She was fully equipped for the journey. Crutches, wheelchair and her own brand of stubborness. Nothing kept her from doing anything – not even her disability – if she could help it.
She knew from bitter experience that the car journey would be painful, and so she’d swallowed some Cocodamol half an hour before she and her husband hit the road. Perhaps she could sleep; if not, she’d read. The pain caused by sitting in a car had diminished over the last few months, and – if nothing else – she was certainly going to pop the Billy Idol CD on while she and her husband travelled.
He asked “Do you really have to do that?”
Her reply: “Listening to music makes me forget about the pain in my hip. I can’t help it, and I don’t want to take more painkillers right now – I’m stoned enough already and I don’t like it.”
She said nothing more: she fished her Kindle out from her handbag, and cupped her hand around the the broken half of her hip. It was beginning to sing a bit. Just the metalwork, but painful all the same.
They reached their destination. It was her mother-in-law’s birthday, and she woul crawl across the grass to find a chair if she had to. She had her crutches with her though, and her husband gave them to her as she manouvered herself out of the car. This did not go well at all.
“My crutches are stuck. I can’t walk. Where’s my chair?”
She was unable to stand when her crutches were sinking in mire, and so her husband needed to mobilise himself quickly. He had to assemble the wheelchair and get it to her before she fell.
He was almost too late, but he caught her just as her legs gave out. Gently, he was able to seat her in her chair. They went on to the party and had a wonderful time – but neither of them forgot what might have happened without some quick thinking.
To some, this is just a daft story that I’ve not yet completed. But I’ve not written this in jest. I am the woman in the wheelchair, who finds travelling by car painful. I’m the woman who is mostly stoned on painkillers.
I am also the woman who loves Billy Idol but cannot walk. I don’t think that these facts are relevant, but they matter to me
2 thoughts on “The Day She Had To Manage – A Short Story”
If you lived in the US, you’d know that you aren’t disabled, nor are you handicapped. Those have such negative connotations! Instead, like me, you’d realize that you are ambulatorally alternatively abled. You’re long overdue for learning double-speak.
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Over here, people are better able to understand “disabled” or “differently abled”. Those terms also fit more easily on forms 🙂
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