It might have been an old Batman episode. Or maybe it was an adventure movie where the good guy is trapped. Whatever it was, the picture in my head is clear. It’s a room with no doors. It has two stationary walls and two walls opposite from each other that move. There is nothing in the room except a person.
The two movable walls begin in place, but then start to move inward. The person trapped inside realizes the space of the room is getting smaller. It becomes obvious that if the walls continue to move until they are flush together, the person inside the room will be crushed.
Yikes, I just searched for a picture and didn’t remember the spikes.
In a way, my life with MS now mimics the image of this story I viewed on the screen long ago. As my condition progresses, my isolation increases. The world is closing in on me, narrowing as I watch people and places disappear. It will assuredly continue, limiting my contact with the outside world until I have become almost completely insignificant to those who do not enter the door of my small environment.
Maybe, if I had started out a quiet, withdrawn person, the adventure of this change would be easier; but what a rough, bumpy road it has been to transition from an extrovert who loved to be out and about with people to a life so limiting. Some mornings, I wake with the optimism of a child on Christmas morning, eager for what the day holds. Other mornings I wake with the optimism of knowing I am one day closer to heaven.
I love my home. Redesigned with my specifications in a remodel extravaganza (see the “Remodel” category on the right of this blog), its walls are friendly to my machines and it accommodates my needs. While the rest of the world often presents obstacles, I move freely here. I am also very grateful for the man I live life with. The best part of my home is the one I share it with. He puts the happy in my home.
This place called home. It is my sanctuary.
But this place is also my prison. Its walls, while protective, divide me from the outside world. I’d like to be there too. Often, weather dictates whether I am able to join the world beyond these walls. Freezing weather affects me by freezing my limbs and hot weather seems to melt me from the inside out. So when weather seems extreme, I remain in the safety of my climate controlled walls. Days can come and go by without much activity and I lose track of which one it presently is. The calendar becomes simply an array of numbers. Some months the numbers could be scrambled and I might never notice.
However, there are good adventures I live. People who enter the door into my closing world bring life with them. When they walk in, they bring their world and stories of all the activity there. I love hearing stories and love the people who carry them to me. Creating a door into my shrinking room brings sunshine into the day and places the numbers on the calendar back in order.
The computer is yet another link to good adventures, but that deserves it’s own blog post.
The telephone is another avenue for the world to break into my closing world. My kids call on the phone to share their many adventures. Those adventures are a string of stories that put spark in the days of my life. Through descriptions of their jobs, their classes, their trips, their volunteer experiences and their music, my life stays interesting.
Sometimes, a friend will call with a story about the last week or month of his/her life and I am thoroughly entertained by those comings and goings and doings. Through them, I live much better adventures than the one I saw on the screen years ago.
If there’s someone in your neck of the woods whom you haven’t seen for a while and you think that person might be living a shrinking room adventure, imprisoned safely within the walls of his or her home, go visit or call. Tell stories. Bring the world in to that person. It makes a difference.