This week has been all about Death and control. I lose control when I sleep through all of Tuesday, but others, such as the Palliative in Victoria and other caregiving demand more and more control until words like ‘allowed’, ‘will let you’ and ‘will decide’ infiltrate sentences. Though care groups are set up until a broad invite, there is usually a gatekeeper, likely the moderator or a medical person appointed who ‘will decide’ if you are acceptable. In Palliative, though the people are employed to ASSIST and improve the quality of life of the person dying, and it is stated often, that would make the person dying the one who calls the shots. Is that something you can imagine? Particularly if there are some senior RN’s in their 50’s and 60’s and see the PEOPLE (they like to call them ‘files’ or ‘clients’ or ‘bed’) come and go, but they protect their small kingdom. So do many others when care giving is involved.
Should I lie here and not talk about my plans for ending my life in a dozen hours and talk about bowling instead? Or talk about the emotions that make me want to speed up, or at least control a fast moving schedule? I live now not because of any care made by any doctor (treatment is not what I am receiving, but pain killers and band aids), but because I pushed myself very hard to live. But if I live, but all that I desire to live for: quality of life, friends, energy, spending time doing things, spending time with those I love – if all that goes away, then why keep tormenting myself?
Thank you for raising $190 for Cancer with the Terry Fox, it was almost double the goal.
Ah, awkward silence means that bowling wins rather than the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what to say.
I went bowling. It took two months, two trips to Port Angeles, planning but not a great deal of money once there to accomplish. Linda and Cheryl also came. Victoria does not have a 10 pin bowling alley as that was wiped out for a condo and business part. Joy, something we were missing, I am sure. The alley in Port Angeles is a wee dodgy, with a bar, but it does have a lane, by the side and I found a large finger ball which weighed about 6-8 lbs, none of the 10 or 12 for me. The idea of bowling is to throw the ball, which is kept on track by back and side spin and it hits between the first and second pin to get a strike, or knock a lot down. If you knock all down on the second ball it is a spare. Gutter-balls go into the gutter on each side of the lane and knock down no balls.
This was a first for me, bowling from the wheelchair and it was hard. Plus I sucked, since it was my first time. Standing bowling I can do, except I can’t stand (the damaged caused to my knee and legs from the Terry Fox precludes doing that anymore). And getting the spin and momentum from the ball is hard indeed sitting down. Yet it is an official wheelchair sport and popular compared to many, as it available without a lot of specialized equipment.
I got gutterballs one after another after another – by the fifth frame I had thrown one ball that made it to the end to knock down pins (9 gutterballs). So I asked them to raise the ‘bars’ – if you SUCK at bowling or want to have fun in the wheelchair use the raised bars which need to be set by the staff to come up on your turn. These are barriers to stop the ball going into the gutter so it is like pool/snooker, you can end up with a strike on the rebound.
I found in the UK, where 10 pin bowling is not common, that a church, or mixed age outing with those who have to use walkers or other aids, having the bars up only makes a game which is boring and sad (who wants to pay to show everyone that you can only throw in the gutter), fun and exciting as even a bad throw can get points. It is used for kids often but I have used it for adults in the UK and USA with positive results – it makes new players have fun, which is the point of bowling. For those who have arthritis, and can’t throw the ball, there is a ‘ball slide’ where the ball is placed, you aim, and then with a small push, it slides down a ramp and off toward the pins. I have used this with adults, particularly those who have hip problems or movement and shoulder or joint pain. Again, it makes a outing for all ages and abilities (the staff has this, again usually for kids, but my policy is that adaptive equipment is not age limited, and YOU are paying, so have fun!).
Linda was pretty consistent and took the lead in both games. Linda got some spares and one strike, learning to lower her knees. Cheryl had the same sort of curve as I get, a slow start, good middle, and then as fatigue hits, more erratic, but she finished well and I think we all improved over the first game.
For me, there was two scorekeeping: what I threw which went straight, and what I threw which rebounded into a score. The best I did for straight throws was a spare (all down in two throws) huzzah! After two games I could throw straight down about 50% of the time, instead of 10% at the start. While the worse I threw, the better the score on rebound. The best/worse was a ball which gripped my thumb, got thrown almost sideways and made THREE rebounds on the way down…to get a strike! I was ashamed as I had groaned with the ‘what an ‘ack’ throw’ and then I get full points for it – bah! Next time I will use the gutter blockers for the first game and none for the second.
I do recommend bowling as an inexpensive group activity which fits all ages and abilities. I enjoy it and enjoy the social aspects as well. Wheelchair bowling is very hard, and I find no cross over skills at all, but then, learning something new, while embarrassing at first, is something good to do often. I would like to challenge myself to do more new things, however humiliating.
2 hours ago