Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Study in Contrast

Yesterday was my annual office visit with my neurologist, yay. It normally takes me forty-five minutes to get to the Mellen Center, so I left an hour early. It was a beautiful day, if cold. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and gas was $2/gallon, so I tanked up and hit the road. Unfortunately, right after I got onto 271N, traffic stopped. Two lanes of brakelights, and no exits for miles. After twenty minutes and three miles of severely slowed traffic, I passed one car, off in the right ditch. All of that backup pretty much had to have been caused by rubberneckers.

Just as traffic resumed normal speed (65 mph), I ran out of windshield washer fluid. Whatever the city of Cleveland uses on their roads, it does not wipe off with water and blades--I suddenly found myself driving blind. I snapped on the flashers, slowed to a crawl, and drove the last mile and a half to my exit peering through a tiny clear spot in the bottom of my windshield. At the first gas station on Mayfield Road, I pulled in, only to find that the windshield wiper buckets were empty and the squeegees frozen. Not only that, but there was an ambulance and a crowd of gapers at the doorway of the store. I looked long enough to realize that a customer must have fallen right inside the door, and decided I wasn't going to stay there and gawk as the EMTs finished strapping her to a backboard. I got back in my car and headed for the next gas station.

That one didn't have any windshield washer fluid, so I left it and drove to the next one. In the parking lot, I made a quick call to the neurologist's office, since it was now my appointment time, and obviously, I wasn't there. One of the (many) things that drove me Librarian-poo about my neuro's former nurse practitioner was her constant tardiness, so I definitely wanted to check and see if my own tardiness would inconvenience the new NP. The receptionist checked, and said Charlene was running late, so to go ahead and come on in. I went into the gas station, bought a horribly overpriced jug of windshield washer fluid, went back out to my car and discovered I couldn't find the hood latch. Aaargh. I went back inside, bought an even more overpriced bottle of Windex, spritzed my windshield and went to my appointment.

Everything is as normal as it gets for someone with mild MS. Charlene and I discussed my upcoming surgery, the surgery I had last fall, how I felt, and my insurance not covering the copaxone any longer. Then I did all the fun little dexterity and strength tests. Once the appointment was over, I went back to my car, managed this time to open the hood and fill up the washer fluid reservoir, and drove to work with a screaming tension headache and a sore neck and shoulders.

This morning, it was snowing to beat the band, and the plows were a bit behind. I didn't turn on the radio, just ghosted slowly along the roads, feeling my way and watching the snow fall. Despite having to watch what I was doing because of the road conditions, today's drive was peaceful, almost meditative. Definitely a healing contrast to yesterday morning's Cupcake of Doom ride.


Sherri said...

Ghosting in Snow....sounds like the title of a novel.

I send to you some of the sunshine and squabbling bluejays outside my window.

Rob said...

*HUGS* Jammies.