If we were having coffee I would turn up in my mask. Because although they’ll become optional from tomorrow, it’s an easy thing to do isn’t it, wear a mask (those actually exempt for health reasons excluded).
Ditching the masks isn’t the only event tomorrow. So called ‘Freedom Day’ is happening and it doesn’t feel very freeing to me.
If we were having coffee I’d fill you in on the new government guidance for the ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ (that’s me). They like the word guidance don’t they?!
As restrictions are lifted in England, I and many other high risk beings are to be cautious and aware. It is recommended that I limit my social interaction, go out at quieter times of day, try to avoid those that haven’t had both vaccines, and ask those I do see to take a lateral flow test beforehand.
That doesn’t sound very exciting, spontaneous or free does it.
If we were having coffee I’d ask if you know how I can tell who the unjabbed are as I’m going about my business in Sainsbury’s? Or if I should ask the barista at Starbucks if he could shove a little swap up his nose and wait 30 minutes before he makes my coffee?
Maybe someone could give me some kind of radar bleeper thing so I know who I’m ‘advised’ to be around.
Or maybe it’s not freedom day after all.
If we were having coffee I’d stop my ranting, because I’m sure you’re bored of it now. I’d tell you instead that I’ve been getting my brew on while I can, being carefully sociable, as I slowly feel the need to shield more.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you I returned to my favourite place. I met a friend in The Assembly House’s beautiful garden, listening to their water fountain as we chatted. It was just an Earl Grey this time, but hopefully afternoon tea is somewhere in the future.
While in Norwich we went for a wander into the city. It was weird being back after almost 18 months, and seeing more beings than I had in a long time. It seems like forever but only yesterday that I would spend the day perusing shops and grabbing relaxing coffees with friends. Without even thinking. I did venture into one shop, Primark. The one place I haven’t been able to shop online.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you it wasn’t very exciting.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you I had chips in the park. I’m not 13 years old again, and no cider was involved. I’ve matured to taking a flask of tea, and getting fish with my chips.
It was Eaton park, where I went to not so long ago too. It’s fairly central for meeting my sister and there’s loads of play apparatus for the nieces. They’re still too young for the cider.
Upon arrival there was only one picnic table left, and I instantly knew this wasn’t the table for me.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that this remaining table was surrounded by sand. The quicksand table I have since named it. My wheels and sand are not a good mix. I didn’t want to be that awkward one again, the one that’s always causing as issue. So I tried to get as close to said table in the most shallow sandy area as possible. I got stuck.
After a bit of shuffling backwards and forwards trying to get friction and momentum, and a good shove I was released and back on the grass. Caving in and asking a nice man if we could switch tables (he was more than happy) I enjoyed my fish and chips and time with the family, even if yet again I’m left feeling the nuisance due to inaccessibility.
Talking of tables, I went to Roys of Dereham (those locals out there might know) for a cuppa with my Mum and friend the other day (because that’s how my life goes when you can’t get the staff) and came across what might be the most considered table ever.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you the place was deserted, just how I like it, so we had the choice of all tables there.
One of them, though, had a sign on it saying ‘reserved for disabled customers – please keep this table free for wheelchair users’. It didn’t look anything special, except maybe slightly bigger than the others. I felt compelled to sit there though, even if the rebel in me contemplated sitting elsewhere.
When driving up to the table I realised it’s secret.
If we were having coffee you’d have probably heard me moan many times about inaccessible tables (in this post already!), those too high, too low, and in particular the chunky farmhouse style that are deceiving in that they’re the perfect height but have that annoying bit underneath so I can’t get my knees under?! Well the annoying bit underneath this table had been cut in a curve to create the perfect knee groove.
I’m not sure if this groove was just on the side I happened to sit, or if all the sides are like it. I was too busy doing the tracking check-in thing, anti-bacing, mask removing and constant alertedness that your lucky I noticed anything at all.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you I enjoyed my cuppa without sitting miles from the table. But something inside me still doesn’t sit right. It’s one table in many, that needed a sign to invite me, noting my difference. But it’s something. And that little something made me feel considered. For a minute.
If we were having coffee I’d give you one last update. You may remember last time, when I told you about the new drug, Risdiplam. The first of its kind for SMA. Well I’m on day 56 and I haven’t had any major side effects yet (touching wood somewhere). It’s main aim is to halt progression, but there has also been people experiencing gains. With a lot of hard work I must say. It’s very difficult to know if I’ve made any gains, strength or stamina wise. The placebo effect can be a funny thing.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I think I notice little changes like my hand gripping better and my breathing feeling deeper, and then I think back to how I felt a few months ago, and if something feels easier or I feel stronger now. But I don’t actually know.
Summer arrived (in its British form anyway) at about the same time as my first Risdiplam delivery.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you I always feel better in the summer. More motivated generally but also stronger. The cold really affects my movements and ability. The warmth loosens me up. Hunger is happening though, and that’s something.