Thursday, 9 June 2011

The beauty of life

Yesterday was beautiful.
It was happy.
It was perfect.

Yesterday my train got delayed by an hour.
My pain levels were high.
I used up my energy for at least a few days.
3 Taxi's refused to pick me up.
My estate agent had a moment of disability related patronising oik.

And yet, the day was beautiful. And as I arrived home I could not have been happier or more content.


Because no-one and nothing could take away from what I had achieved.

4 years ago I started drawing stickmen.
Yesterday in a meeting with whizzkidz PR and fundraising chaps we initiated a project which might help change the attitudes of the country towards those in wheelchairs. Which will raise money to help get kids the wheels they need to be kids. Which will involve working with some kids - who will then get their names in published print. And which will expand my stickman empire. ( I will post more on this later...)

Of course I was proud of myself, but actually, this was only a small part of my contentment.

The big part was that I had:
Travelled to and across London on my own.
To somewhere I had never been before.
Had a business meeting lasting over an hour during which I was able to concentrate and talk until the very end.
And then....
I went shopping. Wheeling free and independent through the shops around Victoria. Completely alone in the crowds - just one person in a seething mass of humanity. Yes, I sometimes got rescued by random shop assistants and passers by, but so would someone carrying a heavy box - and it doesn't take away from my achievements.
I randomly met an old lecturer from my pre-wheelie days. We chatted and she didn't pity me or patronise me.
I got back across London with my shopping - hailing a taxi all by myself - before catching my train and getting back home.

It was beauty. It was perfection. Simply because: I did it.

A year ago I couldn't hold a 10 minute conversation while curled up at home and remain coherent.
A year ago a trip to London wasn't even a dream. My dreams were things like being able to visit someone for coffee and not end up semi-comatose. It was so far outside my abilities. It would have put me in hospital. And medically I had been given no hope that things would change for the better anytime soon.

But with my new medical team at the Bristol Heart Institute: Dr Thomas, the Arrythmia nurses, ward nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists and their pioneering treatment, the sky is my limit.

I feel human again. Taking steps into new areas. As important as those first steps on man on the moon.

Yes, I am paying for it now. I can't concentrate for long. Speaking is difficult. My fingers ache, my elbows aren't properly attached......etc....etc...

But "what price perfection"?

It was worth it.
And no after-effects can take away the fact that I did it.

On my own.

I did it.


  1. What a great achievement Hannah! I am very happy for you :-)
    You certainly have a brilliant team at BHI !

  2. I haven't commented here before (I don't thinkm my brain gets a bit mushy sometimes, ok a lot of the time). I just wanted to say I have ehlers danlos, am middle aged and a bit stuck with it all at the moment. Reading this post, gave me hope. Thank you for that.

    A massive achievement, congratulations.

  3. This really made me smile :D

  4. Your mention of a patronising oik took me back a few years - come to think of it, about 17 - ouch! - and one evening in the pub, I was sitting at the bar in my chair (before DDA and Equality I had less trouble using my chair in pubs than I do now!), and I felt someone pat me on the head!

    "Can I buy you a pint, son?" said the bloke who had sidled up next to me, oblivious to the facts that I already had one, and that at my age "son" was just a tad inappropriate.

    "Why would you want to buy me a pint, I don't even know you?" "Well, you're in a wheelchair. . ." pat, pat!

    "Thanks, but no, but I'll tell you what though," "What?" "Pat me again and I'll break your $%4£@#* arm!"

    He looked at me as if I was mad, and flounced off.

    No idea who he was, I'd never seen him before, and never saw him after, but some people are seriously strange around disability.


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