So, I’m lying on the floor taking in the stippled ceiling we’ve never changed in the past 19 years. My son, also 19, is now at university. That’s how I can be so exact on the age of my relationship with the hideously slathered ceiling. We moved in one month before he was born. In the garden, there is still some IKEA furniture my wife fervently constructed in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
If that strapping lad were here now, there’d be no problem.
How did I get here?
I’m 57 and have had MS for nine years.
MS is bad enough, but one of its lovely sidelines is that if you get an ordinary illness it catapults you into decrepitude (I self-catheterize so UTIs are more common than colds). I turn into a younger Stephen Hawking — only without the compensating intellect or sharp humor.
It was a slow collapse. I’d just spent three days sitting on the couch and the antibiotics had begun to kick in, so I was having a go at transferring to my wheelchair. Obviously, I didn’t make it. I got partway onto the chair, but slipped slowly down like a graceful drunk.
My battle this night was how to get back to my commanding position on the couch. From there I had full access to the world — the TV with its myriad cable channels, the self-indulgence of Netflix and my laptop. Oh, what a time to become disabled! The information age sure has taken the edge off.
I’d lost my balance for the vanity of wanting to actually sit on a toilet.
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