Tag Archives: Handwriting

The Mysteries of Life

I’ll never understand why I always lose one sock from a pair doing laundry…or the mysterious black hole that swallows my keys when I need them. Among life’s eternal mysteries, here’s the one that puzzles me most: why does DBS therapy nail the monumental job of straightening my twisted gait but is helpless to quell the haphazard game of “twitch” my feet play when I lay in bed at night?

Is utter stillness too much to ask? Alas, my lower limbs still refuse to fully obey me. As for my natural writing arm, improvement is one painfully slow sentence at a time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m the consummate DBS groupie. This surgery literally changed my life. I went from crawling along the street with my walker, sporting comfortable sneakers, to prancing down the avenue – nary a twist – in any shoe or heel I fancy! But at nighttime, Mr. Hyde morphs into twisty Dr. Jekyll. Some nights it’s the left foot, some nights it’s the right foot and calf, some nights I strain to distinguish left from right. 

I look forward to the day when I can enjoy a relaxing recline in bed without my foot doing the twist!

Raider Of The Lost Art

10621963_sComputers, tablets and smartphones are turning handwriting into a lost art. About time, movement disorder raided my “lost art” years ago. While feather quills and inkwells summon a whimsy that appeals to my sense of romance, the coldly technical word processing program eases my burden from fingers to shoulder. After all, with Dystonia even a Post It requires an abundance of effort!

My exercise of graphomotor skills involves my own unique rendition of motor planning: firmly anchoring the writing instrument in my hand, controlling my motions with a stiffly held arm (try writing when your arm’s a tension headache), favoring slow staccato print utilizing a pencil to reduce the chance of a runaway letter. The overriding theme: control, control, control, which is precisely what my handwriting reveals about my personality! Truth be told, graphologists prefer to base their analysis on cursive writing, garnering scant attention over the years and uniquely unqualified to make a searing statement about me.

In my case, the compositional elements that go into lettering – slant, size, loops, smoothness of line – are capriciously determined by the whim of renegade muscles and a confused left hand that’s hardly my first choice of athletes. To this day, I possess an utter lack of knowledge of the proper tilt of paper for my oddly scrawled script. Indeed, this “enforced lefty” finds herself challenged distinguishing right from left absent the instinctive guidance supplied by undisputed “handedness.”

I carry fond memories of my childhood knight in shining armor: a sleek Smith Corona electric typewriter I lugged to school for essay exams and relied on to recopy class notes and pound out homework. I speak of an era before White Out transformed editing, when color typewriter ink cartridges ranked cutting-edge and the apple was merely a fruit.