Here’s another update, as Sam and I have began a new phase in our lives; he is having to rely on me a lot more than he has ever had to do in the past. Intricate surgery to repair a torn Achilles’ tendon has left him hobbling about on crutches, unable to weight-bear on his right leg. He can still work but hates being incapacitated, and sits dolefully at a makeshift desk all day that has been modified so that he can sit with his right leg propped up on a stool. I run around like a blue-arse fly, but am enjoying being able to do something for him instead of it always being the other way around.
Yesterday I suggested that he sit in Dot’s wheelchair in order to get out and about around the village and feel the sun on his face. I always feel better after some fresh air, and Sam is in danger of getting a nightclub tan at the moment. To my surprise he agreed.
Sam is more than twice the weight that Dot was. I am not gifted with a beaudacious set of biceps, and there was a disappointing and immediate impasse as soon as he flopped down in the chair. However, Sam immediately perked up because here was something he could do with ease; he could don gardening gloves and push himself along using the outer metal rims of the back wheels.
So off we set, with him pushing himself and me pushing gently but mainly steering. Usually I don’t look down at the pavements when I walk about the village, but now we needed to search for dropped kerbstones, as the effort involved in getting Sam and the chair up a normal kerb would be enough to make me bust a gasket.
Have you ever tried to push a wheelchair containing a 14 stone man along a pavement that has a camber? It ain’t easy I’ll tell ya…especially when some bright spark has parked their car half in the road and half on the pavement. We couldn’t get past, and had to double-back to the dropped kerbstone. Now we were zooming along the narrow road, and I could hear a car coming. Sam shrugged and said “Bollocks – they’ll have to wait.” And wait they did, revving impatiently until I could find another dropped kerbstone further along the road.
By now I could feel rain on my face. Sam can only wear short trousers due to the cast, and he was grumbling that his knees were cold. My shoulders were beginning to ache with my puny efforts at manoeuvring the wheelchair. Our first foray out into the elements did not last very long!
Back at home Sam performed wheelies in the garden while I unlocked the door. Then it was time for me to give him his heparin jab to prevent blood clots. As I took the syringe out of its protective cover Sam gave me a wink and suggested playing Doctors and Nurses. I stuck the needle into his abdomen and informed him that we already were. His face fell somewhat as he replied that playing Doctors and Nurses was unfortunately not turning out to be as much fun as he had originally thought.
This morning the sun shone and we did a quick doughnut around the block. Sam was pushing those wheels so hard I had to run to keep up. Things can only get better…