What are the aspects of daily life that you value? The things that it is important for you to have control over? Where the ability to conduct oneself without assistance matters? Many of us fear losing the ability to control our bodily functions, the power of speech and our other senses. Not sure how I feel about taste, whether in the big picture the ability to taste whether something is well tasty is that important. Ultimately these questions are highly subjective and very personal; in fact they probably change over our life time too.
My constant companion – MS (which ironically is a title we fought for in days gone by; the ability to have a title that didn’t place us into one marital category) – is apparently established to the extent the condition has grasped the basics and is ready to become a little more adventurous. It’s not unique nor entirely unexpected but frankly I would have been content with a few more years of adolescent immaturity! So the battle tactics one is forced to employ need adjusting accordingly to seek to basically get through the day. At this rate part time work will be all I can manage although I could consider a night shift somewhere as sleep eludes me 5 days out of 7; with this posh received pronunciation I’ve often thought I had a potential career in radio or at least one of those adult chat lines which presumably are most in demand in the wee small hours!
Last night I went out for dinner for a friend’s birthday, she’s 10 years older than me and secretly I think my comparative youth irks her. Her parting shot last night was ‘just wait until you get to 50!’ The likelihood of my achieving a half century is by no means certain however we’ll pop that one in a drawer for the moment. We had gone to her favourite Japanese restaurant where she and her partner are regulars. Another friend and I sat back as the two of them discussed the menu together before ordering on our collective behalf. It’s great but whilst you get fabulous range of flavours it’s never an experience one can replicate when left to one’s own devices; I really should pay more attention in future (at least noting down the number for soft shell crab which is divine).
I had forgotten or simply not thought about the challenge of chopsticks; I’ve always been slightly smug about my ability as a competent chopstick user. Even, I’m ashamed to confess, being a bit sniffy about people asking for a fork in chopstick dedicated establishments! Well I got my comeuppance last night. If you’d asked me what I’d be prepared to loose in terms of physical abilities I wouldn’t have put the ability to use chopsticks at the top of my list; in fact it probably wouldn’t have featured at all. But last night when the waitress (on seeing me attempt to manoeuvre noodle or some such dish with chopsticks) asked if I’d like a fork I simply smiled and whispered ‘yes please’.
On the one hand this is an insignificant thing but somehow it has greater significance that I anticipated; in the scheme of things it’s a tad pathetic to even be considered. Of course it’s only one of a myriad of tasks requiring fine motor movements that I find difficult these days. Cutting the pollen stamens out of lilies is another. And yes I could just leave the stamens in situ but I don’t want to! There is a practical reason why I persevere with this one as my impaired spacial awareness means I am often closer to things than I realise hence brushing sleeves on pollen resulting in staining. The signs on wing mirrors noting things may be closer than they appear make me smile wryly these days.
Some thing’s one can legitimately ask for assistance with arguing time poverty or an innate intellectual blind spot (the kind of things that no matter how many times someone explains how to do it you just don’t get it). As I write my parents are wending their way to South Wales from Derbyshire to spend a few days with me. Father will be champing at the bit to get busy with the hedge trimmers as soon as they arrive; it’s a task he loves doing and I would never deprive him of the opportunity to feel the warm glow of his daughter’s affection! I’ve always been a bit of a daddy’s girl but confess to feeling slightly awkward at abusing the good will of a gentleman of 83 (as he will no doubt tell the neighbours passing as he shears the privet). However he will be well compensated with Eccles Cakes and Coconut Buns much to the annoyance of my mother who doesn’t think I should indulge his gluttonous tendencies!