Sunday 11 September 2011

Everybody dance now!

Yesterday I went to the wedding of two dear friends. It was a lovely experience from start to finish (except for the downpour I got caught in yesterday halfway down a hill in the wheelchair, which was slightly hairy!) and I used the chair pretty much the whole time.

Assistance on the trains was organised, and if anything slightly overenthusiastic (I'm sorry my love, but if you try and push me with one hand while also pushing the ramp, I will fall off the edge of the platform!), the accessible room that we stayed in had 3(!) emergency cords (all of which reached the floor I might add) and all the taxi drivers had huge boots (that is not a euphemism).

My favourite part of the day though was dancing at the reception. I normally hate discos, because I feel very self-conscious, and I can't stand up for long enough to meaningfully join in. (Plus in Scotland most parties have ceilidhs, and those are a spetacularly bad idea when your body isn't properly held together!)

Last night I danced for 4 hours straight - longer than anyone else - and, although I ache like hell all over this morning, it was well worth it. To start with, when I wheeled out on to the dancle floor, I had no idea, well, how. I mean, I've seen videos of Wheelchair Dancer in action, so I know it's possible - but I couldn't hope for those awesome standards the first time out! Add in that I wanted to dance with Beanie (to whom I was at boob height) and that the dancefloor was quite chaotic, and I was stumped.

It took a while to crack it, but plenty of being spun round at speed, giggling and a glass of Pimm's later, and I didn't care how silly I looked- I was having too much fun! I do believe video footage exists so I might give you a sneak peek. I wished that my GP could see me being so 'limited' by the chair.

I was a little bit overwhelmed when Bendy Girl alerted me to the fact that my blog post had be mentioned in the Guardian Society Daily. I made a bit of a squeaky noise and shed a little tear.

On a related note, it's good to see more medics speaking out against NHS reforms - I know that there has been a lot of 'grassroots' opposition expressed on twitter, but most of the doctors I've raised it with on placement have barely known anything about it. I've been trying to spread the word a bit, but I just can't seem to find an angle that interests folk. The lack of awareness about the structures and politics surrounding the NHS among doctors is something that I find *really* difficult to deal with. I just want to scream "but how can you not care? RARRR".

I do wish that more of them would speak out against the welfare reforms as well. These are having a huge impact on the patient population, and I'm a bit confused as to why they're being so resoundingly ignored.


  1. Was this huge boots as in, the vehicles had enough space, or the drivers' footwear? The phrasing "all the taxi drivers had huge boots" keeps making me read it as the later, but the former makes more sense.

  2. On a more meaningful note, I take it the mention of the GP and being 'limited' by the chair, that your GP was negative towards the idea of the chair? I see two GPs regularly (at the same practice - they encourage patients to see a consistent GP for any one problem, so I ended up with my problems split between two), and when I started using the rollator I told them. I don't use the rollator to go the GPs, because it's just down the road and I might be asked to go up or down a full set of stairs, so the rollator would be rather in the way. I first told one of them (the first I saw), and he was very sceptical and didn't like the idea, worried about me becoming reliant. I mentioned that I actually get out more by using it, exercise my legs more (I'm using it for balance, not support) - he still wasn't comfortable. Told my other GP the next time I saw him, he was perfectly happy, said that he could see how it would mean I'd be more active, and trusted me to know what worked best for me.

    Of course, it would all be better if there were any trace of mobility support and guidance from the health service for people with mobility problems of as-yet unknown cause.

  3. You GO!!!


    (Happy to hand on tips, if you've any questions)

  4. @SBC : the cars had big boots, I didn't look at their feet! My GP was initially very negative about the idea, but to give him his due we talked about it for half an hour, and by the end I think he could see that I'd properly thought it through.

    @WCD : =) thanks!

  5. On the matter of inspiring the medics to protest, is there such thing as an association of Consultants?

    The most conspicuous glitch in the ESA process is the total ignoring of medical evidence by the DWP until you go to tribunal. The government is right-out saying that medical reports claimants provide (usually from their NHS GP or Consultant) aren't impartial and can't be trusted, in comparison to a bulgarian midwife with LiMA software, 6 weeks training, 15 minutes to spare and dodgy English

    I did write to the OT's body asking why they weren't screaming bloody murder about ATOS invading their discipline but heard nothing back.