Thursday, October 30, 2014

I do not know why the cage bird sings but I know why disabled people smell (sometimes like urine)

I have been around old people and they usually smell and not in a good Channel number five kind of way.  They smell like liniments and ointments (I am not sure what those are but I know they smell) and more modern things like Bengay and the scent from adult diapers.  Not all the smells are bad, like Werther's, who doesn't love the smell of hard candies?  The tie in to disability is coming and this will not become a rant about old people.  If you live long enough you will become disabled, so if you want to know what it is like to be disabled find an old person with a walker and they can tell you.  At least I think so, I have never talked to an old person with a walker, there is never enough hard candy.

I could end the blog post here with this insight, being disabled means you can't do what you want and you often smell and more often than not the smell is not good.

Of course that is not the end, I love the sound of my own voice clacking away at the keyboard, it is like a red red robin bob bob bobbin along, singing that old sweet song.

The first three years or so it was not easy to cope but I was able to cope.  My definition of coping was making it to work and staying at work for the full day.  During that three years I did not succeed at putting in a full day of work everyday but it was a passable performance.  It was rough and there were many mornings that hours were spent crying in the shower but I did it and there was a sense of accomplishment.  I always get a sense of accomplishment from a job well done or just a good day of work.

I think I am about to digress into a discussion of how I defined myself through work and that is for another time, I must bring my focus back to urine or at least the smell of urine.

As I live the fifth year sick and I have watched how the sick has progressed in an uneven fashion but definitely on a downward trajectory and on this day I admit I can not will myself through the sick.  The sick is now dense like the fog from that movie The Fog and not the crappy remake the original by John Carpenter with the lovely Adrienne Barbeau starring as a disc jockey that was a hold up in a lighthouse that had been converted to a radio station and transmitter.

Anywho my body no longer responds to my will on a reliable basis.  I am a practical man or more accurately being sick has flowed over me like a river carving the Grand Canyon and has whittled me down to a practical man and as such there are days when hard choices have to be made.  The unexpected by product of a deteriorating body is how easy some choices become.

One of the hard choices is you when wake up on Sunday morning for Mass and your body says with regrets you won't be attending.  In the past I have not taken no for an answer and it has sent me into a downward spiral where I end up being sicker longer than if I had just stayed home.

Just an FYI I ended up writing a whole other blog post about a young woman who I believe is going on to sainthood in the Roman Catholic church and what I am trying to learn from her example but it did not really fit in with this post but don't you all worry it will be coming soon.

Since I got side tracked I have kind of lost the flow but here I go again just like Whitesnake!  Other hard decisions are spend time with wife, friends and family, or take a shower.  I think you get the gist of what the hard decisions are.  What may not have been apparent to all is what the easy decisions are.  Here they come and they will tie this all together with a bow and bring it back to smelling bad.

If the choice is take a shower or go to Mass, that is easy I go to Mass.  If the choice is between being present with my wife (not in too much pain) and showering, that is easy I will be present for my wife.  I think everyone gets the gist of what the easy decisions are but I think everyone is saying "What about the urine?", well do not worry the urine is coming right up, no false advertising here.

If you have been around enough old people you have probably been greeted with the aroma of urine on more than one occasion.  I have some insight into this that I have not seen any else talk about on other blogs or websites, that is bladder control.  As you get older everything stops working well including the bladder but what does that mean in practical day to day living?

It means sometimes you rush to the bathroom to urinate and you don't quite make it and urine just sprays everywhere.  In the past I have received some feedback that my writing style may be a too raw and that might be a fair criticism of what is coming next.  I am a man with a lot of hair, hair covers my entire body except the top of my head (I am bald, like a soprano) and when urine sprays everywhere the Brillo pad that is my exoskeleton of hair gets wet and just to be specific, it is wet with urine.  Now here is where the easy choice comes in, you can clean yourself up in one of two ways; you can do a superficial job and probably catch a little waft of urine sometime later or you can do a thorough job and be out of commission for a couple of days.

For a long time I would be out of commission for a couple of days but now I think to myself, self what does a waft of urine smell really mean in the grand scheme of things and you know what the answer is not much.


Above is the end of my blog post but I thought I should mention that I am losing control of my bladder from nerve damage and in a non glib way I can tell you, some days I have no choice but to ask my wife to superficially clean my urine and let me tell you something, that sucks on all kinds of levels, enough levels there might be another blog post about urine but I am thinking not.