Tuesday 27 August 2013

Coordination, fine motor skills, and Leia buns.

(Everything I do is done with the same level of coordination and elegance as Elaine, GIFSoup)

Long time readers will know that I have small fibre neuropathy (SFN). That means living with the conundrum that is simultaneous numb spots and burning/tasaring pain. It also means that the feeling in my hands, and particularly, my fingers is not all that great. They are also weak, shakey, and I have trouble with coordination (picking up a tissue can sometimes require Jenga-like concentration). And that, my friends, can get a bit dicey at times.

For example:

Last Sunday, Mr Grumpy asked me to help him trim his hair. A simple task. Only problems being that a) my weak hands have trouble holding onto the vibrating hair trimmer. And b) that I can't feel if I am cutting his hair or not, and rely on sound as a guide. Combine these two and you find Mr Grumpy yelping and grabbing his bleeding ear as I apologise profusely for trying to take his ear off with his hair shaver. Sorry honey.

I do hand exercises twice a day, as prescribed by my Occupational Therapist but it doesn't seem to help all that much. But hey, I persevere.

My squishy brain that I got at a conference years ago works a treat with my exercises.

In a fit of pique I decided I need to do something to try and at least partially remedy the situation.

So, of course, I picked the logical option, make a rag rug. I've always liked them. I watched some YouTube videos. I had a pile of old clothes that I could recycle. It seemed a no brainer.

Ah, the stupidity of brain fog. It lets you live in a happy, la-la land or rainbows and glitter and free macarons. It takes away judgement and logic and leaves you in blissful ignorance. Love you, brainfog.

Undeterred by eye rolls and mocking laughter from my delightful family, I pushed ahead.

Despite continuing mocking, Mr Grumpy enabled my insanity by not only purchasing, but cutting down a cheapo toothbrush to make my hook. I believe this is known as folie a deux.

Aint she a beauty?
(I'm not completely insane, this was suggested on a rag rug site,
 they are actually know as Toothbrush Rugs).

I spent an hour covering myself and the floor with layers of off cuts and threads cutting up old clothes. Did I mention that I have hand weakness? Apparently I forgot in that moment of hypoxia, as about halfway through my hands were cramping and my cutting becoming more Picasso, Weeping Woman, and less straight line.

I watched the videos again and thought I had it down pat. It didn't look hard. The woman speaking was very encouraging. Though in fairness, I'm pretty sure she could have sold me a time share, or introduced me to her Nigerian prince cousin, at that point.

Fool Michelle, Fool. Do not try to do anything when in the midst of brain fog. Stick with juggling the complexity that is sitting and breathing. Why do I never learn?

And yet I started. I stuck out my tongue and pulled my oh so sexy, concentration face. I swore. I pouted. I stamped my feet and shed a tear in frustration. And I rag rugged my arse off. And the result? Well what should have been a drink coaster-sized, trial piece, ended up as well, pretty much one of Princess Leia's hair buns. (Or one of Madonna's conical bra cups, as the men of the household pointed out).

(Real Leia, source)
Half-arsed, Leia.

It seems I may have some tension issues. Me tense? Never. Stupid hands. It seems I may have also missed the part of the instructions that said do not use elasticised fabrics. *sigh*

But dammit I will not be deterred. Not by lack of fine motor skills. Not by lack of brain cells. Or stamina. Or tactile sensation.

I will chop up more old clothes. I will watch those videos again and again. I will study then and take notes, with the same dedication I had the night before my big neuroanatomy exam. I will thread the piece of that old pair of Target slacks, and attack it with gusto!

I WILL make a rag rug, and it will be glorious.

I'll just need to lie down for a while first.

Michelle :)

I'm going to be Mrs Brightside with this damn rug. Even if it kills me.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Michelle, looks like it would make a decent codpiece ;>)))
    Three cheers for having a go, I have so many started in a fit of "post double teabag 1/2 pint mug of tea" knitted items, put down as my brain went back into fogged mode and I lost my place in the knitting pattern! On a positive note, I can usually finish one baby bootee at a time, but not going to make much of a living out of this 'skill' anytime soon!
    And on an even more positive note (calm down dear, watch your blood pressure-wait Don't calm down dear!!) i've got a place on a couple of research programmes at St Mary's Hospital in London, lead by Prof Matthias, so hope it might be helpful to me as don't really have a Dys specialist looking after me -yay!!
    Ps, I cut my Mr Grummpy's hair with clippers too, luckily he keeps it very short so doesn't take long, as I have Arfur Rightus in my hands and the buzzing makes them ache. No Ann Summers quips required, i've probably thought of all of 'em ;>)) xx Tricia


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