It is now the end of February and so far we have survived most of our first winter. We've had our problems, not with the weather, but with the VA.
This week was interesting. On Monday I had to cancel Rich's doctor's appointment with the VA clinic in Superior because I still could not get him to the doctor. On Tuesday, the VA called and reschedule his appointment for the end of March. Fine, we should have a van by then. The MS society called and are now working with the VA to get us services and help. So far, so good. On Wednesday, VA called and (wonder of wonders) now have authorization to order an ambulance to pick up and deliver Rich to his appointments. How about that!
Let's go back to Tuesday. I headed into town to pick up the mail. I was halfway down the driveway when I noticed a white Jeep Cherokee in the ditch, buried up to its axles in snow. We had about 2 inches or so of snow which had started as a sort of a sleet so it was a bit slippery under the snow. I stopped and a nice woman was glad to see me. She said that they had not been paying attention when they took the curve and ended up in the snow bank. They were at the bottom of the biggest hill and I was pointed down the hill. They were staying at one of our neighbor's places to look at the last lot that was for sale and were thinking of buying it. The husband had a tow rope so he hooked it to the front of my vehicle and then to the front of his vehicle. Now, I'd never pulled anyone out of a ditch before so I wasn't sure how this was going to work. Remember, I'm heading down the hill, on snow that is covering ice; they are pointed up the hill (in a manner of speaking that since they were in a snow bank on the side of the road) and that meant I had to back up pulling them. Once the rope was in place he hollered to me to back up. I did. I had visions of either their bumper coming off or my bumper coming off. Wonder of wonders, I pulled them right out of that ditch and halfway up the hill. I was proud of myself.
On Thursday, I found out that all the paperwork was in Minneapolis for approval for the van. Nice, but we've already bought a van so it won't help our payments but at least we can apply it to the principle of the loan. I did manage to find a dealer that was willing to buy the Denali and we are now the proud owners of a GMC Savanna conversion van that is AWD.
Thursday afternoon Rich wanted a salad for lunch. It takes him a while to eat because his hand shakes and he has gotten used to me feeding him. This is not helping him because he needs to feed himself and work on getting the strength to do it. So, I will feed him part of his meal after he has tried for awhile for himself. He has decided to "play" instead of eat and then I get fed up and then feed him. So, I was sitting in the loft working on my computer when I heard strange little noises coming from below. I went downstairs and Rich was playing a game on his cell phone. I removed his cell phone and placed it next to me on my desk. A little while later I looked over the landing and saw him reading. A book now joined his cell phone. When I checked again he was playing with a Rubik's cube. The cube joined the book and the cell phone. I checked a while later when I heard the TV. I then took 2 remotes from him to join the cell phone, the book, and the Rubik's cube. Then I heard a cat running around and found that our male cat Alexei was bringing Rich his nerf ball golf balls and playing fetch. Now 2 nerf balls, one Rubik's Cube, one book, and a cell phone were on my desk. It wasn't long before I again heard the cat and now 4 nerf balls, one Rubik's Cube, 2 remotes, a book, and a cell phone are in my possession. I left him with this message. "If you have any more toys or allow to cat to assist you (men tend to stick together), I will remove the battery from your chair and not return it until you finish eating." Alexei was then confined to my bedroom until Rich finished his lunch.
On Friday, VA called and had changed Rich's appointment to March 7th. Nice, but I may not have the van at that time. No problem, they were going to send an ambulance for him. Okay, that is fine.
On Friday, early morning, I took our male cat Alexei to the vet to have his teeth cleaned. I promised him I would pick him up and bring him home as soon as he woke up. It was snowing. We had been plowed out that morning but the snow was beginning to come down pretty hard. I dropped off the cat and came home. Nakita, our female cat, gave me dirty looks the rest of the morning wondering what I had done with Alexei. She knew I left with him but I didn't return with him.
Later on Friday morning the GM dealer called to see if we had received the papers for the new van that were overnighted. I said we had not as yet. At 1:30 the vet called and Alexei was awake and wanted to come home. They mentioned to me that the weather was bad and the roads were very bad. They could keep him if I wanted. I had promised that cat I would pick him up so I told them I was on my way. The snow was now coming down very heavy and we had over 6 inches but I made it down the drive to find the delivery van with our papers parked next to my mailbox the driver on a cell phone. I stopped, got out of the truck and walked over the the van and knocked on the driver's side window. He opened the window and I asked him if was delivering a package to me. He was. He also could not make it up the drive and had been calling his superiors that told him to attach the package to my mailbox. I took the package and headed back to the truck. I then headed down the road and looked in my rear view mirror to see the delivery van still sitting there. I then noticed the flashers come on. I turned the truck around and headed back. He was not able to get any traction in the deep snow. He had a rope so I told him to hook his van up to my truck which he did. I then towed him to the main road which was not plowed but at least had tracks. He was heading back to Duluth so I followed him down into town. On the way into town my cell phone rang. It was the alarm company and Rich needed assistance getting up off the floor in the bathroom and could I go home and assist him. I told them that I was in the middle of a blizzard heading to the vet to pick up the cat and even if I did drive back home I could not pick him up. They said they would see if they could find someone. I wished them luck. I got to the vet's and picked up a very subdued Alexei and headed for home. I had to stop a couple of time to get the ice off of my wipers and I could not see much beyond the front of my truck but we made it. I could not see my tracks from my trip down the driveway so I assumed that they hadn't found anyone to come to Rich's aid. As I got home I did see some footprints and when I got in the house Rich was up and in his wheelchair. He left a BIG mess for me in the bathroom. SHIT all over the floor.
Other than that I has been a good week. Of course, I now have two invalids today; both are male. That should say it all.
I have to continue this saga. I thought we were done with all of the bad stuff but we weren't. I was just sitting down to dinner and imagine my surprise when there was a knock on the front door. On my porch was a snow covered young lady. Her and her husband were supposed to be staying at the place next door but they got their car stuck at the bottom part of the driveway. Here we go again. I put my boots on and got them both in the truck. I told them I was NOT going to pull them up the hill but we would go get their things. I drove down the drive and the snow was now up to the axles of the Denali. Their car was almost at the bottom of the drive but at least off to the side where they got stuck. It was a Pontiac GrandAm. I went to the bottom of the drive and turned around and then they got out and loaded up my back end with all their stuff. I prayed we would make it back up the hill. The Denali plowed right through it but there is NO WAY I will be taking it out again. I gave them the number of our plow service so they could tell him where their car is on the drive. By morning it will be buried and he would hit it. The snow is still coming down heavy. We will have at least 2 feet or more before this ends if not more than that.