Thursday, 4 July 2013

Zip Wire

On Monday, 1st July 2013, I made a couple of phone calls to the British Red Cross to source a wheelchair for Mum as her mobility has reduced considerably over the last few months.  Mums long term foot shuffling is now so slow and jarring that she often looses balance even when using the walker we recently purchased with the idea that she would be able to use it and enjoy more mobility. In fact the walker has become a bit of a dust collector in the corner of the corridor as everytime I suggest it, Mum has forgotten she has it and how to use it and if by any chance it is a good day and we 'give it a go' it is too high or too low and each walk becomes a moaning session.

A wheelchair was found at the Romsey Red Cross, they were very helpful and I was soon on my way to  collect it.  It was a sunny day and I was out alone enjoying the solitude as Mum was still asleep and Dad was busy getting dressed, the Parkinsons slowing him down considerably in the dressing department. On the way home with the wheelchair in the car I had a sudden feeling of happiness and a huge smile developed. I started thinking of the amazing freedom the wheelchair would give us, I could actually wonder round the shops with Mum, go out and get some exercise whilst pushing Mum around to get her out of the house, she could have more enjoyment of her surroundings.

The good mood continued until I returned home and the realisation hit me, it would only improve things if Mum would use it, I knew I had to tread carefully and tried to work out when the time would come to put it to use.  Little did I know it would be later that day when I had taken Mum with me to pick my brother and partner up and drop them off for a meeting.  I had time to kill and decided to take Mum to visit a friend (my 'ex' mother-in-law) who lived in a block of elderly peoples flats, unfortunately or fortunately the drive to the flats was being re paved and that prevented us parking close.  I knew that Mum would not be able to walk the distance and so parked up, removed the wheelchair from the boot and after some strong convincing that she would no way manage the walk, climbed in. It was marvellous, in through the roadside entrance, up one step (handled expertly, even if I have to say so myself), up in the lift and we were in the flat having a cup of tea in record time, I was smiling from ear to ear. The return to the car was just as effortless and by the time we got home I was making plans for excursions etc, it has gone smoother than I could have hoped.

My mood quickly took a dive, as soon as we had entered the house and closed the door the complaining started... Life is boring, we do nothing, we see no one, everything is a mess, no one comes to visit any more it continued and became very waring.  I did point out that we had only just come in the door from an outing but that was already a missing memory, I let Mum get on with it whilst I started to prepare dinner trying hard to not let her dampen my good mood. At some point Mum went out the side door into the garden, I went to her and suggested I get her walking sticks or the walker as that day her mobility was awful, Mum got verbally nasty with me basically letting me know she would walk round the garden without my help and assistance and that of aids. 

I returned to the kitchen and busied myself with doing a bit of the washing up, whilst at the sink I looked out the window and there was Mum with both arms in the air holding on by her finger tips to the washing line that extends almost the length of the garden. Initially I thought she was getting her balance but to my astonishment she started shuffling along hanging on to the washing line.  My mind couldnt help but see the funny side, initially before she stated moving I could liken her to a ballerina on point with her arms above her head, but then as she proceeded along she looked just like someone on a zipwire, I couldnt help the giggle that escaped my lips. Mum eventually could reach no further as the washing line got higher the nearer it got to the pole, there was a bench seat near by but not close enough to reach her hand to. I prepared myself to run to her rescue however she launched herself at the bench and managed to reach it. I gave her a moment and strolled outside asking if she wanted assistance to get back to the house.

I got 'I dont need your help or anyone elses' and the rest of the diatribe became a murmor as I walked away back to the kitchen to continue the washing up. I kept checking out the window to make sure she was still on the bench but the moment I shot off to the toilet for a wee she had moved off the bench and was using things in the garden trying to make her way round, when I say things, I mean the trellis screen behind the bench, some ornemental posts that I still have to sink in the ground to make a feature, the post for the dovecote, I went out to the garden when I saw her reaching for another trellis that I had only just temporarily tied to hold up the vine knowing it would not support her leaning on it. I rushed to her side where she was precariously leaning outstretched trying to take hold of the trellis, I put out my hand offering it to her as support for her to take, explaining at the same time that the trellis was only tied with string and would not be strong.

She hiss at me that she did not want my help and would manage on her own even if she had to crawl on her knees to do so.  I disappeared back into the house and took out the walking sticks and stood them leaning on the post of the dovecote she was using as support, I then returned to the house. We have all learnt that there are times when it is not worth the effort of trying to help when she is in such a mood as all it will do is make her more angry,

What was all that about........... Mums kick back from the wheelchair............. pushing herself beyond reasonable safety to show she can walk,  even if it did require the zipwire performance to prove she can walk down the garden 'herself', but I am not sure who she was trying to prove it to me or herself.

My only regret was not taking a photo, Mum zipwiring down the garden... it would have been one for the album!

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