Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Atrophy Is Happening

Yesterday was a tough day. Not physically. It was an emotionally tough day. In the physical sense it was a great day. I got out with Katherine, got some needed errands done, stopped at the Dairy Queen for a treat, and went to trivia. All good.

The emotionally tough day started on one of the errands. Every year in July, I get new compression socks. Alberta Aids To Daily Living, or AADL for short, gives me three pair of compression socks per year. I got three pair two years ago, three more pairs last year, and I get three pairs this year. This is an important progression. Two years ago I was washing compression socks by hand pretty much every other night. Last year I went to washing them in with the other laundry, only twice a week. This year, with even more socks, the pressure is off when it comes to washing them.

We went into the KenRon Pharmacy for a fitting, something they do each year to ensure that the socks are the right size. For the last two years, I have taken a Large. This year the told me I needed a Medium. My legs are shrinking.

Every morning when I get up, I look at my body in the full length mirrored closet doors a few feet from my bed. I gaze while sitting, not because I want to, but because I am seated, resting between getting up, getting dressed, or getting into my wheelchair, or now my commode chair. As I sit, I notice the massive bulk of the core of my body, the obesity which cannot be denied. I also notice my legs and arms. I've noted small changes in their size as time has gone by.

Just the other morning I grabbed my leg to lift it and put it into the leg hole of my underpants. As I grabbed it, I thought to myself how skinny it looked. Then I reminded myself that I might be over-estimating this change. Others often tell me they really can't see the difference. Except for my belly. Some like to tease me, saying that I might think my arms look smaller but they aren't, and that my belly is the only part of me changing size, in the wrong direction. They don't often see my legs.

The trip to KenRon changed that. My legs are really getting smaller. Atrophy is really happening, although very slowly. I notice it because I am most intimate with my body. My neurologist once said the best thing possible to me; "If you think it is happening, it probably is." I thought my legs were getting skinnier. They are. I think my arms are getting smaller. They are.

When you get that this disease is taking its toll, physical proof, it's not your body that feels the pain. It's your emotions, your spirit. Feeling like something is happening, you can dismiss that feeling. Knowing for a fact, seeing it in black and white, that you cannot ignore. Atrophy is happening.


  1. I get freaked out a bit by my lopsided atrophy. Only my right leg is affected so far and it is super skinny while the rest of me is comfortably overweight. I have to mark which compression sock is for the skinny leg so I don't stretch it out. Little things. -Steph

  2. The only place I have muscle in my entire body was my legs; since September, I have lost the muscle in front of my shins. They were big muscles, and I have small feet, and with them I could never wear knee-high boots. I could now if I wanted to, and that makes me sad.