Say It Isn't So

Saturday, December 30, 2006



My Tai Chi beginners' class is at the halfway point. We had gone through the reverse breathing, meditation, holding the ball, and bend over stretches and I thought that my left and right sides were working pretty well together. Then, last week, we got into the steps. One foot off the floor with a slow straight leg stretched out in front. Then a curl of the outstretched leg back to the knee and then straight out again with the heel coming back down to earth in a specific position. Another bend over stretch, step weight shift and the whole procedure starts over again with the other leg. Here is where I discovered that I'm pretty wobbly. I find myself teetering back and forth like a dangling traffic signal dancing in the wind. Ever since my diagnosis I had been trying to gauge my position on the Disability scale by standing on one leg to put on each of my socks. Some days were better than others, but I always managed to feel quite good about the results. Doing the leg stretch/kick walk in the Tai Chi exercises, I was feeling like I was walking on a sail boat or atop the CN Tower, where mother earth seems to be in a different position with each foot fall. Still, I feel great about what I am doing and what it's going to do for me. I think of it as a great way to turn the page over into the New Year.

As my left and right sides come together slowly, may all human beings realize that they are not so very different after all and come together in a fashion. Some differences are the bane of life. Like poison to our souls. Some differences are the spice of life. Like jubilation to our spirits. I feel such joy that I guess my hope is that so will everyone else. I know I am a dreamer, but

Happy New Year, one and all!

Friday, December 01, 2006


I'm down to about a dozen boxes. They're all lined up against the dining room wall. That being the chosen room because we had given away our old dining room set. There are 3 boxes that have been opened but they are filled with computer parts. 3 keyboards, 4 mice, some old hard drives and lots of wires. I find this intimidating. I shouldn't find it so because I used to be the buyer for a company that actually built controls, aka computers, for automation systems. Controls being the stuff that allows the Human machine interface. However, this consisted of the engineers telling me what was needed for a particular job, the shop foreman telling me when it was needed, and for me deciding where to buy it to get it into the shop at the last possible moment and for the very best price. So even though I was purchasing CPU's, I/O modules, memory cards, cables, wires, male connectors, female receptacles and gender benders, I was stuck in my office on the phone and banging out purchase orders, so I really don't have much of a clue about what is what when I'm pulling it out of a box. So I procrastinate. I have the same problem with tools. There are so many allen wrenches, screw drivers, drill bits, etc., and they're all coming out of a 200 lb. tool box that I need to sort. At least I know the difference between a Phillips and a slotted screw driver but that's about it.

On another note. Do you ever feel like one of those dolls whose limbs can be removed from their torsos? Sometimes I feel that way. Only one of my legs has been reinserted backwards. Do you think that we are some childs toy in another dimension?

Indian summer is over and winter is trying to blow the house down. It's not snowing yet but the rain is making hard metallic sounds as it hits the windows. I must be finally getting acclimatized though. Yesterday I actually found 70 degrees to be balmy and tropical. A few months ago, I found that temperature to be downright freezing. Sweater weather. So I'm somewhat terrified and thrilled by the prospects of my first real winter in 35 years!

I was soaking in the tub the other night. I used to love to soak in the bathtub. Back when they were all huge and clawfooted. You could really relax in one of those. I stopped doing that a couple of years back because it would actually drain me. I mean I would get out of the tub feeling fatigued instead of relaxed. Someone who does not have MS or Chronic fatigue syndrome might not realize that there is a difference between relaxed and fatigued, but there certainly is. The other night though, I got out of the tub feeling invigorated. So maybe it was the heat of Southern California that was enhancing the dragging feeling. I must report that it was not a clawfoot tub that I was lying in so my head was cocked at a 90 degree angle to the rest of my body. This does not condone relaxation and my thoughts fell upon the fact that my cerebellum was leaning against the rim of the tub. The cerebellum, the place where the white matter was first spotted that helped lead to the eventual diagnosis of MS. For a second, I wondered, if this could be one of the causes. Only for a second though because for the first time in a very long time an actual bath refreshed me.

Tomorrow I start a Tai Chi class. Going to get my left and right sides back in synch. As least that is the plan!