>Just Keep Swimming

>Day 42 of 100.

Just Keep Swimming

Straight into the water
It’s cool
Not cold but definitely noticeable
Soothing on too hot skin
Sinking down and down
Wet all your hair
And then keep your shoulders under
Smile at the kids on the other side
Say hi to a friend and chat for a few minutes.
Waves waves waves
Up and down
Up and down
Thrown around
Body surfing
The unexpected storm
Watch the aqua aerobics group
Try and fail to copy their movements
Surrounded by water
Stretch and savour
And only then
Do you swim
Front crawl
A lazy attempt at breast stroke
And a long float on my back
A few kicks don’t achieve much
But must be done
Right leg more than left
People think it’s just a swim
But it’s more than that
A rare taste of mobility
Without my wheelchair

♥ Emma

>In The Right Direction

>I’m down roughly a pound and a half this week (from 17 4lb & 7/8ths to 17 3lb &1/4th and I can’t do that kind of exact maths).

And I just got back (ok, well an hour and a half ago) from swimming.

Must admit that I’m feeling a little fed up with this now, need to make some really progress again and stop hovering.

>The Obligatory Tuesday Update On: MY WEIGHT

>I am a little disappointed this week although I’m trying not to be.  I’m up 2lb.

It’s probably because I’ve got my period (which given that all the problems I’ve been having with that are likely weight related is a good thing) and I just keep reminding myself about that.

I have exercised every single day this week.  Mostly using My Fitness Coach Dance Workout but I’ve also been swimming once and as I mentioned yesterday I did what is for me a lot of walking on Saturday.

Here’s to some downward movement on the scales next week!

>Just Keep Swimming

>This week I weigh exactly the same as last week.  Which considering how ill I’d been for a few days before I weighed last Monday is a Very Good Thing.  I had anticipated that no matter how good I’d been I’d gain a little so maintaining really feels like I’ve lost a bit actually.  Hopefully that makes some sort of sense.

Big news for this week is that I have been swimming again!  I absolutely love to swim but haven’t been since about last June for various reasons.  I’ve changed what hours I do at CAB though  and that means that me and one of my friends can fit in swimming.

So we went Monday and I swam 20 lengths.  There was also aqua aerobics in one side of the pool and I had a go at that for five minutes but it wasn’t very practical for me.  I was surprised I managed 20 because that was always my goal when I went swimming but as I hadn’t been for so long I’d decided to aim for 10 and hope for 12.  I was pretty sore afterwards!

Yesterday my friend took her little boy for a swim and she said she’d help me in the pool if I wanted to go with.  I managed 14 lengths – which was harder!  I aimed for 12, did 14 and did half of another thinking that 16 would be the stopping place but was so sore and was having clonus and literally couldn’t do more.  Besides which swimming with clonus probably isn’t overly safe.

We had toyed with the idea of going again today before I go to the bureau but I’m too tired for that and my friend is too busy so that’s off.  We do plan to go tomorrow though.

>Swimming :o)

>I did 20 lengths of the pool tonight.  Swam it in 30 minutes.  I’m definitely getting fitter because that was quicker than before.  And also I didn’t have to push myself to finish the 20.  I could have swum a few more but chose not to push myself too much.

My mum’s taken a nasty chunk out of her finger so she didn’t come in to swim just helped me in and out.  She sat in the coffee shop watching me and reckons I was keeping pace with others swimming lengths and she was impressed by how strong a swimmer I am.  Said she’d not noticed it before when she was in swimming too.

Transferring back into my wheelchair was the easiest its been after swimming for a long time too.

I was struck again tonight with the difference between Friday afternoon’s disabled swim session and the adult only evening sessions.

>Sporty Em is BACK!

>I’ve been out in my Quickie wheeling around every day this month!

I know it’s only the 6th but that’s still a good thing.  Only relatively short distances but longer ones will come.  I’m just pleased about the daily thing and I’m really enjoying it too.  I used to be really really active and sporty and I haven’t been for years.  I like that Sporty Em is coming back.

My mum doesn’t want me wheeling myself anywhere near any roads because she thinks it’s too dangerous.  We had a silly argument about that.  Yet when I told her that I had a crazy conversation with someone about us maybe doing a half marathon next year she thought it was a great idea.

She really confuses me at times.

Actually she really confuses me a lot of the time.

I’m hoping to get a cyclometer fitted on my chair either tomorrow or Saturday and then to do some longer distances over the weekend.

Also went swimming on Tues with Mum.  I swam 16 lengths (same as last week) and I also walked 4 lengths (didn’t do any last week).  But this time I swam them faster and with fewer breaks to rest.  The contrast between being with Mum and going to the disabled session on a Friday with RCV was huge.  She was pushing me to do more, go faster, not take a break.  At with RCV it’s very much them trying to get me to stop, take it easy and warning me not to over do it.  That really frustrates me and I don’t agree with it.  I do understand why they do it.  But I don’t agree.

>No swimming, blah

>I really need to wash my hair.  I didn’t bother this morning because I was supposed to be going swimming this afternoon and didn’t see the point.

But now… swimming is cancelled (because the pool is too cold?!?!) and I really can’t be bothered to get undressed and take a shower.  Originally I’d hoped to go to another session at the pool today but based on what the second person to call me and tell me it was off said, I think the pool is shut all day.  And I can’t get through on the phone to talk to them at the pool and find out or sure.  At least Mum and I got in the pool on Tuesday night…

So I’m off to find some form of exercise and something else to do today (was really looking forward to a swim…)  If you see me around town looking something like a bit of a skank please take pity on me and ignore that fact!

>A Letter Unsent

>Dear you,

I know you’ll never read this and even if you did you wouldn’t understand it. But sometimes a girl’s just gotta get some stuff off of her chest.

If I need help I will ask. Don’t just stick your hand on my side without saying a word and then act all offended when I ask what you’re doing. Don’t assume that there’s a chance I’m going to fall as I’m transferring and that you putting you hand on my side just above my hip will prevent that happening. It’s just really rude, really off putting and substantially increases the chances that I actually will fall!

I know from a previous experience we had that you’re just trying to be helpful and that you don’t get it. I kept my cool this time.

Last time made you think I had an “attitude problem” I know and I couldn’t be bothered to deal with it this time. I couldn’t really be bothered to deal with you. Looking back I probably should have snapped at you to “get your hands off of me!” when you grabbed my wheelchair and tried to take over. But you know what, there are plenty of things I can’t do – let me do the things I can. And even more importantly in that case, my Quickie tips incredibly easily, I couldn’t take the risk of you reaching around and pushing me from where you were sat as you were. I didn’t want to hit the floor.

Thanks for going “what’s she done, what’s she done?” when you saw me and S talking to a first aider this afternoon. And even more thanks for going “she’s cut her foot!” to every other person in there when S told you. It was just a tiny bit of blood and no big deal for a toe walking CPer like me. Quick antiseptic wipe and a plaster and i was good to go. Getting it blown out of proportion like that was really annoying and difficult too.

If you must ask none of your business questions ask me! You tell me you’ve been a carer longer than I’ve been alive. You have relatives who use wheelchairs, I know one of them. Personally I thought this would be obvious to you but obviously I was wrong.

Please, difficult as it is for you, leave me to ask for help. And if I do ask, help me exactly as I say. Because if i ask for an arm to lean on whilst standing and you pull me from sitting to standing chances are I’m going to lose my balance (or not get it in the first place) and you might hurt me. I could plunk back into my chair instead of transferring or I could fall. Even more importantly you might hurt yourself.


>R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me

>I’m not sure how this is going to come across.

I go swimming on a Friday afternoon. It’s a public disabled session which means that anyone with a disability can go. I belong to a social group for disabled people and we go to the session. There’s another group that goes of people with learning disabilities and there are a few individuals with disabilities who either go alone or with carers.

All the regulars know each other and most of us chat.

Last week there was a new guy with a disability there with his carer. Probably not much different in age to me. I was walking lengths of the pool with my volunteer Pat. He came up to me asked my name. I told him and he said his name was Charlie.

I said “Hi Charlie it’s great to meet you”

We kept going and eventually came back to the part of the pool he was hanging out in. He asked what I was doing that night and I said something along the lines of nothing much. Did I want to do something? No, not tonight, thank you.

His carer commented that he asks everyone that and it didn’t mean anything.

On with the walking.

Charlie comes back “do you want a kiss?”

Talk about nonplussed!

“No, thanks. I’m not that kinda girl.” I looked for his carer, planning to ask if that was a question everyone got as well but he wasn’t near me.

Pat and I had been planning to take a break but decided not to.

I went “well THAT’S never happened before.”

She laughed and laughed

and then so did I.

We laughed our heads off. It was contagious. I’m sorta ashamed of that. But we couldn’t not laugh.

Later on we were changed and in the coffee shop, I was drinking coke and chatting to some of the others about a new house someone had just bought. Tired and a bit sore, it having been my first time in the pool in a month. But happy to chillax and just hang out.

Charlie came over with his carer to say goodbye. He put his arm around me and his carer went “You can’t hug her, you just met!” He kept his arm there and rubbed my back.

His carer pulled his arm off of me. Commenting he was like with a lot of people and it didn’t mean anything. I did notice however, that he made sure to get between us.

I was teased mercilessly for the rest of time I was in there. And everyone laughed and laughed once again. I was frustrated and annoyed by that.

Not least because nobody liked to be teased… but because I didn’t really know how to handle the situation. And personally I thought I’d handled it badly. And that the way in which everyone else dealt with it didn’t take it seriously. I don’t deny that it was kinda funny. But… some more respect for people like Charlie would be bloody welcome. I hate the way some people in our group (which is just for people with physical disabilities) preach the need for understanding and acceptance and then treat those with learning disabilities like shit.

>Amazing Day

>I’m having an amazing day… and it’s not over yet!

Yesterday there was much discussion between me and a few others and many e-mails sent about going to see various different things at the theatre.

The end result being that it was decided that me and Sam would book tickets to go and see Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in Oxford in May. We’d also decided we’d go see a show in London and after much e-mailing settled on the Lion King. And when I looked up the dates online I saw that Dara O’Briain who is a rocking comedian is coming to Oxford. Ben and Geri wanted to come to that with me.

I’ve been busy on the phone booking tickets for the lot today. Spent a shitload of money but the others will pay me back. And.

Sunday 3rd Feb sees me and Sam in London seeing The LION KING which I’ve wanted to see for YEARS and which is on my 101 in 1001 list.

5th May is Dara O’Briain

And in June we go to Joseph!

And if that didn’t make my day great enough I then went swimming. And set a new personal best for walking.

And my great friend Lucille was in the coffee shop when I got there. She was like “Emma!!!” when she saw me. She got part of the way to me, abandoned her walker and literally ran the rest of the way before literally throwing herself onto me in a huge way and giving me the hugest and best and longest and tightest hug. like ever.

She went “I really missed you…. NOT!!” and cracked up, hugging me again.