Roundtrip Ticket

Over the last month, since we put her walker into storage, we’ve caught Mom using her wheelchair like a walker instead of calling me for help.  The wheelchair isn’t designed for this.  When it’s empty it easily tips backwards if the slightest pressure is used to push down on the handles.  I’ve demonstrated this repeatedly to Mom, but she either forgets or ignores me and continues to push herself around when she thinks she won’t get caught.

The other day I was coming out of the office and she was half way down the hall.  She stopped abruptly with a ‘deer in the headlights’ expression on her face, followed quickly by a guilty little grin.

“What are you doing?” I exclaimed.  “Why didn’t you call me?”

“Well, I thought you were in the bathroom,” she said, pushing past me and hanging a right into her bedroom.  “You said you were taking a shower.”

“That was over 2 hours ago.  It’s almost lunch time,” I said, following behind her like an outfielder tracking a grounder.  “Do you honestly think I’d take a two hour shower?”

“No, but I just wasn’t sure,” she said, “and I didn’t want you to have to run around naked just so I could pee.”

“That’s no excuse,” I argued.  “Now get in the chair.”

She inched her way around the back and side of the wheelchair, grabbed the left arm rest in a death grip, then swung her butt in an arc and collapsed into the seat.  I pushed her into the bathroom, locked the wheels and left her to do her business.

Two minutes later, I looked up from my computer and there she was, coming out of the bedroom, pushing the wheelchair like a grocery cart.

“What are you doing?” I yelled, jumping up from my chair and rushing into the hallway.  “I thought we agreed you wouldn’t do this anymore.”

“Oh, I thought you meant next time,” she said.  “I figured I got here okay, I might as well make it a roundtrip.”

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