Wednesday, August 3, 2005

GRAB YOUR HAT.....................

While reading another journal I realized I hadn't talked lately about the positive part of our situation.

Jack has a serious illness, actually two, but those don't always stop him from doing things.  He and I control what he does and I have reached the point of insisting on him grabbing his hat and going with me.

There are things I want to do, and places I want to go within reason and the only way I can do this is take Jack along.

We go to the senior center in our small town.  Second Harvest has a food distribution for seniors, the only qualifying option being  a senior and just living in our town.  Some don't realize that the food will be distroyed if not distributed to those who will take it, so Jack and I go pick up the interesting assortment of items that we might not buy ourselves.

We go out to breakfast to several places that are willing to accomodate someone in a power chair or wheel chair.  It is amazing how you can judge a restaurant by the way they treat the handicapped.  People with us have commented how accomodating the ones we frequent have been.

We go shopping for various items, like we did do van shopping and found what we wanted a little steep! lol   With the employee discount the van was 45,000 and then there was the sales tax, and adding the lift and other adjustments would be about 15,000.  Of course this was a customized conversion van (top of the line in quality and size lol).

We can go to large discount warehouse stores like Costco, but we have to choose our times since there are always lots of people and Jack tends to want to get around without having to deal with those who stand and daydream in the aisles.  We don't usually go to grocery stores together because when we want to go is their stocking time and the aisles are congested with boxes,etc.

We took the wheelchair that he uses mainly for sitting in the a equipment center and had the seat replaced.  They do wear out we found. That was an interesting trip.  The store had an elevator  so the handicapped could shop in the lower level of the store.  However it was out of service! lol  The wheelchair area was on the ground level.

One of the places I love to go is the casino that is only 20 minutes from our home.  Jack takes great delight in watching people.  He has only consented to go with me recently.   I wanted him to see how easy the parking is, entry into the casino, the wide isles, how he can park his chair right beside me, and there are heavy chairs for him to pull up with and stand when the seat gets tired.  He just informed me if we were going tomorrow we needed to get started early in the morning.  Sometimes we go for breakfast other times we eat at other places but tomorrow we will probably have a light breakfast at home.  We stay about two hours.  The power chair doesn't really have a comfortable seat.  It is a hard composition material, and even with the Roho high profile cushion it still makes the backside a little tired.

We go for walks to feed the wild animals, birds, quail, bunnies, and other wild things.  LOL  He is eager to see how many animals are out each evening and he has been consistent in getting me to go.  We go up a rather long hill and back down and then around the parking lot.  We keep extending our distance and it is very good exercise for me and he is getting out to see people he hasn't seen in years.  Every night someone stops to talk, some nights we spend a lot of time chatting and this is excellent for Jack. 

People are always asking how he is doing and he tells them sometimes a new development like it isn't easy to form words and sentences  as fast as he used to.  I find that sometimes he finishes a thought when the rest of us have gone on to another subject.  This is just a part of Parkinson's Disease.

In this hot weather we don't go any place where Jack has to wait any length of time.  Like the pharmacy, if I go in without him I better hurry or he gets awfully hot, so we watch where we stop.

These are all rather recent changes, because for a while Jack only went out to the doctor.  Then we started the breakfast  several times a week to just get him out of the house.   Now we don't do breakfast as much but go different more interesting places.  In fact last week after our "bunny run"  I told Jack I need to go get gas in the car, want to come along?  Yes, he did and we made that short trip but he got to see something different,  and he is a people watcher.  Heseemed satisfied with our outing and I was glad I mentioned it. 

I do have an advantage.  We have an enter-van that makes Jack able to drive his power chair right up into the van himself.  With the wheel chair I was not able to  push him up the ramp so he would walk out of the house and to the van and sit in the wheel chair or on the back seat.  Returning home he would walk out of the van and into the house.   His ability to walk has lessened to the point that he walks a little in the house from one chair to another or to the table to eat or do business.  I guess the power chair has contributed to the less walking or maybe it would have happened anyway.  I was getting tired of the pushing a wheel chair everywhere we went.  Jack was reluctant to GO because he knew it was difficult for me to do all the pushing.  He isn't a little guy.  He has never been able to push the wheels himself because of surgery on his hands.

Jack is a history buff and he enjoys the History  Channel on TV as well as all the old western movies that he was in and the ones that he knows most of the actors.  That is a different story!  We have TV on 24/7 for white noise and now it is difficult for me to sleep in a quiet room!  He reads magazines and papers but doesn't get involved in novels or other books.  Interest span I think is the problem.  They eyes too play havoc with him.  Most of the TV he listens to instead of watching.  Parkingson's patients have vision problems.  He has prisims in his lenses.

We use our time together to watch TV, I read while he snoozes.  I try not to do noisy cleaning while he naps since he doesn't sleep well at night and needs all the snooze time he can get.

  For a while I had to get up and help him to his wheel chair in the night so he could change his position.  He sleeps in a lift chair instead of his bed because the hip replacement his given him so much discomfort.  But lately he has been able to get into the wheel chair on his own and then back to the lift chair.  Often without even waking me.  This is wonderful for me and  a real boost to his ego and self reliance. 

We talk a lot and reminise.  Since we are planning a move in the very near future we have been cleaning out boxes and these projects have been painful but interesting for both of us.  While he watches TV, I am usually on the computer, cleaning house, paying bills, or slipping out to do some yard work.  I still do all chores at this house except seasonal tree trimminig or rose bush pruning.  I don't have  a housekeeper or a cleaning lady as some people do in our neighborhood.  I actually don't even have a working dryer.  But that is because I just haven't had the time, energy or incentive to go buy one.  I do laundry and hang it on hangers and put in on the patio.  We are not supposed to do that in our housing area but things dried outside smell better and absorb more vitamins from the sun.  One day I will get around to the new dryer.

So much for all of this entertaining information!  lol 




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