Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Bed Bath

There are two kinds of exhaustion that come over me with ALS. The first is the unexplained exhaustion, the tiredness that springs on me like a tiger, suddenly and without warning, forcing me to rest, to stop whatever I am doing and simply do nothing for a while. The second is the activity based exhaustion. This one is highly visible, highly predictable, slower to arrive, and just as powerful when it sets in, perhaps moreso that the first kind of exhaustion.

On Sunday I experienced the sneaky exhaustion, a tiredness that came over me in spite of a good night's sleep, causing me to pull off the freeway and rest for a half hour. Yesterday, I experience a significant bout of the activity based exhaustion. I just plain and simple wore myself out.

We had a terrific day yesterday, checking out Dealey Plaza, exploring historic downtown Dallas, seeking out a few enticing watering holes and feed stops. We didn't bother with the 6th Floor Kennedy Museum in the old Texas Book Repository. I had seen it many years ago; Katherine is not a fan of 2 hour line ups for anything. Nonetheless we took plenty of pictures and covered a lot of territory.

I "ran out of gas" fairly early on; Katherine took over "driving", pushing me around the streets and sidewalks, having a great time driving me into bumps and blockades along the way. We laughed a lot, spending time just being silly, and being tourists. Yet even with her doing much of the work of the day, My arms were sore and tired. My shoulders were sore and tired. My hands were sore and tired. My whole body was just done. I ended up so tired that I seem immovable once we finally made it home.

Katherine wanted me to have a shower, but I was too tired, far too tired. I could barely get onto the bed. At that point she looked at me and said "You want me to wash you?" I muttered something and she suddenly reappeared with wet and dry towels, stripped off my clothing, and washed me down head to foot, drying me afterwards. Then she said "Go to sleep." I followed her advice.

The is a new experience for me, the kind of exhaustion where I simply an unable to care for myself. I am expecting it will happen more. After all, it's a part of ALS. Nonetheless these new experiences continue to challenge me, continue to make me feel less than capable, less than I once was. On the other hand, who can say no to a nice bed bath?

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