Up Against That Wall Again

It's no secret around these parts that I don't deal well with being reminded that I have a disability. Well, obviously I know I have one - the no walking is a huge clue - but I’ve managed to create a life where there's an acceptable ratio of the Cannot to the Can, the latter tending to be facilitated by people (attendants, specialized transportation) or technology (wheelchair, Dragon). It becomes seamless, just the way life is… normal. However, when one of those facilitators goes wonky, it very quickly becomes a matter of me coming smack up against the Cannot. With which I do not deal well.

And last weekend when my microphone died, the spiral started. First, I talked. A lot. And very fast. Turns out that the approximately 1500-2000 words I write in various places every day need to be released in some form, come hell or high water. So I did not exactly have conversations with others, rather, it more or less took the shape of extended monologues. The weekend progressed and nothing worked - the desk mic didn't work, the array mic didn't work and the Bluetooth worked brilliantly, but putting it on and taking it off caused massive pain and was therefore not an option, after all. As my shoulders screamed louder and louder with nothing to show for it, the prospect of not being able to write began to darken my world while the words tumbled through my brain, dancing, pairing up, ideas for posts, for essays, for the next line, making me positively itch with the urge to write it all down. But none of the things we tried - me and the two geekiest people I know - worked. And if the combined focus of me (who's pretty geeky) and the two geekiest people I know couldn't figure this out, then maybe… maybe it's it was impossible.

Looking back, it's clear I jumped to some conclusions that were a little premature, but when in the midst of a technological problem that appears unsolvable, with really loud pain, a deadline looming and worry over the cat coloring everything, one tends to unhinge a little easier. And unhinge I did. Because the more we worked at it and the less it cooperated, the more afraid I became of losing my ability to communicate. Losing my ability to work, losing my ability to e-mail and blog. Losing my ability to write. Which turns out to be not just what I do, but who I am and the sheer terror at the prospect insisted on quivering on the mental horizon, threatening to swoop in and take over. It wasn't pretty. In fact, my normally pretty good coping skills disintegrated completely and by Tuesday, I fell apart in a rather spectacular manner. I mean, Olympic level.

And then Wednesday, we found a mic that works. And I got my voice back. Which not only put me back together again in mere nanoseconds, but should ease the strain on the people otherwise forced to listen to me talk way more than usual (and I’m usually pretty… erm… ‘communicative’) and I can go to work again and post again and email and…

Well. It’s possible I got a little carried away. Because my shoulders are requesting a rest again.

Will I ever learn?