Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Vertical Exercise

It's a dull morning this morning, grey and gloomy, a low sheath of flat cloud covering the sky to the the horizon. Outside the cars go by, sound dampened by the moisture latent in the air, no wind to lift the leaves or brush the branches on the fir tree outside of my window, the black of the blacktop in the parking lot appearing all the denser and richer from the wetness settling on it. There is no rain, not yet, but there is the promise of rain, the threat of precipitation, not yet snow for the air is still to warm for that, but chilling enough to make one grateful for an overcoat.

Winter will be here soon. We are now one month away from the first anniversary of my diagnosis, one month away from that fateful day when my world changed so forcefully, one month away from my new birthday, for that was the day that the end of my life was born. From that day, into the chilly gloom of winter, I went forth knowing not only that I had a terrible, terminal illness, but knowing that there was nothing to be done, no hope of treatment, no chance of cure. It's coming soon, that day.

This morning has been a tough morning. I suspect I will have a few of these as I approach my fateful anniversary. I've had to rise vertical three separate times this morning, twice while dressing and once to retrieve coffee from the upper cupboard. Why is coffee in the upper cupboard? Because that's where it goes. I am not without my own small obsessions.

Rising up, in the vain imitation of standing, takes a fair bit of work and effort. First of all there are the pre-attempts, where I position myself to try but realize in the process that I am either not going to make it up or I will, worse yet, fall down in the attempt. For each vertical effort I have at least three preliminary attempts, not to mention the positioning of myself and my wheelchair along with the adjusting of the wheel locks and footrests.

Once I am relatively certain of success, I go for it, upwards and rising, grasping counters and handholds along the way to continue the vertical impulsion of my upper body, my legs simply rising along for the ride until there is enough verticality to lock my knees into place. Once up, I must continually retain a hand hold for balance, for without it the downward plummet begins within a few seconds of apogee.

Going down is easy. I just slump back into my chair. But getting up and saying up require true effort; it is a very tiring process. I only have a couple of those ups and downs in me, and then I must rest. After exercise comes exhaustion, just like everyone else. Only my exercise, my verticalling adventure, is what most of you take for granted.

1 comment:

  1. It is so awful my dearest , your efforts to stand are prodigious ones. I love you today and every day.