garmerdare_1828494iI was just reflecting on what it takes for me to live alone, in this diminished physical capacity. When the caregiver leaves at 8 PM, everything has to be just so. My computer needs to be situated just so, so I can touch the track pad. That is how I turn on my dictation software. How I love Dragon Speak. That is how I wrote my book, how I write my blog and how I control my computer to communicate.

I was always adventurous. I remember hitchhiking in Israel at sixteen with a few friends. One of us would try to communicate with the driver, while the other looked at the license plate to see whether he was Israeli or Arabic. If he was Israeli we would climb into his car. We’ve heard about hitchhikers finding themselves in scary villages against their wishes. That only made the adventure that much more exciting.

And in college, when I was uncomfortable hitchhiking, I purchased a 350 Honda motorcycle and would ride down to Key West from Miami to watch the sunset. Sunset in Key West was a happening event.

In recounting these adventures to my friend Sage, I realized that that is how I get through the night. Every night is an adventure. Will I have the correct amount of blankets for the plummeting Colorado mornings? Will I situate the computer so that I can access it in the morning? Will my toes be squished? Will the pressure on my butt feel okay? And the most important question of all, will I get too hot? Heat is my undoing. When you have heat intolerance, you cannot release the heat from your body, you do not sweat. That is why I sleep with a fan schedule to turn off at 1 AM. There is another question! Is the fan on? Is it in the right position? Is the timer on?

I get slightly neurotic as the caregiver is ready to leave, because I know that if I need anything, I have to wait eleven hours. There is no communication after they leave.

I’m really quite proud of myself, when I think about it. My physical therapist, who comes to my home for treatment, told me that I was the most disabled person he knew who lived alone. Was there a little hint of panic in his declaration?

Honestly, I can remember eliciting that same hint of panic from other loved ones when I would tell them of my adventures. Excitement and danger, a interesting combination. It is fascinating putting the pieces together of the Mystery.

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