Monday, 14 October 2013


One of the most irritating things about this disease is its contrariness. Whatever I want to do, it seems to want to stop me from doing it. Whenever I seem to be ready to go, it seems to do whatever it can to stop me. I know I am anthropomorphizing my illness; that is not my intent. It's just that it seems there is no other way to effectively express the kinds of things that happen.

Take saliva, for instance; at least, take mine please, I have too much. But not always, and not when I need it. Last night I had one of those night, those nights when lots of things just happen the wrong way; it was a generally wet night, indoors. Saliva was a part of it, with me drooling in the middle of the night, awaking to find myself in a spit swamp on my pillow. My cheek was wet, my pillow was wet, my sheet was wet; it was just plain yucky.

Now, this morning, I awake and it seems this saliva source has decided to completely dry up. I was making coffee and thought I might liberate a nice small piece of turkey breast from the platter in the fridge; I noticed it while retrieving milk for my coffee. So I fisted on to a piece and took a bite. Do you think I could generate even the smallest amount of saliva to moisten this morsel?

My mouth was a veritable Sahara, completely dry, so dry that on taking a small breath between chews a tiny portion of turkey floated upward and inward on the Mistral of my breath and found it's way into my windpipe, something that now happens on a periodic basis and something for which I must take cautions. I used coffee to moisten my mouth and throat, managing to hack up that mote of meat with the liquid lubricant.

There are other things that are perverse. For example, cramps. My ability to generate voluntary and useful movement in my legs and feet is almost completely gone. Yet how is it, with all this muscle atrophy, that I seem to be able to generate tremendous cramps in my legs and feet, especially my left foot? How is it that I cannot tap to a tune or walk a step, yet these muscles have the power to create intense pain by their involuntary movement?

This is the contrariness of which I speak, the ability of this disease to generate symptoms that immerse me in frustration, giving me things I don't want when I don't want them, and taking what I want when I want it most of all. This is the madness that drives me to anthropomorphize.

1 comment:

  1. I join with you in the foot cramps Rick, it is so painful. But to have them when there is no other feeling in you legs seems to be very unfair. But then this whole disease is unfair. You have my symoathy on your cramps. love Mom