Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Little Nuisance

It's the small changes in my life that impact me more than the big ones. The big ones can have a dramatic, immediate, or near immediate impact. But the small ones drag on and on, seemingly endless in their instances, each different, each new, none so big as to be impossible yet all significant enough to make my life a challenge.

Fingernails, for example. I try to cut my fingernails fairly often. I keep them short. In the cold Alberta winter, they tend to become brittle, cracking and splitting if I let them get too long. I've been meaning to clip my nails for a few days now, noting that at least three of my fingernails have split in the last couple of days, leaving jagged edges to snag on socks and sheets. Then, this morning, when I was getting out of my shower, my hand slipped and I scratched my legs with those broken nails.

The scratches, especially one of them, were deep, cutting into me and drawing blood. Of course since I take anti-clotting medication, it took about an hour for the bleeding to stop completely. There was blood on my hands, on my legs, on the cloth I used to stem the flow. All I could do was sit, cold and naked from the waist down, waiting for the bleeding to stop before I could finally get dressed.

That's what I mean by one of the endless minor things. You don't think of broken nails as a big problem; at least I don't. They are a fact of life. On the other hand, a broken nail can scratch pretty good, and I can bleed for a fair while. So what is small becomes impactful, if not large. And shortly after this one ends, there will be another. It's just the way it is.

I have to have an approach to these kinds of inconveniences, reminding myself that this is just the new normal for me, that I have to think of the obscura as well as the ordinary, that what might be small might also be a real nuisance, like a mosquito in your bedroom in the summer. It's all a part of living, whether you have ALS or not. It's just a bit more complicated for me.

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