The Melting Point of a Camel’s Back

“And then something invisible snapped inside her, and that which had come together commenced to fall apart.” -John Green, Looking For Alaska

Welcome to the dismal, ill-fated and certainly unplanned sequel to Plates, Pins and Nerves of Steel.

Six weeks after folding upon myself at the bottom of the staircase, I can still hear the snapping and shifting of bone. My body shudders and wakes from sleep due to the uncontrolled sensation of falling. But, the finish line is in sight.

The ample stock of opioids, constant at my side, were no longer dwindling as fast. All sutures were removed and I was given permission to slowly move my ankle up and down. I was preparing to start physical therapy and regaining my ability to walk.

It wasn’t a straw that broke the camel’s back, it was the point of burning flesh.

I’m not well.

I can’t sleep.

Even with my eyes wide open I envision it over and over again. My nostrils are still filled with reminders of melting skin, Cornflakes. A simple task, a simple pleasure, broke me.

Coffee brews at roughly 192 degrees Fahrenheit, just below boiling.

I struggled to move myself, to remove the soaking clothes before they stuck and clung to my legs. There are claw marks on my hips. I couldn’t stand, I continued to burn. I made strangled cries that only come from injured animals in the wild. Finally, I called out to her like a child. Mommy, Mommy, I can’t! Mommy! 

I wanted to die, I begged for it over and over. Life had found the fissures of my sanity and caused collapse. I remember yelling at my daughter, telling her not to look at me. I was no longer her mother, but a dying, wild thing.

Blisters ranging in size from the tip of a lead pencil, to that of a quarter, cover my lower abdomen, inner thighs and genitals. Once again, I gladly began to tumble down my opioid induced rabbit hole. I found solace in Percocet and Animal Planet.

I am exasperated at the thought of rebuilding the fissures of myself, of conquering the demons I kept buried on a back shelf for so long. Today is for rest, so is tomorrow. Healing comes later, I worry how much later.



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