Saturday, 27 June 2015

I Have Limitations; Limits Too

I'm sitting in bed, lapdesk on my lap, laptop on the lapdesk, coffee at hand, without an idea in my mind. Katherine is urging me to write my blog; she wants to get out and doesn't like to go without me. I am the hold up, the road block. She's good about it, patient, having been up for a couple of hours waiting, having made me coffee and served it to me in bed, having brought me my laptop and the lapdesk. She's ready and I haven't even started.

It's that way a lot. She is always up before me, always with more energy than me, always ready sooner, getting more done. It's a reminder to me of how far down this road I have gone, the combination of lazy and incapable delivering me to a place where I simply cannot express that kind of morning energy. I am slow to start, early to finish, and doubtful during the race.

On the plus side, I have learned to accept this change, even enjoy it. To spend time doing nothing, to spend time resting, letting my body recover, not from any particular stress but simply from the damage of living with ALS. My body is the victim here; it needs both time and space to rest and recover. I cannot change this; I must make of it what I can.

I will get up today, soon. Katherine and I will wander about Whitehorse, checking out the MacBride Museum, one of the major tourist attractions here. We'll likely make our way back to the SS Klondike, an old paddle wheeler which used to ply its way up and down the Yukon River. After a few hours I will wear out, even though she will be doing much of the pushing. It's what will happen; when it does we will come back to our hotel, perhaps have a beer in the saloon, and call it a day. Dinner will happen, but how and when may be a mystery even then.

Perhaps the biggest lesson I have learned from ALS, and there have been lots of them, is to respect my limitations, to defend my inability. I did not ask for this illness; I got it. Now that I have it, it is making continual changes to me. There are so many things which are different, and I must accept that. I tire easily. I cannot do long days. I have limited energy. I am physically weak. There's a lot more I must accept. I have limitations.

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