Friday, December 08, 2006


Returning to Target two months later

I know this is late. Renee did remind me but I was busy last night and decided to wait until today. Last night the Oxford Shop had a sale to raise money for the Trauma Center at Methodist. The donation will be made in my name. I'm kicking myself for not having mentioned it in an earlier blog. I've just been so focused on informing everyone about my progress that I haven't been writing about what's happening in the future. I'll try to be better about that.

We did have a good time last night. I met some interesting people and had a great time updating them on my progress. Everyone seemed very curious about how the prostheses are working out. My best description is of the most recent visit to Target.

If you recall that my first visit to Target was just over two months ago. At that time I would walk 100 to 150 ft and then sit down either to rest or to add socks to fix issues with the fit of the sockets. I reached for a few items but Renee did most of the shopping. This time was considerably different.

The goal was for me to push the grocery cart. I was afraid that it wasn't going to work. I had been at Mom and Dad's that morning and had fallen while standing up from a chair to help decorate the tree. I got back up and helped with the tree but, I was feeling pretty fatigued and less confident by the time we got to Target. I was so certain that I was going to fall when I tried to walk with the cart that I wanted to make the first attempt away from the entrance so as not to cause a scene.

My crutches were dangling from my arms as I took my first few steps. I hadn't moved very far when they fell off and I came to a shakey halt. Renee tightened the crutches on my arms and I walked down to the beer aisle. I reached for a six pack (not easy with a long crutch dangling off my arm) and then tried to put it in cart. The crutch got in my way and I couldn't get my arm low enough to put the six pack down. I put the six pack back on the shelf, took off the crutch, and then picked up the six pack and put it in the cart. I then took off the other crutch, put it in the cart with it's mate, and pushed the cart to the next aisle.

The rest of the trip was pretty much a success from there. I continued going up and down the aisles. Stopping from time to time to take things off of shelves or down from pegs. I would sit occasionally, to rest or to wait while Renee browsed but, for the majority of the trip, I walked. I'm sure we made quite a sight. Me pushing the cart, Renee walking behind me holding onto my belt, and dragging my wheelchair behind her.

When we got to the checkout counter I had planned on sitting and allowing Renee to empty the cart. I was so pleased with the success so far that I decided to empty the cart and reload it after paying, all while standing up. After a cup of coffee we headed outside to the parking lot. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to control the cart while going down the ramp from the sidewalk.

I learned pretty quickly that I had to let the cart control me and go with it's momentum. Now, of course, Renee was still holding onto my belt behind me and I could see an imminent face plant in my future. I told Renee to stay with me and let the momentum of the cart pull me out into the parking lot while I tried to remain standing. Thankfully Renee did not pull back on my belt and we avoided the face plant. I loaded the car groceries into the car, put the cart away, grabbed my crutches and walked back to the car. Now, what I haven't mentioned up till now is that this was all midday on a Saturday of Christmas shopping season!

On Sunday Sarah and I decided to try my luck at Toys R Us! It was a little more difficult due to smaller aisles and lots of kids running amuck. However, that test worked out wonderfully as well. Sarah was a little nervous but she handled it great and we had a fun afternoon of Christmas shopping. I can't express how much more independent those to shopping trips have made me feel.

Beer, Christmas shopping,Saturday midday, Toy-R-Us, yup you have it all in the right order....except maybe more beer.
Congrats my friend on your recent accomplishments. I see a run for Governor in your near future.
Renee is a wonderful person taking her time to help you accomplish your goals. We have been truly blessed with a great caretaker in regards to your legs...did that come out right?
Keep up the hard work my friend because when you get your car those weekend trips to Target won't seem so bad....
Merry Christmas, what a year :-)
Love you,
Jeremy - Thanks for taking the time to give us such a detailed account of your shopping experience. None of us can really know exactly how difficult something like that is for you, but your description gave us some idea.

You're doing great!


Sounds like you're doing great! And I like your shopping priorities, haha.

Keep it up! Love Annie and the family :)
Sounds like those two trips did alot to encourage you. :)
You did wonderfully!
We're so proud of you.

Craziness! I am impressed. Sounds good all around.
You are, indeed, brave!! I wouldn't dare go near Target or Toys-R-Us on a Saturday at this time of year!

It's just amazing how quickly you are progressing!

Amen, Heather! You can't pay me enough to go into a Target on any weekend between Thanksgiving and at least a week after Christmas!! I would call that exceptional valor while under fire (especially the Toys R Us.) You don't give yourself easy tests, do you?!
Congrats on achieving another level of achievement. And good job on diverting Noah from the TV!
Love, Florence
Maybe we should all send you our shopping lists as long as you have these litte excursions planned anyway. I still need some stocking stuffers and candy for the 25th.
I'm sure after tackling the shopping a trip to your local post office this time of year {in order to forward listed purchases to Va Beach) will be a piece of cake. You could even do some quick reading while waiting in line (War and Peace maybe).
At least it sounds as if your priorities are straight (haha) in regards to the six pack. It sounds to me as you're doing so much better than when Betsy and I saw you last visit. I think we're all so happy that you're doing so well but maybe we forget to tell you that here in T.H., we're cheering you on with every accomplishment! And it seems to me that maybe since you did so well on this trip that maybe you could take orders for Christmas shopping on consignment and make extra income....after all, you haven't worked much in the last year (hahaha).......sorry - some of the family's 'sick humor' again!

Keep on keeping on!

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