Crumbling

Drip

Each drop into the small, see-through chamber is followed, a millisecond later, by an incongruously happy little bubble that flies up to the top of the vial. The liquid is going straight into my vein, drop by drop. It’s mesmerising, in a morbid fascination kind of way.

I watch the drops drip, willing each one to get to the right place, to go straight to my hips, my femurs, my ankles, and to start working those osteoclasts, to stop them from crumbling my bones.

You see, my hips and the bones below them have revolted against this sitting thing. I assume that they’re angry at not having been allowed to bear weight, to do the job they were meant to do: to dance, to run, to stand and watch the world go by, barefooted on freshly-mown lawn.

‘Osteoporosis,’ he said.

My heart sank. My bones are crumbling. My spine is good, but below that, not so much. Whether it’s the paralysis or just my genes (it runs in the family), we’ll never know, but it’s there. So here I sit, in the chemotherapy room that holds scary memories of a beloved friend’s brave (and successful, thank god) fight against cancer. It smells of fear and strong antiseptic.

I am thankful to be here just for this, what will be an annual infusion to stop me from crumbling. The other people here, sitting in their comfortable lazy boys are fighting far harder fights.

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