I Survived My ‘Home Alone’ Weekend
OK, this was my first test.
Accomplish this and Day One should be a breeze.
The trick is not to panic.
You’ve crossed a continent with your thumb — now all you have to do is get out of bed on your own.
You manage it most days — OK, not yesterday. Slight panic.
Remember the mantra from “Dune” (Frank Herbert’s 1960s sci-fi classic): “Fear is the mind-killer.” As an atheist, I don’t have any religious texts to cling to, so I might as well employ the reading list that influenced me as a kid.
I suppose when you’re a wire walker there must be a first time when you set off without a safety net. You can’t have one stretched across Niagara Falls!
I have, though, created a sort of safety net at home: a bath mat. When you put stockinged feet onto a laminate floor, there is no purchase. As with everything else with MS, solving one problem leads completely to another. MS is like whack-a-mole. Because of lymphedema (which, yes, seems to be caused by MS), I have to wear compression bandages or stockings 24/7. So, I solved the slippage problem with a bath mat. It’s been so successful that I wore out my first one and am now on my second.
My family went to Paris for the weekend. I could have gone with them, but then it becomes all about me. Suitable accessible accommodations would have to be found, which takes an inordinate amount of time to organize. I also need so much time to recover that I’d end up doing just that. Sure it would be in Paris, but all that I would have achieved is swapping rooms for the weekend. Hardly worth the effort for me and a severe anchor on my family having fun.
Sure, I could have gone to a respite center, but I had oodles to do.
Besides all the bureaucracy that being disabled chucks at you, I had loads of business things to catch up on.
I got loads done. I watched endless self-indulgent streaming television. I listened to podcasts. I still didn’t touch the mountain of books that I mean to read. I’m now 61 — I’ve got a distinct feeling I probably won’t get to them. It’s the internet’s fault. Before YouTube, I devoured modern history books. Now someone else does it for me and I watch or listen to lectures and summations of books. The internet has even made being academically curious a lazy pursuit!
So, yes, I managed to get out of bed both days. Fed myself with supplies from my mini-fridge. Had lashings of coffee from two enormous thermos flasks. And put both my concerned brothers-in-law off visiting.
They had house keys in case of emergency. But it was a hot weekend and I cooled off by becoming a naturist.
Dressing would have been just too much darned effort!
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