The first time he slipped and fell - well, not really a fall but a slide - in the shower, we were in a hotel room on Veteran's Day for a romantic Monday night. I know - Monday and romance don't seem to go together. But you take what you can get. It was a free stay with a free dinner (he's a veteran), so what the heck?
He planned on sitting on the edge of the tub to wash his hair and instead, slid down the shiny slippery ceramic side. In the other room getting ready, I heard a bunch of squeegee type noises along with flopping coming from the bathroom. No cry for help but it didn't sound right.
Water was rushing over him and he was flat on his back. There was a safety handlebar but he wasn't strong enough to lift himself up. It was slippery pig time... I wrapped my arms around him and tried to pull him up but he was wet, slick, soapy. It took some doing but we got him back up to the side and we finished the shower. This was not sexy time shower. This was functional, get 'r done shower.
My boyfriend was just diagnosed with ALS. Lou Gehrig's disease. This is from the ALS Association:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
Note the death part. The totally paralyzed part. This is scary shit.
Tonight was another small fall in the shower. He didn't take the tumble, the shower head did but it was out of his reach. I was upstairs and heard this weird ghostly cry. I thought it was the tv at first. I heard it a couple more times and realized it was him.
He was standing in the shower, water everywhere. The shower head is way up high and he can only lift his arms about middle of chest high. He had some device to stick on the side of the shower to hold the shower head but it unstuck and fell off and now the shower head was spinning around uncontrollably.
He sat down on his new shower bench and I washed his hair, his armpits, his boy parts, his legs. Rinsed him and then dried him off. Helped him put on his pj's.
Falling. Free falling. I fall for you. Falling in love. Doesn't it sound artful? Poetic? I think of a leaf, falling gently to the ground, the air underneath, spinning it round and round. My life has been turned upside down and I feel like that leaf - I'm spinning around. Turning slowly, insanely slow. When will I hit the ground?
And yet, this falling is far from pretty. It's ugly. Random. Unfair. It's a failing, stumbling fall. A fall from grace. From normal.