Thursday, March 3, 2011

I went shopping by myself!

Doesn't that sound so basic? "Oh I just went shopping."

I left my house last Monday, got on the right bus, shopped for the few groceries, and then I came home again all by myself. It was the first time I managed a shopping trip by myself in 33 months!

I can not begin to tell you how freeing an experience this was. I knew I was close to being able to do it- I have done a ton of prep work with my occupational therapist recently, but I also have had a few horrible travel and shopping experiences in the past 6 months and I felt pretty scared. Transit systems and icy sidewalks are beyond challenging for someone with balance, dizziness and nausea issues, let alone dealing with visual problems and a challenged short term memory. I screwed up earlier in the week and forgot to buy some needed groceries for my stroke group's Healthy Cooking Event so I felt especially motivated to just go ahead and do it already.

First --- I reviewed everything we had talked about at therapy and I made a plan because "winging it" is no longer an option for me.

I made a written grocery list of what I had promised to take to (SAM) later in the day. Ummm ground turkey, green pepper, red pepper and celery. Sounded doable so far.

I got my backpack so I could carry the groceries home. Do I have what I need to take with? wallet, watch, cell phone, keys, bus tickets, money... oh yeah and the list I just made of what I need to buy (darn short term memory problems)

Next was to get on this computer and look up the bus schedule. I wrote down the next three times the bus could drive me the short distance to the mall. I closed my computer. I next opened my computer again and looked up the times to get me home again.. duh.

I got dressed warm enough in case I wound up waiting at the bus stop a long time in our freezing weather, and I remembered to lock the door on the way out. The bus got to my closest bus stop only a few minutes after me and I was walking into the mall only 15 minutes later.

Now of course something had to go wrong, but for once it wasn't stroke related. They had a whole lot of flowering plants in the floral department and I had a mild asthma attack! I got the heck to the other side of the store, and used my inhaler. I almost called my husband to come home from work and rescue me but after I sat down for a while I felt a whole lot better ... so I got my groceries, paid and got on the correct bus for home.

An hour after I left the house I was back home, dumping my grocery laden back pack on the floor by the front door, and collapsing on the sofa. I rested until my friend Dave came to give me a ride to SAM (Stroke Recovery Association) which is located on the other side of the city. I was exhausted and excited all at the same time. My little outing had zapped all my energy.

It turned out that Dave had to stop at the grocery store on the way to my house to pick the items too that he had promised to bring for our health cooking lunch at SAM. I briefly regretted not calling Dave earlier and asking him to just pick up the items for me, but if I had called him I would not have had my little adventure or have this huge sense of accomplishment.


Grace Carpenter said...

Yay Linda! Independence is sweet (even if it is scary).


Sara G said...

Congrats Linda!! Brave, courageous and you did it! Proud of you!

Linda said...

Thank-you Grace and Sara for the encouragement!

I went for another bus ride on Wednesday to get to Church. It was not as smooth as the first time. Going home the bus pulled away as I was trying to get across the street but I just couldn't move fast enough. I am sure the driver saw me too. I stood there and cried but another bus came along after only a couple minutes and got me home by a slightly different route. Buses are so darn stressful.


Sara G said...

I have not even attempted riding a bus but I'm sure it is stressful. Riding in a car is stressful enough for me!

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