Shielding - the scary bit
I think I'm reasonably brave. I was born in Huddersfield in 1946 and it was compulsory. If you were unable to put on a show of bravery the other kids ensured you really did have something to scream about.
I can handle everything except having Mr SW as hairdresser / podiatrist. He is, or at least was, better suited to flinging rugby balls around or terrorising batsmen. But, of course, hairdressers are currently out, my lovely NHS podiatrists are currently out and, after nearly 60 years of RA, my hands reach neither my hair nor my extremely odd, twisty, individually curved toes / toenails. Indeed, my hands reach nothing very useful.
So far I've braved him twice. Hair is scary. After 52 years of marriage he's still blissfully unaware of where my ears are located. But, he's only scratched my neck once. (“I haven't scratched it. Where? Oops, yes.)
Toes are a different matter even though he's bought a proper pair of evil-looking industrial clipping things for the purpose. I've only let him loose on the easier ones, not the ones that grow so thick my podiatrists have to file the entire fronts of the nails down with an electric thingy. My beloved will not be allowed there. No way José. Indeed, until now, I've only allowed the left foot to be done as I can at least see that one. But the right one is out of my sight due to exceptionally curly toes on the end of a foot that has no intention of ever again pointing forwards. Hitherto, that foot has required more trust than I can summon up after 52 years of marriage. Today, it had to be done. Well, a couple of toes did.
I think I was a brave soldier despite his enthusiasm for the job. (“It can't be that hard.”) (Yes, my love, it can and is.) I kept my nerve as he bent down, placed his bi-focals on the coffee table and squinted at my foot. I apologised for shrieking when he attempted to take a bit of toe with the nail. And I stopped him after two.
Arthritis does train us to be brave.
But not foolhardy.
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