Friday, May 28, 2004

Runaway Chair

Picked Patti up for several hours of visiting at home Thursday including dinner and a good old “parents meeting” at our daughter’s school.


Sometimes I think I bring Patti as a kind of talisman to ward off over-zealous fundraiser volunteer coordinators. <grin> It works every time.


I still TRY to include Patti in what is going on. I realize she most probably cannot grasp what is being discussed and most likely will remember nothing. However, my philosophy has always been to approach this as if the roles were reversed. I believe I would want to be around even if I could not functionally participate.


At least the evening had some thrills with some more than exciting moments with a runaway chair. The school has a long beautifully sloped hall that runs the width of the building sculpted into a hill. While pushing Patti up the hall on the way to the meeting I had remarked what a breeze the return trip would be. Little did I know


Letting go of Patti’s chair on the return down the hall, I learned how fast her new racing machine can move. It did not take more than a few feet before I was in a serious foot race with gravity. Obviously both the new hallway and Patti’s chair are well aligned as she was traveling straight as an arrow and only gaining speed with every foot, something I was not.


The chair was only "runaway" to me, Patti was enjoying herself as if she was at Hershey Park.


Finally catching the damn thing I realized you can’t exactly tackle a runaway wheel chair nor lasso it like a cowboy. You can’t stop it abruptly or Patti would shoot right out. An entire new caregiving skill had to be invented on the spot. In the best tradition of TV's The Fonz, I was able to retain my cool and pretend like I meant to do the whole thing the whole time, like some amusement park ride. (Maybe I did?)


One of Megan's school mates was trying to give me a thank you card from the group for helping out the past weekend. She had approached at the beginning of the chase. I heard her clip-clopping fading in and out through the race as she was wearing flip flops. She caught up to us at our stylish finale and successfully presented the thank you card.


I worry about how a Mom so disabled with MS impacts Megan's social world when I bring her along to such events. However in this case, I suspect the teen age gossip mill would be buzzing less about MS and more about about Megan's Mom roaring down school hallways like Evel Knievel. <grin>


How we avoided running over anyone else I don’t know? I just know there are a couple dozen people who will think twice about wheel chairs being slow. <grin>


Disabled or daredevil, it's all in the eye of the beholder. And how much craziness the caregiver brings to the pit crew. <grin> Living with MS, can turn even "parent's meetings" into something unique.

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