Two Saturdays ago, my friend M from Gold Coast came to see me. It was very nice to see her again. Catching up with her was very pleasant and enjoyable.
Her back condition has been very bad, so she cannot drive long distance due to bad pain. This means meeting with her is becoming very rare occasion… She is hoping to retire or half retire. And she is considering to get rid of her car. She hates driving. It wouldn’t be too much trouble because there is a good public transport system where she lives. And she can rely on her family if there is some emergency.
After she left, I realised that we need to find other method of staying in touch. She only use email at work. And I probably cannot drive the distance to go and see her.
I get to play Tax Agent for 30 minutes. I’ve been doing her tax and she is happy for me to continue to do so. There is no fee involved, but it was a great feeling to be useful for a change.
She took me out after lodging her return.
It was the first time she saw my wheelchair. And it’s been quite a while since we went out together. I was little nervous to see how her reaction was. Probably because I am very slow, she took my wheelchair to her car and start putting it to her car without asking me. And I was going to use the chair as a walker to get to her car, so I left my walking stick inside the house. I just stood there and trying to think how to get there. She must have forgotten that it is very difficult for me to walk the drive way. And to my weak voice, she was too far away to hear me. Since the gate is open, I couldn’t open the house door again because my dogs might run away to the street. She looked at me with the questioning expression what I was still doing there. So I started to walk without stick with small steps.
Lesson for me… take the walking stick with me all the time even there is someone pushing my wheelchair.
She may have forgotten how slow I was. I feel little bad that I take up her time. Everything she does for me takes double time than she planned when I accompany with her…
First she bought me a lunch and cappuccino. It was nice and I enjoyed. We looked at op shop quickly. Then, we went to the Chemist to fill some prescriptions. To be honest, it was bit scary to have her push my wheelchair. She didn’t realise my foot rests are sticking out towards front, so she nearly pushed me into shop signs or merchant display tables. At the Chemist, she was trying to push me into a narrow isle that my chair would not get through. I tried to warn her from where I sat, but she didn’t realise quick enough. She hanged bags with lots of bulky medicine boxes on handles instead of putting them into a bag I hang between the handles, so the bulky bags were obstructing my wheels. Even a little obstacle consumes much more energy than necessary when I wheel the chair by myself. While I was wheeling myself, she suddenly started pushing me and I almost got my hands caught by wheel rims. It was another realisation moment that people just don’t know about wheelchair. I am not blaming her. I would be the same if I wasn’t using wheelchair by myself. She doesn’t like me telling her what to do, so I will wait until she realise it eventually.
After filling prescriptions, she helped me with a big food and grocery shopping. I took advantage of this opportunity and stocked up bulky items, like dog food and toilet paper, and items in higher shelves. She had to learn when I say slow, it is really really slow. Half way through the supermarket, I could tell she was little irritated by waiting for me moving towards her very slowly. She was going far front of me, so I made a little stop over every now and then to grab some items as well. I was already exhausted. If I tried to move little faster, I would be too exhausted to move anymore or start showing unpleasant symptoms. It would cause more stress to her… She asked me what the next items on my shopping list were, and went to grab them by herself. She would rather do the shopping by herself with my shopping list. But I didn’t want to miss the money saving opportunity by spotting special items… I was half worried about her back and feeling guilty of making her push the heavy trolley, but she assured me she was okay.
It was great. It saved me some money comparing to online shopping. Now that I don’t have to worry about getting dog food or some bulky items for a while, I can be sure to fill the basket with all items I need.
On the way back to her car, she was concerned that some teenage group was keeping their eyes on me. She was going to get to her car and start shifting shopping bags while I slowly wheel my way back to her car. But she ended up walking slowly with me to her car… I let her know that I am aware that I am a soft target of crimes, and I keep my hand bag across my shoulder to waist, so that it is not easy to snitch.
I feel bad that she always has to help me running my desperate errands. And I feel bad that it always takes much more than she expected. She tells me she doesn’t mind helping me. I know she really means it. But I cannot stop wishing that it can be just for fun meeting without making her help me, especially she has to drive all the way just to see me.
At least this time, I did her tax return. So it made me feel less guilty than usual.
She suggested that she would take me to another place next time, so that we could have nicer lunch. I’m very excited about the idea and am already looking forward to the outing.