Keeping the body as functional as possible is my goal. I believe that everyone's purpose in life is to remain as functional as possible.
When there is a gradual decrease in muscular system function, I get annoyed. This applies to not only myself, but also to the functionality of those who are around me. Yet I realize this lack of something that is in my genetic makeup is beyond both my physical and mental understanding.
I cannot comprehend what it is that ever so slowly prevents my body from being above average or below average.
For that matter, what is the answer to my questionable status? When considering the physical abilities that enable the utilization of arms, hands and fingers, fascination takes control over the manual manipulation human beings have been blessed with. We have the opposable thumb, which allows us to grasp or grab things.
Being almost double jointed in my left hand, I'm allowed to bend the end joints of my fingers, including the thumb so that it looks arthritic and painful. Yet I have no pain.
I'm not the only one to hold this hand position for very long because eventually the stiffness would lock my fingers into this stationary formation. I'd look life a freak of nature, almost mummy-like.
The right hand is similar, but something in my brain disallows mutually compatible upper appendage extensions. In case you're wondering, I'm talking about those functional hands.
The nerves and muscles in my legs or lower appendages, however, are considerably weaker. I am unable to stand upright. The gradual weakening of the legs has not been easy to take. Going from the ability to walk in an upright stance to using a manual and eventually a powered wheelchair has been a challenge.
I wore a set of full leg braces for approximately 16 years, going from knee-ankle-foot orthotics to ankle-foot orthotics the last four to six years when the full set of braces became too heavy and cumbersome. Now, I merely wear a set of "mummy boots" to keep my feet stable. These boots were custom made to fit the braces that I had to previously wear.
Medical insurance did cover a majority of the boot's cost, but there was some out of pocket money that was required. Luckily, the Muscular Dystrophy Association picked up the added cost associated with the boots.
It should be noted the boot costs were more than $600. Insurance did pay a substantial amount for these medical necessities and I am grateful the MDA did cover the extra amount. It is essential that funding for the Muscular Dystrophy Association be made. Please make a tax deductible gift to the MDA on Sunday. Thank you.
Remember, you never know how the money you entrust to the MDA now will assist those who you care for now or in the future.
Michael J. Henry is a Sheridan resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.