Sunday, July 6, 2014

Yesterday saw my village getting together for the annual get together on the green. There was a band playing, and a marquee called The Pudding Tent, where most people donate some kind of pudding thing for everyone to dig into. People turn up with picnics and drinks, or use the local pub that faces on to the green, for refreshments. It's always a good event, so I decided (after a few years absence) that I would go along.
And man, it was busy! I went down with my daughter who was helping out at the pub for the night, and as I live at the top of the street that joins the green, I thought, 'Perfect! I'll just go down in my wheelchair. It'll be fine.' Fine it was not. My daughter had to jog to keep up, and I had underestimated how steep it was, and just how many potholes there were. Still, I had time to think about my decision when I hit a kerb at speed, nearly flew out of my chair, whilst being serenaded by my daughters shrieking.

Anyway, I got to the green and was met by some kids who had seen my descent, and decided, on their bikes and scooters, to challenge me to a race. I was up for that, but sadly I was left eating their dust, as they left me standing. Or rather, sitting.

I saw several groups of people that I knew, and have known for a loooong time, since before I had to accommodate MS, so it was good to see them and chat about any old thing.

And of course, it was a perfect place to do a wheelchair challenge! I gave up my wheels in favour of a  garden chair and the games commenced! I thought I'd go easy on them, when I set the route, so I  decided they should just go up the slightly battered road and back. At first glance, EASY! No grass, no kerbs, not very far. However, the first contestant revealed it to be trickier than it looked. People seemed to find it incredibly difficult to even go in a straight line… person turned around, so they were backwards and a bit stuck. The winner was declared, but as a man who does The Iron Man thingy it may have been too easy for him, but he assured me it was difficult, much harder than he'd thought it would be. His daughter, (6 1/2) put me through my paces too, as she was asking questions. 'Why do you use a wheelchair?' 'What's wrong with your legs?' 'But I saw you stand up. Why can you stand up, but not walk?'

I was set my own challenge when I needed a wee. I had to go in the back of the pub but luckily, the tradesman entrance was right by the mens loo…..that'll do….. I'm not fussed, especially as a man checked it was empty, and then kept guard for me…..I came out to find a queue of men, who were looking a bit confused.

I had another challenge getting home. My friend came with me, and thank goodness he did, I HATE BEING PUSHED, but I could not have got home without his help. Especially as there are five steps to get to my front door and a path too, I can honestly say I have never found it SO bloody difficult. Normally, I can do it with the help of crutches and a hand rail, but last night both feet seemed stuck to the floor, and my legs were reluctant to bend, so this made the steps bloody hard work. Thank goodness for my friend again! The good man had stayed home with the little man, and I can definitely say there's no place like home.

But apparently, my home is fine for me, according to the local authority, who, apart from the hand rail, and the offer of a stair lift inside (that was then withdrawn), refuse to accept I need help. Surely I should be able to get in and out on my own? And access all of my home? And garden? Well, I can't. Do you call that fine? Aren't I just a bloody demanding diva?

That's what I call a challenge.

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