Archive for the ‘Tales On Wheels’ Category

Wheelchair raving and lumps in the road.

October 20, 2009

Inside I'm DancingThis year is officially the year of the eighteenths…so many of my friends are having wild parties, fancy dress, formal, Hawaiian, you name it, I’ve now got the costume.  So last weekend was no different, I went from one birthday meal (Nandos, which by the way do amazing veggie burgers, seriously, who knew?!) to a birthday party at the local rugby club. We all had a great time; I caught up with some friends I hadn’t spoken to in a while. Not many people were dancing when I got there so I grabbed one of my friends Mams and started the dance craze. That’s the great thing about being in a wheelchair, when you start dancing, people tend to feel that they should join in! It reminds me of a scene from one of my favourite films “Inside I’m Dancing” in which Rory and Michael go to a nightclub and Rory starts to dance. Now, before I get asked, yes, I’m a terrible dancer, I make Ricky Gervais look like Michael Jackson. There I said it, it is something I have to face up to, I’m an awful dancer HOWEVER I was the first person in a wheelchair to pass/take dance GCSE, oh yeah, check out my alloys.

After sweating off my Nandos meal in what can only be described as incoherent, completely sober and slightly deranged raving I went and sat in the bar with my orange juice (I was driving!) I was bent over across the table (sat in my chair) when one of my friends asked me quietly “What’s that?” whilst pointing at my lump on my back, which shows through my clothes like a great big bulge. I asked “What?” and he pointed again so I said “Oh, that’s my lump.”

“Why do you have a lump Ali?” he asked and for some reason I didn’t give him an answer, I distracted myself with another conversation, I was in a party spirit, I didn’t want to talk about how my nerves, bone and fat have mangled into a stupid ball at the bottom of my spine which makes clothes shopping unbearable. I felt bad after, I haven’t spoken to him about it since, it hasn’t come up but I can’t help wandering “why didn’t I just tell him?” and I think I know: It’s the part of my body I can’t cover up, it’s behind me so I pretend it isn’t there, I haven’t accepted it myself yet because I hide it therefore I don’t expect other people to understand it. Feel free to say what you think.

I went clothes shopping today and every time I tried a dress on I turned sideways and saw how my lump looked in it, fat and ugly I thought. I can’t wear pleats because they bunch up when I’m sat down, I can’t where puffy dresses for the same reason, I don’t like to show off my weak legs, I can’t wear drainpipe jeans because of my splints and now I’m obsessed with how my back looks…my back?! Bloomin’ heck, I need a personal shopper now!

Ali x

P.S. I’ve got a fancy dress party to attend next week, any ideas would be great, shopping for normal clothes is a big enough task, a fancy dress one…? ARGH!


Sugar Puffs Climb

August 16, 2009

cerealboxFor the last week I have been making an effort to eat healthily. The thing is, I like chocolate, I like bread…I like a lot of unhealthy food, put that together with not being very mobile and I think you’ll understand when I say I’m not stick thin. So now I’m making a conscious effort to have cereal in the morning, a yoghurt for lunch and something like tofu and rice for dinner…I know, it sounds as good as it is. Ahem.

This morning when I woke up my family were still tucked up in bed except for my mother, who seemed to be spending her entire day in the shower. I went straight to the fridge, got my (rice) milk out and placed it on the counter, time for sugar puffs! I opened the medium/high cereal cupboard to find that the sugar puffs had been placed ON TOP of the pasta and rice on the high shelf. I sighed and pulled myself out of my wheelchair, using all 4 foot 11 of me to reach for the cereal box, no luck, I was still two feet away.  With great distain I raised one leg and placed it sideways onto the counter, next to the (rice) milk, grabbing onto the handles of said cereal cupboard, I pulled myself onto the work surface; bloody hell it hurt. “All this for sugar puffs” I thought. I pulled the box down and placed it next to the (rice) milk. HORRAH! Mission accomplished.

Oh wait, no, you see now we have the issue of someone who has little/no strength in their lower body stuck on a high work top. I turned my body slowly, holding onto the toaster as I did and with a great plonk I was now sat on my bottom with my legs dangling off the side. “Great, I’ll just jump off!”. I lowered myself slowly, could I feel the floor? Well no because a) I have no feeling in my lower body and b) I was still 2 feet above floor level. I sat on the worktop thinking about my options, I could:

a) Jump and risk broken bones.

b) Use my dressing gown rope to lower myself down or

c) Eat my cereal on the worktop and wait for help.

C it was!

I quite happily sat there for ten minutes, slowly eating my cereal in the still silent kitchen…and I waited… and waited. The shower was still making that ‘rumming’ noise from the downstairs bathroom.  Seriously, how long did the woman want to take shampooing?! Finally, after a grand THIRTY FIVE minutes my mother emerged from the bathroom in her dressing gown (yes, thirty five minutes and she had yet to get dressed) “What you doing up there?” she asked as she breezed past her stranded daughter.

“I couldn’t reach the sugar puffs” I said slowly.

“I put them in the soup cupboard” she replied

“No you didn’t”

“Yes I did.” She argued as she pulled a new pack of sugar puffs from the soup cupboard, which had pride of place on floor level.


Ali x

P.S. Anyone else who has also been stranded whilst on the hunt for Sugar Puffs due to lack of strength in their lower body, please contact me. It’s better if we work together on this one!

Piano Lifts

August 16, 2009

wheelchairliftblogLast week I went piano shopping. I don’t actually play the piano but my Mother does and my brother and I can play a mean “Heart and Soul” (known as the tune from the Tom Hanks film: ‘Big’)…we intend to learn something which doesn’t drive our neighbours up the wall very soon!

Anyway, for those of you who are not aware of what pianos are, they tend to be:

a) Big

b) Heavy and

c) Very awkward

So you’d think that they’d be stored on the ground floor of most music shops…well not my local one! Seriously, who puts a bloody piano shop on the first floor? What’s even more confusing is that on the ground floor they keep; books, guitars, percussion instruments and picks. I’m pretty sure a few books are easier to carry up and down a flight of stairs then a bloomin’ great piano BUT it’s ok, because they have a crane-type-hoist-thing to carry them up and down the stairs…so you’d think they have a lift, right? Nope.

I think I should add in at this point that I foolishly chose not to wear my shoes and splints on this particular shopping trip, instead I wore my crocs, leaving my feet virtually useless. I pondered for a moment about asking to use the piano-crane-type-hoist-thing to ‘raise me up’ whilst I sung West Life at full volume…I didn’t. My brother, thank goodness, had tagged along and told me to just crawl up the steps, so, ever so elegantly I threw myself upon the steps and started to drag myself, very slowly, to the top. Once I’d got halfway I was out of breath, bruised and a little light headed to be honest, so I had a bit of a rest. It was at this point that my brother and I turned to find that we had a little audience. Two sisters, around the age of fourteen had quite literally plonked themselves right in front of the steps to stare at the apparently amusing sight of a cripple trying and failing to walk up a flight of stairs. If you’d given them some popcorn and nachos I’m pretty sure they would have switched off their mobile phones and told the people in the front row to quieten down!

“Can you two just go away and stop staring?” My brother asked/told them in his ever so ‘subtle’ way. They finally left the attraction, slightly red faced, I felt kind of bad, I thought maybe my brother had been a bit rude….until they came back a mere two minutes later for seconds.

It surprised me how annoyed my brother got, he’s a star really; he has carried my chair (Violet) up many stairs in his time. He’s very understanding but will be quite abrupt if people stare at me and make comments. The thing is; I’ve grown used to it; I just take it as the norm to have people stare at my limp. That’s half the reason I stopped walking altogether really, my limp drew so much attention (as well as being incredibly painful!) that it became very hard for me to cope with and to this day I still feel uncomfortable walking in front of people.

So this is my official plea to the government:


Otherwise, supply some popcorn for the ‘cripple’ audience.

Ali x

P.S. I got a ‘Yamaha U3’ in the end from a shop in a village nearby ON THE GROUND FLOOR! Shocker.

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