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  • Feel Good
  • Stephen Dixon (bio)

He thinks: i’m getting worse. My hands have trouble typing. They don’t feel connected to the keyboard. I make a lot of mistakes, and then make mistakes correcting the mistakes. Sometimes I can’t get the Ko-Rec-Type tab underneath the ribbon to type a word or letter out. I have to retype a page ten to fifteen times now to get it right, when before it was only around five or six. Also, my fingers tighten up, and sometimes, but only a few times, though it never happened before, they curl up and get so stiff I have to pry them apart with my other hand. Though if I wait a minute or so, they usually come apart by themselves. Other signs. I can barely hold a pen sometimes. And when I can write with one, the writing’s so small I can’t read it, even with the magnifying glass I keep on the window ledge next to my desk. And my feet feel cold almost all the time now, when before it was just a few hours a day. I’ve tried wearing socks when I go to bed, but they don’t help much. I wonder how long it’ll be before my right foot can’t feel the gas and brake pedals of my car. I also have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Not just the morning. It happens a lot, since I have to pee three to four times overnight. To get out of bed I have to sit up slowly, then stand. The bathroom’s just two feet away from the left side of the bed, the side I mostly sleep on because it’s the closest to the bathroom. It’s also the side nearest the chair that has my clothes for the next day and on the floor right beside that side of the bed are my socks where I left them the previous night when I undressed for bed, thinking I might put them on in the morning. I usually change my socks every other day, but I’ve often gone for three days without a change. I think that’s because they’ve been stretched so much the past two days that they’re easier to get on. When I stand up from the sitting position I sometimes feel a bit shaky on my feet and think I might fall. So I sit right back on the bed and try to stand up a minute or so later. That usually does it. I have fallen a couple of times, which isn’t much in almost a year, and it wasn’t hard to get up again. Though the last time I fell was around six months ago, so who knows how hard it would be now to stand up or get back on the bed from the floor. And of course I’d first sit on the edge of the bed, but not too close [End Page 136] to the edge, before I’d try to stand again. Anyway, I didn’t hurt myself those two, or maybe it was three times I fell. The room’s carpeted—my wife’s idea after we moved into the house, to cushion her falls if she fell, which she did increasingly over the years. Off the bed where she was sitting or out of her wheelchair if she wasn’t strapped in, and once when she was strapped in and fell over in the chair and broke her nose. That bedroom’s the only place in the house that’s carpeted except for the short hallway right outside it, which the carpet company threw in for free. Then walking. Mornings, after I put on my socks and get off the bed and do what I have to in the bathroom and dress, is probably the worst time for that. That’s because, or at least the likely cause is, I haven’t taken the pill for my illness, which I do three times a day, since around six the previous night. So I take the pill while I’m...


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