So Pale

So Pale



“She’s so pale
You need to get some sun
why don’t you run around more?
your hairs too dark for that skin”

whispers, words, dance around me
I start to stare at myself in mirrors
pale?, white? what does that mean?
I must be ugly

I turn into a young “woman”
I get tired, more breathless
Running almost impossible
Face hot and red, lungs and heart bursting

So now I’m weird and ugly,
Everyone else is so fit
I’m so tired yet I’m so hyper
my brain spins in endless galaxies

I grow older, I get used to my pale
I wear a lot of black, it’s a contrast
I have bursts of energy
Then exhaustion, I get sick so easy

This seems to be all I’ve ever known
I try to get pregnant, I can’t
I go to a nutritionist, they pile on vitamins
I get pregnant, get blood tests

Your a “bit” anaemic
Eat more spinach, take some pills
I try the pills, they make me sick, I stop
I’m always a bit something, I shrug

Baby comes, I can’t stop bleeding
I’m scared,but no one seems to care
I bury that, with all the other whispers
I’m more tired, but that seems normal now

I do less and less. I work harder and harder
when I have my “bursts”
I start napping with the baby
Somehow I get through

I get pregnant again
more blood tests
“Your a bit anaemic, do you eat liver?”
ugh, no, never, ohmygod bleh, it’s dropped, again

No one presses the issue,
I have another child,
This time, the world turns dark
I cry every day I’m so tired

Is this what is normal?
New moms are tired, right?
I never get used to it, I visit all sorts
of healers, doctors, herbalists

I can’t walk, three steps and I falter
I’m a failure
Now I’m ugly, weird and a failure
I can’t keep this up

I find a Chinese herbalist
I drink strange concoctions
I climb out of my hole
but my life is a mess

I work harder to sort it out
I take more herbs
everyone thinks its something
no one knows

My mind grows stronger
My spirit grows stronger
My soul grows stronger
my body grows weaker

I break all my boxes
I try every new thing I can manage
I have another baby,
This time my thyroid blows up

They try to rush me to surgery, No!
I don’t trust them anymore
I get 2nd and 3rd opinions
I eat a lot of seaweed

I get a little better,
I’m still alive, but
I’m so tired sometimes
I just want to sleep forever

I get pneumonia
1 time, 2 times, 3 times
“they” say, one more time
you may not live

No one really digs
just skirts around the edges
I feel like I’m too weird
to fix

Eventually I learn some yoga
That seems to help, for awhile
But I pile on the stress
I do more to make up for my failures

I’m already doing full on naps
sleeping in cycles of hours
and then up again
always so drained

I try one thing after another
everything works, but only for days
there doesn’t seem to be a road
I haven’t tried

I do more blood tests
“you’re a bit anaemic, nothing to worry about”
so I ignore it, like the whispers
I shove it down into the dark

I’m aging, my knees hurt, my back hurts
my feet feel like knives are poking into them
but I’m used to discomfort
if I just keep moving, I can keep going

Midlife approaches and with it,
the “bleeding,” as I call it, starts
so much, I fear for my life
but it always stops

I never give up, I try anything I find
“this” might work and it does
for awhile
then it all comes back, so tired

This is my life
I almost can’t recall it not
being this way, till the Crisis
but I knew it was coming

I dreamt a dream some time ago
I dreamt I died
My heart broke because I couldn’t tell them
I loved them

I was so angry, so frustrated because
I knew, I would have been able to stay alive
if only I was there to treat myself
so very upset

I woke up terrified
Is this my future?
How do I stop this?
I must stop this…

Months and months pass by
I grow more tired
Almost depressed, so weak
I think, this is it, it’s coming

I don’t tell anyone
why scare them? Maybe it’s just
the end of my road
I’ve run out of ideas

Then one day, my neck so sore
I see a new doc
He takes my blood pressure
It’s so high, he turns pale

Then to another doc, new medicines
now I’m dizzy and tired
and the medicines not working
my muscles are spasming

I’m waiting, in the darkness
will it be stroke? a heart attack?
I try a new medicine
Still no good, not enough, pressure down

The doctor suggests blood work
more blood tests I think
this might be bad
that dream haunts me

2 days later the results are in
my breath stops in my lungs
too fast
must be something wrong

My family is banging around me
making family noise while I listen
to the staff persons voice trying to tell me
“your tests are back, there’s a few irregularities”

I can barely hear her, the family won’t be quiet
they don’t realise, because I don’t tell them
how scared I really am
but in a lull I hear her words

“Your anaemic, your scores are this and that,
they are Very low, you need to speak to your doctor”
“huh?” I respond, “that’s it?”
“well no, your cholesterol is a little high, just dietary stuff”

I click off the phone
my mind is whirling
I’m anaemic? What does that mean?
I have to find a way to fix this

So I do, and so very strange
I find these pills at the local shop
Made from things I’ve taken before
but not together

I start the pills (they are made for people like me
people who get sick from iron pills)
and I’m not tired, I’m not weak
I want to do things

So very quickly, like a dream
the more I take, the more I become
some younger version of me
I remember her, vaguely

I can’t seem to get my head around this
what does this mean?
Is there something wrong inside?
My whole life, so pale, so weak

You have to understand
I eat meat, I eat my “greens”
I’ve taken liquid herbal iron
Nothing has fixed this

For the first time in nearly a year
I feel hopeful
Maybe I’ve found it
Maybe I will live and can actually LIVE

I’m writing this for those
whose trail has been winding
and the bread crumbs have gone missing
from the path

Listen to the whispers
because sometimes the truth
is buried among them
and there’s no one to save you but yourself

Laurie Ross 07/09/2015


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