One of the members of SWMBO's Multiple Sclerosis branch writes poetry from a disabled person's slant. Because the world is so different to those with severe difficulties, their writings sometimes give real pause for thought. I thought I'd share with you here, one of his latest... CELEBRATE Me? I can't walk, I can't remember, I can't run, I can't earn, I can't do. But, I CAN think of words, I CAN see colours, I CAN appreciate the world. My life is different now. It's not wrong, Just different. Celebrate!
I've been reading about the cost of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan lately, and the possible defence cuts that will have to be made as a result. It made me wonder how long it will be before we see the RAF attempting to carry out their duties like this ??
It will make bombing a more "personal" experience but could have severe limitations in respect of bomb load!
Last night, I had a rather large pile of ironing to work my way through and just couldn't take any more of the Winter Olympics. So, I switched off the tv and went to find a cd to listen to whilst attempting to make three over-loaded baskets of mixed crumples into one nice neat pile of clothes that would actually be wearable. (How do tumble driers manage to tie clothes into knots???) I picked up Vol 1 and 2 of Andy Hamilton's amazing "Old Harry's Game", loaded up the auto-changer on the stereo and picked up the first shirt. Three hours later, I had three very large piles of neatly (in my eyes) ironed clothes, ie. His, Hers and Bedding. What was remarkable was that I couldn't remember doing much ironing at all! I remember laughing - constantly - but not the drudgery of the ironing, which, it must be said, is my least favourite bit of housework. Usually I iron listening to something like Meatloaf in an attempt to use the tempo of the music to get through the pile a bit quicker. This works, to a degree, but although I enjoy the music, I still hate every minute of re-organising creases in our clothes! From now on, it's top quality comedy for me, every time.
Just in case you've never heard of "Old Harry's Game", a brief resume can be found at:
Because it's been so long since I last posted, I suppose I should say, "Merry Christmas", "Happy new Year" ..... and "Have a great Easter" is probably in order too! As with most people, the last couple of weeks have been hectic, we've had severe problems with the weather, and SWMBO's MS has taken a bit of a dive which has meant her care has taken up a lot more of my time than usual. She tries really hard to be as independent as possible, but that just hasn't been possible since before Christmas. We went up North to visit her family over the holiday period, but had to cut the visit short and come home as she just couldn't cope away from home and all her equipment. There's a limit to how much you can take in a car and put into a hotel room!
I would like to say that a thank you to the staff at the hotel was the least we could do when we left, as they were really kind and helpful. We have had many occasions to complain about service etc, but this was the exact opposite. When it became obvious that the MS was deteriorating quite rapidly they helped us to load the car and transfer SWMBO into her front seat. Despite all the adaptions, I would not have been able to do it all myself. This wasn't helped as I had done further damage to my ankle trying to transfer her earlier in the day. Not sure what has happened to it, but I'm pretty sure that it's going to involve another visit to the hospital.
My day seems to have changed somewhat too over the last couple of weeks. I now get up at about 8.30 - 9.00 and get ready whilst the carers are getting SWMBO showered and dressed. I don't seem to get to bed before 2.00am now, as I only seem to be able to get time to do housework etc after SWMBO has been "put-down" for the night. There is a distinct advantage to this, however, as going to Tesco's at 1.30am means that there is a distinct lack of rug-rats about. I know I'm a grumpy old git, (honest!) but if my kids had used the isles of the supermarket as a play area, I'd have ripped their b****y legs off! Last week I was actually knocked over TWICE by a child riding her bike up and down the supermarket isles. After the second knock-down, I got up, picked up the child's bike with her still on it, and took it to the security staff and informed them that if they didn't control both the child and her mother then I would sue the store for the injuries that I had received. I think that the fact that I had blood running down my ankle (fortunately the "good" one) and that I walk with sticks anyway had them worried. A tannoy call was put out for the mother, but it still took nearly four minutes for her to arrive. She, apparently, had met some friends and was having a coffee with them, and had told her child "not to get up to any mischief"! I told her what had happened, and that I was going to inform Social Services that she was not caring for the child correctly. Looking back, I think that I was hoping that it would shock her into thinking about her, and her child's, actions. In the event, both I and the security guard were flabbergasted to be on the end of one of the most foul-mouthed rants that I have heard since I left the RAF! It concluded with the statement that she was going to phone the police and have us both arrested for "child abuse". Some people should just not be allowed to reproduce! Rant over ..... time for a nice glass of St. Emellion
Decidedly p****d off today! The weather is awful - wet, windy and gloomy so I thought a smile might be in order..... Little Billy went to his mother demanding a new bicycle. His mother decided that he should take a look at himself and the way he acts. She said, "Well Billy, it isn't Christmas and we don't have the money to just go out and buy you just anything you want. So, why don't you write a letter to Jesus and pray for one instead." After his resulting temper tantrum, his mother sent him to his room. He finally sat down with a pen and paper and started to write his letter to Jesus. Dear Jesus, I've been a good boy this year and would appreciate a new bicycle. Your friend Billy
Now, Billy knew that Jesus really knew what kind of boy he was (a pretentious little brat!), so he ripped up the letter and decided to give it another try. Dear Jesus, I've been an OK boy this year and would really appreciate a new bicycle. Yours truly Billy
Well, Billy knew that this wasn't totally honest, so he tore it up and tried again. Dear Jesus, I've thought about being a good boy this year so can I have a bicycle? Billy
Well, Billy looked deep down in his heart, which was actually what his mother really wanted him to do. He knew he had been a little s**t and basically deserved nothing. He crumpled up the letter and threw it in the rubbish bin with all the others and went running outside. He wandered around aimlessly for some time, depressed because he realised that he treated his parents really badly and that he needed to consider his actions. He finally found himself in front of a Catholic Church. Billy went inside and knelt down. He looked all around and realised that he didn't really know what to do. Suddenly, an idea began to form in his head. He got up and started towards the door. As he was passing all the statues, he suddenly grabbed a small one and ran full speed out of the door. He ran all the way home without stopping or looking back and went straight up to his bedroom. The statue was hidden under his bed, and he grabbed the pen and paper again and started to write..... OK Jesus, I've got your mother! If you ever want to see her again, give me a bike. YOU KNOW WHO!
Well, it's been a while since I wrote anything down on here. Not a bad thing, I hear you say!
The title of this blog may give you a clue as to why but may leave you wondering. It's not a play on words or anything like that, it is simply a fact. To explain:
On returning from a day in Cheshire to visit the out-laws, we were travelling along the M6, minding our own business and singing along to Meatloaf. This is quite a normal sort of journey for SWMBO and I, but on this occasion, we had our youngest daughter and her three kids in the car too. And yes it does have 6 seats in it, before anyone has a go at me! It is, or rather was, a Grand Espace, so we can have six seats and still fit SWMBO's power chair and other necessary travel accoutrement's into the back. Our daughter has brought up her kids to appreciate Meatloaf, but we had never heard it sung in three different tempo's with three different sets of words before. After a while, we were forced to slow down by the weight of traffic and the fact that the overhead signs told us there was an accident ahead. We spent about ten minutes slowing and accelerating, as per usual in these situations, before coming to a dead stop in the centre lane. Either side of us the traffic was at a standstill too. About 7 or 8 seconds after we stopped, and just as Meatloaf's "Bat out of Hell" reached its crescendo, there was an almighty bang, and we shot forward about 10 feet. Fortunately the car was an automatic and we were stopped with my foot just resting on the brake, so when we were hit the car moved and reduced some of the impact, and I was able to apply the brake again in time to stop us hitting the car in front.
Once I had quickly checked to make sure that everyone in the car was ok, I went to check on the occupants of the car that hit us. There was only one person in the car, and he was quite badly shaken, but otherwise unhurt. Once the traffic started to move, we crossed to the hard shoulder and got out to check the cars and, at that moment, two Highways Agency vehicles and a break-down truck pulled up behind us. They had been on their way to the accident ahead and had been stood-down just as they were approaching us, had seen the shunt and stopped to offer assistance. They were also in contact with an ambulance that was a couple of hundred yards behind them, so got them to stop and check everyone out.
We were lucky as the only injury was our autistic grandson, who had been in the rearmost seat at the time, hit himself on the nose with his PSP! He was more bothered about the fact that he had, as a result of the bump, pressed a wrong button on his game and had lost a "life" in his battle against some alien or other. The driver of the other car though was really shaken by it, and was even worse when we finally got the tail-gate open and he saw the kids and the wheelchair. And this is where the title for this post comes in........
My granddaughter, a VERY fashion conscious 12-year old, was amazed to see that the other driver, when they helped him to the side of the road, was wearing a skirt and long, flowing robes! It was all we could do to stop her from saying it loud enough for the poor man to hear, but we explained the reason to her - and no - he wasn't Scottish and wearing a kilt. It turned out that he was (I think) a Hindu, (to my shame I'm no expert on religions) and had been celebrating at a family gathering, and his family had travelled from all over the country. He was still in his "ceremonial dress" from this meeting, and if my assumption that he was Hindi is correct, then it is likely that they had been celebrating Diwali. Given the obviously deep religious beliefs that this poor chap had, then seeing the children in the back of the car and realising how close to injury they came, had given him a real shock. I did my best to tell him that everyone was ok, and that as far as the children were concerned they had just had an adventure and couldn't wait to tell their friends! I didn't mention that "the skirt" was going to be the main talking point of the story - I was going to have to explain to the kids that the outfit that he was wearing was quite normal for his religion and was somewhat akin to their "Sunday best".
Well, the outcome was that we were able to carry on with our journey, only another 150 miles, and after about two minutes driving the volume in the rear was back to where it had been prior to all the excitement. The other driver phoned me the next day, ironically just as I was checking the piece of paper with his details on to phone him, to apologise for any inconvenience that he had caused. He was fine and had been able to continue his journey about 15 minutes after us, and once the Highways guys had duck-taped the front of his car back together!
I'm really upset though, because the insurance company won't pay for my car to be repaired, as they say it's too old (8 1/2 years) and that it will have to be written off. It's a shame, as I've paid out over £1,000 in the last six months to get it exactly right for SWMBO and the wheelchair, yet the insurance company won't take this into consideration when they (eventually) get round to making me an offer. Obviously, as a matter of course, the first offer will be ridiculously low, and the advice from my insurers was to tell them that if they consider that to be the value of the vehicle, then they should go out and buy me a replacement! Time will tell as to the level of offer they are prepared to make. It's been over two weeks now since they took the car away and I've heard nothing yet, despite the fact that they papers they left me with state that they will make an offer within 10 days of picking up the car. I have got a replacement vehicle, but I can't get SWMBO into it without causing her pain, and there is no chance at all of getting her power chair into it without causing massive damage.
It remains to be seen how long they will take, but I'm not holding my breath!!!
A 50-something (permanently claiming to be 39 and a bit) kind, gentle, outspoken, fat, hairy, semi-crippled, fully-qualified Grumpy Old Man who tries not to take life too seriously and is often mistaken for Victor Meldrew's younger brother. Married to "She-who-must-be-obeyed", a kindred spirit and my wife, lover, mistress, confidante and best friend! I'll take what life throws at me, so long as I can enjoy my family and be as grumpy as I want!
I've worked out that life's too short, and it ain't a rehersal....so go for it and make the best of it you can - it may not be perfect but at least it's yours.