score one for ms

i live on a 600 foot long dirt road, a rather steep hill. i’ve been here for 10 years, and over that time my neighbor and i have invested quite a pile of money in repairs and maintenance. so we decided, finally, to have the darn thing paved – a project which will end up costing about the same amount as we’ve invested over the 10 years. right now, the road looks like grand canyon and is quite a trip going up and down.

so i thought it would be a good idea to go out and clear away all the weeds and little trees and other assorted debris that has grown up to the side of the road, and, in the process, check out the condition of the drainange ditch, see what might need to be done there. i loaded the back of my car with various clippers and implements of de-struction, and thought, well, i’ll park at the bottom of the hill, do some clearing, then move the car up a little bit, and so on until i was at the top. that way, i’d  be able to sit and rest on the back bumper, and it’d be a snap.

bad idea. i didn’t get far before i fell, pulling on a little weedy tree that let go of it’s hold on the earth quite suddenly and sent me ass-over-teakettle (as my irish grandmother used to say). instead of stuggling to get back up, i found that it was actualy easier to do the work from my knees, and continued on a bit, before i wanted to go back to the car for a breather. i ended up having to actualy crawl back to the car because i couldn’t stand up unassisted. i rested a bit, then transferreed myself to the drivers seat, and moved the car another 20 feet, and repeated the process, not waiting to fall down but going to my knees intentionally.

this time, the crawl back to the car was agonizing, and i came near to admitting that i was unable to haul myself into an upright position, and almost called my wife on the cell phone in my pocket (don’t leave home without it) to come down and hoist me up. but i managed to get myself back into the drivers seat, and decided i was done. surveying the work i had accomplished, and what i had left to do, i realized i would never be able to do it myself, and that i’d have to hire an able-bodied youngster to finish the job (which would probably only take a half day). i drove back to the garage, feeling disappointment in my inability to do this, and feeling anger rising in me – anger at this stupid disease that had robbed me of the ability to do a simple thing like pull weeds.

i came back to the house, went to my basement office, and fell onto the couch/bed, immobile, and angry, saying to myself, “ms won today.”

i sit on my butt all week in a little sunless cube, doing fairly mindless work. i do a lot of plotting of what i’m going to do over the weekend – usually part of which is physical work (stacking firewood, cleaning up my workshop, pulling weeds out of the ditch alongside the road, etc.) i can’t stand the idea of spending the weekend sitting on my butt. but that is increasingly what i end up doing, and increasingly what the sensible part of my brain tells me i should be doing, and what my sensible wife agrees that i should be doing. but i hate it. my 75 year old father is still out cutting down trees and splitting his own firewood, and i’m crawling out of a ditch, barely able to haul myself upright after 5 minutes of pulling weeds.

so score one for ms. which, by the way, sucks.

now playing:Vienna Nights: Live at Joe Zawinul’s Birdland

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4 thoughts on “score one for ms

  1. I totally get this post. I am not incapacitated but I am perpetually exhausted. I find weekends hard too because I have all kinds of guilt about what I should be doing and I am not. I spend all week just trying to make it and telling myself I’ll catch up on stuff over the weekend. Then the weekend hits and I can only do one or two things before I feel like I need a nap. I long for the weekend but then it becomes a battery of guilt and exhaustion that ends before I have found my sea legs.

  2. Yep, MS does certainly such and some days more than others!

    I vacillate between acceptance and rejection of what I can do and not do, all the time. I mourn everyday for the loss of the person I used to be. I am so grateful for what I can still do yet live in a nether world of nebulous fear of more loss of function.

    A book I refer to is “Letting Go of the Person You Used To Be” by Lama Surya Das. Very useful, insightful and helpful for when these downtimes occur!

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