, and we decided to go to the emergency room. Still sweating furiously, I struggled to get my pants on, barely able to stand. And then, just as suddenly as it had come, the pain miraculously disappeared, and I went from sweating like a fevered baby to experiencing a bone-chilling cold in the blink of an eye.
Huddling in a fetal position, Laurie draped me in an electric blanket and turned it high. It took twenty minutes to stop shivering. I thanked Laurie and drifted off, managing half an hour’s wonder of deep, restful sleep.
When I woke up, I felt great, better than I had in weeks, as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
Was it a bad experience, or had I just undergone a cleansing catharsis, clearing my body of a long-held negative feeling or energy? I do not know, but the positive after-effect intuitively told me it had been worth the temporary distress. We all walk a precarious trail, bracketing victory and disaster in an unseen display of familiar discrimination, taunted by nature’s exalted indifference, lamenting the lost joy of simply being.