Posts Tagged ‘ Bathroom ’

Finding Perfection in Imperfections

CL8ENirWUAAb5KZ (1)The weather hints at becoming cooler. I might be jumping the gun a little — it is South Carolina, after all — but that’s only because a summer indoors has high potential to induce, at best, wicked cabin fever (at worst, I imagine, complete insanity). Though still a warm afternoon principle presupposed physiology when Bernie Sanders came to town.

I made it the 1/4 mile walk from the parking area (a recently plowed dirt lot that happened to exist like a craggy red Martian field across the space between the convention center and nearby interstate) and wound to get in through a line around the building. Once inside, by some grace of the living animal that is a crowd of hundreds, I sat and a staffer immediately ran over with a cold bottle of water. I can do this, I thought. This is awesome and I want to be doing this. 

I remained in good spirits, but my words began to falter. The throbbing crowd seemed to spin around me like autumn leaves in the wind. I just needed to make it to my seat in the ballroom. Unfortunately, that seat was somewhere in this:

11896041_10153005969953038_6633555188431079982_n (1)

The room was packed as tightly as possible with people who also “Felt the Bern.” I pressed the cold bottle of water into my neck, chest, forearms. At first it was enough to be in the palpable midst of such excitement; the room kept filling up. I realized that it was more than a shared spirit that linked us all:it was our mutual body heat in a room where air conditioning was questionable. By the time Bernie reached the stage I was slumped into Cat and couldn’t stand or speak. I looked blankly at Cat now asking me questions. Blah, blah, MS ruins another day, blah blah… but suddenly Cat was getting me up and out of the room. In what seemed a blur of the arms and legs of 100 strangers, a staffer handed me a cup of ice water, and another staffer shuffled me into the bathroom. “This is the coolest place in the building,” she said, “The seating is terrible, but…”


[after sitting in A/C for a few minutes]

Within minutes of cold air in a [pretty clean: bonus!] bathroom I began to feel cognizant. “There’s a staffer with pigtails saving you a chair in the hall,” someone ducked in to say. I was able to listen to the rest of the town hall meeting after all, from a plush chair outside the ballroom’s door. Because of these amazing staffers I was able to walk the 1/4 mile back to the car, where air conditioning met me with cold, open arms.

Then we celebrated this warranted joy with tacos from a local carnicería.

A few days later, the A/C in our car died. Cat is, as we speak, tending to having that fixed. Because I am lucky and loved.  “Losing myself” in public is scary, and I can’t be more grateful to the woman I married for taking care of me when it becomes obvious I no longer command the necessary faculties to do it myself. Autumn is coming, the car will again have A/C, and I’m jumping at the bit to start leaving the house more. I am really into this “Remitting” part of Relapse-Remitting MS — once climate shudders off some of the heat, I hope to really get this party [“leaving the house for more than groceries”] started.


More Good Than Bad

Rare photo of me looking up -- I don't always get to see the sky now.

Rare photo of me looking up — I don’t always get to see the sky now.

I’ve gotten so used to waking up every hour every night to use the bathroom that I’ve also become used to waking up a little mad about it. This morning called attention to how unnecessary it is to wake in a defensive mode of any kind — without, of course, knowing right away that I’d just gotten three solid hours, and before the natural body scan that consciousness presumes, I was angry.

That’s no good way to start any day.

Especially when a few minutes into cognizance I can hear my body say, “Oh, actually we’re kinda cool now.”


My route is highlighted in pink.

High-five, self! This is the first morning I’ve woken feeling “alright” since a huge walk happened at the swamp. In retrospect 2.7 miles was a bit much, but I DID IT. My body’s cooperation was unexpected and celebratory.

To be honest, most of Sims Trail was a legless zombie kaleidoscope, but downed trees make for great benches in the forest… and once you’re on Sims Trail the only way out of Sims Trail is to reach the other end of Sims Trail. Even when most of my physical body wants to stop responding, it cannot argue simple facts like that; I knew that I’d be proud when we got back to the car (and I’d then be able to sit facing the same direction for a half hour: best reward ever!).

I am enormously grateful for this amount of physical activity.

I am grateful that we live so close to such a beautiful natural preserve.

I am grateful for autumn, which allowed me to leave the house and sweep my porch for the first time in months.

I am grateful for every Wednesday’s Assistive Yoga class — every week I have taken the ground for granted until 20lbs of sandbags are on my seated legs. Every Wednesday, I feel the ground; every Wednesday, I cry from joy.

408750_10151076227563038_576618541_nI am endlessly grateful that my wife introduced me to this class, and even moreso that it exists in our city.

Beyond grateful — ecstatic, really — that our NY State marriage license is now applicable in the place we live. And what else, you ask? This happened just in time for our two year wedding anniversary.

As an Art


While almost a proper half lotus pose, Lemur does not mean to insinuate the tongue thing is proper yoga studio etiquette.

I fell again like a pro last night. About 1am I woke for another trip to the bathroom and bounced against the hallway walls a little more than usual; I thought only casually of that because my head was throbbing. I went into the normal post-bedtime routine to which I have trained myself:

  1. Enter bathroom: right turn.
  2. Face commode: right turn.
  3. Turn to sit on commode: 2 right turns.
  4. Sit on commode: Align Achilles tendons against the Squatty Potty and begin to assume Utkatasana (that’s Sanskrit for “chair pose,” and Sanskrit is “yoga talk”) and reach porcelain sitting safety.

video-watchIdeally I would stop after steps 1-3 to reorient myself before turning again, but desire to get back under the covers before I become completely cognizant and awake often keeps me from adhering to that little golden rule. This time it was during step 3 that I began to lose dominion. In that brief trice between “realizing you’re falling” and “hitting the ground,” yoga saved the day. Well knowing both that to do a proper Utkatasana one must pull their hips back, and that if I didn’t change my current trajectory it would be a much more injurious affair, I was able to twist my hips and pull them back quickly enough to end up roughly seated. I fell like a queen to her throne, yo!

Do I seem a bit too excited about losing, then consciously regaining control over a body that excels at taking it away? It’s all the toilet talk, isn’t it?

I’ve got more than plumbing plunges under my belt, and they live the expanse between “Even understanding that a fall just happened” and “Getting up and walking away quickly out of embarrassment until anyone who might’ve seen it can no longer see me” to “Making comedy out of tragedy” to “Turning tragedy into scholarship.”

Don’t get me wrong, I do mean to brag — I’ve gotten very good at falling.

  •     That time I fell down the stairs and grabbed the banister to still hit the landing on my feet.
  •     That time I was able to twist my fall so as to hold one hot, heavy bowl of Indian food stable while simultaneously dropping the other without spilling into a basket of laundry.
  •     That time I fell down the stairs and ruptured my Achilles tendon two nights before flying to NYC and walking the town with my brand new wife.
  •     That time I never stopped waving “hello” as I went down.

    There’s a time and a place for everything and it’s called “college.”

  •     That time I plunged spread-eagle and ended facing an inexplicable direction during the lunch rush of a cafe I worked at and the whole restaurant got quiet.
  •     That time my ex saw me fall in the street and instead of helping me back up, walked away laughing.
  •     That time I fell flat-backwards off a 4′ concrete pillar onto cobblestones.
  •     That time the stairs beside said pillar were iced over and I flew in the air just to have all 300lbs of me land directly on their jutting edges.

Those stories and more should earn me professorship at the school of hard knocks. I can’t not laugh at myself when it happens in public now — even if it hurt, a chuckle takes any maudlin out of the situation for both myself and innocent onlookers. Last night’s fall was a success, not just a misfiring of neurons –even alone I can cachinnate, but this time in victory instead of discomfiture.


;hfxjgSo while I am starting another day this week with a PT cancellation, when I went yesterday I scared the heck out of a tech when careening  backwards during an exercise I’d seemed to have mastered weeks ago. Today I would need, and don’t quite feel safe, to drive. My legs ache and I can’t just spirit away the fatigue. My goal today is not to spend the entire thing in bed — I felt perky enough to go to assistive yoga after PT, but went to bed nearly in tears when my spoons ran out too soon. Then there was a poorly-executed fall in the bathroom (SURPRISE: it involved a toilet) and my ribcage was its tender victim.*


This is proudly owned by me.

But the new t-shirt I got in the mail was a hit both at PT and yoga. My best friend sent a birthday package that happened to arrive Tuesday, when things this week were at their worst. It contained the t-shirt you see here, and wearing it was an enjoyable irony while I floundered through a day.

I can’t regret yesterday’s physical activity — upon waking and detecting muscles I didn’t previously know could be summoned it’s at least as exciting as I am exhausted. An added benefit of this wicked-awesome new t-shirt is that it swims on me in a size I would have not long ago found tight; after 30 years of obesity I still cannot get over the joy of having left that particular part of myself behind.

Celebration of new muscles being defined will hopefully help spur completion of the many home-related tasks which have gone to pot this week. ZOMG, abs!

(Focus on those abs and git ‘er done, self.)

* frying pan burns to the leg and toilet-to-ribcage injuries are entertaining new editions to the anthology of falls that I clearly need to write.

The Two-Step: A Peculiar Vignette

122708_fsmAround 3am last night I woke, rolled upright out of bed, turned to the right twice to go into the bathroom and another step: I suddenly feel no right foot as simultaneously there is an unnatural smash into the tile. It was waves of searing middle-of-the-night befuddlement but I was only four more steps from the toilet so I took another step. Left foot, normal; my right foot felt missing and my ankle on fire, so I grabbed the nearest wall and hopped to the porcelain throne. I must have “hollered” to wake wife and pets alike. It was something I had no other way of explaining than to say, groggy, that my foot hadn’t simply gone numb it was abruptly not there. Convening assembly on the commode I saw my foot was there, so I took ibuprofen and went back to bed. Today the injuries reflect the direction in which my foot must’ve suffered blows. I never know when something like this happens if I’m supposed to alert a physician. I’m betting I might want to, since punching one’s foot into the floor with strength enough to (maybe) break something is an issue.

“But a good day’s a good day no matter what.”

“Some days are good, some days are bad and some days don’t happen at all.”

Today is one of the latter. I’m not back to the urologist for a month… and two weeks seems a lot to be “as little as” waiting for the Toviaz; one apt example of my aggravation is standing up, and before reaching the bathroom door I had just entered moments before, needing to turn back around and go to the toilet again. I’m in my early thirties and have had no children so you can see how I’d consider this behavior redunk even from the Pentagon.

potty-trainingThat being said, I have been able to get much less sleep than I’d normally like. That means increased asthenia and fatigue — even still, I washed the dishes, cooked an easy meal, showered and hung up laundry.

  • I am grateful for the things I did get to do because even boring idle chores are more interesting than laying down all day.
  • I am grateful for a working computer with a working internet connection.
  • I am grateful for
  • I am grateful that my latest artwork series finally solidified itself.
  • I am grateful for Cowboy, who has little issue staying beside me on the bed for hours.
  • I am grateful for my wife, who totally married me.
  • I am grateful for a cooked meal on the stove.
  • I am grateful for clean dishes.
  • I am grateful for the vision I maintain. Actual vision, not the pretentious artsy kind.
  • I am grateful to have finally put pride behind me so that I could put a cane in my hand. Wow, it helps.

spoons soviet 002And I am grateful that I could — even on an otherwise “Nothing at All” kinda day — pull 10 things out of the air that show off all the clouds’ silver linings. I used to be the kind of person who wouldn’t even say something so corny as a joke, but I also used to be a very unhappy person. Now instead of gagging me with a spoon, I proffer simply putting more in my back pocket. Soon my wife will be home from work and a few hours after that I will try sleeping again. I also hope to foresee a future wherein I will not need to blog about “downstairs” issues so much… you cross your fingers and I’ll keep crossing my knees!

Meanwhile, what are the ten things you’re grateful for today?

Cold Showers Needed

A girl can dream.

A girl can dream.

When I shower everything in me says “stand under that hot water as long as you want because omg it feels so good.” When I get out of the shower, I will spend at least the next hour vomitously dizzy. I do this to myself every time; I choose the more familiar even if it is uncomfortable. After all, it’s familiar. That shower feels amazing on a cold day and even on nauseated stilts I managed to get lunch in the oven and make another 4 shots of espresso for the day.

My wife spent the nearly three hours (3ish-5:30ish) of my nighttime waking watching the Sopranos with me. Now she is off teaching her first class of the day and I am upstairs working. Really.

I gotta get to work.