I can't _____ [an MS rant]

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/10/04 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/10/04/10219770.aspx

All personal stuff, MS stuff, iBot stuff. Skip as needed....

I can't snowboard anymore.

I really only did it a couple of times, and honestly I usually preferred to just ski if I was going to be on the slopes. But still, I can't do it anymore

I can't ski anymore.

Skiing is something I genuinely miss. I miss it enough that the mitigatory methods I can use to go down the hill feel like e hollow echoes of what once was. A few people now and again have almost convinced me to try it -- heavy emphasis on the ALMOST. I was really little more than a very advanced amateur. But I owned it. Well, at least until I didn't.

I can't run anymore.

I used to run fairly often. It was a great way for me decompress if I was angry or frustrated or in any way keyed up. Sometimes I wonder hoe I get rid of all that baggage now. I guess I just blog now instead. But I think running was more fun.

I can't perform Neurodiagnostic tests like EEG/Evoked Potentials or Cerebrovascular tests like Carotid Doppler studies anymore.

Something I did when I was young, I had a specialty in both intra-operative tests (unconscious victims but fine motor skills required) and pediatric tests (I had a "no chloroform" role since it could hurt the test results; this meant I had to be able to charm small children enough to paste electrodes to their heads with collodion, a noxious scent in the best of circumstances!). I still have the charm, but the fine motor skills are beyond me.

I can't draw blood anymore.

Once upon a time I used to do phlebotomy and as certified to do so, in fact. It was a sideline, working for neurologists and neurosurgeons and sticking needles in those kids to check their Dilantin levels. Luckily the charm still holds, but unluckily I can't palpate a vein or properly place the needle even if I could.

I can't ice skate or roller skate anymore.

Not that I did either professionally, but it was fun to do. Ain't gonna happen now, because....

I can't balance myself anymore.

I remember the first day I felt out of control. I was just coming out of Suz's 2nd floor apartment, and halfway down the stairs I was just barely able to keep from falling the rest if the way. This "acute onset" feature has been a part of my life for over a decade.

I can't skateboard anymore.

Never something I was a superhero doing, but I could do an Ollie and all manner of flips, and grinding was not beyond me. To this day, when I pass by the many "skateboard punks" of Seattle who will say the iBot is "so tight that it's sick!" I can either deferentially point out that there was no way I could do a heelflip with it, or with false bravado say that they if I had my custom board I could do a kickflip that would blow their minds.

I can't walk anymore.

This took a lot longer to happen, and was long obviated by using a cane. But it is something where having trouble balancing simply got worse and worse....

I can't dance anymore.

During my senior year of high school, I had an epiphany about how lame one's dancing is if one is never trained in how to do it. So I took dance lessons, and after quite a few I could foxtrot and waltz and swing dance and mashed potato and salsa and meringue and twist and tango and so on. Until eventually I couldn't. In some ways I miss, a skill that I trained at so hard, the most. A victim of my new clumsiness.

I can't write with pen or pencil anymore.

My handwriting has never been stellar, but it has been steadily getting worse -- one of my earliest symptoms. Now it's so awful that even for simple events like the blind auction for charity at Seattle Works SWANK I could barely scrawl out my my bid number. I joked that next year I'd bring a pricing gun, but who am I kidding? I couldn't aim something like that. Next year I'll just have to talk to someone in Seattle Works about how to make it work...

I can't type fast (or at all) without software assistance anymore

Another sideline was transcription, and when I think bout the steady and measurable decline of skill from a high point of 180 words a minute with no errors to 20 words a minute with 5-6 errors, it's never clearer in my mind that this is a degenerative illness.

I could could go on, but you get the point.

This random assortment of things that for either personal or professional reasons I can't do anymore are basically just the price of my disease.

Some of these problems, I overcome with the iBot, while other parts I overcome with computer software.

But MS has had its price....

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