Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Caregiving: scootering through dandelion clocks

With a streak of dry Spring days the flood retention field behind our house had transformed to a fairy land of dandelion clocks. 


Our neighborhood has walking paths carved throughout including green space and traversing the flood retention field which are also excellent for scootering.


Patrick: “Patti, you cannot see more than a few feet ahead. Doesn’t charging ahead at 5 MPH bother you?”

Patti: “No, it’s fun. What does it matter?”


A navigational trick I have developed is to have Patti follow my voice. Some days I find myself in an impish mood.


Patrick: (prancing and chanting in munchkin pitch) “Follow the black stone road, follow the black stone road”.

Patti: (laughing and cursing) “You are one sick mother f*cker!”


Hearing such language, I switched my singing navigational cues to “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” only to hear the scooter behind me accelerating along with more alternating laughter and gutter-mouth threats to run down munchkins. Is nothing sacred?


While this was a fun outing on a magnificent Spring late afternoon and Patti always “feels” better after scootering, two Multiple Sclerosis symptoms were also demonstrated.


Charging forward unable to see is why unattended scootering ended in the first place over a decade ago. Patti was driving off curbs, flipping her scooter, etc. Deterioration of her thinking and reasoning abilities prevents her from thinking through consequences or risks.


In recent years “inappropriate language” has progressively occupied a larger percentage of Patti’s daily vocabulary. It is a weird symptom and unquestionably can impact public situations. For Scrabble players and or fans of neurology this has its roots in symptoms of ‘emotional lability’ and ‘pseudobulbar affect’.


However, they are only ‘symptoms’ not Patti. Caregivers, family, and friends have to remember that and adapt any situation for anyone in need of care to make the best of possible times.


Dandelion clocks tell time in ‘fairy time’ and it’s always different for every person. Maybe that’s because everyone chooses to do something different with the time we are given.


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. ((((((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))))))You have so much courage in you and you need to have a laugh everyday,couldnt belive Patti saying thoes words,I had to laugh.LOL.Your entry was is so beatiful.I would love to write to both of you.I think both of you are wodnerful people.Have a nice day.ENJOY!!!!!

  2. What a sweet entry and if Patti does run down the Munchkin I'm sure it was provoked. :-)

    Hugs to you, my friend


  3. So sweet Patrick!

  4. I hope you made a wonderful wish when you blew on the dandilion! This was a great entry! I think you needed a day like this.

  5. Dear Patrick,
    I know it may not be 'Patti' but I bet she keeps you guessing! I like the idea of the walking tracks being close by. Makes spring and fall a lot more enjoyable!

  6. ...............I envy your ability and opportunity to have fun together...I miss that so much!   We seem to always have a third party audience.  

  7. .......It's traditional to aquire a wish for how many blows it takes to free the seeds, I hope you were out of puff :) and collected many wishes:)  The field is amazing.  It looked a fun time together.  Time captured is time stored. Rache

  8. Everything is a symptom of something, eh?  Glad you know how to just live till you can't anymore, that's the way.  Good to see you again, Patrick.

  9. You turn every day into a sunny day for your wife, and for yourself. I know it's not without sacrifice, but still, you do it. You are making good use of your time with Patti... Happy Mother's day to her. Bea

  10. Beautifully written post Patrick! I was wondering if the language was MS and thought it was.  I hope Patti had a fabulous Mother's Day and thank you for sharing your life with us.



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