“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” – Cesare Pavese
I’ve been staying with my parents for nearly twelve months. It’s been hard for all touched by this. I am a married woman staying with my parents. Enough said!
It’s tough being 1,153 miles away from my beloved best friend and husband of eight years. Tommy bathed me, dressed me and combed my hair when I couldn’t myself. As humans we are always looking for that constant to hang on to. It could be a person, faith, or a thing. Well, with multiple sclerosis that constant is always changing. I try to keep my game face on and to be ready for what’s waiting around the corner. For me this readiness insulates me from the uncertainty MS creates. It’s good for me to live and breathe in the present moment. I only think about the things I can do now, because I know without a doubt that things can be vastly different (worse or better) in a minutes’ notice.
I know it, because I’m living it.
I am eternally grateful to my parents for how they have rearranged their lives to care for me. I’m thankful for their providing a home for me, feeding me and making sure I have access to medical care.
In the beginning, my flabby arms could not pick up a drinking glass. In turn, my mother purchased lighter plastic kid size drinking cups and paper plates.
“Nicole, when you got here you could barely feed yourself”, my father reminded me. My mother has modified her home to the best of her ability. Still there are scratches all around the house from the power chair I have. I fell once and my head knocked a hole in the wall. I felt pretty bad about this until my sister reminded me she had run my parents van into the side of the house! She’s always trying to top me!
On one outing with my father, I chose to use my walker. I thought it would be easier for all involved. We were leaving via the ramp outside of the Waffle House restaurant after a nice breakfast.
“I’m losing control!” I muttered.
“Slow down!” my dad responded.
I thought to myself, I just said I’m losing control. Obviously, I can’t! I sensed it was time to convert to “fall mode.” I was sure one was imminent. I quickly started assessing the situation.
One, I was wearing a dress…Unfortunate for me.
Two, my dad was near…Scared he’d see my panties. Unfortunate for both of us.
Three, concrete everywhere…Damn!
Four, I was rolling fast down a steep, corrugated ramp and my legs couldn’t keep up with the walker…Frightened!
We had attracted the attention of the folks inside the Waffle House. A few concerned employees ran outside. The walker continued to get away from me. With no support, I tumbled to the concrete. My 62-year old father, who was holding on to my walker began to fall as well. He managed to avoid falling on my walker that was lying in the street and hit the concrete instead.
We both seemed okay and even better I don’t think he saw my panties. He did seem worried about me. It wasn’t until the scene had calmed down and we were in his truck that I noticed the bloody scars on his knee.
He took the blow for me. SWEET! To make it worse, I inappropriately laughed so hard at the thought of the three of us (me, my walker, and my father) sprawled on the ground in the parking lot of Waffle House. I peed in my dress! My new dress at that! Truth be told, he probably tinkled a bit too. I guess it doesn’t matter whom I leave with. I should wear them damn Depends!