All week I had rested, most of it under duress thanks to the catheter but our annual pilgrimage to the NEC for the Autosport Show was here and Andrew really wanted me to attend. All week I was saying that I shouldn’t go and it would be the safest thing to stay at home, not only for me but for Andrew and his back, for him to push me round the NEC would probably reverse all the healing that had taken place over the previous couple of weeks.
The day before Andrew announced that the best decision would be for me to hire a electric scooter and that way he wouldn’t need to push me especially as I can’t self propel at the moment, problem solved. Now booking wasn’t a major issue, the cost was really cheap, only fifteen pounds for the whole day BUT I was concerned because I have never ridden one before and I was mindful that there were lots of expensive cars all over the place now this could go very wrong. I don’t “love” my chair but it is MY chair, I’m comfortable in it and it is an extension of me, so I wasn’t feeling comfortable about using this piece of equipment. Plus when someone decided to “take the mick” the day before I just went into meltdown, it wasn’t what I wanted. Again I questioned actually going, maybe I should stay at home and let Andrew have a weekend away, I was the dead weight here and it made me incredibly sad. I was talked into going and after a very quiet journey up the M40 we made it to the NEC, I was put into the scooter and nervously started making my way around the halls. It was the worst couple of hours of my life in that thing. I couldn’t manoeuvre it, get close to anything, I ran people over, kids jumped out and I struggled to stop jarring my back and hips I was in agony, Andrew could see me getting more and more stressed, it was just too busy for a vehicle of that size. The nail in the coffin was at the Williams stand I couldn’t get close enough to the barrier to get some cards that they were handing out, I was trying to catch the man’s eye but was failing, in the end Andrew came over and had to help me. I was near tears, as we walked away I just said ” I want MY chair back please” and with that I went back into my chair, I was so relieved.
The rest of the day I was fine, one of our very good friends helped me, to save Andrew’s back and I couldn’t have done it without him. With my chair i got onto stands, I could get up close to the cars and look at things I wanted to buy, I could turn round with no effort and most of all I was comfortable, I was in MY chair. Never again will I put myself through something where I make myself feel awkward, it is bad enough being disabled, let alone being ridiculed and that was how I felt on Saturday.
After the show we went to our hotel and the whole thing had totally worn me out, I laid down and fell asleep for over an hour, I was just stressed out and exhausted, I did make the effort to go out for dinner but it wasn’t quite the crazy night on the town that everyone was planning. Being a zebra isn’t quite all it is cracked up to be, let alone one with wheels.