14 July 2009
Despite the late night in Cambridge I managed the early start necessary for me to get a lift to the golf club for my weekly walk around with the geriatrics.
My legs are still working reasonably well, if somewhat more leaden than they used to be. I cannot say the same about my hands and arms, they really do get weaker by the week. The right hand, although it started going downhill much later than the left has been far more aggressive, the fingers are like jelly, cannot be straightened and are beginning to curl towards the palm.
The wrists in both hands are weak and I really need the wrist splint on my right hand in order to lift a spoon, cup or glass to my month. (A straw for drinking has become a useful adjunct.) The only digit which still works reasonably well, and which I can straighten, is the forefinger on my left hand – useful for prodding the laptop. Adjusting heavy bedclothes is becoming impossible with my hands, elbows and legs taking over.
Washing in the shower has become more difficult, I can only really manage by dint of the long handled sponge. I can still raise my hands to head height, with bent arms but cannot straighten them, so things like washing my hair or brushing it has become difficult .
I manage reasonably well in the office, largely through voice activation, once â€˜my lovely’ has plugged in my laptop, but handling papers and lifting, even medium weight, books is difficult. AbilityNet kindly provided me a seven hole USB stand so most of my equipment can activate it by just plunging this stand into the laptop.
On the lavatory front I am pleased to report that the miracle of the AUS continues and I am able to pee normally, my main difficulty being adjusting my dress afterwards. However, there is usually a friend who is prepared to accompany me and do the necessary or, for example, at Lordâ€™s I was able to enlist the assistance of one of those splendid St. Johnâ€™s Ambulance brigade. On the whole I find people extremely kind and generous and prepared to help although, wherever possible, I try to avoid asking anyone to put their hand in my pocket for my mobile phone, wallet, or whatever and generally carry them loose in a large linen bag, which makes them more accessible.
I suppose the overall prognosis is that I am getting steadily weaker, week on week, but once up and dressed can manage to lead a relatively normal life with a little assistance here and there, provided I do not fall over, – which I have done once or twice – and then find it almost impossible to get up unaided. So on the whole I would say that my lovely wife and I are managing, but for how long?