Monday, 17 March 2014

Putting On Pants

Well, it's finally happened. I could not stand up this morning to put on my pants. Now, I haven't stood up directly, free of support, for a long time, at least a year. My poor, dead legs can no longer function in that regard. These days, when I talk of standing up, I mean the vertical launch process I use where I force myself upward with my arms, using either a counter or dresser or some sort of support to push myself into something that looks like standing. My legs can bear the weight, they just can't make the journey.

This morning I went through my usual routine of having a shower and then coming into dress. The first step is underwear. I get them to the point where my legs meet the chair, then I force myself up to finish the process. It was tough this morning, tougher than it has been for a while. I made it, then slumped back down into my wheelchair, desperately needing to rest. The loss of strength in my arms, and my left arm in particular, is beginning to show.

I sat for several minutes, catching my breath and giving my tired muscles a chance to recover, not that they recover all that well. I took some time to put cream on my feet to help fight the foot rot that has been plaguing me over the last couple of months. I took a little more time to wrestle socks onto my feet. Then I put on my pants, at least as far as I could while seated, and once again attempted to launch myself vertical.

My first attempt failed, something that is not all that unusual. It takes just the right positioning, just the right placement of hands and feet and legs and chair to get all this to work. I tried again, with all things seemingly well placed, and failed again. Once again, I am used to having to make a couple of attempts, so onward to the third I went. Yet once again I failed, unable to get my knees sufficiently straightened so that they could lock. I could not shift my left hand from the M-rail on my bed over to the dresser in order to force myself far enough upward so that my right hand could join in the effort.

I slumped backwards, defeated by this process; there would be no fourth attempt. In order to get my pants on I transferred to my bed, something I can do because it does not require full straightening of my legs, and because I can do the rotation without actually standing fully upward. I wiggled my pants on while lying down. It takes a while; try it. It requires a fair bit of rocking, rolling, shifting and pulling. But I made it, eventually.

I am now dressed and ready to face the day. This failure is not yet permanent. I will try again. I will be vertical tomorrow. This is not the end of my putting pants on. It is, however, a harbinger, a warning that the end is in sight. Soon I will need help to get dressed.

No comments:

Post a Comment