So, I need to get my clothes from the car. I decide since I haven't actually been to the con so far today that I'll take a single spin around the huckster's room, head the very short distance to the car, grab my stuff, and head back to my room. Easy! And I get to touch base with a couple of people.
I sensibly resist the urge to take the flight of stairs down, and get the lift. I check the message on the whiteboard for the party, wander through the hucksters saying a few words to people as I pass, and head for my car. By the time I'm exiting the huckster's room, I can feel I'm struggling. I know the flavour, it's the every-time-you-now-stop-walking-it-will-b
Someone starts to talk to me, I start to panic, caught between the politeness urge of wanting to stop and say a proper hello, and the knowledge that stopping is BAD. I tell them I'd love to keep talking to them but I have to get to my car and I can't stop, but they are welcome to walk with me. I turn my attention to the direction I have to move and they fade away without a word. I both worry that I may have offended them and get angry that they may be feeling fobbed off. I'm not walking well, it should be obvious that if I don't want to stop, if I say I have to keep moving but please come along, it's not a rejection. The same thing happens another couple of times.
There is a group of people in front of the doors out as I approach them. I can feel the distress rising again. I can't get out! I may have to pause to ask someone to move, and if I stop, starting to move again will be so much harder than merely continuing forward motion. They start to move out as I approach, I chat with some of them briefly as we go, get asked what's wrong, hit them with the shortest version, keep moving.
Get to the car. Clothes are all together. Yay! I spy the book bag, the one that's got a small present in it for a friend, and grab that as well. As I head back, my focus turns to the present. The guy is in the huckster's room. It's only a sort detour, I should be able to make it, and he will love his prezzie. He's worth stopping moving for. I head back through without incident, he loves the present but can't take it now. I move off, get the lift, walk to my room feeling that I'm only just going to make it.
The electronic key won't open the door.
I have several desperate goes at opening it. If I hold the key like this! No. Like that! No. Then I remember shazgirl's inside! I knock. No answer. I knock again. No answer. I'm getting desperate. Threatening to fall apart emotionally in the hallway, which I so don't want to do... I can't walk all the way back to reception. I really can't. I won't make it physically or emotionally. Damn body! Damn recent emotional us-and-downs!
I ring Sharon... and get voicemail. I don't normally leave a message because it's rare that she doesn't just ring straight back. I leave a message telling her the situation. I'm keeping myself standing, waiting for her to ring back, not even wanting to consider what I'll have to do if she doesn't. The phone rings! She's downstairs. Someone from reception will be up to open the room shortly. I thank her. I stand for as long as i can after she gets off the phone, but have to risk sitting down. Sitting down means I may have to get up again, it may be hard, I may need help I don't want help, I want to be able to stand up on my own!
The woman turns up, I manage to get to my feet without help, she opens the door for me, takes the defective key, and I thank her.
I get into the room and melt into a sobbing puddle of relief and distress. I'm broken. Totally shattered by a five minute trip to the car.
And here's the bit that really sucks. Even if I had not gone to the room party yesterday. Even if I had spent the entire day in bed resting, and that trip to the car was my first time out of the room for the day - I may well have had the exact same level of trouble. I can't plan around this thing! During the party last night I had two instances of a few minutes a piece where I was in agony with my legs. Nothing I can do, it'll either happen for a few minutes or a few hours. Can't plan for it, can't plan to avoid it.
So I want to thank everyone who has asked me sometimes several times a night if I'm okay. I want to thank the people who have offered to carry stuff for me even when I was fine with it. I tend to come across very blase and "Nah, I'll be right, but thanks" but I really appreciate you looking out for me. Seriously. I'm thick and forgetful and don't always realise how far gone I am until too late.
Without the reminders I fuck-up and suffer. I'm still not used to my limitations, nor do I want to grow to accept them - it's only by pushing that I can hope to get somewhere. You people taking the time to check may well save me from one of those meltdowns, because the question makes me re-examine how I'm doing.
I wrote this because I know some of you are worried that you're being a nuisance. You're not. This is the sort of situation you may well save me from.
So again, to everyone who has kept an eye on me. It's truly and genuinely appreciated.