Ch.84 Pat and I Go Shopping Together for the First Time in a Year

Ch.84 Pat and I Go Shopping Together for the First Time in a Year

          March, 2021

          Pat and I have finally been vaccinated against Covid-19. Suddenly, everything is changing. Possibilities that have been closed off for almost a year are re-emerging. Yesterday we went into a grocery store together and filled up an entire cart. Actually, we do it this way: 1) Ron guides Pat into the store in her wheelchair, which she only needs when she would have to walk long distances; 2) Pat places a small shopping box on her lap; 3) we travel down the aisles, putting our choices into that box until it is full of groceries; 4) Ron grabs a regular cart and transfers the groceries into it; 5) Ron pushes Pat into the next aisle, leaving the cart behind; 6) periodically Ron returns to the cart and catches up to Pat; 7) eventually we complete our shopping and Ron goes  through the check-out lane while Pat waits; 8) Ron takes Pat back to the car; 9) Ron retrieves our groceries. (If you think this is complicated, try taking a person in a wheelchair and a couple suitcases through an airport!). And then we celebrate a job well done together.

          Why haven’t we gone grocery shopping like this for a year? Because Pat has several significant health issues and would be considered “fragile” by the medical community, we have chosen to be very cautious during the pandemic. We haven’t gone to any restaurants, not even our beloved Norske Nook; we have only seen our friends when we could meet with them outside last Fall; I’ve done almost all of our shopping in stores by myself. I believe we’ve made the right decision but now I realize it’s come at a huge cost, namely under-stimulation.

          I have noticed Pat’s increasing passivity over this last year. I understand that Lewy Body does this to people, making them less curious and adventurous. Those words never used to describe Pat, though. She has always been more challenge- and risk-taking than me. In fact, her “let’s give it a try” spirit has been one of her great gifts to me in our partnership. But I think the combination of Lewy Body and Covid-19 has gradually eroded Pat’s spirit of adventure. All too often now her answer to “Honey, what would you like to do?” is “I don’t know.” I think part of that response comes from Lewy Body and must be accepted. However, now that we are vaccinated and relatively safe from the plague, I hope that we can begin seeing friends again, shopping together, and going into rather than bypassing places on our daily drives like the Wise Nature Center. And, in doing so, I hope that Pat’s natural curiosity and spirit of adventure resurfaces.

          One thing I am certain of: it was a good idea to go into the store together. Pat told me she enjoyed our shopping, and I could see a little more sparkle in her eyes both during and after our trip.


Pat’s comments on Pat and I Go Shopping Together for the First Time in a Year:

          Ron to Pat: What did you like about shopping together?

          Pat: I got to pick out the products I wanted.

        Ron to Pat: Do you still have a spirit of adventure?

           Pat: Not really as much – because it’s just as likely you’ll say no, that’s the wrong way to do it or why don’t you do it the way I want you to do it.

          I see me diminishing the spontaneity of my choices.

          Example: You say you want me to try this orange juice [with medicine] first and then see what works. If I said no, it doesn’t feel or taste right, you’d say it was wrong. It has nothing to do with whether or not it has medicine in the product or not.