I beat the bus!

Well, I did it! I managed to get the bus by myself yesterday! FOUR buses to be exact. I’m even more proud of myself for doing it too because I’m really ill which makes moving around even harder.

For those of you who didn’t read my post about battling with buses I suggest you go and do that now before you finish this one or you might be a little confused.

Like I said, not only did I have to catch one bus, I had to catch a few to get to where I needed to be and back. I could have used the train for part of the journey if I had wanted, but as that would have meant extra walking that I really did not feel up to doing yesterday so I opted to stay on the bus route. I thought that even though I find the train so much better to deal with it might make things easier. It did. By the end of the day yesterday I had a new-found appreciation for the bus that I’ve never had before. I’m still not any less scared of doing it alone, but I was grateful that I managed to cut out a lot of the walking that I would have had to do had I chosen the easy option and got the train half of the way. Ironic, huh?

It turned out that using public transport yesterday was far better than I could have hoped for. Other passengers helped me to get Martha on and off at most points where I needed to and were very patient. Some even helped to guide her into the designated spaces on board. As you can probably guess I had to go outside my local area yesterday and the bus company I was using most of the way had a layout of bus that I had never seen before. There was an actual bay for people to put prams, or wheelchairs or walking frames in,  even with enough room for another person to stand in it with them. It didn’t have any seats in which meant that I didn’t have to feel guilty about blocking any up, but it was close  enough to some that I could keep hold of Martha in case she decided to roll away and I would have been able to chat to anyone travelling with me had I been in my wheelchair. I could also tuck Martha in quite nicely so that her wheels didn’t stick out and there was no risk of anyone tripping on her. One lady even told me how much she liked Martha.

As for finding my way to an unknown place, I don’t know why I worried so much. The lady at the travellers’ information desk told me in great detail where I needed get off and where I needed to walk after that. She even wrote it down for me so that I could show the bus driver if he didn’t understand where I meant. That took a weight off my mind.

My journey started just after 7am and I got home just before 7pm. I could tell it was going to be a long one before I even left the house because when I tried to sit up I couldn’t. My boyfriend had to pull me up and then hold me up as I staggered to the bathroom. My Cerebral Palsy always seems to affect me more when I’m ill. My muscles all seem to get tighter and it gets harder to walk, but I had no choice but to go yesterday. By the time I got back I was exhausted but it was definitely worth the hard work. I did it. I didn’t think I would, but I did.

Squeaking in the rain

My callipers
My callipers

Over the years, I’ve tried lots of different things to improve my walking. I’ve tried various leg splits, sleeping with my lower limbs strapped into something called gaiters to keep them stretched out at night, and even surgery. This year though we decided to be different and try something I’ve never had before: callipers.

I’m willing to give anything a go that has a chance at keeping me on my feet longer than I would be if I didn’t try so when they were suggested I jumped (not literally) at the opportunity. I prepared myself for breaking in pains, possible blisters and even being told to “Run Forrest, run” from time to time. One thing I was not ready for though, was the endless squeaking. I didn’t realise there would be squeaking.

Now, every time I go out in the rain I find myself sympathising with the poor old Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. I only have to put up with it until I can get home again and put something on them to stop it, how must he have felt?

If I’m honest I’m used to my equipment making higher pitched noises that I’m pretty sure no human could make. My old wheelchair developed such a bad one in high school that I could be heard coming to my lesson all the way down corridor and even Betsy wouldn’t hesitate to let me know when she was unhappy about the weather conditions, but they didn’t bother me as much. The noise is far much more irritating when you realise it’s actually coming from you and not something you have with you.

Still, I shouldn’t complain and if it helps my legs get better then it’s a small price to pay and I’ll happily put up with it for as long as it takes. It just means that I’d be useless at a game of Hide and Seek because you’d probably hear where I was going and I don’t think I’ll be getting a call from any spy agencies anytime soon. Ah well, c’est la vie, I guess…