My microwave needed cleaning. I couldn’t see how bad it was except from the perspective of a short person (4’10”), but when removing items from the microwave, of late, I detected the pull of stickiness.
Okay I hear you….”Wait, you have Multiple Sclerosis. Don’t even think about it!”
I knew I couldn’t reach up there far enough to clean it so I stood there and thought about it a second. I have two different size stools from many years ago. I don’t know why I cart them around because I shouldn’t use them, but I was glad I had them now. I pulled both of the stools over to the microwave.
After arming myself with supplies, I put them on the counter where I could reach them. Then I stood there and studied the stools. One stool was just one step and the other was two steps. Logically, I thought I would start off with the one step.
I went over to the stool and tried to figure out how best to get on it. It didn’t have grab bars so I would have to rely on myself or hang on to the stove or countertop. The problem was, is that there was nothing to pull me up with. I couldn’t just hop on under my own power.
I tried to get one foot onto the stool. My leg wouldn’t go as high as the step. I tried again, this time pulling on my pant leg to help it up. After several tries, I got it up there. There I stood with one leg up on the stool and huge question mark on me.
I’m not able to push up like most people. My neurological deficits affect many areas of my body including my ability to walk well and my overall strength.
I looked at the counter and the stove. Could there be something I could grab onto to pull myself up instead of standing there like a child faced with an enormous decision? To me, nothing truer could be said. I was a lost child trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B.
I finally noticed the overhang of the counter and the handle of the oven door. I opted for the overhang of the counters, thinking this is the safer option. I hung on to the edge of the counter with my fingertips and SUCCESS, I had my other leg up.
I positioned myself and attacked the inside of my microwave with zest. Finally, after 15 minutes of cleaning frenzy, my microwave beamed like a brand new one.
Now how to get down?
I started to shake. In my effort to clean my microwave, I did not notice the weakness in my legs until I was done. Contributing to the shaking legs factor, was my fear of falling down in getting off the stool. Don’t get me wrong, I was damn proud of myself for having accomplished what I had set out to do, but I often leap then look when I make decisions based on my absolute need to get something done.
I looked down at the floor which seemed about a mile down. I truly was terrified and having shaking legs was not helping me at all. Would my fingertips hanging onto the counter be enough to balance a light landing, or would I come crashing down? Well, I couldn’t just stand there all day shaking, now could I?
I held on to the counter as tight as I could and hoped for the best. I couldn’t see where the floor was in my position so it had to be a blind faith jump down. I reached down with my left leg and tried to feel the floor. That would have been too simple. Of course, I couldn’t feel the floor! I had to bend down on my right knee to reach further down. Luckily, my right knee was stronger than my left.
I broke out in a sweat as though I was climbing back down Mount Everest instead of a tiny stool. Bending down on my right knee, I finally felt the floor with my left foot. My fingertips that were hanging on to the overhang, let go without my permission and down I went with a jar.
I didn’t care that I came down with a thud. I did it! I cleaned my microwave. I would have danced a jig if I could have. Instead, I happily but very slowly walked over to my recliner in the family room and sat down.
My Take On This:
This was huge! I didn’t know that I could do this. I wouldn’t do this today, as this event happened a while ago, however; it still is huge in my mind.
What I did was irresponsibly dangerous. I could have taken a fall and with being alone in the house, I may not have made it to a phone. (Yes I know, I should get one of those push-button calls for help thingy, but they advertise it with old folks crying for help. I did not want to categorize myself as a person like that.)
In looking back at this, I still am damn proud of it. In fact, it’s rather humorous. It’s rather poignant that I look at this as a big event still. It’s these tiny things that I do, that loom so large in my life, that gives me the power I need to continue to think positive about this disabling disease, Multiple Sclerosis.