Monday, 15 June 2015

On Being a Burden

I live independently, am mobile with a walker or a cane, and still drive my car. But some things, like food shopping are much easier with help.

Walking around a large grocery store is tiring, then there’s all that loading in the car, unloading at home and putting everything away. It is so much easier for me if all I have to do is fill the cart and put stuff away at home.

So on Sunday when my daughter offered to pick me up to go to the store, I quickly agreed. It looked damp and cool out so I wore my denim jacket. Big mistake. As I was standing in the slow aisle, (you’ve all been there) I got overheated. It was warmer than I thought and very humid. Not a good combo for MS sufferers.

Usually I keep the jacket on, because it seems easier to wear it than try to juggle a jacket, a purse and a cane, and of course anything I might buy. That day I had to take the jacket off while I was standing in line.

But when I hung my jacket over the cart handle, everything fell out of the pockets, keys, change, lip balm and cough candies. I had to pick them all up, which is awkward at the best of times.

I was paying for my groceries as my daughter and her family came by, and they loaded my stuff in the cart with theirs. I laughingly told my daughter about spilling everything. Her response was she knew someone should have stayed with me.

Excuse me? My first response was to be insulted, though I knew that was not her intent. More she just wants to help when she can. It’s terrible to be in this in between place of wanting to hang on to my independence and needing some help.

Talk about saying the wrong thing. Just as her comment hit a nerve, so did what I said as we walked out the store. I said I hated being a burden. She said I wasn’t a burden, and she never wanted me to feel like I was.

Guilt is a nasty feeling. The kids all have full time jobs, kids of their own, houses to maintain, and yes...a life. I don’t want to be an added stress. My guilt is not being able to be the supportive parent, grandmother I’d like to be. Her guilt is that she does have all of the above and little time to spare.

Somehow, we’re all finding our way and making the best of a changing situation. I may tough it out at times, but I know they will be there when I need them. That’s family, and that’s love.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Laugh at Yourself

I was in a good frame of mind yesterday, had an interesting visit from my neighbour and the sun was shining. So I decided to weed my garden.

Surprisingly enough, my back held up for all that bending and reaching, though I was glad I had the cane for support or I would have done a face plant in the dirt.

So, bright sun, bending over, light headed and fatigued I decided it was time to quit and have a rest. I walked in the door, went to put my cane in the corner, as usual, and it touched something on the floor.

Ok, small grey mound on the floor, just inside my door, mouse was my first thought. I jumped back, (remember I wear glasses, didn’t have them on and needed to just to the lesser light... an excuse for my foolishness, I know) and gave it a poke with the cane. It didn’t move.

Dead, great.

I gave it a better look and it wasn’t a mouse at all. It was a grey Walmart bag scrunched into a small wad, hard to make out against the grey/green carpet. It must have fallen from the closet, more excuses, I know.

It made me laugh, and if we can’t laugh at our own foolishness, well, that is just sad.

It was funny, my garden is done, and I took a very well deserved nap.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Out Damn Spot...Eye Floaters

Have you ever had one of those floaters in your eye? I think some doctor once told me they were debris or something. Well, if that’s the case I’d like to know who’s been dumping garbage in my right eyeball.

I was reading in bed the other night and thought I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. Of course some kind of bug came to mind, like (shiver) a spider, and I had to sit up and check it out. No spider.

But that feeling of seeing bugs, or movement persisted. I finally realized it was a floater in my right eye. It sits at the lower right edge, but will suddenly dart into my centre field of vision. Believe me, it’s very annoying.

It’s been days now and that eye feels a little ‘off’, not sure how to describe it. I’ve been writing and feel some eye strain, the right feeling a bit blurry.

Now I’m curious.

Here’s an article from Web MD about eye floaters.

Oh great, another age related thing to deal with. I keep telling you, getting old sucks.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

A Senior Moment

I was in the car with my daughter the other day, approaching an intersection with a double left hand turning lane. We were turning left, in the right side turning lane, with a green light ahead.

Traffic was not moving for some reason and my daughter moved into the other turn and moved up, but now we had missed the green and were waiting for the red light to change, to an advanced green.

It was obvious the holdup had been one particular car, as the driver was stopped in the turning lane well before the intersection. Slowly he drove until he was even with us, supposedly waiting for the signal to go.

I told her to watch the driver in the other car. “He’s not going to turn,” I said. “He’ll go straight through the intersection.”

She didn’t believe me, because...duh...he was in the turning lane, why wouldn’t he turn?

Suddenly, he drove right through the intersection, shocking everyone, because the light was still red, but fortunately for him, and all the other drivers, the light for the drivers on the cross street was yellow and then red, so the intersection was basically empty.

I think the reason this elderly driver had stalled traffic, stopping before reaching the intersection is that the double turning lane confused him, and he was concentrating so hard on the lanes, he didn’t double check that the light had changed before proceeding into traffic.

He was fortunate that day, just as the rest of us were fortunate not to bear witness to an accident. This episode just adds further weight to why I don’t like to drive in strange places. I may not be as senior as that driver, but I have the slower reaction time that comes with MS and my brain can only deal with so much information, and decision making at one time. I’ll be more cautious when I drive, it was a good reminder.

Be Safe out there!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Brain Games

It’s funny how the mind works, or should I say the brain. There are all these connections between what the eyes see and what the brain interprets.

I like playing Word Search games, like to scan the page and see if I can find the words before doing a line by line search. Certain letters stand out, like ‘W’ so I look for words with that letter first. Then I look for doubles, as they are also more easily picked out.

There have been a number of games posted on Facebook, find this one specific word or the one number in a page of letters.

Today I was playing on Pinterest as I had my morning coffee; today’s topic was polymer clay. I found this attractive pendant, with letters stamped into it. When you see it, what did you read?

I don’t know if it’s just how my brain works but my first thought was FYI...For Your Information. I thought it was a strange thing to put on a pendant, especially when the artist had the letters in the wrong order.

I looked at it again, and this time could see what it was...Fly.

Like I said, it’s strange how the brain works, how we can all see the same thing, and yet we each see something different.