Maybe once or twice in my life, I've been successful at folding fitted sheets. The newer ones, I have not been able to do, because they have elastic all around, just at the ends. I have long since learned to bundle them up the best I can and stuff them into a drawer, and I suspect I'm not the only person who has had to resort to this expedient.

And then I discovered that I can't fold a flat sheet anymore, either: I can't reach far enough to grab both ends and bring them together. Bundle number two goes on top of bundle number one. At least the pillowcases get folded correctly.

This is just one of several new difficulties that have arisen for me since last summer's nerve malfunctions. The lack of reach, both horizontal and vertical, has made things as simple as putting on a jacket into a veritable circus act; I feel like a contortionist trying out a new routine. And general numbness from the shins down — sometimes from the knees down — makes something as simple as putting on a pair of socks into a ten-minute exercise, requiring me to sit at some implausible angle while I pull in the only direction I can. Stepping into a pair of shoes is essentially impossible; if I don't come in at exactly the right angle, the shoe is kicked away and I have to try again.

The frustrating aspect of this, of course, lies in the fact that one would generally expect normal function to return after a while. It's not happening for me; I'm still having to get around in a walker, and getting in and out of the car is somewhere between indelicate and painful. (And that's just my car; I will almost certainly be unable to climb into yours.) Expecting that things would clear up soon enough, I turned down the idea of a temporary handicap sticker for the car; things did not clear up. I am now having to adjust to the idea that things will never get better, that I will be this way for the rest of my life.

And then I wonder if there's any reason to hang around at all for the rest of that life; the ongoing frustration is enough to make me scream. Already it's winter, which was exasperating enough when I was healthy; now it strikes fear into my heart. I've had my share of falls on the snow and ice, and I have no reason to think I'll survive another one; I just barely managed to manage things after a fall in my very own bathroom, which is not known for its slickness.

Thoughts like this, of course, are upsetting in themselves. Then I stumble across a video of a woman with no arms who crochets with her feet and I feel even more inadequate; the fact that she's had a whole lifetime to learn this does not make me feel any better. (Invariably, she proves to have better penmanship than I do, which adds to my discomfiture.) This is about the time I usually cry "I hate my life!" Tween girl wail that it is, it nonetheless fits me perfectly.

About a month from now, I begin seeing a Geriatric Psychologist. (That is, I'm the geriatric; judging by the one video I saw, she's half my age, maybe.) I honestly don't know what to tell her, other than to recount these incidents and to try not to cry.

The Vent

  9 January 2017

 | Vent menu | E-mail to Chaz

 Copyright © 2017 by Charles G. Hill