Monday, November 06, 2006

Caregiving: an adventure in voting

Living with MS as a family we’ve never missed an Election Day. I could ramble on about accessibility and voting rights but the bottom line is that Patti’s choice to want to vote in person makes every Election Day an adventure. <grin> 


When we lived in Maryland because Patti’s MS visual and physical symptoms required assistance she had to be accompanied into a voting booth by three poll workers representing the Democratic Party, Republican Party, and an Independent


Three little old ladies (3LOL) each had to read a statement for each lever, and then help support Patti to a standing position so she could pull levers herself. It was accessible voting hell!


One memorable year … well, it all came apart. <grin>


While Patti was behind the curtain being tortured by the 3LOL she began to fall grabbing the voting machine for support and tipping it over.


To avoid being crushed, the 3LOL push up against the falling voting machine. Patti looses her grip and drops into her wheel chair. The voting machine, now, begins to tip in the opposite direction


Rushing to save the teetering machine, the 3LOL stampede into a voter behind the curtain of the next machine. With startled shrieks now four bodies, in too little space, are bumping into and jostling two voting machines much like pin balls.


While back on the other side ... (since Patti never remembers to set the brakes on her wheelchair) … when she flops into her chair she rockets out in reverse.  Her wheelchair slams into yet another voting machine, rocking it and adding its shocked and squawking occupant to the chorus.


Am I’m watching a Three Stooges movie? Machines are helter skelter, a voter or two are still on the floor, the dozens and dozens of people waiting to vote are laughing so hard that strangers are leaning on each other for support, and poll workers are nearing the stroke threshold.


Unfazed by the chaos, Patti rolls up to the frantically huddled poll workers and loudly exclaims, "Excuse me; I don't believe I finished voting."


Ahhh! There is nothing quite as inspiring as democracy in action!



P.S. Election Day 2006 is a family benchmark, our daughter votes in her first election.



  1. That was so funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I could see the whole thing happening!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for the giggle this AM..Hugs, Bam

  2. lol too funny . :) thanks for the laugh.

  3. family thoroughly enjoyed this entry.  My mother 89, laughed so hard and wondered if it really happened! Jack in his power chair,  Mother who can't hear what I am reading to her, and can't see where to color the square.............. AND she wonders if that really happens! lol

  4. LOL too funny:) good luck this year in voting:) all of you


  5. The giggles and humor, you so effortlessly expound in your entries. Thank you.


  6. OMG! I can just see it all happening, Patrick!!  I bet those people looked forward to Patti's next election!!

  7. I was thrilled the first day I voted, more overwhelming than just visiting the place, but wonderful.  Happy first voting day to her.  I'm smiling at Patti whatever she does, she does it with style.  She's lovely. Rache

  8. Oh, for a video camera of that moment! Mine was quite pleasantly uneventful today. Bea

  9. I think that is one of the funniest voting stories I have heard.  You told it so well I am sorry I didn't find your journal before.  Hello to your wife as well.  I sympathize with your medicare drug problems.  I don't have the problems my poor sister does who had to have her pancreas taken out and now must have multiple drugs just to survive. Gerry


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