Monday, May 21, 2007

Developments, hydrotherapy, all that stuff

Things not to do before hydrotherapy:

- Forget to shave your legs
- Forget to cut your toenails
- Spend ages getting your new hair to look just right (forgetting that you're about to immerse yourself in, um, water)
- Zoom around the Royal Free Hospital's corridors in a powerchair playing 'dodge the nurse' while taking out your antipathy towards the NHS on their non-automatic doors
- Grab a take-away cup of tea, trying to drink it while you zoom down aforementioned (maze-like) corridors in a valiant effort to get to your appointment on time, spilling it all over the NHS's hallowed halls and causing porters to glare at you.

Last week I went to hydrotherapy with only my stick to help me, which turned out to be a bad move as I was in quite significant pain afterwards - not to mention the endless corridors I had to walk around. The Royal Free is one very confusing mess of hallways that go nowhere. I still can't find the visitors' cafe, although I did stumble upon it on my first visit there (when a physiotherapist made me cry). Anyway, I don't think I was judged too much for being in a chair. Physios tend to glare at walking aids as though you're committing a terrible crime by even carrying them around with you, but I seemed to get away with the wheelchair better than I do with my stick. Maybe they fear the DDA. Probably not, but I can fantasize.

So, yes. We found a flat. After two weeks of going around and around and around the houses, and finding that said houses were never even vaguely accessible (oh yes, says the letting agent, there's completely flat access to the house, and then we arrive and there are about sixteen steps up to the front door), we realised that we were looking at the wrong end of the renting market. Small one-bedroom flats and studios in this area are conversions of Victorian buildings. The Victorians liked steps, they really really did. Hundreds of the bloody things. As soon as we started looking at purpose-built blocks, 'ground floor' started to mean just that. Finally. Within two viewings we had signed a contract for a lovely little flat. Slightly run-down, maybe, but with two decent-sized bedrooms (we're going to get a flatmate in for the second), lots of space, flat access and outdoor storage for the wheelchair, and a massive area of shared garden that's set aside just for our use. I shall become a gardener, yes I shall. If I can find a chair that sits me close to the ground comfortably. Or a very large beanbag.

Church yesterday. God was definitely rolling his eyes at me, in a "I do keep telling you to stop worrying" type way. He finds me amusing like that.


Anonymous said...

It wasn't until I spent a summer on crutches that I realised quite how many stairs there were in this world... I'd never even noticed the three which lead to my front door, either! So I'm glad you've found a pad. Always encouragng when things do work out...

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear about the new place - sounds much better.

Not convinced God rolls his eyes as such. Though I swear I once saw Him doing the 'I was right' dance...

Kari said...

Just thought I would let you know that I have recently found your blog and enjoy reading it. I am so glad you found a new place. I am currently on the lookout for something as accessible for me too.

Good luck in your new home!

kari x

Anonymous said...

You found a flat! Congratulations :-)

Rabbit said...

Things not to do before hydrotherapy- really made me giggle.
Hope the move goes well!! I am about to move too- almost an impossible feat to find a place on the ground floor let alone wheelchair friendly.