crossposted at The G Bitch Spot
Friday, French Quarter Fest. Capital One Bank Riverside Legacy Stage.

I was not tired, I was not drunk or tipsy or giddy, I wasn’t hungry or dehydrated or hot at all–I’d had three bottles of water, I had three fans in my bag I hadn’t touched because the breeze off the river was steady enough and I had a visor and, until the stem broke because it’d been sat on, an umbrella. I did have a mild headache. A mild pulsing and buzz, a thickness in the back of my head. I thought I’d sat too close to the stage and may’ve been feeling overstimulated, another and irritating FM symptom. Nothing out of the ordinary hurt, which means everything that typically hurts hurt—neck, shoulder muscles, one hip and then the other, calf muscles, finger joints, soles of my feet. Standing, my lower back, hips and legs felt blurry, light and heavy at the same time. I took two steps, my legs feeling discoordinated, like where I aimed them to go was not exactly where they directed themselves or ended up. I thought, Whoa, this is not good. Then felt nothing but could tell that I was slowly crumpling to the ground, slow motion, like the four-legged elephant-like walkers in The Empire Strikes Back, Derek’s hands and/or arms under my head. I knew he was scared. I couldn’t move anything, the muscles of my face, eyelids. My glasses came off so I saw blurred colored shapes and heard clear voices, gasps finished, muttering, a doctor who knelt by and Derek sighed some relief. After a few minutes, I could slur some words. Two security guards grabbed her by and under the arms and half-dragged me to the shade but I was not hot. My face felt heavy and my eyes watered, like I was crying but I was not. My blood pressure was fine, my blood sugar a bit low but it wasn’t wither of those and it was hard to explain. I refused, multiple times, to go to the emergency room. My gut feeling was it had to do with my neck or lower back or a disc bulge getting out of line and I’ve already spent half a day in an emergency room for test and test and three more to say nothing wrong can be found.

I saw my wonderful doctor, who was mystified and said I get one pass—the next time, probing begins. Derek was deeply dissatisfied with this response.

Since then, I have had a mild return of that light-heavy-discoordination feeling but I’ve managed it and been able to dial it back every time. But if I do not fall out again, I’ll never find out what it is, or at least isn’t. So do I let myself fall out so I can be probed or keep managing that feeling in my lower spine and legs, and the mild headache that precedes or accompanies that feeling, distinct from the neck and shoulder pains? Do I fall out in the house or public, with or without The Girl, in a parking lot, what? Do I manage it like it’s not really there until it is really there and I’m immobilized on the subway in New York somewhere?


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