For most of my life, I’ve not been an affectionate person. Kim, however, has a normal, healthy desire for human touch. Back in my pre-MS days, when Kim became affectionate, I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t sad when it was over, and I rarely initiated. I would have been content with no physical intimacy at all outside of the bedroom.
Maybe I became this way because the warm, loving hugs I used to receive from my mother ended abruptly when I was five years old. After her accident, she stayed in various hospitals for almost a year, and then she used a wheelchair for the rest of her life. That chair came between us.
Or maybe I would have been like that anyway, because I’m, well, a man.
It’s difficult to achieve a quality embrace when you’re sitting in a wheelchair. Shoulders touch, but that’s about it. Because the standing person has to lean over so far, the hug rarely lasts long. Plus, there’s this, which I wrote in a previous blog post:
If you do come in for the hug, please approach from my left side. If you approach from the right side you may hit my joystick and send me flying. Yes, that has happened.Now that physical intimacy has become more difficult for me to achieve, I’ve decided it’s something I want. Isn’t that always the way? What I used to consider almost an invasion of my personal space, now makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like a real boy.
One opportunity for me to experience nonsexual physical intimacy is while lying in bed, liberated from my wheeled contraption. Our bed looks like a king-sized mattress, but it’s actually two twin mattresses butted up against one another. We are always experimenting with hand railing systems on either side of my twin mattress to help me adjust my position a little bit in the middle of the night. Having a railing on the outside of my mattress doesn’t interfere with intimacy. However, the railing between our two mattresses might as well be a brick wall. A few days ago we removed that railing, and Kim slid over and cuddled with me for a long while, and it was nice.
I need to eliminate barriers like this, because Kim’s touch heals my damaged body and nourishes my aching soul.