Adventures of stick girl!!

I love writing trip advisor reviews and a friend suggested a blog talking about my health, but also about how this affects me getting about, enjoying new places, and adapting to familiar ones, just trying to have as normal a life as possible, so I am taking up the mantle of stick girl! I am not sure what my super powers will be yet, but finding a toilet seems to be high on the list! 😜

Today I met a friend in newcastle for lunch. This would be a straight forward thing for most people, but for me it was a bit more involved.

I have to plan what time to get up to give me enough time to get ready, knowing exactly when I need to leave the house to give me enough time to figure out parking and make my way slowly to our meeting place. I plan what I’ll wear and get that out the night before, unfortunately this morning my fingers were not working very well so I had to make wardrobe adjustments to accommodate my inability to out on jeans (extra time I have to add in every day just incase) I have my breakfast, put on my make up and do my hair in the same order so that I don’t forget to take my pills, today was a sitting down day to do my hair and make up, also new hair day, I had a lot cut off last night, so allowed extra time to try and figure out what to do with it (turns out it’s actually the time and energy saver I was aiming for! Yay! πŸ˜„)

I then eat my breakfast, slowly if my fingers and arms are sore, as they were this morning, and rest for a bit before getting dressed. Then I have to leave the house because of I sat down again it would take me another half an hour to get back up! Some days it’s all about momentum 😜

Any other things like washing the dishes, If my cat needs feeding, if shes kicked her litter all over the floor, If I need to put washing on or do any other jobs, I have to figure out if I have enough energy to do these, or if I can just leave them and ignore the OCD in me stressing me out when things haven’t been done! These all need to be fitted in or left in the time I’ve allocated to getting ready.

Then I can leave the house.

Driving has been thought about before hand, I can’t drive very far at the minute, so can’t go anywhere alone that’s further than about 20mins away (this includes time being stuck in traffic which is actually worse than just driving) so I know where I’m going. I have also figured out where I will park, close enough to where I’m going to be able to manage to walk there.

I met my friend at the Tyneside cinema. We’ve been meeting there for years, since we were at school. We are creatures of habit and I love the building, the atmosphere, the food is good and the service is good, but, I haven’t been here since I’ve had mobility problems.

I managed the short walk from my car to the cinema, slowly, with my walking stick, and people made allowances for me and made way on the streets which is a huge help as moving sideways and trying to dodge people on the streets is really painful, it twists my body and causes pain in my knees, I often have to just stop and force people to move around me but this didn’t happen today which was great. So the walk was easier than I expected and I knew where the lift was in the building so I knew where I was going.

Today I had my stick, so other people have a visual prompt that I am struggling, but somedays I don’t have my stick if I’m managing a bit better but I still have problems with pain and speed. I find those days more embarrassing as I have to use lifts, I walk slowly and I stop if people get in my way as I can’t twist to get past them. My walking stick gives me more confidence to do what I need to to minimise my pain and fatigue as I’m not worrying about getting in people’s way, or looking like an idiot.

I managed the lift today and found the disabled toilet which was locked. I’ve not got a radar key yet as I’ve never been anywhere that uses them, so I had to walk to the restaurant area and ask for the toilet key. This is not only embarrassing, but also saps my energy as I have to walk further to manage what I’m doing, another e tea I hadn’t planned for!

I got a table straight away and arrived at the same time as my friend, we had a yummy lunch of tuna and cheese ciabatta and falafel burger, followed by lemon mirangue pie and a de caf coffee. My friend got up to read the specials board to save my energy, and there was just enough space to get around the tables with my stick to go and pay. The waitress who served us was friendly and efficient.

I will go back here, not just because it’s a traditional haunt, but I found it easy to manage with my stick. The only exception is the toilets, but a radar key will resolve that problem 😊

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