Saturday, 29 June 2013

One More Time

This vacationing stuff is not for the faint of heart, especially if that heart is inside a person with no legs. It takes an awful lot of energy and struggle to get even the simplest things done on board, things like going to the bathroom or getting in or out of the cabin. Don't get me wrong, I can do these things. It's just that the time is coming soon, I can see it out there, when I can no longer do these things.

Take getting into the head for example. The head is the part of the boat with the toilet in it, the bathroom. In my very small boat, the head is only two or three normal steps from my berth. We've taken the table down and converted it to a bed so it is easier for me to get up and down. The lower salon berth, where I've slept for more than a decade, is too low for me to get up. Now when I want to get to the head, I fling my legs over the side of the bed and from there I can stand.

Since I cannot walk, I slide my legs forward using my arms to maintain verticality. Only the boat does not have a flat floor. It is raised up at the sides and rises as you go forward. My legs don't have the strength to make that slide. What I have done so far is braced myself against the bulkheads and used my arms to life my legs forward. So far my remaining leg has only buckled once.

Then, once I get to the head, I must rotate towards the toilet. Since the ceiling is sloped, I cannot just rotate. I must rotate and bend at the same time. Once again I brace myself and in this case I use my arms to push my body around, using the counters and centre-post for hand holds. I have bars to put in place but they are not there yet; it is another task to be done.

Once my body is rotated I use the toilet itself as a brace. While leaned over I can force my legs forward just enough to reposition myself for the all important aim. Then, finally, I assume a position with reasonable targetability, and then I pee. It is all very exciting. Much like a box of chocolates, I never know what I am going to get, or hit for that matter. As to sitting, this is even more difficult as it involved getting up and down, something even more challenging. Plus sitting involves removal of pants and that ain't no easy assignment.

Still one must remember that I am doing all this on my sailboat in some of the most beautiful cruising areas in the world. This region of warm summers and light weather, where the rain is light from June to September, where every bay and inlet has a small marina with attendant pub, where life is easy for us vacationers, this land of holiday is mine to see. I will see it one more time, I think.

1 comment:

  1. I hope that you will see it one more time Rick. You should have that opportunity if life gives you more time to sail away for a day or a week or a month. I am happy though that you are enjoying yourself with Ricky . love to both of you