Sunday, 17 April 2016

Slip Sliding Away

Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're workin' our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway, when in fact we're slip sliding away.

That's the chorus from the song "Slip Sliding Away", written by Paul Simon. It expresses a lot of what I am feeling lately, that slow slide while not knowing what is really happening to me. It's especially poignant when I consider the losses in my arms and upper body over the last few months.

These changes are really hard for others to see right now. They are only clearly visible when you see me do something like transfer out of my wheelchair into my truck or onto my couch or bed. It's there that you can clearly see the increased in difficulty from as little as a few months ago. My arms can no longer lift me up out of my seat; they have lost most of their strength. They can still do light work, and even the odd heavy bit now and again if I am lucky. But mostly, they are weak and unable to do that which I ask of them.

Sitting up is another example of how this change is working its way with me, another example of how I am slip sliding away. I can no longer sit up on my own, without some form of mechanical or personal assistance. Mostly that assistance comes in the form of me grabbing on my M-rail or some other nearby solid grip. First I roll onto my side, then I grab the pull, and using both my arms I pull myself up into a sitting position.

I am wobbly once up there. What's worse, if I fall backwards I cannot always roll to my side. That's where I start to need human intervention. On the other hand, if I wait a while, gather my strength, use other hand holds which might not seem obvious on first glance, I can usually get there. The problem with being unstable while sitting unsupported is increasing, but most people don't see it because they see me in my wheelchair or on my couch. So it's not obvious.

Transferring too and from the toilet is also becoming increasingly difficult for the same reasons. My arms cannot lift me well enough to make the shift over. What I do now is get halfway, rest on the edge of the toilet seat, then pull myself into my wheelchair. Getting onto the toilet is kind of just the reverse process. It's ugly, but it works.

I'm losing my arms, slip sliding away. It's obvious to me. Soon it will be obvious to everyone who sees me. As I near my destination, the more I'm slip sliding away.

1 comment:

  1. I just stumbled on your blog today and I think it is great that you are sharing this.