Saturday, 12 September 2009

Still Here

It may seem as though getting my wheelchair heralded the end of my blog. Nothing is further from the truth!

I may, when I look back, have experienced that sinking to the floor common at the end of a marathon (though I don't recall any turkey foil). And that may have led me to not blog for a while. But actually I haven't been on the floor all that time, I've found myself adjusting to life being radically altered.

The thing is, once you receive appropriate treatment for your condition, all manner of improvements can be noticed. So, once my arms were no longer having to reach beyond their capabilities to steer a mobility scooter, they ached less and were used more.

I have hugged and tickled my son more in the past few months that at any time in the last five years. My arms no longer need pillow support at night. I can give my hair a really good scrub in the shower and can do more potting on of plants in the greenhouse (not that there's been much gardening...that too has kind of been replaced lately).

I have cooked more, typed more (for uni...oh and I joined facebook which has been 'interesting') and indulged in brief bursts of an old passion, DIY - or DIY lite as I like to call it. And then, by accident, I found that I could drive my mother's power-assisted car. I parked it for her one day. And ever since, I've found myself borrowing it on occasion. I went on holiday with my son to Wales. It took three days to get there, and three days to get back. We had a great time. I saw the sea.

When I found a nifty tape device that hooks your ipod up to the tape deck via a cassette, well, I was in heaven. Somehow I prefer listening to music on the move. It's strange. But the fact that I can now listen to music at all is progress! Jimi Hendrix at half volume is better than not at all.
And now I feel that the happy combo of motability car (with necessary adjustments for safe and non-fatiguing driving - gear stick on steering wheel please!) and wheelchair is seriously possible.

So I am hammering my credit cards to get them paid off and next June I plan to be driving, and possibly working. Because being able to drive and not be exhausted by it extends my work options. Being able to use my arms for more than a few minutes at a time means I may have the stamina for some kind of employment. Of course, I may not. All this more of everthing could lead to less in due course.

I've been to Work Directions. They've dealt with countless people with my condition (living in a large urban connurbation has its merits). And they've told me to do some voluntary work (outside the home if at all possible). And then to come back and see them in a few months. To see how it goes. No rush.

In the meantime, I have decided against paying out what seems like a colossal amount of money for a 'life changing' treatment so many people are talking about.

Because, when I assess my life, I believe I've moved things on myself. And yet, I'm always aware that I could crash. I could be back in bed for long stretches, back, back...back. Going backwards? Going forwards? Back and forth. I wonder whether this is a factor I will just have to get used to as I move in and out of periods of differing health. And I wonder if the government departments I currently rely on will have to get used to it too...

Certainly, going 'back' will hold far less fear and disappointment if I've not been 'trained' to rebuild in haste and never, ever look back. And parted with the best part of £700 into the bargain. I wondered for a while if it was possible to get better this way. Now, I don't really care. It's not about getting better. What has struck me lately is my capacity to enjoy things in the simplest of ways, at 'face value'. Yes, being outdoors and more independent has helped that. But equally, so has being indoors and less independent. As I write I haven't been out in the sunshine today, or yesterday. Or the day before. And that's okay too. I'm sure it's lovely. I'll get there when I can.