I have issues with cold.  My hands don't work properly if exposed to cold temps.  It's a syndrome which I share with my son-in-law. Cold causes them to get bright red, creates pain and immobilizes their use. They honestly become like kitten paws that can only bat and not grip.  All small motor skills are halted until they can regain a normal temperature.  There is not one damn thing can I do about it but wait for it to abate or prevent it from occurring by keeping them out of the cold.

Just a few mornings ago I left the house for an early morning run.  It was cool enough to cause my hand/wrist issue to flare up.  I decided at 56 degrees to NOT wear gloves with my shorts and sleeveless shirt.  Since August was barely over, and I was new to the neighborhood, I feared the neighbors would wonder what the hell is with the lady that runs all the time wearing gloves before there is even frost on the ground!  I also feared they would snap a picture and post it to the neighborhood Face Book wall - they are brutal with one another on it!  I locked the front door behind me as Doug was still asleep. 

On the run back I began to realize unlocking the front door would be an issue, though confident I would find a way to maneuver it.  My hands and wrists were rendered immobilized from the cold as I walked up the sidewalk to the front porch.  I tried holding the key firmly between my right thumb and index finger.  It fell through my fingers, bounced off the porch and landed in the landscaping.  I laughed and shook my head....[relax, you'll get back in the house....]

The second attempt I was able to keep the key between my fingers by utilizing my other non gripable hand to aid in holding the key.  I powerlessly wiggled instead of pushing it into the key hole. Pushing takes small motor skills and power, I had neither.  I felt a bit exhausted from that exercise in pawishness.  I tried turning the key, but unfortunately I didn't have enough small motor grip strength power to budge it.  [This damn lock is hard to open when you have human hands and impossible with paws! I rambled to myself....]

I tried over and over from every angle.  I tried turning it with my left hand, my right hand, my left gripping my right, my right gripping my left.  I wrestled, swore a few times, laughed, got angry and wasted 15 minutes with still no entry into the house.  A small amount of panic crept in.... [Great, I can see in the house but can't get in it!  I have to go to the bathroom!!!]  Sifting through various and assorted cockamamie ideas that came in my head, I looked around to see if there was anyone on the street, driving by, walking a dog who could help me.  NO ONE!  [Maybe I should walk over to Chris and Mary's and see if one of them can come unlock my door.  Geez Nancy, that is so lame.  Maybe I should ring the doorbell hoping to wake up Doug to let me back in.  No, no I can't do that.  That's exactly why I locked the door so he could sleep and be safe.]

Maybe, I wondered while parallel thinking about my next course of action to unlock the door, this is what old, old age holds. I didn't like it!  My mind said this is easy as pie, but my hands would not follow through.  If there came a time when my inability to simply turn the key in a door was not just a temporary condition, I would not make peace with those limitations!  I would go down fighting I vowed. 

After swearing a few more times, I giggled over the fact that a key was involved in this whole debacle.  Did key situations run in my family?  Right after my first husband and I separated, and he moved out, I locked myself out of the house.  With no one else to call and after sitting on my front step for over an hour pissed as hell that I had no choice but to call him, he drove over to let me in.  When single, I locked myself out of my house yet again. I had to call my eldest sister to drive to my house, hoist me up by shoving my ass through a window after I popped the screen out.  I've locked my keys in the car probably a half dozen times in my adult life.  Back in 1979 I dropped my parents hotel room key in the hotel's outdoor swimming pool.  My father made me dive in that pool with air temps in the 60's and water temps ready to induce immediate hypothermia to retrieve it.  I also broke the ignition key of my dad's mustang off IN the ignition while in high school.  And, when I was a Realtor I twice locked the keys in my car when out showing clients houses. 

But mostly I giggled because my maternal grandmother, as Altzheimers deepened in her, had an obsession with keys and locking doors.  It was a fixation that was magnified by disease.  I feared the same for myself standing at my own front door with my own "key" situation.  Just call me Neva June!

After all those thoughts, the inability to get in the house, frustration over my hands not operating, being out of options, not wanting to wake up Doug as he was so low on sleep to begin with, I started to cry as I rang the door bell.  I rang it twice when I saw Doug pulling on a shirt at the top of the stairs. 

He could see me through the side light by the door.  As he opened the door he saw me crying, pulled me inside and held me close as I sniffed my story of immobilized hands and wrists.  [Why am I crying?!  This isn't the end of the world, just a temporary frustrating inconvenience.].  He took both my hands in his and began to rub them to warm them back up.  "I need to fix that lock baby.  Don't cry.  I can't have you getting stuck outside."  With his words I was ok again.  He was all about making my life better, easier, and showing me how much he loved me.  He would fix my "key" issue with ease.  Just a few years back he had unlocked my heart as well.

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