Friday, June 18, 2004

Jubilee Day

Living with MS unquestionably restricts what you do as a family. Oh sure there are ADA guidelines enabling access, however accessibility often is not the ONLY concern. Everything and anything has to be viewed and reviewed from a caregiver’s eyes.

The town we live outside of, Mechanicsburg, swells in population from 9,000 residents to 60,000 visitors to celebrate Jubilee Day with a street fair that city organizers claim to the be the “largest one day street fair east of the Mississippi.” A few city blocks become a packed sea of humanity and vendors. Basically the capacity of a stadium packed into a couple city blocks.

Like any all day outdoor event held in June in the Mid Atlantic region, heat, humidity, and thunderstorms tend to dominate the day. These same three factors are nightmares for living with MS. Heat and humidity can reduce Patti to mush within minutes and thunderstorms are not easily dodged in a wheelchair.

Until I finally attended yesterday (without Patti) I also never quite grasped the magnitude of crowd size. A person in a wheelchair most likely could see nothing simply due to crowd height and how packed in everyone was. Over a 4 hour period I saw not one wheel chair and only two brave souls in scooters on the perimeter of the crowds

While I certainly enjoyed myself, I was so glad I had always let common sense prevent me trying to take Patti in the past. It would have been “MS Hell”! Even though it has been three months since Patti entered her care facility, I still can’t avoid looking at the environment around me with caregiver’s eyes.  Or maybe it's just always a bit of wondering, what if ...

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