Joy snatched from the jaws of despair

Sometimes I get scared…
5 March 2018
Taking my wheelchair to untested heights. Pooping myself.
3 April 2018

A challenging few days in the Webb household. As if most of them are straightforward…

Eldest son on crutches with tendonitis. Borrowing an old pair of mine. Ah, those halcyon, dreamy days of still getting round on crutches!

Mrs W pain-killered up to the eyeballs with two slipped discs after a relatively innocuous-seeming tumble down four or five stairs.

Me ok (well, just the pesky Multiple Sclerosis). Younger son ok (well just the chocolate mess on his face and the traditional meltdown over English homework).

Sunday – yesterday as I write – started very very badly for me. 4am alarm to get a boy on crutches ready for a school trip setting off at 5.20am sharp. The sort of chore that Mrs W would routinely do to allow me my extended MS sleep, but there’s no way she can drive for a good while. Still, eye-watering pain and all, she hauled herself up to supervise final checklist packing.

Hobbling on my walker to the car through thick snow on the ground and thicker stuff falling. Watching Mrs W carry a heavy bag to the car, because I never can, because a boy on crutches can’t. Watching her grimaces and wanting to cry.

Setting off in the blizzard. I’ve never driven my hand-control car in the dark. Or through snow. Or with an excited son next to me chattering away as if he’d eaten a bowlful of sugar.

Arriving to the minute on time, yay! Cheery, considerate parents besieging the car to help Samuel and to carry his bags. Samuel joining the throng of pupils and adults in what looked like a mass hug against the elements. Like those bonkers penguins at the South Pole. The coach wasn’t long and off they crunched.

And me, slumped in the car, helpless and exhausted. I have never felt quite so inadequate as a parent as that moment. Unable to help a (temporarily) disabled son with his luggage, unable even to get out of the car to do the mass bobble-hat and gloves wave-off… Driving home a little teary, though thankfully now in daylight and through lighter snowfall. Slumping back into bed and falling into a deep sleep, only to be woken by my own snoring. Charming.

Fast forward a couple of hours. Now there was lovely, sticky snow outside, a younger son to entertain, a wife to relieve, and my lovely new crowdfunded (thank you!) wheelchair to give a whirl. I haven’t been out in the snow for years. Out I could trundle and trundle I did, yay! Threw some snowballs. Took far more hits than I landed. Joyous, hilarious, cold. It was only fifteen minutes, but it was just glorious! My son loved the novelty of me in action. I lapped up his squeals of delight.

OK, this is a bit of a tidal wave of bad health luck engulfing us for a short while. The tendonitis won’t last, and slipped discs get sorted. (Ow though in the meantime). That’ll just leave my MS and we can cope with that, mostly. I must remember to focus on the things I can do, and not grieve the ones I can’t. Snowball fight anyone? My aim is appalling.


  1. Fabulously entertaining Mark; wish my sons and their father could understand, well done family Webb??; we’ll beat our monster!

  2. Sorry to hear you're not getting that support though! Has it always been like that?

  3. Findawav says:

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