What I love about roller coasters is that rush of exhilaration that comes after a long climb up a hill and a breathtaking few seconds of hovering at the top of a towering peak. Then whoosh! It sweeps sharply downward, taking its passengers with it, completely at the mercy of forces beyond their control. As many before me have said, life is like that, except that the ride downhill is no fun at all. This hit home three years ago, when a nasty virus attacked the nerves in my neck and back, causing headaches, nausea, muscle spasms, numbness, lost of taste and tears, hypersensitive sense of smell, and even an inflamed scalp. Worst of all was that my deadline was coming up fast.
Having hit the bottom of that roller coaster ride, I had to come to terms with a sudden inability to do the simplest things — smell the aroma of coffee first thing in the morning, read a book, or even sit at the computer to work on the next chapter in my mystery. Instead, all my energy went into not moving so I didn’t bring on more pain. My world narrowed to my house, then to my bedroom, then to what was immediately in front of my face, as the pain intensified.