Friday, 20 March 2015

A Non-Driving Day

It is a non-driving day today, something for which I am thankful. Spending day after day behind the wheel, even the short days of just a few hours, is having it's expected effect on my arms. Last night was a toughy, with my arms and shoulders hurting and cramping, especially my right arm. There was almost no position in sleeping where my right bicep did not object, cramping up to remind me of who was in charge of this body.

This doesn't mean that I won't use my arms today. We are planning on exploring San Antonio, taking a walk down the Riverwalk, visiting the Alamo mission. All of these things will require moving about in my wheelchair. Fortunately Katherine will be with me, pushing me when I need the help. Even so, I will be tired tonight; this I know for sure. Just as I am tired after a day of driving.

It's not that driving is all that difficult. The long stretches of straight road, cruise control set with open lanes in front of me, the low scenery of the Texas countryside whipping past at an easy 70 MPH, all making for a quick passage of time and miles. Still, what you don't realize until you have something like ALS or some other condition which impacts your arm strength, is that there are all kinds of micro-movements as you drive, constantly readjusting your position on the road, changing lanes, following the sweep of a long turn, taking an exit road; all of these things require movement and strength.

I am grateful I can still drive, just as grateful as I am for a non-driving day. There is an empowerment in sitting high up in my truck, behind the wheel, where nobody sees the wheelchair, the handicap. There is a freedom to the open road, the next curve beckoning, the next horizon promising. Time almost seems to disappear as towns and cities roll by my window, a panoply of ever changing view, rising tall from the plains, settling deep in behind me as I pass.

Today will be a wheelchair day, a day when I will be pushed about or when I will push myself about, a day with elevators and ramps and curbs and cobblestones. My limitations will be more than visible, more than noticeable. People will wonder why I am in a wheelchair, why I am here, how I get around. What they won't know is the answer.


  1. So sorry my dear that you are suffering so. You sure need the day off once in a while.When do you turn around and come back home. Love

  2. Any updates on the elevator situation?

    1. Only that repairs are underway. Nothing significant.