Sometimes, I think that I must have a bigger inner child than I actually realise, at least where puddles are concerned.
I used to love splashing in them and walking through them when I was much younger, and I still always seem to end up trailing in them even if I don’t intend to. I try my best to avoid them and it still always seems to happen, I’m not sure if this is because I find it harder to move quickly out of their path, or because of some childhood instinct.
When I had serial casting done as a child I remember played out in the rain for a bit too long in our school playground. My mum had already warned me that I should use the undercover area that it had if any showers hit us, but this particular day, I didn’t think it was heavy enough for me to do that. I didn’t notice that a few of the bottom layers had started to peel off until I got home at the end of the day and got a telling off from my mother. Opps.
This time around, I’m taking the completely opposite altitude and if the ground is even slightly damp, or there are any grey clouds overhead, I go out in my wheelchair just to be on the safe side because I don’t want to have to go and be recast . Nor do I want an even bigger telling off from my mother because now I really am old enough to know better. I always take some form of waterproof covering out with me just to be on the safe side too. This weekend for example, and wrapped a bright red waterproof coat around my legs, and tied it around my waist to hold it in place.
If it were dry enough, I would still take Martha instead of the wheelchair, but for once I’m making sure that I am sensible. The other day mum also remembered that we have waterproof walking trousers up in the loft so I’ll be taking them with me next time for added protection.
If there are some dry days while I’m in pots I think I will still use Martha, but only if it looks like it will be a fine day. I’d rather not risk it over the next couple of weeks. There’ll be lots of opportunities for me to splashing in puddles when this is all over and done with, after all.
I’ll admit that I’m probably not the best person to be out and about with when it’s pouring down with rain.
If I’m using my walking frame Martha I walk quite a lot slower than most of the people I hang out with, so can’t dash for cover in a hurry, and I’m pretty sure trying to move a wheelchair at speed with me sat in it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do either. And if I just so happen to have an umbrella, my designated driver for the day usually gets hit in the face by it a few times (unintentionally, I promise.)
I know that Martha and my callipers don’t really like the wet weather all that much either, because they both tend to develop, high-pitched squeaks of protest and everyone around can hear us coming for miles. It’s bad enough when it’s just one of them, but when they both start kicking off, it gets really, really annoying.
And yet, despite all this, my dear mother has still offered to take me, along with Martha and my callipers to the shops today when it eases off a bit.
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…