RDP #70: Contact

Duck Ornaments

There were times in the past when I wanted peace and quiet. Having 4 kids all wanting something at the same time was exhausting. Where was “me” time, does no-one realise that you also need time for yourself. As the years went bye, the kids left , the work routine was at home and you no longer had to go anywhere. Shopping became the only opportunity where you saw other people, some you knew and some not, but you had broken out of your housewife cage, had gone somewhere and seen things.

I now had “me” timeI and realised it was not the solution being alone all day.  I was one day diagnosed with MS. Most cases are already discovered in younger years. This does not make it any better, but if you have an “accident” and fall or can no longer walk as well, you explain it with getting older. I was never the athletic type, I could not ride a bike although I would have liked to. I had balance problems. One day the situation got  critical when I fell and could not stand up again. This combined with a visit to the ER in the hospital lead to a visit to my doctor who got suspicious and referred me to a neurologist.

I am not a medical person, but do have a basic knowledge of what should and should not be. After many examinations and x-rays my neurologist confirmed what I already thought. I was an undiscovered MS case, probably at least 30 years. I was becoming a member of the  Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks, not quite, but with time it did not get better.  I was trapped at home except for  excursions by car and I was never a keen driver. I could no longer decide to go somewhere. My body no longer co-operated with my wishes. I would add that I never really had pain, just inconvenience and fatigue, which a few minutes relaxation helped.

I eventually got a wheelchair. Oh shock, I did it all by myself. Of course these things are financed by the insurance, but when and how? I was lucky, I had the means to buy my wheelchair and I wanted something that would move me, an electric chair. I did not want to have to depend on others to go places. Within a few weeks it was delivered. In the meanwhile my doctor and neurologist were informed and they were greatly surprised. Doctors like to do these things one step at a time which is OK, but I did not want to wait for perhaps weeks, even months, until things might be permitted and definitely not an electric wheelchair and I am convinced had I not done this myself, I would still be waiting. I made enquiries in the meanwhile and am glad I did it myself.

I had at last managed to break out of my cage at home. Gradually I went further, realised how it all works, and have never regretted my decision. I have also learned to look at the world with different eyes, mostly by measuring the distance between kerbs and steps and what is wheelchair friendly and what not. The core of our local town has now been paved with the old cobblestones which looks very good and nostalgic but is not so nostalgic for the wheelchair. However, it is all a matter of adaption. Today I am so glad that I did it. I am a member of the human race again. I only noticed how important contact to the others is when I never had it.

And sometimes it does good to be able to laugh at yourself.

RDP #70: Contact