Sunday, March 06, 2005

best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men

The Scottish poet, Robert Burns once penned, “The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men Gang aft agley.”  Throw MS into the mix and it’s almost a guarantee.


Friday I even tried to stack the deck in our favor by bringing Patti home in the early afternoon for a long afternoon nap. Our daughter was performing that evening with her high school drama group.  We wanted to try to include Patti but she would need to stay up long past her desired early bed time if she wanted to attend. The extra rest in theory should provide an edge.


Instead following her nap Patti just fell apart physically loosing all strength in her legs and was unable to assist with any transfer from bed to wheelchair or shower or car or whatever. 


Patti and I struggled for too long and I only managed to hurt my own back. At the 11th hour I had to abort the plan. I did manage to change her, clean her up, start to launder her bed linen, clothes, and wrestle her into the car and back to the care facility. There in the land of lifts and multiple staff such a problem IS NOT a problem.


It's hard to read Patti. More than just physically weakened she seemed mentally and emotionally detached. That we even had been trying to attend Megan’s event didn’t seem to connect. She just wanted to watch some TV and go to bed.


Though late for the show, fate got me there in time to catch Megan’s scenes. The high school drama group put on a smorgasbord of live theatre versus a single play. It was an interesting and creative evening with a collage of scenes and acts from a variety of plays ranging from Shakespeare to modern theatre. Megan performed as Gwendolen in an act from Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”.


At the end of the evening I did check back with Patti’s nurses station and they informed me that shortly after Patti returned they got her into bed using the Hoyer sling lift and she had been sleeping soundly ever since.


In the transitional time it is easy to forget how physically demanding and difficult daily home caregiving was, and how unpredictable MS is. It is easy to become lulled into a more traditional pace of life and activities. When trying to include Patti in activities I find it increasingly challenging. I can’t really be sure if the problem is she is progressing or my caregiver skills are rusty, or both. … Or simply The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men Gang aft agley.”


  1. You seem so stretched!  Please take care of yourself and find time for yourself!!!

  2. I'm sure your caregiving skills have not deminished.  However you are not superman.  A disapointment like this can make us all question ourselves.  Do take care of yourself.  We understand!!!!!


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