Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Sore Arms In Key West

There is a price for everything. As both my daughter, Kate, and my brother, Peter, have pointed out, I can find a cloud for every silver lining. Unfortunately, in this case, the cloud is all to evident. I am finding more and more that my left arm is sore, becoming weaker as the trip goes on. I can still drive, and still drive safely; I can also see the day coming when that is no longer true.

I am seeing a similar pattern in my right arm, only less obvious and less painful. Katherine has suggested that it is the long days behind the wheel. When I get home, it should be better. The problem is that, with ALS, sore arms don't get better. They just get weaker. I am getting the feeling that my road tripping days, at least the ones where I do the driving, are coming to an end. I have just over two weeks to get back to Calgary. After that, I would like to go to Vancouver to see my new grandson when he arrives in June. Then? Who knows?

Right now I have managed to drive myself from Calgary to Key West, a feat which would either frighten or elude a great many healthy people. Those with more sense and less time would fly, either to Miami or directly to Key West. For me, the use of the time was as important as any other component. I could be at home, stuck in my apartment, looking out the window at the rain and snow, watching people come and go freely at the mall across the road. Instead I am looking out my hotel window, watching the cold Atlantic Ocean mix with the warm Caribbean Sea, the waves washing against the white sand, the wind swishing the palm trees next to my room.

Later today we will go into downtown Key West. Katherine will take a photo of me at the "southernmost point" marker. I have other, similar pictures, in different locations, pictures of me where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean, taken in South Africa, pictures of me at the Arctic Circle, pictures with my children in New York at the World Trade Center before 9/11, and of my children and me at Signal Hill in St. Johns, Newfoundland. I've had some great adventures, including this one.

Perhaps there is no cloud for this silver lining. I would be losing my arms anyway, whether here or at home. I would be tired regardless, whether I drive or not. The reality is that, given a tough choice, I feel I chose wisely, living and being active instead of sitting, stuck in my apartment, dying from inactivity. Given that I get a choice, I choose living, even if it hurts my arms a little.

1 comment:

  1. With your arms giving out Rick I assume it will be difficult to get home. Or is that wrong. I hope so.
    Love You