Thursday, March 08, 2007

Caregiving: MS Awareness Week (alternative 3)

The wheelchair accessible van era almost a year ago enabled Patti’s first return to a grocery store. She was as interested and excited as if I was pushing around a third world visitor. <grin> Yes, it had been years but it was amplified by her Multiple Sclerosis progression of memory and cognitive loss.


We simply plunk a store basket in her lap and make frequent shorter trips to accommodate the paradox of her enjoyment but shorter attention span. 


Usually it’s challenging to get Patti started in conversation but handing her things to put in the basket unleashes chatter, though unpredictable. <grin>  … “I don’t want this, you can have it back.” … or “YUCK!” … or “I like this, I remember …” 


It’s a different and fun dimension. Additionally it exposes Patti to and causes her to ‘think about’ the processes of living, prices, products, necessities, and such. When everything is done for you it is easy to forget “how” it all happens, especially when MS is attacking your ability to reason and process information. Frequent and fun outings to the grocery store create a kind of casual cognitive rehabilitation. 


Following a German III class, our daughter observed that our more frequent grocery trips were “European Style”. That has a classier ring to it than running to the grocery store every other day. <grin> 


What Patti has lost in vision has been compensated with sense of smell; she can FIND the pickle barrel like a hound dog. The produce department, deli, seafood, and butcher counters are particularly enjoyable not only because of smell but they are essentially interactive. Counter attendants are suckers for people in wheelchairs. <grin> 


Whenever I encourage her to get anything she wants on her own. I watch as she rolls a few feet, stops, and returns - “I forgot what I wanted”.


Self check out for some reason entertains Patti. She however feels the voice prompts are too polite. Tuesday evening in response to the computerized voice asking “Do you have any coupons?” Patti lost control of her own voice volume and shouted back, “NO! and you can kiss my a#*!” before falling apart laughing heartily. … Yes, it’s live from MS Awareness Week! <grin>


  1. ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!  I love it!! Patti is a hoot...

  2. Heehee....what adventures you have going grocery shopping.

  3. :)) Patti is wonderful, she actually puts fun into what's becoming a very boring neccessity and I love your totem pole, he looks very smug :) Rache

  4. i love that she talks to the machine LOL i do too. but usually its yeah yeah hurry up lol kiss my ass too funny


  5. How wonderful that you do the shopping the European way! Thats great! With my memory, It is hard to remember things in such a "fast pace" place. I'm by myself, and I have to have everything wrote down. I have post it notes all ove me and inside my purse! lol If I didn't, I wouldn't know what I was doing! Patti has such a wonderful and caring family and caregiver! :o) I'd much rather do the self check out too. And that is just so cute!!! :o) I've been known to say a few choice words myself! :o) I absolutely love your last sentance! Very true! :o)

  6. ((((((((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU)))))))))))))))))))You have an amazing wife,God bless the both of you,have a nice night.

  7. Take me shopping with you next time! I need to laugh more often. Your stories are endearing. bea


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