Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Caregiving: family outing

Multiple Sclerosis may shape circumstances. MS does not ‘define’ family. Living with MS as a family, Patti is totally dependent on others, as she has been for much of the last 10 years. 


Sunday was a typical ‘family day’ centered on a movie theatre outing.  The mega screens and the right movie choice can negate her MS symptoms of visual impairment and cognitive and attention span challenges for an hour or two. Simultaneously a movie is entertainment for the rest of the family.


Wildcards always loom such as MS related Dysphagia triggering choking or emesis, and/or the absence of bladder and bowel control. Newbies may balk at these wildcards, with time you learn to live with them, be prepared, and hedge your bets. If a psycho astronaut can drive a thousand miles in a pair of Depends, then Depends can get Patti through a two hour movie.


Choosing “300” this past weekend was a surprise. I can’t remember the last time that Patti, myself, and our daughter (home for spring break) all agreed on amovie choice. <grin> 


As often happens when we arrive at a popular movie, the designated companion seats adjacent to wheelchair cutouts were all occupied and embarrassed patrons sheepishly begin to play a game of getting up and milling about while waiting to see which seats we actually take before racing to grab the remaining seats like musical chairs. <grin>


“300” was enjoyed by all and uninterrupted by MS symptoms. While it could not have been a better outing, plans to visit for dinner afterwards were torpedoed by loss of bowel control in route and we reversed course home for changing and clean up.


Lacking the lifts and multiple personnel of a care facility this is easier said than done. However, it CAN be done. 


You get past it and adapt. MS may shape the day but it cannot define family, only the family can do that.


Not unlike the “300” some CHOOSE to define and guard their own Thermopylae.


  1. .I have heard lots of positive comments on "300" glad all of you enjoyed it!  I don't remember when I have been in a movie theatre.

  2. You're wonderful and so is your daughter.  Hope she has a lovely spring break before the hard work commences again. Rache

  3. Have just checked out 300, I hadn't heard of it but it has good ratings.  Never watched sin city that it's based on but I'll try and catch it when it's flying this way :) Rache

  4. A movie outing is where my comfort zone is and it's a wonderful family event.  Dave wants to see "300" and I was not sure but I guess I'll give it a whirl.

    Thanks for stopping by


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