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).
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.