On Monday I did something stupid.
After writing my previous post about my agony over not being able to walk my children to school I had an awful realisation that I’d somehow lost that stubborn determination that used to define me. Why couldn’t I walk my kids to school? Why was I being so defeatist? Why was I allowing my MS to get the better of me? Surely I could manage a tiny little stroll down the road and back. Surely!
Seriously, I really do never learn, do I?
“What are you doing, Mummy?” My eldest child asked, as I defiantly marched across to the car boot and proceeded to yank my wheelchair out. “We, my son, are going to WALK to school this fine morning!” All 3 looked up at me, dumbstruck. “But, Mummy, you can’t walk!” “We’ll see about that!” I replied, loading the chair up with lunchboxes, coats and teddy bears (my daughter insists that Teddy and friends wave her off each morning).
Of course, there was no way I was going to be able to self propel my chair all that way. Instead, my wheelchair would serve as a makeshift zimmer frame with a handy little seat for when the going got tough, which it inevitably would.
We’d made it across our driveway – so far so good – but at this point my daughter decided that her legs were too tired and so she squeezed in between the teddies on the wheelchair and I continued to slowly push her along. Once we’d made it as far as our next-door-but-one neighbour’s drive my youngest decided that his legs were getting tired too, and so on he clambered and in he squeezed between his unimpressed sister and her teddies.
Confidently turning the corner, our house was now out of sight and there was no going back!
It’s fair to say that this wasn’t the easiest or most enjoyable of walks – it didn’t take long for my feet to start dragging and my legs to tighten. But I managed to fix a smile on my face to mask the discomfort and cheerily nodded at everyone we passed, who couldn’t help but gawp at the intriguing sight of children and teddies all piled into a wheelchair.
On we plodded, finally reaching the home straight. It was at this point, with the school tantalisingly within reach, that my legs truly gave up and forced me to boot the kids off the wheelchair so that my eldest could push me (and the teddies) along the last little bit.
Whew – we’d made it! All that I needed to do, once all 3 children had been safely waved off to their classrooms, was to get back home.
I sat outside the school gates to recover a bit and try to boost my flagging energy levels. For a while there I really thought that I had no hope of making it back by myself and wondered whether or not I would be better off just staying put until the end of the school day. But 6 hours seemed like an awfully long time to be sat there, even for an expert waiting-roomerer like me. Besides, I’d left my puzzle book at home.
Of course, I could have just asked someone to help, or even phoned someone to come to my rescue, but I’d stubbornly started this challenge and I stubbornly wanted to see it through and prove to myself that I could do it!
It was a long and slow walk back, I was overtaken several times by lycra-clad mums who were incorporating the school run into their daily workout. Oh, how I long to be one of those lycra-clad mums! After the trauma of walking home and the subsequent collapse onto the sofa, however, I think I can safely say that I will never be one of them.
So, I’m right back to where I began. I can’t walk the kids to school. I spent the rest of the day feeling wiped out and sick. Fatigue has never hit me so hard!
I won’t be doing that again.