Thursday, 13 October 2016

Saskatoon Reversal

Notwithstanding my post of Tuesday, all its bravado to the contrary, I have decided not to go to Saskatoon this weekend. There are all kinds of issues and reasons I could provide for this decision, but the low down, basic fact of it all is that I don't want to go alone. I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

It's not that being alone on the road is a problem for me. I've done thousands of miles on land and sea solo. I've spent hundreds of hours, my hands on the wheel of my truck or on the tiller of my boat, with nobody beside me, braving the journey an independent knight riding singularly into battle. I can be alone.

Except now.

These days I need more and more help with things. I am getting weaker and weaker, less and less able to care for myself. This morning was the decision maker in some ways. I was tired this morning when the HCA arrived at 10:00 AM, despite having gone to bed at 10:30 PM the night before and finally gotten to sleep at around midnight thanks to a Zopliclone. She got me up, helped me into my commode chair, and made my bed. I did my morning routine and got back onto the bed to dress.

That's where she took over. For the first time since my illness began, I let the Home Care Aide dress me, or at least most of me. I still did a couple of things, but every time she stepped in to help, I did not stop her. She pulled on my underwear for me; all I did was roll from side to side like a beached whale. I started my socks, but when I stopped to rest, she finished them. She pulled my shirt on, then worked my pants on, me once again doing the sideways flip flop. And I realized how easy it was if I just let someone help me.

Then I started thinking about hotels in Saskatoon. There are good ones there, even one of my favourites, a Sheraton Four Points. I began to ask myself "What if the beds are really high?" "What if the safety bars come loose again?" "What if I get stuck somewhere or somehow?" Yes, there is always 911 for help. Yes, I have mostly looked after myself so far. But do I really want to take that risk solo?

I decided not. Now, as I sit here, there are tears rolling down my cheeks, droplets splashing onto my shirt, leaving spots which will quickly evaporate as the heat from my grotesquely fat belly warms the shirt beneath them. I'm dying a bit today. This is the end of a part of me, another of so many endings. I think this could be marked as the day where I started to give up.


  1. Hi Richard As a CALS to my 37 years old wife and considering all we have gone thru, i do understand your feeling. but you are not giving up, you are adapting yourself to the new reality. It will get you down at first, but you will be able to adapt to the new reality and find that, yes, you will need help for many things, but you can still be you, and will be able to travel - with a whole new set of things to plan and spend time enjoying yourself. Don`t feel you have gave up, and DONT GIVE UP. Adapt to the new reality, and realize that even though its more complicated, you can still go out and enjoy. Regards from Argentina.

  2. Hi Richard,
    I wish I lived closer and could be your travel companion and be helpful. It broke my heart to read your post -- I follow your post regularly and admire your positivity in midst of all this. Take care my friend and a big god bless

  3. I understand. I hate what this is doing to you. Perhaps if you have more lead time the next time an opportunity like this presents itself, one of your children or friends could go with you? There is, after all, no place like home. I hope your Thanksgiving celebration was all you hoped for. God bless... love from Oregon. gg