Just about a week ago, I made an observation that now bothers me a great deal:
Every new ache, every new pain, reminds me that my days are numbered, and that the number of those days is declining at a rate I'm not sure I want to know.
This number might be dropping more quickly than I thought. Getting around last week was occasionally painful, with little cooperation from the thigh muscles and a couple of vuvuzela-like blasts from the nerves. At the end of the workday, I predicted that at this rate, in four weeks I would be utterly unable to walk.
Didn't even take one week.
I gave up trying to work this morning and headed for the doctor's office. At first, it seemed like he was utterly mystified, though his occasional silences could have been intended to lead a patient who was having a great deal of trouble explaining what was going on. Said patient, as it happens, was too busy trying to conceal a panic attack to be able to say anything particularly coherent. He ran some reflex and similar tests, to see if there was actual motion restriction; it did not appear that he found any. At some point, I seem to have agreed to a session with a neurologist, though I was sufficiently out of it not to ask if said neurologist was, as the modern-day phrase goes, "in network." Sitting, at least, wasn't an issue, although I took being plunked into a wheelchair rather badly. (Later that day, I sent £15 — about $22 — to help out an acquaintance in Britain who is needing a new wheelchair; I didn't mention that I might be needing a new wheelchair before too awfully long.)
And then a great cloud of moisture came up from the Gulf of Mexico and pushed the dew point up to an excruciating 76°F or thereabouts, and the knees took that as their cue to start hurting. By dinnertime, I could manage two or three steps, but no more, before stopping and reorienting myself.
A couple of hours after that, even sitting became somewhat problematic. I am not in any position to diagnose myself, of course, but it seems to me that every nerve ending south of my navel has gone completely and utterly berserk.
This is frightening. Being stuck some place, immobile, is right up there on my list of the Greatest Fears. One of the potential diagnostic tools, the MRI, is right up there with it, which doesn't help: "They'll have to knock me out with a blunt object to get me into one of those contraptions again," I said at the time. But the real issue, I suspect, is self-sufficiency: if I can't take care of myself, what's the point in prolonging my existence? And, in a related issue, why should I deplete my life savings on behalf of something that's no longer life?
Should this series end at #969, well, now you know why.
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Copyright © 2016 by Charles G. Hill