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MS and Me: A Lesson From the Ground of the Movie Theater Parking Lot

There I sat.

On the ground of the movie theater parking lot. (Good thing it wasn’t raining!)

“Are you up to going?” my sister, Kim, asked. “Will you have time to nap?”

“Yes, yes, I’m fine.”

I’m used to the types of questions I get asked now that I have this horrible disease. Something as easy as going to the movies has become nothing less than an army mission for me and my multiple sclerosis. Will I be up to it? Is someone willing to pick me up? Does my wheelchair fit in the car? Is the movie theater accessible? So many things to think about. I feel like such a burden whenever someone wants to go somewhere with me. My husband says, “You’re not a burden. You wouldn’t be invited if they didn’t want you there.” Blah, blah, blah – I listen but don’t agree. Still, I feel lucky I’m surrounded by a loving and supportive family and friends who go out of their way to make me not feel that way.

***

There I sat.

Kim called it a “controlled fall.” When she’d retrieved my wheelchair from the trunk and unfolded it, she didn’t realize it wasn’t locked properly. Who can blame her? She had only done it once or twice before. In my own excitement at being out on a weeknight – woo hoo! – I didn’t check the lock when I went to sit. The chair moved, resulting in me poised in quite a twisted position on the armrest. I didn’t have the ability to get my butt on the seat, so we decided to place me on the ground. How embarrassing! (And funny!) A woman parked several cars away watched this scenario unfold and offered help. Kim turned her down, thinking, “As sweet as she is, she’s tiny.” There was no way she could lift me.

“Don’t worry, Kerry’s on her way,” Kim said. “We’ll both lift you together.” I noticed the woman who offered help still seated in her car watching us. She was probably thinking, “What are those two clowns going to do now?”

***

Kerry’s arrived. (Yay!)

“What are you guy’s doing?” she asks, shaking her head. “How can we fix this?”

“Let’s each grab an arm and pull her up,” Kim suggests. Nice try, except they can’t lift me — and even if they could, how would I get in the chair? “I’ll get more help,” Kerry says.

This is where the fun starts.

Within minutes Kerry comes back with what I can only describe as a Greek God. Blond, tall, gorgeous.

“Are you hurt?” he asks.

“No.”

“Are your legs any help to you at all?”

Again, “No.”

“This will make for some giggles later, huh?” the God asks.

“Yep.” Gosh, does he have a nice smile.

“OK, ladies, you have a choice,” he says. “I can lift her, and you move the chair underneath, or you lift, and I’ll move the chair.”

Now, in a high-pitched, teenaged-sounding voice I haven’t heard from my sister in 30 years, she says, “I think we need someone strong to lift her.”

“Is that OK with you?” he asks me.

“Yes,” I say, and in one quick swoop, I’m in my chair.

As embarrassed as I am, I’m having fun!

I suppose this could have ruined my night. I don’t always find it funny when dealing with the incidents I encounter with MS. In fact, at times it’s quite difficult. But MS has taught me to take pleasure in the little things. I was with my great sister and loyal friend and was looking forward to the movie.  I find that most people, although not sure how, are more than willing to help.   

And now I have something to tease my sister about for years to come.

…Hey, I wonder if that strong, gorgeous man is available for the Rascal Flatts concert next month!

Getty image by Picture Store.

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