Wednesday, September 21, 2011

pushing and rolling through nature's rage

How chronic illness / disease or disability was left out of those biblical plagues is beyond me. I suspect it has to do with my Hallmark conspiracy theory about ‘get well SOON’ cards. People just do not do duration well. Bring on the frogs and boils just as long as “the Lord spake unto Moses” – how long?

Not to make light of natural disasters but they do have an end and involve words like recovery. Multiple Sclerosis and/or MS caregiving do not involve endings nor recovery. One of the intangible aspects of caregiving is ‘crises management’, 24/7 year in year out.

Recently we rolled and pushed our way through two weeks of natural disasters: earthquake, hurricane, tropical storm, and record flooding with our wheelchair accessible van ramp lowering like the proverbial staff of Moses.

While the East Coast felt and freaked over Virginia earthquake we found ourselves out enjoying an afternoon outing in Valley Meadows Park, eerily empty of people.

We were intrigued by wheelchair switchbacks built into the Forbes Path where grade was steep. Wheelchair ‘friendly’ is a world of difference from wheelchair accessible.

Later after Hurricane Irene finished trying to huff and puff and blow the town down, it was time for rollin’ along the sidewalks.

While Tropical Storm Lee was busy dumping nearly a foot of rain over several days, well … there were always home improvement mega stores with acres under cover to roll around in.  Considering the streak of natural disasters they were also community social centers - and already decorated for Halloween!

I need to give thanks to Cumberland County Department of Public Safety Facebook Page which made moving about in real time so easy and safe.

While safety is always first, living with MS can be isolating under normal circumstances. When all anyone is talking about is earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods mix that in with MS symptoms and disabilities and it’s too easy to add worries. Sometimes you have to lower your ramp and stick your head out.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
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  1. Peace Be With You Judy

    Great photos of you and your wife. And you are so right about the difference between a prolonged catastrophe and one which is a discrete event.


  2. Good for you and Patti getting out despite the weather conditions! Why let a little hurricane or earthquake or flood ruin your guys' fun!! Seriously though, I'm sure you plan for everything Patrick with each adventure/outing you take Patti on.

    hoping the fall weather is much more pleasant than some of the summer happenings!


  3. Oh yeah, the acute illness vs. chronic. Most folks' heads don't wrap too well around the chronic. I still have folks telling me to get better soon! Alrighty now.

  4. I have not thought of this. There is an end to the natural disasters...Nice to see yall having fun

  5. Thanks all for the kind thoughts! When each day has obstacles such as MS symptoms and the logistics of accessibility - somehow nature's best punch just isn't that formidable.


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