A very important article in the Wall Street Journal by Anthony Weller about what it’s like to Paralyzed From The Neck Down.
Weller has suffered for 10 years with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.
He describes losing everything…from “incalculable personal pleasures” to being “totally helpless.”
And what’s more, you have to save your chips in asking others for things, because “you’d be asking the whole day.”
“Say goodbye to any sense of personal space, too”–in needing everything, you’re essentially left like an open book to everyone around you.
Here, I can’t help thinking about those moments of personal indignity–in caring for our own bodies–that even that someone else must be there for.
Then, there is the just sitting around and endless thinking…”There isn’t much else to do.”
I remember learning about some medieval torture methods and one involved lying a person down in the space cleaved into the stone face of the dungeon and there a person would essentially rot–not being able to move, sit or stand up, or even roll over.
How long could a person last like that before completely losing their mind?
While Weller says that he used to imagine being paralyzed as feeling like being “encased in stone,” but now he see it more that your limbs just ignore you, to me whether you are paralyzed in your own body or embedded in medieval stone, the challenges physically and mentally are as scary as anything that can be imagined.
How do you keep your sanity, let alone any hope?
Weller says, you live in the past, “happiness isn’t is, but was, [and] you try not to contemplate the future too much.”
G-d should have infinite mercy on his creations and lift up the fallen, cure the sick, and release the innocent that are imprisoned…please, please, please let it be. Amen.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)