Erin’s wedding was last Saturday 28th. I was able to help with some printing of order of service etc. with a lot of comments and suggestions by Erin. That was fair enough because I said the design would be hers and I would just be the grease monkey.
Another job for me was to get the straw bales. One phone call, thank you.
I slept in the afternoons, except for Thursday and Friday because although I went to bed, it was difficult to sleep or rest when thinking about Saturday. I couldn’t set my gears in neutral. Of course I couldn’t tell Vicki because I would get the lecture about needing the energy for tomorrow and Saturday so why didn’t I sleep? I wish I had told her why now!
People without MS don’t understand that I KNOW I can’t do these things, I KNOW I can’t drive now, I KNOW my energy levels wouldn’t let me do anything more. I also KNOW that if it wasn’t for the MS I would be at work earning a good salary and still have the energy to help and do things in preparation for the wedding. I would be able to come home, collapse with normal tiredness but satisfied that I had got things done.
The wedding service was beautiful and ran smoothly. I did my best to look 5ft 6in sat in a wheelchair, but having seen the photo’s with me in, the 5ft 6in was in the horizontal from spine to belly button. I also managed to self propel around the church building, which is slightly hard going because of the carpet being short directional fibres. After the service it was time to get back home to clip on my bike wheel to my wheelchair. FREEDOM!!!! Well it was until I got to the field. Then I realised how uneven the field was. Whilst heading over to Vicki I almost tipped the wheelchair/bike wheel combination over. Oops! Thank goodness she didn’t see me do it! So I stayed outside only until the family photos were complete. I hate seeing myself in photographs, not because of false modesty or some teenage aversion but because it highlights all of the disadvantages of MS. The wheelchair, the being 3ft 6in and because of it, the MSey shaped body, the look on my face trying to look normal but betraying an inner struggle trying to keep it and looking as normal as possible and failing to do so.
The next problem was the inside of the marquee. The rush matting managed to cling faithfully to the undulating grass of the field. This of course was made worse by the tables. They could not be set out in any other way and were doing exactly what they were supposed to do, but with the sea rippled floor plus the tables made me exert four times as much energy per linear foot travelled. Next, of course, is needing the loo! The easiest way for me because our wonderful neighbours had let us use their field for the reception including having a marquee, many straw bails scattered around, people wandering in what is essentially their back garden (thank you, Mark and Helen, your generosity and tolerance of everything that happened related to it) was to nip home which is 50mtrs away. As per normal, this is a much-repeated operation throughout the afternoon.
By visit three I had got the hang of the journey and had a great time talking to people at the wedding plus giving a short speech. Then came visit four to the convenient conveniences. Marquee exited, check. Field navigated, check. Journey home, check. Entry to my home, check. Oh I’ve got the hang of this! Next, I had to lean over forwards in my wheelchair in the kitchen to pick up some bits from the floor for a clear run. WRONG! I slid out of the wheelchair with the grace of a hippo in a tutu and found that all of my leg and arm energy had deserted me. Actually that’s wrong. I had used up all of my energy allotted to me for the day so waited patiently on the floor until someone, anyone to come home and help get me off the floor. It was Victoria, fortunately, so I was dragged (literally) into the bedroom and between us I was deposited into bed and told to stay there. I slept for 2 hours and managed to get up to wave off the newly married couple. End of day!
I have spent the last week, since the wedding, watching Vicki work. She set on to organise, carry, drive, shop, move tables, relocate food back to our 3 freezers, organise and collect crockery, cutlery and much much more. She was pivotal in organising the reception with Erin, she is proud mum, charming mum-in-law, assistant hostess etc etc etc. After the reception was over she was the driving force for clearing everything away, collecting and counting pots and crocs. She was also clearing up straw scattered from the straw bales and organising the collection of the marquee. OK I did burst into action and posted a new home needed for 50 straw bails. Job done.
Now is the time when I could fall apart with a pom-pom (poor old me, poor old me) adding a MyPoWi-MyPoWi (my poor wife-my poor wife). Oh, come on! That the best I could think of! But do you know what? Not a pom-pom, not a MyPoWi-MyPoWi just a thank you God that Victoria is a force of nature (sometimes a hurricane, sometimes an I.E.D [look it up] sometimes a runaway train, but always my darling wife).
The moral to this long long blurb? Sometimes we have to go that extra mile. Sometimes we have to ignore the effects of overdoing it can have on our bodies. Sometimes a smile is better than a pom-pom face.
Nike has got it right. Sometimes we have to JUST DO IT! I wouldn’t have taken back any of the things we had to do because the end result was a lovely wedding for a lovely couple, someone blessed with 50 straw bails free gratis, and a good day with some great memories had by all!