I have always shopped early for Christmas. In the following paragraphs are words that I journaled in October of 2009. It details one Christmas shopping excursion with my disabled husband. Perhaps you can identify with my adventure, dear caregiver.
On October 20, 2009 I wrote the following words:
“I did some Christmas shopping for the grandkids yesterday. I am almost done shopping for them. I went to Fleet Farm’s Toyland, K-Mart, and two different Wal-Marts. I also loaded up at Aldi’s with groceries. I did this all with my husband, my man in a wheelchair, along. I know I am a little crazy.
Most stores have mobility scooters once one is safely in the store. Fleet Farm loaned me a wheelchair to go out and get my husband, Wayne, from the car. This was nice, because then I did not have to haul our own wheelchair in and out of the car. Then, however, I needed to show my driver’s license as identification so he could use the store’s mobility scooter. I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding! No other store requires that.’ Anyhow we completed the process and then we could do our shopping. Next we went to McDonald’s for lunch. I just ran in and ordered, and we ate in the car. Next, we went to K-Mart. I was only in there for a half hour or so, and Wayne decided to stay in the car.
After K-Mart we went to our first Wal-Mart. This time I parked in a handicap spot and grabbed a shopping cart outside. Wayne then slowly shuffled into the store behind that shopping cart with me tightly holding on to him and on to the shopping cart. Once in the store Wayne could use one of their mobility scooters. Wayne’s main concern when he got into Wal-Mart, however, was to look for some pads for his incontinence problem. (Sigh.) We just bought some pads last week or so. So we separated for an hour or two in the store. Wayne did his thing, and I did some more Christmas shopping.
Our next stop was Aldi’s. Aldi’s is a grocery store. Aldi’s has no handicap provisions at all, so I was pushing or pulling the wheelchair and the overflowing shopping cart. It would have been simpler, if Wayne had stayed in the car when I got groceries. He likes grocery stores, however, so he went in with me. I won’t do the Aldi’s thing with him again, however. After we got outside with the wheelchair and the shopping cart a kind lady who didn’t even know us offered to push my grocery cart to our car. Bless her!
Next came one fast stop at the other Wal-Mart (Wayne stayed in the car) and then home to an hour of unpacking. Am I crazy? Probably! I did get a lot of Christmas shopping done early, however, and I also was able to load up on inexpensive groceries. Yesterday was also a beautiful and sunshiny day to do this. Today is cloudy and dreary again.
My original idea was the go shopping a few hours alone. Wayne is fine alone for a few hours. Often he would rather stay home from things, and I have to urge him to get out. I thought I’d better at least ask him if he wanted to go along yesterday, however. This time he decided to go along. So off we went on our adventure yesterday. Am I crazy?”
Dear Caregiver, sometimes getting out with your loved ones are so difficult. In spite of the difficulties, however, treasure every moment you have with them.