The chair came – and such a good thing it did too.
Today I really, really needed it – and found out how much freedom and indipencdance it really does bring,
Firstly, on 30th June 2017, Lou[ise] from Ableworld came around 12:30pm and made sure it fitted, showed how it all worked, all the little neuonces to it. Then it was all mine.
I went to Penrhyn Castle first (it is not suitable for wheelchair access at all!). It was only because of this thing I was able to enjoy it – or get into it! – at all. Yesterday (the next day), I spent the afternoon/evening out in the local town with a friend I hadn’t spent any proper time with for years, not since I became ill. I pushed myself the entire time, and it’s a very difficult place to generally manage.
I’ve never been able to indipendantly manouvre around this place single-handedly before. I was quite amazed I had managed. First we went to Starbucks, and walked all the way to the other end of the long high street on a rather steep hill, all the way up to my favourite pizza restaurant. We had pizza and cocktails at Johnny Dough’s and really enjoyed ourselves. It was a lovely day out, much like the ones we used to enjoy back in London, and I was so relieved to have a “normal” day out for once.
However, that elation came to a crashing halt today. After passing out from a Fibro flareup in the night, about 11:30pm, I awoke around 3:30am and barely [physically] made it into bed. I ended up unable to sleep after that, eventually going out again about maybe 5am. No more than two hours later, my mother woke me up to tell me my father (my main day carer) was violently ill during that night, throwing up. She had prepared my teas and my meds, leaving them there for me next to some coffee (which I drink mainly cold in the morning) for when I did wake up. I wasn’t happy, but I allowed myself to go out again.
At 9:25am my usual meds alarm went off and I managed to take them with a bottle of water also left for me. I immediately went out again, only coming round properly at around 1:30pm. I was woozy, disorientated, confused, afraid, and my eyes were glued up by about three layers of mascara still on my face from the day before (having never taking it off due to passing out). I had no one else to turn to – I rang my sister to help me orientate myself and help me from feeling scared and confused. Bless her, she spent about half an hour with me over the phone, chatting, discussing, telling me about the renovations on her new house, and what she was up to.
By the time she had to go, I had managed to consume most of my teas and felt clearer-headed. I then had to work out what on earth I was going to be able to do with myself. I couldn’t feel my legs – there had been no one to help me with massaging (I don’t have the strength to do it myself, more’s the pity), nor used my essential oil massage oils on me (I couldn’t find the morning one, and could barely move to do so). It was then I remembered the chair downstairs. It was to be my saviour.
I managed to drag myself to get my canvas tote that I keep my things in, and put my phone and iPad in. I subsequently had no choice but to then place it around my neck and drag myself to the stairlift. I managed to get up into it and took myself downstairs. The wheelchair was left folded in front of where the stairlift comes to an end, so the transfer was easy. And once in… I was free to do whatever I wanted to do. Which was mainly to go to the bathroom, frankly.
Without this chair, I would have been screwed today – even something as simple as going to the bathroom would have been a nightmare. Food would not have been an option, that’s for sure.
I took myself to the lounge after and entertained myself in there, mainly talking to my friend over Facebook Messanger app, and nosing about online, whilst watching on demand TV. I struggled to make myself food later, around 3:30 or 4pm, and dropped some of it on the floor. I could barely manage to eat the rest I was so upset, and I made some more replacement side dish after I stopped crying. I had to stay in the kitchen to eat, which I didn’t like (it’s far too bright in there, with no blinds), but after all my struggles I got my dinner in the end, and returned to the lounge to watch (don’t laugh) Ben Affleck’s Ant-Man.
After feeling terrible about losing so much independence again, being unable to manage to do things like make food without a farracas, I had (gluten free, dairy free) ice cream. Then I got out my new seated dancing DVD and proceeded to try and cheer myself up.
The Smile and Sway DVD looks like it might be a strange and over-enthusiastic attempt at making ballroom dancing fun… but it’s far more than that. It’s 40 minutes of dancing fun, from ballroom favourites of Tango, Foxtrot, and the Cha Cha Cha, to Big Band and Jazz Hands, via the Jive to a little ballet-esque technique, this is a lovely doorway into a world I thought was no longer for me. To be back in a world of fun dance routines, Fosse-style moves, ballet arms, “Big” arms, and “Big” moves… it was a relief to be engrossed into something I had missed so much, and that was so familiar to me.
It wasn’t all so great: I missed my medication time by over an hour, but luckily there was some downstairs. I had been unable to make my teas, or even any coffee (I can’t hold nor lift the kettle), and had to rely on wine to keep my mounting paraesthesia at bay (I don’t know what it switches off, but it does the trick when necessary). I kept banging into things, and knocking paint off the skirting boards. I had to wait for my mam to come back from work to have some dinner. I ended up watching Big Bang Theory and felt a little sad again about not being able to manage things myself. Apparently I also even somehow managed to burn my hand a little… I didn’t notice until I noticed the red burn mark on my finger just before I went to bed.
I’m glad to be upstairs, but that also comes with the fact that getting to the bathroom is going to be very difficult. I’ve so far spent hours and hours avoiding it, but I don’t think I will be able to manage putting it off much longer (it’s actually 3:30am now…), and I’m going to have to take up all my strength, courage and will and face the horrid and difficult struggle to get there and back.
My father is also still ill, so there’s a very good chance that I shall be facing the same kind of day tomorrow. This time a few more things will hopefully put in place, and I’ve already had the traumatic practice-run today.
Thank god for that wheelchair…