Multiple Sclerosis. Vaccinations. Can I venture out now? Will I?

Brain atrophy but Mars Attacks!
My Multiple Sclerosis’d brain is shrinking!
30 March 2021
A family of four, faces only, including two boys. All smiling

Us in hug practise, yesterday

In a double episode of ‘Back in the Game’, I am proud and excited to return:

To blogging. After a brief and pesky technology pause. Information Technology was never a strong point of mine. My 1980s ZX Spectrum coding got as far as ’10 PRINT “I love you”, 20 GOTO 10. Pop here for some nostalgia if you recall the excitement of Space Invaders and 48k Ram. Or for some jaw-dropping and some pitying of us old folk if you’re younger:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Spectrum

An old-fashioned ZX Spectrum keyboard. Grey keys on a black base. Two hands reaching around it k

Mark’s state-of-the-art IT system, yesterday

To life more than 100 metres beyond our garden boundary. I’ve played it super careful these last sixteen months, but new Covid infections are now encouragingly low. And I nearly wet myself about our second jab booking. (Not literally, that’s for other blog posts). I hammed it up outrageously for the telly first time round, https://youtu.be/2Vdh20dQFUc .

Head shot of me, brunette with glasses. Yellow Hawaii shirt. BBC London logo at the bottom of the screen

A Daniel Craig lookalike spotted in Hawaii, yesterday

… while gaudy blue was the second tasteful look.

 

A masked me (top half, but wheelchair visible) wearing blue, including a mask. Arms raised exultantly. A nurse stands behind

Daniel Craig, inconspicuous, yesterday

 

Venturing out

So, ummm, what does freedom look like for someone who has been actively and carefully shielding for 500 days or so. Honestly? Intimidating. Scary. A little bewildering. Surreal.

To my recollection I have been ‘out out’ just three times:

Once, to my brother-in-law’s and nephews’ garden for a small birthday gathering late last Summer when all was (relatively) calm.

Twice, for my contractually binding adrenaline hits last year: A quad-bike around a field, which I won’t be repeating. ‘Me’ and ‘grip’ have long since failed to see eye to eye. Braking was a dangerous, just-in-time afterthought.

And a wind tunnel skydive in an empty Milton Keynes shopping area.

male facing camera, laid out horizontally (because in a wind tunnel). Open-mouthed, blue helmet, goggles

Mark Webb, doing all his own stunts, yesterday

 

The *only* time I’ve been in the presence of more than a couple of masks was in hospital for an operation last year. What was worse? Crowds of masked strangers in hospital gear, with me at butt height in a wheelchair? Or the incision direct into my tummy and insertion of a semi-permanent tube into my bladder? Well, you can probably guess. But being surrounded by masks was pretty bloody shitty too…

So now we’re waiting the few days for our antibodies to kick in. Then all systems go?

Ummm, not quite. Slowly does it I think. I can’t wait to hug my mum. I’m excited about coffees out. Counting more than six people in our garden. Impromptu drinks and meals. Wheelchair Rugby and other sporty silliness. Visits to other houses. Sleeps anywhere but my own bed. Parties (small variety please). A cinema? Theatre? A festival? Eek…

All those I’ll get to. Step by step.

Holidays overseas? Nope. One too far for 2021 I fear.

 

Here’s a helpful article talking about the social anxiety of going out post Lockdown, with a quote I identify with muchly: “I’m going to have to push myself”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-56323453

I’m not thinking social anxiety soooo much here. It’s more 500 days of being told that X% of those who have died have had underlying conditions. As a reassuring mood booster for those without underlying conditions. But a bit of a pisser if you’re someone with a sodding condition. And knowing that roughly two-thirds of those who have died were disabled. So that’s nice.

Me in white shorts and blue shirt. Sitting in an armchair and drinking sparkly. Smiling.

An alive disabled person, yesterday

 

So yeah, careful careful. Peeks round the edges of society. Slowly slowly. Dippings of toes back into social interaction.  Yeah. “I’m going to have to push myself.”

 

 

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