Reflections: ten years post spinal injury

I have been doing some reflection seeing as it is ten years post my injury. Ellen Nabarro and I have a surprisingly good standard of living with lots of excitement great friends and family. Unsurprisingly, life is still not simple but we seem to manage with internal and external support, our core strength comes from each other and the amazing bond we have. I feel blessed every day for my wife, she is truly my heaven sent angel. I still dream as a more able-bodied person and I doubt that will ever change, my memories of being a fit and healthy able-bodied person seem both recent and ancient at the same time and whilst I know this is me now and that was me then, the same person, the 2 parts of my life are so disjoint that it does feel like some kind of rebirth / different life. Warm wishes and positive vibes to all, remembering those precious departed and giving thanks for the pleasures I am given every day.

Reflections on St Petes, Florida

Wonderful trip to Florida, Jaime & Matt had a picturesque intimate wedding which we all enjoyed thoroughly despite me getting stressed about my immobilised wheelchair. after a couple of days relaxing with the bride, Groom and respective families, we stayed to enjoy seeing Saint Petersburg whilst the newlyweds travelled to Miami and then a Caribbean cruise for their honeymoon.

Soaking in the sun and white sandy beaches was bliss, a welcome strong wind kept me cool.

Wheelchair emergency was quelled after a day and a half of being driven/pushed around (not so fun) when we enlisted the help of a friendly local wheelchair engineer (who seemed to be able to do anything asked of him). The problem stemmed from a broken cable receptacle/connector/header that had come off the circuit board inside the wheelchair control box (HMC magic drive). This part had been on the blink for a while so I knew it was coming at some point. It finally gave up when I (gently) reversed into a handrail at the wedding dinner reception.

Cliff (the engineer) was able to solder the connector pins back to the board with wires. A micro fuse on the integrated circuit had been dislodged from the circuit board and Cliff managed to secure it back on due to a clean break and some quick-acting adhesive.

Making the chair work again was a big relief after many hours of ringing around to find an engineer or a soldering iron.

Hit some good bars and heard some good live music, then at the end of the next night, chair stopped working again. the next morning, Cliff (the saviour) again came to our aid and fixed the cable solder joints he had made with epoxy resin so they would not come detached.

With that final fix, all been going well and good until now (fingers crossed) but I did have a very suspicious package (all taped up with tape and exposed wires) when going through customs.

Finding a taxi back to the airport from Saint Petersburg beach bank to Orlando International airport was also nontrivial, so we spent about 4 hours looking for a suitable taxi. In the end we luckily found a friendly driver who lived local to take us.

#Condor / #ThomasCook flight back was fine, after a bit of persuasion we had been upgraded to premium economy which was a lifesaver because the chair could recline and the seating was more spacious.

now back after a sleepless night, to sleep …

Flight to Florida

Ellen, myself, Angela and Gosia arrived in Saint Petersburg, Florida. smooth trip with #NorwegianAirlines not bad considering they are a budget airline. Ground-staff both in #GatwickAirport and #OrlandoInternationalAirport excellent with transfers, friendly Thai air hostesses.

Amusingly when I asked for some water on the flight, one of the hostesses told me I could go and get it for myself at the end of the asile, when I explained that I couldn’t she went off in a huff but did come back later with the water. Then when we were waiting for the aisle chair to disembark the aeroplane, after all other passengers had departed, she came and apologised profusely, almost crying, saying that she hadn’t realised I literally couldn’t move and that’s why she had refused to get me the water. She was very sweet about it.

Now to enjoy the wedding of the wonderful couple Jaime Buckingham & Matthew Beattie.