Thursday, 12 September 2013

Thigh Dimples

I have dimples in my thighs. It's a weird kind of thing that happens when I sit on a hard surface like a chair or the toilet. What is happening is that the muscles in my legs have shrunk to the point where they don't fill the skin sack of my upper legs. Whatever fat that was there is gone too, so the skin just kind of puckers when I sit down.

For a while I have been saying I have "chicken legs", a kind of wattle, a fleshy caruncle hanging where my thighs used to be. The whole area is just sloppy and slappy. When I sit, it offers no firmness, no lift, no cushion. It's all just loose skin surrounding an atrophied muscle set. The skin sack of my upper legs is not shrinking as fast as the muscle is wasting. Hence, dimple.

It's no surprise that when I talk to other PALS one of the predominant feelings is that, while they are not suicidal, they just wish this whole disease process was over. Each day they get to see another thing change and it never changes for the better. For those with really slow progression the changes are so subtle that they seem to have stopped. For those with rapid progression, the changes are so highly visible that they are frightening. For me, with a moderate progression, the changes are steady enough to be a brutality of expectation.

It's like a Chinese Water Torture, which isn't Chinese at all. In the ultimate in racism, this torture, where a drip of water is dropped on the forehead of the unfortunate, was actually invented by the Spanish during the Inquisition of the late 1400's. The drip, persistent and steady, was said to drive the victim insane as he waited for the next drip to pound into the soft skin of his forehead.

This is ALS; a steady constant. It's a Germanic goose-step of muscular destruction, precise in its timing, variable in pace for each situation, and grinding in its impact as it marches our body every forward to certain doom. To steal a quote from The Muppet Show theme song, oddly accurate in its observation used this way, "It's like a kind of torture, to have to watch this show."

Rather than the torture, rather than watching this show, rather than waiting for an inevitable, unkind, crippling end, I wish ALS would just do it's job and get it over with. I don't want to die slowly. I don't want to die at all but if I must, I would rather do it without all this nonsense. I don't want thigh dimples.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my dear son, I am so sad about your illness and am with you on anything you wish. I love you so much and it is hard for me to see you suffer. God be willing you will have whatever you wish. God was not there when you got this awful disease though.
    I will be with you as long as I am here.
    And to my other beloved sons I am with you all too.
    love Mom