Tuesday, December 8, 2009
You are not going out like that, young lady
Brrr. It is a cold one here today. I know 38 is not cold for most of you, but for San Francisco that is cold. We just are not set up for it here. For example, the elevator we have for Maggie is outside open to the elements. We would not do that if we lived in an unfriendly climate. This morning I had to skate across the ice on the deck in order to get to the elevator. I wondered how the motor would work in the cold, but that was no problem.
The cold weather also presents some challenges for Maggie’s attire. Maggie is a snappy dresser but keeping her warm is not easy. Because of the trach, she cannot wear a turtleneck, or cover her neck in anyway, but we still need to keep her warm. She does have a cotton scarf (kerchief type) over the trach but it doesn’t really work for warmth. The only thing to do is dress her in layers. Her neck is cold, but she is not outside long.
Recently she received a jacket from her cousin Nina. It has a nice furry hood. That helps but even hoods are short lived. As soon as Maggie turns her head, she is staring at the lining of the jacket. The hood generally does not turn with her because it is held in place by the straps of the chair and the design of the headrest. Hats end up on the ground because Maggie loves to throw them. Gloves? Forget about that. With her cerebral palsy, it is difficult to get them on her fingers because she cannot move her body the way we can. Besides, her CP is just one part of the equation. She finds it hilarious to sit patiently while I work and work to get gloves or mittens on her and then immediately yank them off and throw them.
This morning I came downstairs and the night nurse had her all ready to go. She was in the jacket, all zipped up, and the nurse told me she put two shirts on Maggie. Ok, that is as good a job as we can do for her. I focused solely on warmth of her head and never considered anything else.
I took her down to the bus and the nurse went home. As I tied the scarf around her neck, I unzipped her jacket a bit. Yikes! She did have two shirts on as the nurse said. However, they were two shirts that should not have even been in the drawer at the same time, let alone on Maggie’s body at the same time. The black and gray sophisticated striped sweater/shirt combo was underneath a blue and turquoise summery shirt. She looked ridiculous. There was no time to change because the bus was coming.
The school nurse was there and I said, "I want you to know I did not dress her and please just take off the blue shirt when you get to school." However, there was more. As Maggie rode the lift up to the bus, I noticed her pants were light black cotton pants that hit her about mid-calf. Her bare legs had a nice blue tinge. I looked at the school nurse again and said. "I REALLY did not dress her this morning."
Poor Maggie is off to her inner city high school with freezing cold legs and clashing shirts. The night nurse is of a different culture and perhaps in that culture, this outfit is ok, but not in mine. I felt like a bad mother.
I can fix this. Tonight I think I will lay out the clothes I want Maggie to wear in the morning and I will get up a bit earlier in the morning to do inspection. Of course Maggie will probably start a new trend and I will embarrass her by putting her in matching clothes that actually keep her warm.