Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lung Cancer pushes Multiple Sclerosis

In our own mutant version of rock, paper, scissors, lung cancer will always push Multiple Sclerosis. Patti will never push me nor care for me nor even remember I have lung cancer.

Scanxiety is driving me nuts with my CT Scan looming this week for my 12 month follow up from lung cancer surgery.

Soooo I took a brisk two mile (3.2K) walk around the neighborhood with an audio book then headed over to pick up Patti for a push and roll on a gorgeous sunny 64°F afternoon.

Another mile and change pushing a wheelchair would give me 5K for the day.

Trails through woodlands and parks are OK but rarely can Patti actually see anything. The Army Heritage Trail dotted with tanks, helicopters, and more is MS visual impairment friendly. Even a legally blind person can see a tank.

Plus the US Army knows disability and most everything is wheelchair accessible unless of course it was meant to be climbed on. Unlike parks and such the trails at Army Heritage Trail are maintained regularly.

Pushing and rolling through US Military History we decided to detour into 1965 and the Battle of La Trang Valley. Visiting a Vietnam Fire Support Base we found their 105mm howitzer totally wheelchair accessible. Then it was off to WWI to play hide and seek in World War I Allied Trenches.
 Even though she does not appear to exert energy just being outside and rolling on different terrain amplifies her MS fatigue and she was ready to call it day.

Heading back for dinner at her care facility for dinner I fed Patti stuffed green peppers, mashed potatoes and apricots. When I stay to assist her with dinner it’s like having her own personal attended. No waiting before bed. No hoyer lift needed. After brushing her teeth and transferring her to bed with a one person unassisted transfer, one of the evening CNA knocked on the door to change her and give her a nightly sponge bath.

Patti is not only ‘non-ambulatory’ but unable to reposition herself in bed, or by definition ‘bedridden’. Now you have learned something new to kick off Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week.

Where two CNAs are needed to complete the task whenever I am there it only takes one plus me. MS fatigue never enjoys waiting.

Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


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