Ways forward

stickywicket Member Posts: 27,104
edited 30. Dec 2014, 12:41 in Living with Arthritis archive
It's the tail end of the year, a time when it's all too tempting to look back, with regrets. To counteract that I'd like to tell you of two lovely ladies I met over Christmas at separate events. Both were in electric wheelchairs and I'm ashamed to say I made the sort of spot judgements we all (myself included) deplore others making ie I assumed they were far more disabled than they are :oops: And fatter. Have you noticed how people apparently shed about 3 stones when they are helped out of those cumbersome vehicles?

Lady No 1
Multiple Sclerosis. One very gifted daughter at uni and another, with considerable learning disabilities, at home with her and her husband. She drives a car which takes her wheelchair and anchors it in as the driver's seat. She has a 'Helping Dog' which removes washing from her machine for her and picks up anything she drops on the floor while (I love this :P ) pointedly ignoring anything the rest of the family drop. She and her husband are currently investigating the possibilities of fostering. No looking back with regrets for her.

Lady No 2
Was extremely athletic. Played curling to a high level and was a big 'outdoors' type and a gifted artist until she had a stroke. She now has a short (6-7 mins) attention span but is still the very intelligent woman she always was. She has to (permanently, even indoors) wear a rather ridiculous-looking, large sheepskin hat with ear flaps to keep at bay the severe and constant neurological head pains she gets. She still paints. And laughs. And her partner, now her carer, a former outdoor pursuits instructor, is kind and gentle and as 'unbitter' as she is.

They certainly gave me food for thought.


  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That`s a lovely tale, SW - and I`m sure there`s a lesson in there for us all.It`s up to us to make the most of every day we are given, no matter what hand we have been dealt.

    I have a friend with MS. She is very badly affected, and wheelchair bound, but she has a fantastic sense of humour, and can see the best in everything. She makes me feel quite humble. By a horrible twist of fate, her younger sister has MS too, and she is always very bitter, very angry, and full of self-pity. The contrast between the two is astonishing. My cousin also has MS - fairly mild at the moment, and she`s a nurse. I`ve never heard her complain.

    Another of my friends - old school friends these - has early-onset Parkinsons, and celebrated her 60th birthday a few years ago by holding a fayre, all the proceeds to Parkinsons. Nick & I were both there, as he`d volunteered the band to play some tunes. Those who could danced, and those who couldn`t clapped along. There were things to eat, things to buy, raffles - the lot.

    Another friend - no longer a friend, as she couldn`t accept my limited mobility - queried how I`d ` landed myself with RA` as I`d been a county hockey and tennis player, so ` should have been able to avoid it.`

    We have what we have, and must adapt and live the best life we can.We need not throw in the towel. Apart from anything else, if my sons should be unlucky enough to get RA, I want them to know that life goes on, that it won`t stop them doing as much as they can.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I agree, one of the most disabling things can be a negative attitude towards onself and the negative and limiting attitudes of others.
    They both sound amazing.

    It reminds me of the title of a Radio 4 series in which people with disabilities were interviewed, "No triumph, no tragedy ".
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It never ceases to surprise me that some think that they have drawn the shortest straw possible in life when, in fact, they haven't. Very few have perfect lives but those who enjoy the better ones are those who accept what they don't have and get on with things regardless. Frog and Lucy spring to my mind . . . . . DD
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I see amazing people all the time when I am in getting treatment as there is usually people with MS getting their tysabri infusions, it never fails to humble me when I see how positive and upbeat a lot of them are especially the youngsters that have their lives in front of them, it certainly has given me food for thought over the past three years xx
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Very humbling and possibly the best sort of people to be foster carers, nothing will faze or surprise them and they can clearly move mountains to overcome the impossible like that. Thanks Sticky, very thought provoking.

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