Friday, January 6, 2012

Elevators Are Amusement Park Rides

Late summertime '03 and recently dx'd, we took the kids to an amusement park.  I've never been one for rides, but always had a fancy for the log flume.  I boarded the log, screamed the whole way, and was satisfactorily drenched.  The  problem came when we reached the 'dock'.  I attempted to stand and...nothing.  Oh, surely there was a problem.  Tried it again?  Nothing.  The attendant came back to our log and said, "ma'am?  You have to exit the boat now".  I was overcome with...panic.  I remember the way my husband's facial expression changed from confusion to concern to compassion in about 2 minutes, flat.  He bent down, told me to put my arms up, and picked my then 70lb heavier self up and out of that log as if I were a toddler.  He sat me on a bench and took the kids for cotton candy.  A little while later, my legs came least enough for me to make it back to our hotel room to rest.

My neurologist said that, since my lesion load was primarily in my thoracic spine, quick drops may result in leg weakness and loss of signal.  Amusement park rides would no longer be a good idea.  In addition, she cautioned that I may even feel slightly weak if I were to quickly drive down a large hill.  It's as if she knew my driving.  There is a particular hill in our town that my mother used to purposely choose in order to give me that 'stomach in throat' feeling.  I remember laughing as she'd hit the gas in the old '72 Buick and excitedly advise me to "hold on"!  I was like that pig in the car insurance commercial.  "WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"  And think back to that time of no seatbelts, friends.  Not as if we needed them.  I'm convinced that there will never be an automotive safety system as effective and reliable as "Mom Arm".  My car is supposed to have 7 airbags and state of the art seatbelts with every seat.  I'll take Mom Arm over all of that technology.  Isn't it funny how ineffective Dad Arm was?  I recall eating the dashboard, thereby loosening my tooth, without so much as a flinch of Dad's arm.  Mom so would've had me...

I've digressed and retro'd.  Again.

In any case, the log flume and large hill effect?  Now includes elevators.

It's not as if ms issued a corporate memo that disclosed: "effective x/x/2011, I will become less tolerant of descending elevator rides.  When you choose the 'down' button, be prepared for mild leg weakness and slight dizziness."  I found out the hard way, while picking my grandmother up from the nursing facility.  It's not nearly as severe as that time on the log flume, mind you, but it is noticeable.  And I feel a little funny asking Mommom to lend me her walker.  Know what I'm sayin'?

I can't really resort to using the stairs, because I have a hard time on the downgrade.  Sort of how I can walk uphill all day long, but have trouble making my way down.  Gravity is not being kind to more ways than one.

Ladies my age are grinning at that right about now ;-)

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