Wandering Thoughts

November 16, 2008

Travels with Crutches

I vaguely recall reading somewhere that people in wheelchairs often find themselves ignored in favour of able-bodied companions. I experienced this several times over the last few days as I was wheeled through Wellington, Christchurch and Melbourne airports. It was strange to vanish like that, although I don’t really begrudge the people whose questions passed me by. Almost everyone we dealt was helpful and, god only knows, were the situation reversed I can’t say for certain that I wouldn’t make the same mistake (although now I will be mchair-crutching-14ore careful).

Anyhow, I’ve never been assisted in airports before – even when my arthritis has been bad in the past, I’ve tried to hobble along under my own steam. Lesson learnt this time, though: it’s a huge help. I hate to think what the trip would have been like otherwise.

Thunder storms swept over Melbourne on the morning of the appointment leaving a sky of swollen grey clouds in their wake. Jo and I were apprehensive. Maybe the doctor and naturopath who I see would say there was nothing that could be done. Maybe their prescribed advice would be impossibly far-fetched, or impossible to put into practice. But our fears were unfounded: a change to my medication, a reminder to be strict about my diet, and confidence on their behalf that I could turn this latest relapse around.

Relieved, Jo and I left the appointment to find the clouds broken into small manageable tufts that the wind was busy sweeping away. Nothing is certain yet, of course, I don’t know if the changes will help. But I’m hopeful. Time – the next couple of months – will tell. If the changes work, great. If they don’t I’ll return to conventional approaches, and the heftier set of trade-offs that come with them.

That afternoon, Jo and I made the most of the improving weather by finding a pleasant golden-sand section of Port Phillip Bay and paddling in the almost warm water which glistened under a blue sky and the bold Australian sun.



  1. Hope it all comes right for you soon. I have had a bad year, but I think you & your wife’s year has been even worse.

    I’ve never believed in only two solutions – if the first two fail there’s always something else. Good luck.


    Comment by Paradoxical Cat — November 23, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

  2. Thanks :) That’s definitely good advice.

    Comment by terence — November 23, 2008 @ 6:08 pm

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