One of the certainties of life is that if we want to travel we have to use some form of transport to get there. Having just vacationed in Europe, that mode of travel had to be an aircraft, or several of them.
For the past six or seven months I have been troubled by a sore knee and am now joining that long line of people waiting for a replacement knee. The pain has caused me to walk differently which, in turn, affects my hip so I now have a definite hiccup in my giddy-up.
Air travel is very convenient, once on the plane, but travelling through airports is getting to be a nightmare as they are so busy and gates are getting to be further and further away from the ticket counters. As I was going for a two week stay with my cousin in Scotland, before going to Amsterdam, where I would meet up with Dave and our travelling partners, much of the journey I would be flying solo.
Because of my sore leg I had asked for travelling assistance, hoping to get a cart across the airport, however instead I was taken in a wheelchair. This was great, although I felt a bit of a fraud to be using this method, I was whisked down long corridors, taken short cuts through security and customs and delivered to the gate in a very short time. I did notice that when sitting in a wheelchair people treat you differently. Airport staff were very kind and considerate but they spoke to me as if I was a bit simple, I had a sore leg but my mental faculties are Ok, well fairly OK! I honestly thought somebody was going to pat me on the head and give me a blanket.
Most of the people pushing wheelchairs were able to push me while pulling another person as so many people need this service, seven or eight of us were moved from one place to another, left outside elevators while the assistant took us in relays to other floors, but we all got to our planes on time.
All was fine until I was returning to Glasgow for my flight home, the man who came for me walked in a strange way, in fact he looked like his feet were on the wrong legs, however he got me to the gate but then I felt really bad as he took out an inhaler and proceeded to take a few puffs. I felt so much like a fraud that I stayed in the wheelchair even though I had planned to get out and buy a cup of coffee while I waited. I didn’t want him to see that I could indeed walk
I travel with a cane for walking any distance but I find it a bit of a nuisance. To travel on an escalator I have to transfer the cane to the other hand, so I can hold the handrail. I find it very easy to trip over and I can’t even decide which side to use it as neither side seems to help me walk any better. However, holding the cane does seem to get me a seat on a full bus. Where do I put it when I sit down? Lie it on the floor and someone trips on it, lean it against the table and it clatters to the floor. Walking up and down stairs I have to tuck it under my arm as I need to pull on the handrail while I do my sideways shuffle up the stairs.
It is probably going to be a while before I crawl up the list towards surgery and my problem leg is going to get worse so I may have to use the cane for even short walks. If you see me lumbering round the shops, tripping over my cane, try not to laugh. This affliction is relatively new and I am still trying to condition myself to take my time. However, the sore knee does nothing for my sense of humour and if I see you laughing at me, don’t forget I am holding a weapon and I am not afraid to poke you with it.