It surges through my body, my spine- like fire. Ripping and tearing through the skin like hot coals and knives. For a moment I wonder if I might pass out, for a moment I wonder if I might die. For a moment I wonder if I can even breathe. I realize I am holding my breath and suck in air wondering if my face was blue. Turn on music a voice in my head says, relax to something, meditate- MEDICATE for God sakes! But the spinal pain is rarely touched with a pill. With meditation. A tear rolls down my cheek. Don’t cry. You’re too tough to cry. Don’t let anyone see you in pain. Don’t let anyone see your pain. Don’t let anyone see you cry. You’re a big girl, you’re a woman for God sakes you can handle a little pain. The clock ticks over to 4 AM. Already it has been 5 hours since your family has gone to sleep and you are still awake. Tossing and turning in bed for the first hour only kept your husband half awake. Reluctantly you get out of bed and sit in front of the computer hoping to forget about the pain. Another tear down the cheek and short quick breaths. Sitting alone wondering when the latest burning will stop in your spine and neck. Begging God to stop the pain, wondering what is was you did to deserve this. Realizing you did nothing that it was luck of the draw. Thanking Him your family wasn’t there to see you in such dire straights. The clock rolls around to 5 AM and soon your husband will be up for work and then begin hiding it or half hiding it. Holding back those tears as much as possible. Trying so hard not to complain and taking pain medication to halt what pain you can. I won’t let him see me cry. I won’t let him see my real pain. I can only hide so much of it but he won’t see all of it. He doesn’t need to. I don’t know that he would understand. I don’t know that anyone would. I can’t cry anymore. My time is up.