Glass or Plastic?

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By Richard M. Cohen

I am a creature of habit in the morning. I head to the kitchen, usually in the dark, and I put on the television for news, which also leaves me in the dark. That is for another time. After some coffee, I go back upstairs to the computer. A large glass of water goes with me. Water is heavy. My right hand is useless. My cane is an extension of my left arm, so that hand is occupied. I have no choice. I have to use my right hand, as best I can. Often this means trouble is on the way. I have a pile of of broken glass to prove it.

What this morning proved to me once more was that MS can decimate a body, and sometimes the mind is nor far behind. Just after dawn, I opened a cabinet and reached for the safety of plastic. No one cries over spilt water. But I could not figure out how to grasp it. My hand kept reaching for glass. My arm was going in and out of the cabinet. The confusion felt strange.

Finally, I picked up a glass and moved toward a water cooler in the kitchen pantry. I placed the empty glass under the spout but was confused about what to do next. I kept starting to put my finger on the button to dispense the water and then pulling it away. Finally it occurred to me to capture the damned water and pour it into plastic. How is that for clear-headed reasoning?

I awoke from my haze and went on my way. I take note of such unexplainable events, but I do not panic. Why? I am dispassionate, as if I was witnessing the actions of another. If I were paid by the hour for separating from reality and dwelling in denial, I would be getting wealthier by the day. These experiences are increasing in frequency. I ought to be freaking out. I make my living with my mind, having given up on my body a long time ago. But when I am sitting at my desk at home, putting on my glasses when the phone rings because that seems to be the correct response, I am mildly amused.

I am too old to cry, so what choice do I have but to laugh? I know folks who routinely do cognitive testing. I have no reason to do that. I have no interest in tracking my cognitive deficits because there is noting I can do about them. In this house we laugh at every other form of adversity. Why should this be different? Maybe if I end up in a motorized chair, I will drive into a wall.

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