Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Being Tall

Help! I need a tall person!

There are so many times in my day these days when I cannot reach, when something I want is just above my reach, just beyond my stretch. The bowl I want is on the second shelf. The plate I want is above the fridge. The towels I want are at the back of the shelf. I can't reach these places anymore.

Being short is new to me. Before ALS, I was 6 feet tall, a decent sized man. Now, after ALS, my body length nearly the same, slightly shorter due to atrophied muscles and constant sitting. However my height is now 4.5 feet, shorter than even the shortest of my friends and family. My Mom towers over me. My kids are all way up there. Even some of the younger children who come into my life periodically are taller than I am, can reach higher than I can.

This inability to reach puts so many things into perspective. At least for much of my life, I was the tall one, the person who short people asked when they needed something from high in the cupboard. My ex-wife used to ask me all the time to get things down for her. Now I know what it feels like to have to ask when you want something which is simply too high to reach.

I do have a solution to this, to some of this anyways. I have a combination of my power chair, which will lift up about a foot or so, and my "grabby stick", one of those tools for reaching and grabbing things. This solution is useful when I can reach the cupboards. The problem is that kitchen cupboards  are set well back from the counter edge, meaning I often cannot get close enough to reach what I want. Then it is a combination of grabby stick and letting things fall into my hands, with any luck.

There is also my hand held, plastic colander. With this, and the grabby stick, I can pull things to the edge of the shelf and let them fall safely into the colander. mostly. Sometimes I miss. Other times the flexibility of the colander handle give things a bit of a bounce and out they go. So this is not without its risk.

The simplest solution would be to keep a tall person on hand at all times. It's not realistic, just simple. Alternative I could move everything down to lower shelves. But that would require getting rid of a great many things I use on a regular basis, like pots and pans and bowls and my colander. Or I could just start storing things in boxes on the floor of my spare room. Unfortunately that would remind me of the home I used to share with my ex-wife, every space available covered with boxes. In her case, ti was books. I my case it would be pots and pans.

Nope. I'm pretty much where I have to be. When I really need help, I can call a tall person. Otherwise I have to make do with the tools at hand. And I have to get used to dropping things, and breaking things every once in a while.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe a sideboard cabinet with lower shelves, if there's space