My wonderful friend Caroline took me and Phyllis the Hernia to hospital today.
Long story short, we’ll part ways very soon (Phyllis, not Caroline).
Anyway, before the appointment and after the obligatory trip to ‘Tiger’ in the hospital concourse, we sat with our coffees amongst the benches and abandoned sandwich wrappers and it hit me, full-on.
I’d been thinking about it for a while, but here it was highlighted: I never (very rarely) go out alone.
Caroline has been with me to so many MS appointments, MRI scans, endocrinology appointments, overnight stays with Alemtuzumab. She takes me to cafes, charity shops (I love a good rummage), exhibitions. You name it, she takes me.
And my long-suffering Boss/Friend – he picks me up for work, drops me off, takes me on long car trips, to Austria and Switzerland, where all I have to do is learn a few more foreign phrases and watch out for lane switches.
I can’t remember the last time I went to town on my own, despite a bus-stop being right outside my house.
Me and Caroline talked about it – I mentioned fatigue, foot-drop, balance. I might not hold on to her arm, but having her at my side means I have support and more importantly, an ally if something stupid happens (whoops, there I go again).
When did this happen?
I’d average that I spend around 75% of my time, at home, alone. Home is familiar, I know every ‘grab post’, every swerve, corner and dodgy step. I can pinball quite happily on my own. Perhaps a bit too happily.
In short, I just don’t go out alone, and how awful is that? Why didn’t I see this coming? I used to stride confidently, everywhere. Now I’m hesitant and I look down, not up, missing out on so many things.
Ever resourceful, Caroline has challenged me to get the bus and meet her in town. It’s a first step?
Inside, I am panicking, planning, worrying. I’m too happy at home and too comfortable with my two closest friends.
Perhaps it’s about time I took a (foot-drop) into the unknown?