A little background: DM damages the proximal muscles: arms, shoulders, hips, buttocks, and legs. I had begun using a plastic stool to help me push up from the ground when shovelling our multi-cat household's litter boxes. Soon, that too became next to impossible.
I was kneeling in front of the litter box, my right leg cramping against my chest. The left leg didn't hurt that much...at least until I tried to unpin it from the ground. I pulled the stool in front of me and pushed with all my might. Nothing. I tried again, leaning forward as I attempted to push myself high enough for my left leg to open up under me. But the leg seemed to be glued to the floor.
"Move, goddamn it! Move!" I said as I began to cry. A lightning bolt of pain shot from my hips. I pushed again. This time, I slipped, my leg plopping back down painfully as the stool shot to my left. I yelled out an obscenity.
The stream of obscenities continued as I stretched my arm out, scrambling to reach the stool's leg. Eventually, I managed to edge the stool close enough to grab it.
I squared the stool in front of me again. But my left leg would still not move. I tried again and again. Still nothing. It wasn't long before I began to panic.
"Help me! Please help me! I can't get up!" I yelled, or rather tried to. My ragged voice barely escaped my throat [another DM symptom]. But everyone was asleep, and even if my voice had been normal, the game room was so far away from the bedrooms. It was hopeless.
"Help!" I continued, anyway, as I sobbed. I tried yet again. This time I managed to get my left foot under my me, but I flopped backward, hard onto my butt. I had landed a few feet away from our large, three-legged cat scratching post. Each post had a different kind of scratching surface. I inchwormed myself with my legs toward the tree-limb post, which was the one closest to me. When I was finally close enough, I grabbed the post with both arms and slowly pulled myself toward the steep step that lead to the dining room. It was only a couple of feet, but it felt like a mile.
|Not one of our cats--they're only grumpy when you're petting one of the other cats.
My feet unfurled, and I was standing once again. Instead of feeling relieved, though, I started crying again, this time out of fear of what was happening to me. It was times like this that the voice in my head would whisper, "You probably have DM."
Soon, the voice would be proven right.