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>