Down and Out in London Town
Last month, my brother-in-law finally managed to return to Thailand and his lovely wife. He’d been trapped in the U.K. for over a year due to COVID-19. Thailand has quite rightly imposed a Kafkaesque set of rules about entering the country on an extended immigrant visa. Luckily, we had a room to spare in our old office in the attic.
My brother-in-law is quiet yet intensely sharp-witted. Not one prone to effusion, I was surprised in his last few days here that he complimented me on handling MS “… with equanimity, grace and good humor. I doubt I could do that!”
I certainly didn’t feel that way last week, and it has nothing to do with England failing to win in the final of the European Championship. Though that would have cheered me up!
It was the realization that without my family, I’d be helpless. Sure, I could live on my own at home, but only with a constant stream of carers. My morning (well, 11 a.m.) carers are incredibly friendly, but I would feel as trapped as we all have during the recent shenanigans imposed on us.
Why did these morbid thoughts impinge on me?
Maybe it was because I had to see a consultant at my local hospital at 9:45 a.m. on Friday. My wife, Jane, always accompanies me, not just as my carer but as someone else who can take everything in and ask pertinent questions. We’d been sent by my general practitioner, who was worried that my lymphedema was stopping the circulation to my feet. Thankfully, I still had a pulse down there.
The consultant’s only suggestion was that I should keep my feet up at all times. I pointed out that this would take away my last bit of freedom: the ability to roam around at will in my power wheelchair.
My plea was ignored. I’ve decided I’ll risk the circulation issues before MS overwhelms me!
Sure, I’ve only got the lower floor to play in, but even that’s restricted, with limited access to the kitchen. My wife had to use it as her office while her brother was here. I’m hardly about to limit myself just as I get more acreage.
Now that I’m fully vaccinated, I can also go outside more to eat or visit the occasional pub.
Well, this column hasn’t been at all humorous. Sorry, folks!
Becoming inert the afternoon after my hospital visit didn’t help my mood. I had to be hoisted into bed at 4 p.m. Would this be my new life?
Thankfully not. I fully recovered by the next day.
I’ll cheer up this week. It’s finally turning to summer in London, though much of the city flash flooded with 3 inches of rain in 90 minutes this Monday. Oh, the joys of our new climate. I didn’t notice here at home in very, very South London, as I’m one of the “fools” who lives on a hill!
I won’t be incapacitated by the onset of heat, either, as I’ll now be able to cool off in my pool.
We all get down. It’s getting back up again that’s the trick.
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