Sunday, December 23, 2007

Caregiving: holiday shopping 'around the limbo clock'

Caregiving and holiday shopping can involve a touch of madness.  Holiday shopping overloads everything including accessibility options


Available electric carts or adaptive carts are overwhelmed with holiday shopping volume. I push Patti in her wheelchair with one hand and pull a shopping cart behind me with the other. Harder than it seems, kind of a caregiver specific weight training. <grin>


Patti’s Multiple Sclerosis related visual impairment and cognitive challenges require me to provide a running description and commentary on items displayed on shelves. She in turn offers her opinions, often too frank and not exactly “family” rated. <grin> To ‘normal’ shoppers our rolling intrusion into their shopping reflections turn quite a few heads, especially if someone is actually holding the item Patti has just labeled, “Who the f*ck would buy that?” <GRIN> (It takes a brave person to buy something after that less than subliminal ‘commercial interruption’.)


Check out lines are particularly challenging. Surrounded by tall trees of standing people and shopping carts as high as her wheelchair, Patti’s world view is confused and stalled.


Frustration and confusion easily trigger emotional lability. Entertaining Patti can be essential.


Its caregiver show time … how many uses can you come up with for a 36” long roll of wrapping paper? Yes, baton is the obvious. Though in close proximity a tad dangerous, and baton is not my forte. Musical instrument worked for a while, somewhat like an elongated kazoo it began to border ‘annoying’. Then ...

All around the limbo clock

Hey, let's do the limbo rock


Sliding the wrapping paper roll through the arm rests on Patti’s wheelchair, I had my limbo pole. Humming the “Limbo Rock” I certainly had Patti’s attention while I explored the age old musical question "how low can you go?" ... and noticed some ‘normal’ holiday shoppers clutching their children closer and probably wondering who the caregiver was. <grin>


As Charles Dickens once penned into the mouth of Tiny Tim, “God bless us all, EVERYONE!”


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. (((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))That is a chalange for sure.

  2. I remember shopping with Charlie! When he was older, I 'trained' him to push the grocery cart as I pushed his wheelchair! I think it must be easier with kids. He was tickled to think he was being such a big helper!


  3. .......last night a friend was over.......his wife had had a very disabling stroke a couple of years back and tho she is much recovered he was remembering the difficulties and stares of people who did not understand the situation.  I shared a couple of your experiences and we had some good chuckles but mostly how  we all understand how much disabilities alter our lives.

  4. i admire you for taking the time to include Patti in shopping:) she is one lucky lady:) Merry Christmas to you all



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