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Friday, August 13, 2010

To paddle or not to paddle?

No, this post is not going to be a debate about the pros and cons of corporal punishment. Nor is it (cover the childrens' eyes please) a discussion of the more varied forms of bedroom play ;oD   So, take your thoughts out of the gutter and focus instead on a blue expanse of water. Picture that beautiful river or lake and then imagine his and hers kayaks gliding side by side, paddled by me and my sweetie.

Matt and I are about as dissimilar as two people who love each other can be: I'm 50(ish), he is still in his 30s; I love all kinds of physical, preferably outside, activities; Matt is content to sit at the computer, immersed in a role-playing game for hours at a time. Yes hours (I really don't "get" it...). I am a committed Christian, he is a professed atheist. Not exactly a recipe for that perfect match.

That said, one thing we both love doing is kayaking. Matt is stronger than I am, so it is a nice workout for me without taxing him much at all. And we both absolutely love, love, love being out on the water. We have great memories of kayak camping with the kids, being followed by seals and otters, and watching the jelly fish float by so close we could have touched them. Once Matt and I took a kayaking lunch-date. We  paddled up to a floating restaurant, tied our boats to the dock, and climbed on up for a lovely lunch. Fish and chips of course! (The paddle back to the marina after lunch wasn't quite so idyllic. I think those fish were paying me back, but that is a whole 'nother story ;o)
But I digress. We both love to paddle. And therein lies the problem: the things that Matt loves most are the very ones that trigger his strongest attacks of cataplexy. So, what do we do?

I have been kind of pushing him to try going kayaking with me. At the same time, we are both worried that it might actually be dangerous to attempt it. Will getting out on the water cause him to have an attack? If he was to have an attack, would it be possible for me to support him and his kayak, keeping him upright until the cataplexy passes? If not, would hitting the water "shock" him out of the attack?

I think we can make it work, but I am not anywhere near to certain we can make it work. Matt, too, would like to try.

Am I a bad wife, to encourage him to attempt this? Am I putting my enjoyment before his safety? How much of this is about me, and how much is about us?

I don't have any answers yet, but I would love your input...


  1. Hello, my wonderful sister! How about instead going out on a raft with you and others - Matt can sit nearer to the middle and you can have people nearby to ease him over if he crashes. As someone who lost a friend in a kayaking incident, I worry. You never know when Matt might have a happy thought and being compromised and on the water in your own craft is not a good time for cataplexy (did I spell that right?) to kick in. Just my 2 cents...Love you both!

  2. This is an amazing blog. Thank you so much for having the strength to write it. You both inspire me. Jasmine


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