Yesterday, I bought a disability scooter. I’m not going to reveal its name, because it won’t be delivered till tomorrow, and I won’t endorse anything I haven’t lived with for a while.
Suffice it to say it was expensive, but not too expensive, and that it was, and will be, blue. I could have had any colour, as long as it was blue or red! Being told this was heaven – less choice, less stress.
It is part of my new determination to carve out a new identity for myself, now that my left leg is, temporarily I hope, completely useless. Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, my left leg has been my bete noire, my fifth column, my mad woman in the attic. It could never be completely trusted.
But it muddled through, In a thoroughly English kind of way, like the Civil Service during the spying days of Philby and Maclean. It generally knew what was expected of it, and then morosely did it.
But now the tyrant has been o’erthrown, the left leg has declared unilateral independence from my brain. Its desire to do what it wants when it wants, while understandable at a micro level, is totally incompatible with the macro picture . . . the convention of all the bits of my body working as one, each to the best of its ability.
The convention had worked well for years, hadn’t it? Why throw it all away now, just when I need it?
So, from tomorrow, I will be seen sitting astride my blue monster. When I tried it in the showroom, Elisabeth said I looked just like myself in an old photo . . . a child with my new tricycle.
But now I need to come to some sort of accommodation with this new me.
My inner map of where we liv has got to be re-drawn. It will need to include dropped kerbs, accessible shops, and all that kind of stuff.
The woods will be out of bounds . . . and I will mourn the loss of them . . . but there is a nature reserve nearby, with accessible paths, so I’ll take Ruby there. I’m a bit scared of going along the road to get there, but this fear must be faced.
I must become a fearless warrior, a Don Quixote on my decrepit blue pony, and I must tilt at windmills.