Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Press P for Panic

At this stage of illness, I've gotten pretty accurate at estimating how much energy I need to complete one of life's basic activities, and whether I have enough fuel in my tank to pull it off.

There are really only four stations in my apartment that I use for sitting —the sofa, the bed, my desk and the toilet— and much of my time is spent calculating whether I have enough energy to move from one station to the other.

Like, I just spent a good 30 minutes building up strength to move from the sofa to my desk, which is only about five feet away.

Pathetic, eh?

It's a bit more complicated that it may appear. My sofa —actually a loaner futon that showed up at my doorstep for the holidays— slopes downward, as if its intent is to swallow you whole. As soon as you plop down, your butt starts to slide toward the floor, and standing erect from the floor requires a good investment of wind.

If I ever found myself on the floor and unable to move on my own, I have a button-like device on my wrist that I can press to tip off three of my friends and a service based in Massachusetts about the crisis. In theory, this gadget —its name is LifeLine— should work swimmingly. We'll see about that. I've been wearing the gizmo more than an week and I'm surprised I haven't triggered the alarm by accident yet.

And speaking of accidents: This morning I had an incident that probably should be declared hands-off for blog fodder but I'm gonna share it anyhow. By basking in humiliation, maybe I can set an example for Tiger Woods.

I was slouching on the sofa with the fibers of my jammies grazing the floor when I realized I had been there for hours, reading, napping and feeding myself my medicine and Isosource.

And I needed to pee.

Thing was, I didn't quite have the strength to achieve liftoff. I mulled over the best course of action to take. Should I just continue napping, hoping the urge to pee will pass? Should I move toward the bathroom by scooting my butt on the carpet rather than walk? Should I press that LifeLine button and throw three of my friends and an office of innocent workers in Massachusetts into a panic?

Reader, I checked the "Continue napping" box.

Of course the inevitable happened. Only about half of my bladder's yield made it to the bowl; the rest soaked my jammies and splattered on my leg.

If any former classmates from Mrs. Kios' English class at Sierra Elementary School in Lancaster, Calif., are reading this: well, Paul hasn't changed much.


  1. I remember that day at Sierra Elementary and if anybody has anything to say ... I will take care of it. At least it is not as bad as what I did when we moved into the house on Evergreen Drive in North Tonawanda! Remember that??

    Love ya

    Mike (the brother)

  2. It happened to me in first grade at No. 1 School (is there an emoticon for "blush"?) -- Marvin

  3. Is this going to be a pi--ing contest now? Remember, the elderly tend to have issues with this issue, so... Paul, the laundry always gets done, and the jammies get clean. Don't worry about such stuff,,, who cares anyhow? I could tell stories, but I won't.. I remember you guys when you were, ah we won't go there............love ya AMA

  4. Made me laugh and cry at the same time, Paul.

    Kim Krask

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