In the last few weeks, quite a number of things have become apparent to me that I hadn’t really taken much notice of, but I have come to realise MS doesn’t just steal time from me.
For those of you who have followed for a while, you will be aware that one of the things I miss the most is working and seeing colleagues, friends and customers.
However, something that has become more apparent the last few times I have been out, whether that be the trip to Old Trafford, an FC voices meeting, gifted experiences, Sunday lunch and my PIP tribunal last week.
I know the last one isn’t really going out but it is because I had to go out of the door to do it.
Old Trafford – Grand Final
We had an amazing day until 10 minutes before the end of the game when the fans behind started to get a bit restless, Lisa and I both commented that the atmosphere had changed so decided to leave early.The realisation hit me then that if anything had kicked off I wouldn’t have been able to get out of the way and I was also putting Lisa at risk as she wouldn’t have left me. Click To Tweet
It made me feel incredibly vulnerable for the first time since being in the wheelchair.
This was a great night with lovely company but when we first arrived everyone was stood up chatting, which is natural and something I would have done myself but I had to sit down straight away meaning I couldn’t socialise and even network with the people who were stood up.
The next thing which I mentioned on this post, is dancing, I have never been a dancing queen but I have always loved it and even just stood up chatting if there was music on I would have been moving and I was very often the first one on the dancefloor at parties, that really did bring it home to me that I can no longer do that.
My friend Jackie came from Wigan when I was unable to go to the Curve Fashion Festival and on Sunday we went to the local for lunch.
Following the flare I was still very wobbly and walking the short distance from the bar to a table I was struggling, and a guy walked towards me and made me move out of his way while tutting very loudly at me, that loudly that my Mum heard him from where she was sat.I did just respond with, I am sorry to inconvenience you, but it did stay with me for the rest of the day. Click To Tweet
The tribunal was being held in a building that has connections to my previous working life so it was inevitable that I would bump into someone who I knew.
And I did going into the entrance a guy who I have mentioned previously as I rescued Mowgli my rottweiler from his Gran’s rescue.
It immediately made me think of both our personal and working relationship and at that moment I yearned for being in meetings and the office banter that I missed so much.
When we left the building it was lunchtime so we decided to visit Trinity Market for some lunch.
On the way there I bumped into two other ladies I used to work with and after chatting for few minutes, one of them asked what had happened and I told them, I am an open book, but to see the look of shock of their faces kind of brought it home to me.
Arriving in the food hall, we had only just found a table when I saw two more ex-colleagues and one of them spotted me so I went over to see them.
Realising I have taken my illness in my stride pretty much for two years, other than the odd wobble every now and again, this was really difficult, my previous life which I enjoyed so much was just jumping at me from every direction and after chatting to the two of them for about ten minutes the question arose again and was met with an ‘oh god I never knew’, if there is anything I can do please let me know.
So, once again I had made people feel uncomfortable and almost pity me and I never wanted to do that, I just want to live my life as best as I can and if I roll up to you in my wheelchair don’t be afraid to ask me what is wrong with me, but then can we move on as I am still the same person I was before but admittedly I can’t stop and talk to you in a corridor anymore or charge about carrying out cleaning assessments but I am still me!
But what brought it home to me was in my tribunal and after I had spoken, the judge turned to my friend and asked her if she had anything she wanted to add and she burst into tears, telling the judge how hard it was for her friends to see me like I am now from what I once was.Up to that point, I admit I had never really thought about the effect my illness had on others because I just tried to carry on as me. Click To Tweet
This is to my friends and family who have supported me wholeheartedly, put up with my frustrations when I can’t do something and just carried on regardless, with me not knowing just how it was also stealing your time too.