Hi lovely people!

Let's start with a forward.

If you read blogs to check if PIP or DLA claimants etc are trying to claim fraudulently know this please.

The numpty writing this blog has the odd triumph. This doesn't mean that I am getting better. I take a bucket of pills a day, I am to all intents and purposes wheelchair bound, sleep 3-4 hours in the afternoon, can't organise an eat in at a cake shop, get lost WITH a map, hurt, spasm and get depressed at times. That said, although it may be a small thing to others, my blog this week is about a massive thing to me that others would find irrelevant in a normal day.

I have MS and it's getting worse, but a small triumph to most is life changing to me Mr Pip!

OK here is an uplifting, positive and excellent week in the life of this numpty.

Let's  start with a couple of modified sayings.

1. A faint heart never achieves a result.

2. Necessity is the mother of  invention. (unmodified)

3. Perfection is  the enemy of  doing well. Oh and if you don't try, it will never fly.

There you go. Maybe you can see where I'm going already with this.

Last week I went to visit my daughter and new granddaughter in Nuneaton, immediately followed by visiting another daughter in north Derbyshire. I Stayed overnight  there and then on the way back to Odiham (Hampshire) visited my 85yr old mum and 86yr old step dad in Loughborough. This means I had to read and take note of one of my own life hacks in www.msmuscle.uk and re-read 'going away for a couple of days'.

Healthy people would be thinking about what food to take (if any), checking the car is OK and looking at the timings and route to be able to complete this outing in a timely fashion. Well, first for me was to make sure I was rested  before we went so I could manage the trip out and back.

Next was to think about the places I was going to visit. Were they wheelchair friendly? Where were the toilets? Was I going to be able to rest during the day whilst away? etc etc

Well stop one with my daughter plus 3 grandsons and new granddaughter. The toilet is upstairs. The doors are narrow and just usable and because I can't get upstairs there was nowhere to rest.

My Daughter in north Derbyshire has a small converted barn that they rent out as a luxury short break let. Their house is old and has steps EVERYWHERE, some of them about 8 inches (200mm for the youngsters amongst my four readers) going from the hall to the dining room, dining room to middle room and four steps down into the lounge. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm impossible.

Then we get to my mum in Loughborough. She has one loo upstairs, steep steps into the front door. It's a wheelchair unfriendly house with internal doors too narrow for the wheelchair to get through

So what to do? Give in and not go? Let the MS win? Try to get them to visit me at different times of the year?? Naaaaah man up princess and find a way around the problems. A problem isnt a problem if it can be solved or got around. It then becomes an exercise in imagination and improvisation.

So,  the first thing I did was make sure I had one of those uribags so that I could use outside or wherever is convenient (see what I did there?)  not if but when needed:-)  

Then the timing for the first visit. Time for a game plan. OK then lets get to Emma's first in Nuneaton at 11.30am and stay for a couple of hours. That gives me time to meet Sophia for the first time and chat with the boys and my daughter. Victoria my wife, bless her, does all of the driving now so I could grab a couple of hours sleep in the car before arriving at Nuneaton! Job 1 done.

Next to the second visit which was another ninety minutes north. More snoring in the car. The thorny issue here is all of the steps throughout her place looked impossible. Once again hmmmmmmmmmmm can't do it. Naaaaaah WILL do it! So we got my rusty old crutches, which were last used 8 years ago, out of the garage a week before we set off. I started practicing with them slipped and ended up doing a legless but sober dying fly on the floor. Enter Amazon prime who do four new ferrules for £3.50 all in. I fitted them to the crutches the next day and continued practicing and got to be able to do about eight feet in relative safety. This made the visit to Derbyshire manageable. If I arrived at a step higher than 1 inch (2cm) I asked someone to lift my leg up onto or down off a step whilst hanging on to the crutches looking like a vertical spatchcock chicken. Luckily there was an accessible (just) toilet in the barn and a bed down stairs for an afternoon nap and night time. Job 2 done.

Finally Visiting mum. That was easy! we met in a pub, ate, had a drink and chatted with each other. The final step getting home to Odiham wasn't at all difficult as I slept the whole way! Job 3 and therefore the whole expedition done. Oh YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

We had a great time, overcame obstacles -literally- and enjoyed being away from home for a couple of days! A VERY important part of the trip was Victoria. Without Victoria NONE of this could have happened as with most things in my life. Quietly (for Victoria) all of the other arrangements were sorted. Help in planning, suggestions of how to do things (eg crutches) and helping me when things got a little difficult were all on her. Champagne on its way for her (my rock, my fortress, my manager, my friend and my love).

Still, the moral of this blog piece is don't just say NO to difficult things. Plan, put in effort to do them and get around difficulties in an imaginitive way. Overcoming problems is satisfying and we now have the memory of a wonderful couple of days that will last a lifetime!


Be lifted up!