THE ODDS (Debbie Does ALS)


Running on empty

This was a very motor intensive weekend. I used a full tank of gas -- well, almost -- both from a car and a body perspective.

Cecilia is doing a project for her media tech class; she has chosen ALS as her topic. In addition to yours truly, she wanted to interview a couple of other PALS as well as Ellen (the patient services coordinator for our local ALS Association chapter). Because these fine volunteers all live in Northern Virginia, a little bit of driving was necessary.

Saturday morning we were to be at Pat's house at noon, so we left at 11:15 AM. 45 miles and 45 minutes later we were at the door. The interview went well and Cecilia got some very good footage. The ride home was a little bit longer due to some traffic, but not terrible. One down, two to go.

I had been invited to a 40th birthday party Saturday night, one that I really wanted to attend. It did not matter to me one bit that I would have to drive 71 miles...each way. It was a long drive but uneventful and I was really glad I'd made the trip because the birthday girl was genuinely surprised and genuinely pleased to see so many friends. The ride home was likewise long but uneventful, but I was feeling my age by the time I got home -- I'm no 40-year-old youngster anymore!

Sunday we had an appointment with Ellen at 12 and an appointment with Michael at 2PM. Once again we were out the door at 11:15 AM and, with only a little navigational difficulty, were at Ellen's just past noon. Another good interview and we were out the door by 1:30 PM. Michael does not live far from Ellen but, since I have very little magnetite in my nose, I managed to be 30 minutes late. Making one small error cost me a great deal of time and a great deal of energy -- mentally and physically -- as I maneuvered back to where I needed to be. Apologizing for making Michael and Dan wait, we proceeded. This interview went as swimmingly as the others and I do believe Cecilia will have a good final product.

I was very tired by this time and the drive home seemed to take forever. The closer we got the sleepier I got, to the point where I could have fallen asleep at the wheel. Fortunately I did not and was relieved when I finally backed into the driveway. Cecilia had become a bit grumpy by this time and rushed into the house. I was so exhausted (and I did not want to have even the smallest confrontation with my child) that I thought I would just close my eyes for a minute before I went inside. One minute turned into 60 -- 60! -- and I woke up STILL IN MY SEAT BELT. I was cold and my legs were stiff, no surprise.

So, a lesson learned: I don't think I can drive those kinds of distances anymore, at least not in so short a period of time. I don't want any one commenting about my drive to and from work -- apples and oranges, my dears.

One other observation: I very rarely go anywhere solo anymore so when I do, I need to be prepared to ask others for assistance. Fortunately this was not a problem at the party, but I felt somewhat uncomfortable nonetheless. To thrust the role of caregiver onto unsuspecting friends is unpleasant. I know they don't mind, but I do.

So, time for bed. I am in the house, not in the car, and expect I will have a good night's sleep. I wish the same for you.

1 comment:

Gail She/He said...

Michael Jack gives good interview.

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