Friday, 7 February 2014

A New Measure For Success

It's one of those kinds of mornings this morning, the kind where you feel like doing nothing at all, where laying in bed until noon seems like a reasonable thing to do with your day, where plans and things to do seem to fall away like shedding skin, dropping off and leaving nothing but lethargy behind. It's that kind of morning where the warmth of the blankets and comfort of a pillow defeat even the urgency of the bathroom, or in my case the jug. At least I get to go pee without actually getting out of bed, simply rising, sliding my legs over the edge, grabbing the dreaded container and letting nature take its course, then, after a quick hand wipe, sliding back into the warm void I left just a moment ago. I am thankful for hand wipes.

I was out late last night, getting to be at around 1:00 AM. Given my need for at least 10 or more hours of sleep each night, it is no surprise that wakefulness did not arrive until nearly 11:00 AM and getting up waited until near noon. Even with that I am still tired; I've already considered returning to bed for another hour or two of shut eye. I am finding this to be consistent. If I want to get up at 7:00 AM, I need to go to bed by 9:00 PM. If I want to be up in the mid-morning, my normal 11:00 PM will do. Late nights make for very late mornings. Short nights can happen; they make for a very worn out Richard.

I am still struggling with shivering. Yesterday, in spite of being busy and in a well heated apartment, I started shivering in the mid-afternoon. I put on a sweater, something I thinking about doing right now. Last night, in the middle of the night, I awoke to that feeling, the subtle onset of a full blown shiver, the goosebumps on my arms and legs, the slight shiver in my torso. I also had to go pee. I managed both events to a safe outcome this time, donning one of those quilted undershirts I like to wear, and taking a pee break before the full blown shiver came one. I did well, having only the slightest of shaking once I was back under the covers and warm. Then, as the full warmth from the shirt spread over me, I settled and was able to get back to sleep.

Success is a funny thing. Here I am feeling like I successfully managed my night. In reality I would have managed better if I had started the night in a night-shirt, something I have never worn. I would have done better if I had started the night in pajamas, something I don't own and haven't owned for many years. My nights are spent in boxer shorts and nothing else, at least until lately. Yet here I am declaiming success for the simple act of putting on a shirt and not wetting my own bed.

ALS does funny things to you; this is one of them. Success is now doing what most would consider normal. I have a different normal now. I slept well, warm and dry. This has become my new measure of success.

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