Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Evening

Right, thats quite enough doom, gloom and despondency for now. Especially as the joys of Wetherspoons response letter are yet to come.

A sofa day today. Just after I got our of bed and realised that my arms and legs wouldn't stop shaking from sheer exhaustion so I parked myself here with the laptop and haven't moved. Well, apart from 3 million trips to the loo. Of course. All worth it as yesterday was such a lovely day.

I went to Red's parents for lunch. They live in the middle of nowhere and Red wanted me to meet them and see her family home. I live in a lovely part of the country, but
I was stunned by the beauty of where she lives. To see nothing but softly rolling green hills all around you and hear only sounds of nature was a huge pleasure. Red's mum had made us lunch, I was enormously touched when I found out she had bought and made gluten free pasta. After lunch and meeting the gorgeous cats Red and I went shopping.

We'd brought the wheelchair with us so could both browse to our hearts content. Red is a very petite 5'2 size 8 so even though I'm (fortunately) smaller and lighter I always feel a little concerned when she is pushing me. For her not me. Turned out I should have been for both of us as when we were trying to cross a road in the rapidly growing twilight we got stuck. You have to have the strength to slightly tip back a wheelchair to get it up even the lowest of kerbs, like you would with a pushchair but more so. Even at my size it is quite understandably impossible for Red to manage this and so as we crossed the road, on the pedestrian crossing and tried to get up the lowered kerb to get back on the pavement we just got stuck. An attempt to tip the wheelchair back failed, so it was obvious I was going to have to get out. By this time of course the lights had changed in favour of the cars, we were both wearing dark clothing and I was sat in a dark coloured wheelchair. There was a car coming towards us, which did have space to pull into the lane behind us but I don't know if the driver would have managed to see us. Fortunately, just as I was trying to get up (we'd piled bags of shopping on my lap) a couple were crossing and they stopped, the man asking if we needed some help. He pushed me onto the pavement without difficulty, but not without tipping the wheelchair back ever so slightly as we'd been unable to do. We were both very grateful and thanked them as they walked away.

Despite near death wheelchair versus car incidents we had a great day and came home to collapse at mine in (new) pj's. Red made dinner, and before she went home did the washing up telling me to sit down and stop trying to help. The wobbling near hot things must have been disconcerting. We then slumped in front of The 5th Element ignoring that to talk about men, clothes and shoes. Mostly men though. Men,corsets and stap ons. It was all such a 'normal' day. That's why it was so special.


Mary said...

Get thee some of these.

They are silicon rubbery stuff and they wrap around walking sticks, bike handlebars, bits of wheelchair, whatever, no screws or glue, BUT they're tiny, you can shove them in a pocket, visibility without looking dorky. I have a red one and a white one on my walking stick and it makes me feel SO much safer.

steph said...

Lovely post! BG

Red sounds like a great friend who understands your needs well. As you say, a 'normal' day is a real luxury and does your heart good.

I am a well-seasoned wheelchair pusher as I used to regularly take my mum out of her dementia unit, for 'adventures' around the grounds of the nursing home - no traffic. We often got stuck trying to mount the tiniest of kerbs/ramps and Mum (in her confusion) would offer to get out and push - she is severely disabled and needs a hoist to be moved at all! Whenever we got stuck, I used to find it easiest to turn the wheelchair around to pull it backwards up the slope as the larger wheels seem to cope better with small bumps.

Unfortunately after Christmas, Mum had to move to an armchair wheelchair (for comfort) - it's on four small wheels (like a hospital trolley) and is very difficult to manoeuvre, even indoors. It has severely restricted our outings and of course since my back gave out, I haven't been able to push her anywhere. I miss those 'special' times we had together.

Where would we be without laptops? They are a 'life saver' for people with mobility issues, for keeping in touch with the outside world.

Keep on tapping away, BG. You're writing great stuff!

Vi said...

I think you should get some fluro pant for your wheelchair in case you get stuck on a dark road again!

Jim said...

Glad you had a great day BG. I like Vi's flouro paint suggestion for your chair too1

Casdok said...

I know just what you mean by a normal day being specail.
Happy Paddys day!!

frog ponds rock... said...

YAY... ((((hugs))) and yay again.. and a woohoo thrown in for the joy of it....

cheers kim xxx

Marla said...

Couch days and new pj's are the best.

Doctor Jest said...

Sounds like time to do up the chair before you're allowed out to play with the traffic again ;-)

Seriously though the kids used to have those snap on yellow reflectory wristband thingies for just such an eventuality. Or there's good old tipex to the dark surfaces of the wheelchair.

Our surgery has an old fold up chair with the practice name on the back. Our name is a five letter word ending in ***ar House. On the back of the chair we put the name on the top line and the "House" on the bottom line, so when folded up only half is visible, and our chair sits in the middle of the corridor, proudly proclaming


to the world.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Mary: Thank you, I'll check them out

Steph: I'm sorry to hear you can't get out anymore with your mother, it is such a hard situation, I'll be thinking of you.
You are so right about laptops, don't you just love yours?! TY, x

Vi and Jim: I like the idea too! Unfortunately wheelchairs are NHS property. I checked when I got mine as one of Ziggy's friends was going to properly customise it for me, design, spray paint the works. You're only allowed to put stuff on that is easily removable. Sigh.

Cas: I know x x

Kim: wow, thank you! xx

Marla: Aren't they just!

Dr J: Hello, you might be right! I like the snap on wrist band idea, that would work. It hadn't occurred to me because it's a transit chair so I usually just use it in the daylight.
I love your surgery chair description, fab! That must be such a temptation to so many people!

Auntie Jane said...

Been busy... but just caught up on your blogs I hadn't read lately. Very interesting reading... especially about Benefits. It's all so complicated. I am surprised anyone understands how it works!

I felt for you and your regular trips to the loo... I have similar problems and have to be close to a bathroom... It wakes me up in the night several times too, but not as often as you. But it leaves one so tired if you've had a bad night.

Take care... Jane

having my cake said...

I tried to push an elderly relative in a wheelchair recently. She weighed twice as much as me and the pavement was on a slant. It was all I could do to keep the chair straight and her in it. Fortunately there were proper ramps at the place where I wanted to cross the road. I would never have been able to tilt the chair back to get the wheels up - like with a pushchair.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

AJ: Isn't it surprising how tiring just going to the loo can be! I'm glad you liked the benefits posts, I often think the only people who understand the system properly are those who've had to claim themselves over a period of time

Cake: That doesn't sound good (understatement of the day!) Worryingly we were trying to cross on a proper crossing with supposedly fully dropped kerbs, not good! BG x