Friday, 24 October 2014

Know Thyself

People take their abilities for granted, because they can get through life without having to question what they can do. I’m not talking the biggies, but the routine daily tasks one faces.

For example, today I left the store and made my way to the curb, ready to cross the road to my car. A curb, not a monumental challenge for most, but it is for me. I stop because I need to ready myself to take that step; it’s not an automatic thing anymore. I have to think it through, step down with the left leg, always the bad leg first. Position the cane for support and balance, take the step and hope like hell I don’t land on my face in the street.

Some of the changes I deal with have occurred over time and I make accommodations without realizing I’ve done it. And sometimes I feel a change and consciously alter my behaviour.

I noticed the other day that I can’t make it from the driver’s side door to the back of the van before the locks click, not anymore. I have an older vehicle, so it’s a key entry. I used to leave the driver’s side door open, make my way to the back, remove my walker and return to the driver’s door and set the lock. One day, a while ago, I noticed that I was reaching the back door before it locked and started saving myself some steps by locking the door first and then opening the back.

No can do, not anymore. The last few times I’ve been out I only made it as far as the rear tire area before I heard the doors lock. It’s not a big thing, to use my key to open and then lock the rear door, but it is a disappointment to realize my walking is slower and more of an effort.

And then there’s the dropping of stuff. I have been on antibiotics and struggled to open the child proof cap, and spilled the capsules all over. I picked them up from the bed, counted and was many capsules short. Moved the bedside table and found some on the floor and on the small ledge on the side of the table. Count was still two short. I shook out the comforter and found another, but so far, finding that last one has eluded me. Since the dosage was pretty strong I think I’ll be OK taking the last dose at half strength.

Here’s another thing, short term memory loss. I had two examples of dropping things and can’t remember the other one. I hate when that happens, like I need to make notes constantly to keep myself on track. Same thing happened when I left the city the other day after having lunch with my brother.

I had an idea for my other blog, but needed to know the mileage from home to the restaurant. I had set the trip thingie at zero when I left the house that morning and checked it as I turned right, made it across three lanes of traffic in order to turn left at the next corner. By the time I navigated all of that I had the mileage, 68 Kms, but forgot what the idea was.

Often these forgotten thoughts, ideas, whatever will come back to me out of the blue, but not this time. So I’ll just say that I’m dropping things, making weird mistakes when typing (thank goodness for spell check) and finding numerous tasks that require fine motor skills more awkward and tedious.

Small signs of my gradual and ongoing deterioration. Sometimes self awareness is not such a good thing.

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