Multiple Sclerosis symptoms have “interfered” with Patti’s traditional parenting role since our daughter was 18 months old. Friday was one of those Kodak family moments and I was determined to include Patti. Though the 24 hours prior had me wondering if fate was out of control this time.
Driving in a torrential thunderstorm about an hour from home, our van chose that moment to have a mental breakdown. Windshield wipers stopped working joined by failing power steering and braking. 90 minute wait for AAA, then 50 mile tow to home. An hour ride in the cab of a tow truck was a genuinely new experience. Thank God Patti was not with me. All in all a three hour delay and one vehicle out of commission.
Some how in all this a tooth broke off a partial denture, and of course a front tooth. I never even knew such a thing was possible. Calling our dentist, the answering machine informed me the office is “closed” and will reopen on Monday. Looking like a stereotypical hillbilly and challenged to pronounce many letters of the alphabet, I found a place in the yellow pages that actually could repair in 4 hours.
Undoubtedly because it was the Friday before the Medicare D deadline, Patti’s private prescription plan insurance came crashing apart once again on this day at this time. Trying to juggle dozens of calls outgoing and incoming with necessary offices while running around dealing with van and tooth was nuts (and even unable to pronounce "nuts" <grin> for several hours).
And of course, there was an 18 year old at home who now had to suddenly share the car for last minute needs to get ready for the High School prom and I needed to help with lacing up fancy dress and all that. Plus some procrastinated college paperwork that ‘suddenly’ needed to be Expressed Mailed today! My sanity was saved by staring and realizing like the old Saturday Night Live expression that “Megan, you look mahhvalous”! (Megan centered in the picture with hair down.)
Then we needed to plug Patti into the equation. Van was neither diagnosed nor repaired by the time I needed to transport her so we reverted to the old fashioned transfer board method and used our station wagon and my physical strength to get Patti in and out of the vehicle.
In spite of 24 hrs of obstacles, we were ONLY 5 minutes late for pre-prom picture taking. Wisely the kids had decided to gather at one house before going out to dinner to make themselves “available” for Kodak moments.
Patti enjoyed the Kodak moment and she was unusually communicative. Her tendency to slip into language more appropriate for dock workers had the kids laughing with shocked glee as this was not typical 'parent speak' <grin>
While the young adults headed off to a fancy dinner and their prom, Patti and I grabbed Italian carry out in route to Mother's Day shopping. A total of 8 physical transfers of Patti in and out of our car. Lord, has that wheel chair accessible van spoiled me.
Obstacles and challenges are always going to be part of any good family memory. The caregiver spouse just has to make sure they are overcome.