I was just dropped off at my home in hundred degree weather. I’ve come from an infusion, a welcome quiet two hours once a month where I sit and allow my disease modifying drugs to drip drip drip into my veins. No side effects, no real irritation barring the occasional person answering his cell phone in the infusion room or a too loud television tuned to a cake decorating competition. I am sitting outside the door of my condo. After multiple tries to get the key in the lock with arms heavy from the heat and legs that can no longer stand. I need to work. I need to get inside. But first I need to muster the energy to stand up and get the key in the fucking lock.
|Is it, doormat? Is it?|
This summer has been pleasantly cool so far. Cool is relative, of course. Mid 80s isn’t cool, but it is reasonably doable all things considered. I can manage a walk from the house to the curb in 85° heat. Today is something else entirely. Remember playing hot lava as a kid? My current movements bring it to mind, except now the lava presses in from every angle. I move from fence to sign post to parked car with the desperation of a small child trying not to touch the floor but with fewer shrieks of delight. I grasp my way across the sidewalk, praying I don’t hit hit the asphalt.
I made it to my knees just long enough to get the key in the lock. I turned the key and nothing happened. It turned a little harder–still nothing. I hoisted myself back up high enough to have a little more leverage, turned again, and the door opened. I have now crawled inside and I’m wondering how to get the key out of the door. Do I call my upstairs neighbor? Nope. I just remembered he’s out of town. I know I won’t sit here all day long, but it sure feels like it.
MS is an exercise in learning one’s limitations, adapting, and often surrendering. In the heat, there’s no choice but to surrender. There’s very little to be done. Because I participated in the MS Walk, I was sent a shitty little fan to plug into my cell phone for cooling purposes. It works about as well as someone blowing into my face. I have a cooling belt somewhere. It looks like the supports warehouse workers wear and can be filled with little ice packs. It lasts about 20 minutes in heat like this, and it’s too unwieldy for everyday wear. There are very fancy cooling vests (all very stylish I assure you), but I gave up vests in the late 80s.
So now I surrender, lying back on the cool floor of my condo, awaiting the energy to stand. To walk. To work.
I just stood on my first try. I walked 8 feet to the kitchen counter where I now sit wishing the glass in front of me had more than two sips of water in it. I’ll make it to the fridge to refill eventually.