Putting On Mascara With Boxing Gloves

Ever tried putting mascara on wearing boxing gloves? Or holding a lovely cup of hot coffee? Pretty tough. My last relapse affected my hands and just for a laugh, they still play up every so often and this weekend was no exception.

Like most relapses, it came out of the blue. One day I was elegant(ish) and my hands were just things that did things hands normally do. I didn’t really give them much thought.

Until the morning I flicked the kettle on and knocked it over, swiftly followed by my cup. Odd. When I left the house that morning, I missed the door handle. Odder.

I tried to explain to the MS nurse that my hands were either a few seconds too quick or a few seconds too slow, they drop things unexpectedly and sometimes they’re so numb, they feel like boxing gloves. It doesn’t sound like such a huge problem, but socially it’s dire.

Putting on make-up is comical – I gave up on eyeliner months ago and mascara wands hurt like hell when they’re poked in the eyes. Lipstick goes on well until, blam, whoops, dodgy line – The Rocky Horror Show’s got nothing on me.

Wine glasses are a minefield. I’ve smashed countless. Be warned, never clink glasses with me, just say cheers and nod. All my plates and bowls are chipped and you can hear me doing the washing up a mile away.

If I’m walking through a cutesy, arty gift shop, I have to keep my hands rigidly by my side or ever so carefully reach out, inch by inch, to pick something up. I can clear a shelf of pottery in one fell swoop. And my days of playing KerPlunk and Operation are long gone.

I used to like craft work but can’t knit any more and the glue gun’s been in the drawer so long it’s seized up. I tried to make a Christmas wreath out of paper hearts and glued everything except the paper. The cat made herself scarce so now I scroll through Pinterest and sigh wistfully.

I persevere though. I am going to invest in melamine plates and plastic wine glasses and I will make that wreath by next Christmas if it kills me. If you see it, be polite and please don’t snigger….

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15 thoughts on “Putting On Mascara With Boxing Gloves

  1. SIF,

    How I hate cute shops with breakable things. (Well, I actually love those shops, but I hate having to edge around holding my breath and making the occasional sideways lurch, which I’m convinced makes others in the shop think I’m a poor shambling drunk who’s probably going to steal something.)

    Several years ago, I had a relapse that severely weakened my right hand. Fortunately, it’s cleared up pretty much completely, but I vividly remember the impossibility of, among other things, putting on makeup. A small thing, to be sure, in the grand scheme of Things That Suck When You Have MS, but looking like crap just compounded the feeling-like-crap aspect of it all.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hey there,

      Couldn’t agree more. it’s the little things. Like I currently have problems squeezing out shampoo, so end up with a tiny squirt after several minutes worth of exertion. The straw that breaks the camel’s back and all that…

      • This seems so obvious I’m embarrassed to post it, but I gather you’ve already set the shampoo bottle on its end so there’s less squeezing? Ugh. I feel for you, SIF. Sorry it’s difficult right now.

        • stumbling in flats says:

          I surely have, but not a bad question for someone like me! It’s just random. I have problems with shampoo bottles, but can pop the lid off a Ben and Jerry’s. Maybe worse first thing in the morning – must do the ice cream experiment for breakfast some time. For purely scientific purposes only of course.
          I have been known to stand on tricky shampoo bottle and scoop up what comes out. Not a good look in the shower, and a bit dodgy.

  2. p.s. I do hope you’ll post pictures of the wreath and I promise there’ll be no sniggering from me.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I promise, when I make it, I WILL post a pic! It’s such a lovely idea. You make little hearts from paper then glue them all together, minus the cat. Then, voila, a pretty wreath to welcome the visitors! I will give it another bash. Very creatively frustrated at the moment.

      • Good – I look forward to it (a random clump or two of cat hair might add a little dash of unexpected flair…just something to consider).

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Her cat hair gets everywhere as it is!! I have just caught the offender balanced on the open window in the living room, scratching the rubber lining. I mean, why? There’s trees everywhere. Pesky cat.

  3. scot says:

    Hi ,
    Well as usual , another great post. It made me smile as I was reading it and brought back some memories , some not so good but some rather funny now , of course at the time it was embarrassing. I remember when my hands first started carting up I would and still do get major twitching , he’ll my hands & arms go into full swings . I was out with my family for Easter dinner at a really nice restraint and I was bringing a fork full of mashed potatoes to my mouth ,or at least that was my intentions but half way to my mouth my hand started shaking and then my arm twitched w/ full enthusiasm and my potatoes ended up in the head of a very nice older gentleman who was come to find out with a woman whom he was desperately trying to impress because it was there first date !!! I ( &most of my family) was totally appalled , though my 2 sons & a couple of my nieces & nephews , all young teenagers at the time found it very amusing . Well after saying I’m sorry at least 1000 x ‘s and explaining to the gentleman he was very understanding and so was his date …. I also remember going to the men’s room on the way out and let’s just say your boxing glove analogy is perfect , and I had to leave the restaurant with my fly opened !!! The ” fly thing ” is an on going issue for me , I really wish someone would come up with something to replace the darn zipper on pants , Velcro doesn’t hold good enough and buttons are an even bigger nightmare ! But anyways thanks for the smile , it’s good to remember that MS can provide amusement every now and then … <3 🙂

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Scot!
      Bless you with the mashed potato! And you’re right – we’ve got to find the funny side with MS. How about magnetic strips for trousers??
      I find buttons fiddly. And I could probably spend a frustrating hour trying to thread a needle. Weird how quickly it just becomes a normal part of life!

  4. Donna says:

    I feel your pain, my right arm has a mind of it’s own. Childproof bottles are my biggest challenge at the moment, along with all the smashing of glasses and crockery. I don’t recommend tipping an entire cup of scalding coffee into your lap at your ex husband’s house either. Whipping your jeans down, waddling across the room yelling “ow, ow, ow” and grabbing a bottle of Schloer from his fridge to rub on your groin to try and stop the burning is just a little embarassing :-/ x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Bless you! My biggest bugbear at the moment is shampoo bottles. Can’t for the life of me squeeze them. Or opening crisp packets. I seem to have lost a lot of weakness in my hands.
      And I can’t hand wrestle any more!

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