Cold Water Splash
Writing without a Script
I had not intended to blog today; my dear wife kept me up very late last night watching a Discovery reality show about the trials and tribulations of a large family homesteading in Alaska. Up until four, plans of early breakfast and much work completed were cast aside in favor of getting out of bed and drinking coffee until the cobwebs dispersed.
The first thing I did upon arising, after brief morning ablutions, was to wander into the kitchen thinking of some nebulous repast. A large sinkful of dirty dishes overflowing onto surrounding verges changed the course of my morning; I grew up doing dishes and my college job of member of the janitorial squad at a large downtown Portland department store had me comfortable with the use of broom and management of garbage. Within fifteen minutes I had loaded the dishwasher, got that load running, swept the floor of the kitchen and family room and set up our dual garbage cans with new bags and courageous purpose. It was time to attend to the morning coffee.
My favorite brew had for years been Folgers, very strong, percolated, black. In medical school I had taken an old Sunbeam percolator with me to my digs, where I usually drank three to five percolators-worth of Navy coffee per day. When I finally developed premature atrial contractions after a year of four to five hours of sleep a night, I took a look at my habit and discovered I was drinking about twenty large cups of coffee a day. A year-long drug holiday brought my heart back into allignment but I have been careful about over-indulgence since.
I have a Hamilton Beach twelve cup percolator now. I don't care for the drip coffee makers which are almost all you can get now, though I do have a Mr. Coffee. The magical ratio of coffee to water in a percolator brew has been lost, though upon asking, Mom said four tablespoons to six cups would work well. I tried that this morning after kitchen cleanup and was rewarded with a pretty good result. Is it MS that dulls the sensation I looked for in the the first sip of the day or twenty years of Camels?
Within the last eight months there have been two deaths in my immediate family. My Uncle Joe, a Josephite priest who had worked much of his life in Louisiana, died in his mid-eighties in the Spring of 2011 and was buried in Baltimore. My aunt Eleanor died in Baltimore and was buried a few weeks ago. She was ninety four. I was able to get to Father Joe's funeral.
These are not sad times. Each of my Mother's sibs was quite old and had led long, productive and happy lives. I can't mourn someone who has approached the century mark with most mental parts present and with large, loving extended families present. I can only hope for a similar end myself.
I am now using Canadian Crutches, the name given to those having out-struts projecting perpendicularly to givee the hands secure grips. Though a little ungainly, they do support me well..
I obtained an electric scooter, with which I accompany my wife on her daily runs. There is much desert in the surround and the little beast does servicible duty along the trails. A full charge is said to supply power for a twenty mile go and our trips in the desert are not more than two. It is arguable that clawing through the Great Unpaved Outdoors takes more power than anticipated but es macht nichts as far as I'm concerned. I charge it fully after each run. The scooter has no flags, emblems or other detritis on or about it and except for the baseball cap I wear I avoid all the old/crippled man stereotypes as much as possible and go on scooting thru the desert. I try to carry a camera when we go out. I have one on my phone, which I habitually carry, but the Cannon digital piece I have gives a better result and can be easily added to my store of pics on my laptop. So you all can see them...
I was thinking a little more about Camp Foods: smallish, calorie-packed, very tasty (which for me means not too sweet, meaty, a little greasy or fatty) and packaged in such a way that no trash is left. The best package is fully burnable, easily and immediately usable as tinder. Only a light, non-odorous ash left after the meal. One thing comes to mind. Hard Salami.
My Grandfather always lept a six to eight inch link of hard salami in his fridge. aromatic, sharply spiced, he had it with bread, cheese, crackers. My earliest memories are full of its' presence on trips to Grandpop's and Grandmom's house in Spokane. All I can say is thank God they didn't eat Genoa summer sausage, which I always have disliked as tepid, soft, very greasy and bland. Give me hard salami, sliced fresh, wax-paper wrapping going straight into the fire. The only down side in my present condition is that a repast of Gallo salami, hard bread and cheese is in no way paleolithic and it is hard to justify. I think, though, that if part of a sclerotic's outdoor adventure it might be considered 'found food.'
While I'm on the subject I would alco consider M&M's peanut or almond chocolate candies. Again, in terms of a backpack, found food...many years ago, on a walk around the Southwest side of Mt Hood in Oregon, I discovered while resting at the waterfall serving as the very headwaters of the Sandy River (two miles up from Rushing Water Creek) that a squirrel had gotten into my backpack and eaten through and into a square plastic box carrying my M&M peanut candy.The takehome esson being keep your treats, or hands, as clear and uncovered as possible. And assume the squirrels will always be more persistant and smarter than you.
Please remember that MS is not a primary cause of death but may be attended by many secondary causes and that we control these, whether we know it or not. MS is not a mandatory death sentence and should be looked at as a chance to enter a new life and to relish it.
A Cry in the Darkness
This is the best I can do, since I can't get my summary published. An early blog of a recently-diagnosed Sclorotic
More by this Author
A travelogue, one I think many will like to read. A young Physician with a new, bad diagnosis, taking the time to travel and talk.
A roving look at weather and some of the drugs I use to make my life with MS easier and more Interesting.
I've been drinking coffee since I was ten. The best of 'acquired tastes', I look forward to it and I drink a good slug each morning. MS has affected my relationship with my Primary Methyl Xanthine.
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