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ARTICLES / General / A Trip to the Dentist

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A Trip to the Dentist

By Micki LaVres

(Page 3 of 3)

I thought things could get no more absurd, but they did. Without warning, every puffy white cloud in the sky turned gloomy gray and buckets of rain came pouring down. Within seconds, we were drenched. I must admit the rain was refreshing, so I whispered a half-hearted prayer of thanks to God for helping me out with that hot flash. Still, I couldn’t help wondering how the rain would affect the electric units on Frank’s wheelchair.

“Can you go any faster?” I asked.

Frank nodded his head and with another sip we were in second gear. I had to pick up the pace while moving in reverse – a little hop, then a skip.

My fancy footwork reminded me of the Clark’s Teaberry gum commercial. Flashback to 1968: Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass are playing that cute jingle. Could I remember the steps to “The Teaberry Shuffle”? I bet that would stop some traffic. Fortunately, my grown-up brain kicked in: “Micki, you’re 50 years old, not 10!” I resisted the nostalgic impulse and tried to act like a big girl.

As we neared the parking lot, I spotted our van. Hooray, it hadn’t been towed. Then, just as suddenly as it started, the rain stopped and the shining sun returned to a clear blue sky. The sensation had returned to Frank’s mouth enough for him to puff his way forward and steer for himself. Our adventure had come to a pleasant end.

We continued to our van with a sigh of relief, a prayer of thanks and a little Teaberry Shuffle.

I am a mother, homemaker, and full-time caregiver to my husband who sustained a spinal cord injury in 1990 and was paralyzed from the chest down. We share a 40-acre farm in northwest Missouri with two horses, three dogs, seven cats and my parents who live next door. Living with disability has forced us to deal with depression, overcome obstacles, accept the circumstances, learn to laugh, be grateful for our blessings, and anticipate the future. I would like to give a message of hope to others in my writing.


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