Thursday, 17 April 2014

I Wobble

I had trouble getting to sleep last night. I was tired, there is no doubt of that. I am always tired, regardless of whether it is day or night. I can sleep almost anytime, except for last night. This inability to wander into slumberland is not new; it happens every once in a while. My mind starts to race, gathering thoughts from here and there and building a monument to insomnia in my mind. I ponder each bit and piece of data, each idea and possible outcome, rolling them over and chewing on them relentlessly, my mind a dog with a bone.

There are some who recommend some sort of sleeping aid for this. My neurologists have offered me one; I have turned it down. I have always had nights like this, for as long as I can remember. Every once in a while my mind just gets going and doesn't stop. My life's experience teaches me to settle my mind and accept the sleeplessness as something that just happens. It doesn't happen often, and certainly not often enough add another medication to the cornucopia on my dresser.

It is interesting for me to note how many of the realities of my life continue on as they have before, even though ALS has impacted me so much. This morning, for example, I awoke with a sore lower back. I can assure you it is very possible to hurt your lower back in a wheelchair; ask me how I know. Yesterday I was painting a shelf board for my bathroom. The board was wider than I could reach. I could not grab the wet side of the paint while turning the board, so I reached underneath, lifting and rotating the board from below. This, of course, put a lot of strain on my weakening arms, strain which transferred to my lower back.

The stiffness went away once I got up and started moving. I'm not saying there is no residual reminder of my work efforts. It's just that the pain is going away, like it always has. It takes longer than it has in the past, but this recovery function seems to still be working.

On the other hand there are changes, things that are different and things that just don't work anymore. For example I have begun to notice that I wobble while sitting on my shower bench. I think it is a combination of weakening muscles in my back and the complete loss of muscle stability in my thighs. There is no natural recovery process for this one; it will simply worsen as time goes by. Then, at some point, I will have to use a special shower chair, one which supports my back and upper body too.

Some thing change, some things stay the same. It is just the way this illness works.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Rick I am so sorry for your weakening condition. You are so good at handling it. I wish i could be there but then you are coming here.