Winterising the home means bringing all summer furniture indoors, covering the barbeque and generally tying stuff down that may blow away in the winds of winter. Another job is splitting and storing firewood for the fireplace, and this is where I came adrift.
Dave has a log splitting machine as his days of axe wielding were brought to a halt with a badly broken shoulder, this doesn’t trouble him much but does make him feel his age. Working as a team, Dave was splitting logs and I was tossing them in the direction of the woodpile, prior to stacking them. It was a beautiful day and we were quite enjoying the job, it is very satisfying to watch the firewood pile grow and to know it will be a cosy winter.
My daughters get a bit cross at us doing jobs like this as they think we are getting into our dotage and should be confined to rocking chairs and early bedtimes, that day they were proved correct.
Merrily tossing logs to the pile I felt a twinge in my hip, but just ignored it and carried on for a couple of hours. After a shower and dinner we settled for the evening, enjoying our fire till bedtime. Upon getting up from the chair, I realised that I had pulled a muscle and was lame. In several days we were due to go on a walking holiday in England so no time to get physio.
The trip to London was uneventful and, by the help of a cane I managed to get around OK however, once we started our holiday which involved quite a bit of walking, I managed to inflame the muscle till it decided to go on strike. After a few days of back rub and lots of sitting in between walks, all my other lower back muscles came out on strike, in sympathy with their brothers in the left hip.
My walking was limited to one block then I sat and watched the rest of the group walk round the enchanting villages of southern England. I felt like sulking and pouting but tried to be my usual (ahem) pleasant self.
We then travelled up to Scotland and a slower schedule at my cousin’s home and Dave decided to phone Air Canada and arrange for wheelchair help for the homeward journey. What a relief to have the convenience of the wheelchair, the person pushing me took me and my travelling companions through security, customs and all other necessary airport inconveniences at a fast pace, no waiting in line and no paperwork. I felt like a bit of a fraud but I don’t think I could have managed the long walks without the help.
On arriving home I had only five days before setting off, with a girlfriend, to a week long conference in Orlando, Florida. I couldn’t back out and leave my friend to manage alone so phoned the airline and ordered a wheelchair again. Once again, what wonderful service the airlines provided.
On arrival at the huge conference centre I hired a scooter to get around the facility. Just as well as it must have been at least a half mile between the elevator to our floor and the rooms where the conference was being held.
There were two thousand five hundred attendees at the conference and one hundred and forty of us had rented scooters. It was like an episode of Monty Python with all of the scooters converging on the conference, I thought it looked like the race of the raging grannies.
On returning home I was able to go for physio and, over the past month I have been gradually been returned to my regular walk, no cane or limp. I heartily recommend anyone travelling with any sort of painful handicap, even if just temporarily troubled, to make use of wheelchairs in airports, it truly is a lifesaver.