I remember, not long after I'd got my diagnosis, having a conversation with myself (as you do!) about having a choice. I could choose to sit and feel sorry for myself about what life had thrown at me or I could get on with my life as best as I could. To me that wasn't a choice....I wasn't going to sit and watch life pass me by.
Now don't get me wrong I have my moments.......just ask Martin and he'll tell you, but I guess what I'm saying is I didn't give up. I had too much to give to life to watch it sail on past me!
But just recently I realised something that made me quite sad, something that I hadn't really thought about before........I miss going for a walk!
Just getting up, being out in the fresh air and walking wherever your feet take you.
Now I can still walk but I need to use two gutter crutches so it takes quite a bit of effort, it is painful and not overly pleasant! I've been on them for over ten years now and it's only recently that I've had this realisation, it's strange isn't it?
I think my recent trip to Letchworth made me realise just what an effort it is for me to walk, having to walk as much as I did between trains and taxi's. One of my friends, who also has MS, gave me a telling off because she couldn't believe that I hadn't asked for assistance. Apparently they have buggies at the main London stations that will pick you up from the train and take you to the taxi's!
I had no idea but then I find that with a lot of things since becoming disabled, they don't always make the things that are available to help you, obvious to you. There were lots of things to do with financial assistance or practical help, which you would think should be readily available to people, that I wouldn't have known about if someone who had been in the same position as me, hadn't told me.
Going away to Paris was a prime example!
We had no idea that the MS Society have their Social and Activities fund. That is there for anyone who has MS to apply for a grant to help towards a short break or an activity that they wouldn't be able to do otherwise. It is a fantastic thing and I can say without any hesitation that it has done Martin and I the world of good but had my friend not encouraged us to apply we'd never have had that experience!
The MS Society also have grants to help with equipment etc. This is also a very valuable service available.
So many really positive things have happened this year or are going to happen that it feels quite weird! I know that sounds a bit strange but I guess Martin and I have struggled for over ten years without much help or assistance that to be getting it now feels a bit alien! I have found myself wanting to say that we don't deserve it. Now I don't mean that in a shallow way, I think we have just been blown away by the generosity of people and organisations.
And yes we have had a very difficult couple of years with both of us being very poorly but that's just life isn't it?
We've been to Paris, we have a London trip to plan for, we have had the situation with my carer and going onto Direct Payments, which is working brilliantly and is giving us so much more freedom and opportunities.
We also have lots of plans for days out and places we want to visit........but none of them will be going for a walk anywhere! ;-)