Thursday, 28 August 2014

Summer's End

Mornings are tough for me, especially early mornings when I have to get up to accomplish a schedule or make a meeting. It takes an awful lot of energy for me to even get dressed, let along transferring to my wheelchair and completing those things that need to happen first thing in the day. When ALS was just stealing my legs, it wasn't so bad. As the disease progressed and exhaustion became standard, mornings started to bet worse. Now that ALS is attacking my arms and hands, they ache from the moment I get up.

It would be easy to dismiss this pain as a simple effect of aging; it is a common mistake that people make when they first start to show symptoms of ALS. Unless, of course, you are 25 years old. Then you just wonder why the heck you hurt so much. Nonetheless, it is the pain of ALS, the early signs of muscle loss, the desertion of fine motor skills in your hands and arms. That is how mornings feel, and moreso for me.

Yet here I am, up early. I am headed to Victoria today, taking the ferry from Tsawwassen, a short drive from my Mom and Ray's place, to Schwartz Bay. Although the drive time will be about an hour, the trip will take about four hours thanks to waiting for the ferry and the ride across the Salish Sea, what I used to call the Georgia Straits. I look forward to the time on the ferry; it is time on the water once again.

In order to make this run, we needed to be up early. My Mom has a doctor's appointment at 11:00 AM and they want to leave by 10:00 AM. In order to be ready to leave at the same time they do, I have to be up at 8:30 AM. It takes me about a half hour to dress, including putting on my compression socks. After dressing and getting ready for my day, I write. Then I will pack and go. That takes a lot of time for me.

All of this is worth it, worth the effort and energy, the exhaustion and pain. All of this means I will get to see my daughter and grandchildren, possibly as early as this afternoon. All of this means I get to see Victoria through the eyes of David, the friend who is doing this road trip with me, someone who is seeing this quaint and lovely city for the first time.

Oddly enough a couple of other friends from Calgary will be in Victoria today. It is the long weekend and Victoria is a place a great many people want to visit over our short Canadian summer. That summer officially ends this weekend. Schools start except where there are teacher's strikes as they have here in BC right now. The days grow cooler and the nights get longer. Winter approaches, yet while summer is still here I will take what I can from it; exhaustion, pain, and ache aside.

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