The War Drags On

Today I got out of my wheelchair and walked a bit along the road outside the house, sat down, and then walked back. I couldn’t have done it on my own, and I needed my walker to support me.IMG_3232

My steps were painful fairy-steps, but I am so determined to walk in the woods again thatI forced my body to do what it clearly didn’t want to do.

And it did it.

There is something very odd and frightening about an injury of this kind at this stage of life. I have heard no-one talk about it, so I am either a bit weird . . . not impossible . . . or it is a taboo subject . . . in which case I will take it out and look at it, to decide whether it is true or useful.

William Morris said you should have nothing in your house that is not either useful or beautiful. I reckon the same goes for your mind.

Is my mind useful or beautiful at the moment? If it is neither then it is time to throw it out, to drop it into the deep skip of non-recyclable junk. When it hits the bottom, there will be no crash of metal on metal, or of thought on metal. It will be like dropping a jellyfish on wet sand.

My not-so-trusty steed

My not-so-trusty steed

Now I use a wheelchair, my house has become full of lightweight junk, all designed to make my life easier, and all seemingly also designed to clutter up all useable space and to remind me and all my friends that I can’t walk and can’t crap.

My mind has become like this too.

I paraphrase T S Eliot:

I grow old, I grow old,

All my cogent thoughts have been sold.


The end of time suddenly feels not very far away. There may be no change for the better and no return to the Blissful Time. I can walk to the end of the road as many times as I like, but I will only ever get to the end of the road.IMG_2435

The canal and the woods will be forever out of reach.

I suppose this is how it feels to go into the oxymoronic “Retirement Homr”. It may be homely, but it will never be home.

When I was young, Home was somewhere I went back to, a place of safety. Now my legs are dissolving, Home seems a place to leave, a place of insecurity.

No-one talks of this, yet we will all feel it.

All the walking aids, and the toilet aids, are just the vanguard troops of Time, and they will do for you in the end.

This is why I must make myself walk to the end of the road. I know I can’t beat Time, but it must be a glorious defeat and a controlled withdrawal.

On no account must it be a rout, a massacre. I insist on my dignity.

If all this is a grieving process, I suppose I am in the Angry Phase. I have been told Despair comes next. Hey, ho!


About stevehobsonauthor

I am blind, and I hate it. It stinks. But life is still sweet. I have multiple sclerosis, and that stinks too, but life is still sweet. These are my musings.
This entry was posted in Age, Death, Disability, Exercise, Health and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The War Drags On

  1. Jan says:

    Love to you Steve x


  2. Esme Gedge says:

    What about that off-road wheel chair which is like a special type of BMX Bike? I wonder if one of them would allow you to see the canal again and take photos in the woods? Keep up the anger. It will give you the energy you need. I recommend lots of swearing too! Lots of love to you. Esme


  3. So sorry to hear about your health troubles. I don’t have any words of advice since I’ve never gone through anything as agonizing as you are going through now.

    My husband had to have two back surgeries and was stuck in bed for nearly a year, unable to walk. He seemed to feel guilty about all the help he needed, but on my end as a caregiver, I just want you to know that it was never as much of a burden on me as he seemed to think. In fact, for me, it wasn’t a burden at all. His dependency made our love grow stronger. And now the tables have turned and he’s been there for me every step of the way. I know the guilt that he felt (and which I couldn’t understand at the time), but I also know he doesn’t find me as much of a burden as I imagine sometimes.


  4. tomwhelan says:

    Hang in there. I work as a volunteer for conservation in my town, and we think about wheelchair access. You can’t go everywhere, but there will be places you can go.
    Reading your blog brings home to me forcefully how important access is to people who care about being outside – and I’ll bring that thought to the next meeting I go to.


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