02 December 2011

Quite a Day!

Yesterday Thane and I had the opportunity to really get out of town without the need to do errands. He has been showing the boredom and high energy side that I recall from pre-Lyme during the rainy season. We got a rare dry spell for the start of December though and by all means I was going to take advantage of it.

It was quite cold when we set off, but beautiful. Thane loves the cool and cold weather (silly man). Me, on the other hand, as long as its dry and I can bundle up enough to keep warm enough, I am game. smile

At first I was not sure where we would wind up, but I really did not want to go back to the trail so soon and especially not on such a cold day. Its significantly colder in that woodsy trail area. Instead of the trail, I decided that we would head to Clackamas. I knew Thane had a lot of energy now thanks to the progress in his Lyme treatment and all the rain we have had lately keeping us penned up in the apartment.

We caught the bus and I was relieved that it was one of my favorite drivers and not the driver I had to report for refusing to ask people to move for me. This driver was awesome and gave me a pass until 5PM. I thought gee 5PM we could do an awful lot in that time (except we needed to be home before dark).

We got to my stop, and my chair would not move! I was a bit leery about this but this chair has always had a quirk. There is something called drive lockout with the tilt. It's supposed to engage at a certain point where it would be considered dangerous to drive and be tilted. In theory that is the way it works, but my chair has always locked out at all different ranges, even stupidly low ones. That said, this chair also had a problem with its joy stick control connection once because the idiots who put it together did not screw the pins in on the parallel cord. Its placed right in the armrest side cover which is easy to hit things when you misjudge your clearance. I kept thinking though that this was happening at the worst possible time. I both fiddled with that connection and lowered the tilt so I have no idea which was the answer- most likely the tilt as the connection still appeared solidly connected. PHEW! was what I felt when it started though.

Some people would have taken that as a signal to go home, but since I was pretty sure it was the tilt, we went ahead to the max. While on the max I decided to go look at the neat toys and other doggie stuff at REI. There are two REI's we could use, but one requires a bus that only runs once an hour. It also is not quite as good in the doggie wares  There were a few things I have wanted to see in person before deciding if they are an appropriate item both for Thane and with my MCS detox needs.

Off we went for the biggest adventure since the collapse from Lyme. We had a great time actually. Thane was so in tune with my needs while at the same time having this need to follow the edge (thanks Capstar). We checked out some neat toys which though they were quite unique, I knew they either would never detox or would not do so in the time frame I had to work with. There are some that I would definitely consider in the future.

There is one aspect I do not like about this outside mall, REI is near the end of it and you have to go around the entire circle and deal with idiots who think stepping in front of a guide dog and power wheelchair using handler is no big deal. I don't know how many times we had to swerve one way or another to miss leveling folks who are more interested in texting on their iphones than what is going on around them! LOL

On the way back there was another sidewalk approach that would allow us to leave the shop area pretty immediately so I said what the heck, I'm game *let's try it* WHOOPS! It had beautiful sidewalk access all the way up to the street but then no sidewalk, no crossing, NADA We backtracked through the parking lot a tad and managed to pull it off safely, but we won't take that shortcut again smile

Things had gone relatively smoothly and Thane was getting to ride his trains. He loves to take long train rides. We were headed home when all of a sudden, we were all disembarked! There had been a power outage with the Max system that affected a number of the stops. All of a sudden that wonderful bus pass was not looking like it was going to be good enough to get us home. It took 45 minutes to get a shuttle which they said was going to take at most ten minutes LOL That was the second shuttle and still not enough for the initial influx of people from three different max lines that all converged on one transit center.

We took everything in stride. It was a beautiful day albeit cold. The workers from Trimet did an exceptional job assuring I understood what was going on and that I got where I needed to be to get a shuttle. Being deafblind can be quite disconcerting when plans change and no one tells you what is happening- they all just disembark! LOL

I was wary though before I even got off the max. It was dark. I have not worked Thane in the dark since Lyme impacted him so dramatically which included an impact on his eyes. I also have severe photosensitivity. The contrast of the dark with all lighting- headlights, street lights, signs, fluorescent lighting, etc all are huge triggers for me. I was really unsettled by how my body was acting. Thane can sense these changes in me I believe. Anytime it happens he is a lot more cautious of my needs, his pull, his enthusiasm and takes great care with me so that we both get where we need to safely. This was much the case as we de-boarded max, thanked the gentleman who helped clear the path for me, and headed for the bus to ride the rest of the way to our town.

I was so proud of Thane! He showed he can work in the dark, but also found the bus we needed in a big transit center from a direction we have never taken to access that bus. When we got off in town it was such a relief to be out of the crammed like sardines travelling we had been doing all afternoon.I knew a lot of toxic cleanup awaited me. Right now though it was decision time. Was Thane really up to the task of guiding us all the way home or did I pull out my guide cane and heel him.

We had an all sidewalk route other than two small street crossings so I decided to give Thane the chance to shine and shine he did! I became very disoriented and yet, Thane kept moving us forward towards home- alerting me to any obstacle, bump, driveway, or intersection. This is the kind of situation in which he truly excels and makes me feel like all the hard work, worry, stress, and yes frustration have all been worth it!

This was not the kind of adventure I anticipated when we headed out the door, but Thane sure got to show me just what he was cut out for on this day full of changes.

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