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  • Kathryn's Korner

    "All's well that ends well"


    So, a few weeks ago I was sitting outside getting some sun. Herman was just leaving for work. My aide, Dawn, was due here in a matter of 20 minutes, so I was able to convince Herman to just leave me sitting in
    the driveway. He made certain to leave my brakes off on my wheelchair just in case I got hot and needed to get into the shade. I'm like "there is no way that I'm going to get too hot. Don't even worry about
    me." Nonetheless, he left my brakes off.

    About what I guessed to be 20 minutes went by, and by this time I was
    roasting. The thing is, when I, or anyone with MS gets overheated, it
    is generally not a good thing. Whatever is wrong is made acutely worse
    until the body cools down. OK. Now all I have to do is roll into the
    shade. But, now I'm so hot and weak, that I'm barely able to push
    myself into the shade. I eventually do, and at the very moment that I
    land in the shade, the phone rings. And guess where I left the phone?

    Yep, in the sun, which is now uphill from where I am now in the shade.
    This is not a good thing. I tried to hear what the message was on the
    answering machine, but as I was outside, I really couldn't decipher who
    it was other than a woman's voice. I tried to wheel myself up toward
    the phone but couldn't make it, so I decided to continue to await my
    aide in the shade. As I was traversing in and out of the sun, fighting
    to reach the phone, both my feet fell off the foot rests. What is
    important to know is that I had no shoes on. To me, everything is
    somehow right in the world when I have suntan feet. So here I was
    wearing a bathing suit and a sleeveless tee shirt, and no shoes.

    By now, I'm pretty sure my aide is not coming. I'm guessing that the
    message on the answering machine explains this. Be that as it may, my
    shady spot is now becoming sunny. One thing Herman did insist on my
    wearing was my lifeline necklace. This is a direct line to the hospital
    in case I ever get into a situation where I need help and nobody is
    around. I've had this lifeline for approximately 5 years. I've never had to use it. Anyway, as I tried to move myself further into the shade, my
    wheelchair started rolling down the driveway. Needless to say, I began
    to flip out. My feet were dragging on the gravel and I'm thinking that
    I might fly down the entire length of the driveway! Now, I'm guessing
    I'm in a "situation." Luckily, Herman had removed the passenger seat in
    our van, to allow room for my wheelchair. This is what prevented me
    from sailing down the entire driveway. It was at this point that I
    pressed my lifeline button.

    Within five minutes the Caroga Lake volunteer fire department was here
    to help. Thanks to all you guys who saved the day! The cool thing
    about it was, instead of strangers coming in an ambulance with flashing
    lights and sirens, they came unobtrusively up my driveway on foot and
    just said, "Hey Kathryn, how are you doing?" See in this small town, I
    know most of these guys and they know me! I simply responded, "I'm
    feeling kind of silly right now!" Yeah, I felt scared and helpless and I
    so appreciate your expedient help. And thanks to the lifeline service!
    I hope I don't have to use it again. I gotta tell you, the great thing
    about a small town is having friendly caring faces be there when you
    need them and treat the situation low key.

    It turns out that my aide, Dawn, had two flat tires, which is the
    message I had missed! But, all's well that ends well, as they say.