Monday, 2 March 2015

Weak Arms

Over the last few weeks the weakness in my arms has seemed to be accelerating. It's a lot like what was going on with my legs in the summer of 2012, just a few months before I was diagnosed. I've seen a significant loss of strength and ability along with increasing soreness and shakiness in my arms and hands. I haven't said much about it, perhaps for the same reasons I was slow in dealing with the problem in my legs. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

The loss of strength in my arms has become highly evident in two daily activities in my life; transferring from my wheelchair to my bed, and transferring from my wheelchair to the lift seat on my truck. In both cases I have seen a significant decline in my ability to lift my body up. When transferring onto my bed, I am now consistently unable to lift myself past the wheel of my wheelchair. When transferring to my truck lift seat, I am finding it difficult to get more than one butt cheek up onto the seat; lately I've had to ask for help a couple of times, more often I have to haul myself up that last little bit.

My friend Mike once commented that he thought it would be the inability to get into the truck which would stop me from driving long before any weakness in my arms was substantial enough to cause me to give up the effort. It would appear that the engineer is right again. He sees things from a tremendously practical point. Sometimes I wish he would lie to me a bit more often.

This morning several things came together to make it a really bad morning. My arms and shoulders were sore, in pain. The weakness is increasingly making me more and more willing to just stay laying down. I had a rough night, with coughing fits coming on every couple of hours. All in all, small piles of dog poo on the sidewalk probably felt better than I did at the start of my day. It's these kinds of mornings where being dead seems a better deal than being alive.

I'm not quitting yet, not even close. I still have ability, and capability. I'm just getting weaker and weaker, my body failing as ALS would have it. But things are changing once again, as they always do with this illness. My arms are not done yet; they're just losing the battle slowly.

1 comment:

  1. Richard, I know exactly what you are talking about , having been there myself. My arms are long gone, and the sum of my abilities is breathing, swallowing , and moving my head a bit . So you have a long way to go, before you end up like me. Just know that you will inevitably have to give up things that you will miss, but there is always a different path to your destination, if you want to get there .