So I had found my joints becoming increasingly stiff and my mobility more and more impaired by the return of the dreaded arthritis as I mentioned a few days back. I managed to make an emergency appointment with a rheumatologist at our local hospital and he prescribed a new drug, sulfasalazine, and a course of steroids. Sulfasalazine, much like the methotrexate I took until it started doing nasty things to my liver, can only be taken if a blood test proves satisfactory, and further tests have to be taken fortnightly. The first test having proved OK, I started on sulfasalazine and the steroid on Friday evening. Even on Saturday morning I could see and feel the difference. For a start, I was no longer walking like an emperor penguin! Two days farther down the line and things are still getting better.
I would love to share my pleasure at this improvement
with the Old Bat but am very reluctant to say anything remotely like,
"Look how much better I am" for fear of rubbing her nose in the fact
that she has no chance of gaining more mobility. What she can look forward to
is a steady decline in mobility. But that fact alone means it is so
important that I retain my abilities, such as they are, for as long as I
can. Things are beginning to slide a bit, especially in the garden.
The Old Bat can do nothing out there now and she always enjoyed
pottering around weeding, trimming and generally keeping the garden in
good shape. My contributions were restricted to mowing the grass,
trimming the hedge, and the vegetable garden - but
there is no way I can control the entire plot. I have not yet told the
Old Bat my plans, which involve allowing some of the borders to grass
over to save on the weeding.
Now, this next bit might strike you
as a wallow in self-pity. But believe me, it's not that. It is a
simple statement of fact - and, perhaps, a plea for any who read this
blog to bear in mind that a condition which afflicts one person can have
an almost equally devastating effect on that person's partner. Let me
give you an example. Near our holiday home in France are several
delightful way-marked walks along green lanes and footpaths and we had
sampled some of these. There are still a good many which we have never
tried since the Old Bat started finding walking difficult. Now neither
of us ever will.
And then a few years ago we were in the Piazza
dei Miracoli in Pisa. There were few people about and a very short
queue to ascend the Leaning Tower. "You go up," said the OB. "I'll
wait here." But how could I leave her standing there for half an hour,
waiting while I enjoyed myself?
Now where was I? I was interrupted and lost my thread. Oh yes...
, as I said earlier, don't think this is me wallowing in self-pity. I
only used those examples because I know about them. My point is simply
this. When you see a person being pushed along in a wheelchair or a
blind person leaning on the arm of a sighted guide, by all means give
them your sympathy: they almost certainly won't want your pity. But
please spare a thought for the person behind the wheelchair and the
sighted guide. The chances are that their lives have been drastically
altered as well.
Spring? Huh! We're snowed in again. Actually, the drive - for once - is clear, having been scoured by the wind but there is a covering of a couple of inches with drifts up to 12 or 15 inches. After her experience of ice-balls under her paws yesterday, I fully expected that Fern, the springer spaniel, would decline the offer of a walk but, no, she was up for it and thoroughly enjoyed romping in the snow-covered park. Being out and about allowed me to check the state of the roads. We (or I) need to go shopping and while I can get the car up the drive I'm not sure about getting back up the hill again. I've just checked the bus company's web site and they have no buses on the road. Methinks another long walk will be called for.