Tag Archives: dodgy hands

Packet In…

bang head hereWhat do Maltesers, Felix Crispies Cat Treats and Wotsits all have in common?

Nope, I don’t actually eat them all, honest; it’s the fact that I can’t open any of them without using Awfully Bad Language.

I first noticed this disturbing turn of events when I had settled myself on the sofa one evening with a good book and a pack of Maltesers.

Fumble, fumble. Use teeth. Grrrr. The ‘easy-tear’ opening remained unimpressed by my heroic efforts to free the chocolates nestled within and stayed stubbornly sealed.

Totally unfair. I got a bit upset before I stumbled into the kitchen and found a pair of scissors. But it’s not the point really.

‘Easy-tear’ should mean exactly that.

Just as I was coming to terms with this change of circumstance, shampoo bottles started ganging up against me. Ok, so they may not label themselves ‘Easy Squeeze’ like Mayonnaise does but you’d think it would be fairly simple to squish out  a blob of shampoo. Not a bit. Some of my bottles actively discourage me from doing this so I end up using The Teenagers’s all-in-one Body/Hair/Brain wash. My own bottles are just so darned hard to squeeze. Must be all the fancy packaging and promises. No wonder my hair is like a bonkers haystack.

I don’t think I’m asking for much. I only want to be that woman in the adverts who effortlessly opens sublime chocolates, beautifully eases out a perfect round blob of shampoo and can open a microwavable bacon buttie without weeping. But then, she has a size 2 figure and amazing hair, so I don’t really get off the starting block. Meh.

My hands just don’t work the way they used to, much like the rest of me. So perhaps I could decant stuff to make it easier and always, always have a pair of scissors handy. But then I would have to furtively snip the tops of packets when out in public. Bit weird. When did you last see someone in a pub open a shared packet of Scampi Fries with scissors? And would you want to sit next to them?

Me neither. So my quest for easy-open packets and bottles continues. We’re running out of Lynx and I’ve resorted to Kinder Eggs. Mind you, the toys these days are fabulous.

Is it me?

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Party Pooper

you are invitedI have two family gatherings in the next couple of days. I love my family to pieces and adore spending time with them. That’s not the problem. It’s the uninvited guest who always tags along with me that’s giving me palpitations.

MS hisses in my ear, ‘you can’t go, you’ll be too tired, too hot, too tingly, too boring – why don’t you just go back to your sofa, have a nice lie down.’

I am an awkward guest now, like the Mad Aunt everyone knows they have to invite but aren’t quite sure what to do with. Chairs and parasols are rearranged in the garden thanks to heat intolerance, guests look away politely as I spill my drink thanks to dodgy hands and my jokes fall flat as I suddenly can’t remember all-important punchlines thanks to cog fog.

Don’t get me wrong, my family are wonderful, it’s just that MS has driven an invisible wedge between us. Sitting in a dark, shady corner watching everyone else bask in the sun is a metaphor for life with MS.

So, I have some pre-prepared answers ready to lessen the awkwardness and make me appear slightly less tragic:

‘You keep yawning, are we keeping you up?’

– ‘Hell no, was out last night dancing on the tables, fabulous time, wasn’t back til 2 am’

‘Hey, come out into the sun!!’

– ‘S’ok, Vogue said pale is the new tan’

‘Whoops, careful’

– ‘No worries, it takes skill you know, to trip over a flat surface and I’m the champion’

Good plan, no? My family all know I have MS but I don’t really want to belabour the point, and as most of us with MS know, trying to describe the symptoms is not for party-talk, it’s a full-blown maudlin evening over wine, Pringles, low-burning candles and Edith Piaf in the background. And anyway, I feel awkward enough without wanting everyone else to feel the same way too.

So I will try my hardest. I will take part in pass-the-new-baby-around, but perhaps pass him on a little quicker than the others. I will grip my wine glass with two hands, as if I am drinking from a chalice. I will pinch some ice cubes and surreptitiously pop them down my top. Above all, I will attempt to leave my uninvited guest at the door, just for a while….

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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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