Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Acceptance is what I am working on today

As I mention in my blog introduction (the right column), “acceptance is what I am working on today.”  The interesting aspect of “acceptance” of a progressive condition is that once you have accepted your current state, it changes.

Wikipedia defines ‘acceptance’ as:  “A person's agreement to experience a situation, to follow a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.
Religions and psychological treatments often suggest the path of acceptance when a situation is both disliked and unchangeable, or when change may be possible only at great cost or risk.”

I especially have trouble with the “without protest” part.  As I also mention, living with Kennedy’s Disease is a journey … a long arduous one of self-discovery.  Since "nothing comes into experience uninvited," I must be open (receptive) to both the good and the bad that accompanies these life experiences (changes).

left_hand My current challenge is with my left thumb and index finger.  They are weakening rapidly.  The situation has degraded to a point where I no longer trust picking up or holding objects using those two digits.  Washing dishes has become very difficult because I cannot reliably hold a soapy glass or dish while I scrub.

Like anyone living with Kennedy’s Disease, I continue to adapt to the most current loss of capabilities.  Drinking glasses that are smaller in circumference or have handles seem to help.  Balancing the object (i.e., a plate) on my palm when carrying it also helps.  Change … adapt.

Even though I have figured out a bunch of these “work-arounds”, there are still some I am struggling with.  For example, buttoning or unbuttoning a shirt and its cuffs.  And, my jeans require some strength and dexterity with those two digits.  Carving a chicken or turkey often requires the grabbing of a part (i.e., leg or wing) in one hand while cutting it with the other.  Flossing teeth … getting to the back ones anyway … require two hands.  Touch typing works best with ten digits functioning normally.

I know I will eventually figure these “work-arounds” out … or just end up asking for help.  Yet, that does not help the frustrations that come with another loss of capability.  And, since I am not normally considered a patient man, acceptance of a new loss can never come fast enough for me.

Learning to live with Kennedy’s Disease is a long and winding road with many obstacles and opportunities.  "Acceptance" is what I am working on today.  For without it, I will never be able to take the next step on my journey.

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