Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SHOP (01/03/19)
TITLE: I Nearly Drop
By Laurie Glass
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My experience is very different now. I shop online for what I can. Even that depletes my mental energy and triggers my lightheadedness with the scrolling and page loading in front of me. Even worse is the struggle to get the rest of my needed items at the store.
Brain fog makes it difficult to remember everything I need. It takes all my concentration to write my list, organizing the items on it to coincide with where I can find them in the store. Even that is wearing, but if I have to zigzag through the store, I won’t be able to hold out and get everything I need. Next, I have to plan my outing for a day when I won’t otherwise exert myself. By exert, I mean do a seemingly simple activity such as take a shower, cook a meal, or wash dishes. When I shop, that’s the only activity I can engage in on that day. The planning itself is a bigger ordeal than it seems it should be.
The day comes, and the vibrations from the car and the walk into the store alone are exhausting. The cart feels too heavy to push with my aching arms. Bright lights irritate my eyes, and the large open spaces in the wide aisles overwhelm me. While in the areas below the speakers, the loud music puts me on edge. It sucks out the brainpower I need to focus on my list and concentrate on the choices in front of me. My legs barely carry me through the store. I move at a fraction of the pace I used to, and even that feels laborious, nearly unattainable. This gives new meaning to “shop till you drop.”
I’ve barely started, and I’m already short of breath, lightheaded, walking with an unsteady gait, and experiencing sensory overload. But I’m not here for fun, which is a good thing since there’s nothing fun about this. I’m here for necessities like food and personal items, so I need to finish. Coming back another day isn’t an option. I have too many other things to do in the limited opportunities I have during the week to complete tasks.
My life is a shadow of what it once was. Shopping is merely one of the basic duties I struggle to accomplish now. A sense of normalcy has already eluded me. Now I feel one more piece of my independence slipping away.
With no treatment for this illness, I wonder what will become of me. I’m alone. Who will take care of me when I can no longer take care of myself? How soon will that happen? As these frightening, unanswered questions swirl through my addled mind over and over again, I have a choice. I can spiral into despair or look to the One who has an eye on my circumstances, a hand on my life, a view of my future, and a heart worth trusting. Until I cross over and get a new body, I need to remember that my Creator knows me best and loves me most. He won’t leave me stranded. I choose to trust the One who exudes
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