Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm getting too old for this

If I haven't spelled this out before, I have to pay a lot more attention to what my body is doing than most people do. That includes major things like driving, minor things like scooping coffee into the filter in the coffee maker, and potentially disastrous things like walking down the stairs.

When it comes to our basement stairs, I have rules. I go slow. I watch my feet. I have at least one hand free to hold the railing. I pay attention to the act of going walking up or down the stairs and try not to get distracted.

Sunday night, I broke all the rules. We had a minor plumbing disaster - turns out the garbage disposal was loose, which vibrated the heck out of the PVC sink pipes. The sink pipes came apart in two places. Water everywhere.

First, I cleaned up that water on the kitchen floor. Then I called our plumber friend who said he could come out the next day. After that, I went to clear out the cupboard under the sink.

I had the bright idea to put some of the stuff from under the sink on the wall shelf on the cellar stairs. I gathered up a bunch of stuff in both hands and started down the stairs. I made it about four steps down when my feet went out from under me and I slid down - hard - for a few steps. My sneakers were wet and the steps are bare wood - bad combination.

Oddly enough I didn't drop anything. I did bang my left ankle and skinned both my elbows. After setting things on the shelf, I went back up and washed my elbows. They were sore.

I was a little leery of the stairs after that, so I found a box and filled it with the rest of the stuff in the cupboard and stuck it in the back bedroom.

As the evening progressed, I became aware of more aches and pains - took some aspirin and a muscle relaxant and went to bed.

The next morning, my left elbow was causing me lots of trouble. As long as my arm was extended, it wasn't too much of a problem. But the more my arm flexed, the greater the pain - to the point where blowing my nose with two hands was almost impossible. After a great deal of research during the day, I decided the likeliest thing was that the injury had resulted in olecranon bursitis.

You can read the description if you're interested, but it explained the pain and swelling. And I changed the treatment from aspirin to alleve. The elbow started to improve and I can blow my nose again. :-)

So - within the next week or two, I'll be getting some kind of non-slip material for the cellar stairs. And I'll probably be better at following my rules.

The thing is, no is perfect in adhering to a routine or set of rules - me included. Stuff like this happened to me when I was in my twenties and thirties, but I was a lot more flexible then.

It hurts a lot more now. Gotta start getting serious about "Stephen-proofing" the house. --Stephen

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Unexpectedly Long Hiatus - Expansions and Contractions of Life

I am mortified that I neglected this blog for so long. My apologies to anyone who had developed an interest in it.

I wish I could promise it won't happen again, but it might, because this blog is one of those "add-ons" in my life - meaning I do it when I have the time, energy, and concentration to write on it after having met the core obligations of my life - family and job, mostly.

The trouble is, I get into really (and uncharacteristically) highly productive periods. I take new things into an already crowded life and manage it all joyfully for awhile - sometimes a long while. Then something gives and I have to retreat to managing my core obligations until I am ready to start expanding my workload again.

It's no easy feat. For one thing, there's the "executive dysfunction" to deal with. Many of us who fall outside of the neurotypical range have trouble managing the minutiae of everyday tasks and obligations - I'm no exception. Rather than going into a long treatise on what that means, I'll share the following song that I originally discovered when my friends at the Turner & Kowalski blog posted it:

So does every line of this song apply to me? No, but it's definitely familiar territory. Periodically, the juggling of the absolute essentials can pretty much occupy all my time and energy.

In the months since I last wrote, we took a nice vacation at home with Diane's (my partner) sister and niece. I've only had to travel out of town once - for which I am very grateful. We've had to deal with Diane coming down with the Swine Flu and get sicker than she's been in maybe 20 years - but we got through that.

We also have a new member of the household. He's a three-legged 11-year-old cat named "Oliver." Long story. If you're on Facebook, you can join his fan page here.

That's all for now. At the very least, I'll try to post some links to some good stuff I've come across over the past few months that are relevant to the topics this blog is supposed to cover. --Stephen