Einstein Said Time Is Relative, but Not For This Relative

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by John Connor |

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Albert Einstein proved that the faster you go, the less you’ll age compared with those you left at home.

This effect, however, is imperceptible unless you have the ability to approach light speed or hang out near the gravity well of a black hole, which is another part of his theories. But for that, we’d still need to hit light speed bit to get there.

The only part that does help most of us nearly every day — except during the current lockdown, of course — is GPS. Without Einstein giving us phased clocks in space, we’d be all over the place. The satellites, even if they’re in geocentric orbits, experience slower time than we do because they’re so high above the earth’s own gravity well.

My own observation is that my able-bodied family members, or indeed anybody else, whiz around me!

I might be in a power chair, but to move, I must first raise the angle, then slowly negotiate the furniture as I turn around. If, on occasion, I need to bring more than one object with me, this necessitates putting things into a plastic bag. (I now need a stash of them like I’m an anti-ecologist.)

Mind you, as I have to self-catheterize, my life has been saved by plastic. So, unless my columns really annoy you, plastic does have its good side.

This entails using a grabber to pick the bags up. I’ve got two types of grabbers. One is a litter picker. We have some of these because a few years ago, my wife, Jane, organized a community cleanup at our local park. Afterward, somewhat ironically, we ended up with a whole mess of the grabbers. Little did I know that within a few years, they’d become indispensable (insert profanity). Now I even sleep with one!

The other has rubberized pincers. I bought it by mistake on that internet thing. But it, too, has become indispensable. I can now pick up dropped pills and other things, including spare change — not that anyone wants that anymore.

Still life: “Grabbers on Bed.” (Photo and concept by John Connor)

But all this takes time — to get the grabbers and put them back, that is. I need at least a 10-minute call to get to dinner. Venturing outside requires close to an hour. I know because I took my first trip outdoors a couple of days ago. Well, it was the first trip since I last went to work back in February.

The battery on my adapted van was flat, as it hadn’t been used for a couple of months. So, we called our auto service company. They’re exceedingly good with disabled customers, and they arrived in a tad less than two hours. Hurrah, my eldest son, George, and I had plenty of that elusive time for a change.

Putting on shoes for the first time in six months was a real foot-scratcher.

You may think I’m exaggerating, but I overheard one of my carers, as they made my powered profile bed this morning, say, “This is the slowest bed I’ve ever worked with!”

I’m exceedingly grateful for all of my tools — but I still blame them!


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Alison avatar


You are Again, sooo worldy wise, and you manage to use words that at first confuse, then amaze...Keep on keeping going! Every time I read your writing, I need to pass on My thoughts...

John Connor avatar

John Connor

Ta - though I think u may have got me confused with a 'wiser' doppelganger of mine in the multiverse. x


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