In New York

In New York

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Out and About

Despite the fact that Roch tires easily now, we have managed to get out and about over the last couple of months.  It felt like quite an achievement when we made it to witness James marrying his beautiful Sabrina in September. Roch looked dashing and it was an excuse for me to dress up and get the hair done. We were both looking forward to such a special occasion but for me it was just vital to make sure Roch made it. I knew how good it would feel for him to be a part of that day. So when I woke on the morning with a stinking headache, my heart sank. Not a good start. But hey we took it slowly and got ourselves all dolled up, well I got ourselves all dolled up...and we left plenty of time for the drive to Stoke Newington.  The headache nagged away all day but never crossed into migraine territory and we managed to stay until just before the dancing started. Roch was okay with leaving then and we reached home without incident, in a rosy glow of triumph. May I just say for the record that we wouldn't have had such a stress free time without Terry's help (not to mention the pleasure of his company).
There’s always some difficulty to overcome – some disaster to be averted. But that’s just it, the difficulty is always overcome and the disaster is always averted and every time it happens, it just proves that it was worth the effort made.
Take James and Sabrina’s wedding – all went well, and with the beautiful ceremony over (not a dry eye in the house) we headed out of the council chamber to take the lift back down to the ground floor. Unfortunately it wouldn’t budge! Without the lift it meant that Roch was effectively stuck several floors up with no way to exit the building in his chair. So we just had to wait until it was fixed.

So we did, and to be fair, it didn’t take them too long. But it does go to show how vulnerable wheelchair users can be to the vagaries of machinery. It didn’t feel good to watch everyone trot downstairs ahead of us. But the rest of the day passed without incident. Although there were steps into the pub where the Reception was held, by means of brute strength, and the combined efforts of the manager and the redoubtable Terry, the wheelchair with its precious cargo was lifted inside. All good. After an absolutely delicious meal, the only thing to mar the day was the best man’s speech, but the less said about that, the better!

All dolled up
Roch with Terry
You know, people generally come up trumps and this was proved to us again when recently, we encountered a problem at Kew Gardens. Kew has always been special for us and we picked a gorgeous day in mid-October to visit. It’s my favourite time of year and to be surrounded by the lights, the colours, the scents of Autumn in such a wonderful setting – well, it lifted my spirits.

Towards the end of the day Roch had to use the toilet. Now this is the thing he dreads when he is out and the reason why it’s difficult to arrange outings without a second helper. I don’t know about you, but we find that in public disabled facilities, the toilets are very low.  Possibly this helps some disabled people, but not Roch. The height of the toilets, combined with the diminished strength in his arms, means that he cannot stand up without assistance. I am not strong enough to lift him by myself (at home I use the hoist) and Kew’s disabled toilet facilities proved no different. So there it was, the moment he had dreaded. Stuck on a public toilet. There was no help for it, we had to pull the emergency chord. This could have been a moment of crippling indignity. However, a knock on the door brought the friendly and capable Jan to our rescue. She asked how she could help and Roch directed operations. Between us, Jan and I helped him to his feet.  Jan followed instructions, held on firmly, offering assistance with such respect, that she transformed the incident into a mere blip on the radar.  Gold star for Kew then – also just to mention that there are ramps into the exhibitions and level access to the main restaurant and shop. Disabled adults £14.50 with essential Carer admitted free.

As I say, he gets very tired and no longer objects to early bedtimes. However, we’ve both noticed a difference in his energy levels when he’s had the nippy on for a few hours. So the new routine includes nippy for a few hours every day. He’s still not keen to use it at night time but we’ll come to that, no doubt. We’ve been to a few more Brentford matches – that’s becoming more of a routine, with a few pints afterwards to round off the trip. As long as we can make it home for Strictly Come Dancing, I’m happy. (It’s called give and take, people…)

1 comment:

  1. When I last had the pleasure of visiting Kew gardens, circa early 70's, the admission was 1 pence. The gatekeeper said the charge hadn't been increased ever. Seems like they re-thought that one!! Great blog, Deidre!