One thing that I have found incredibly reassuring since T had his accident, is the kindness of people.
T has had visits from some of his friends and they haven’t just popped in for a few minutes and then gone off to do something more interesting; they’ve stayed and chatted with him or just sat in his room with him and watched YouTube videos and laughed. It’s been touching to see that they want to make sure he is OK. Very Good Lads.
He’s had messages from people that can’t get in to visit; well wishes from people I know but that don’t know him; cards from relatives; magazines; sweets.
He had a visit from our old friends who have had their fair share of breaks over the years and were able to offer some advice and tips and mainly sympathy and “it’s a bit ***t isn’t it?” He’s had sympathetic glances from people at the fracture clinic who are there with their own issues but still feel his pain.
We were able to go out on Sunday so that we could sort out A’s phone ready for secondary school (T was particularly keen to go as he knew it meant an upgrade for him too) and the staff in the phone shop (no plugs here, but I’m talking about you, EE in St Albans) were so helpful allowing him to take up an entire seating area while they dealt with other customers and then offered sympathy when it was our turn, wanting to know what he’d done (we realised that we should have come up with a much better, more heroic story at the outset but it’s too late to backtrack now) and wincing appropriately.
We’ve had offers of help; of lifts (difficult one as he has to stretch out across backseat of our car -an S Max – and only then just about manages to fit in); of T-sitting so that I can go out and do stuff; and one kind friend (I know her from school but only to say Hi to – an acquaintance I guess you’d say, if it was 1950) has given us a supply of disposable pee bottles which T can use in the night, thus avoiding having to call K or I and hope that we hear him (ever wish you’d kept that baby monitor?).
Today, I spoke with the Red Cross. One of the nurses in A&E on “that day” mentioned that they are sometimes able to loan out wheelchairs and other equipment. At the time I was still in “he’ll be back on his feet in no time, cloud cuckoo land” and didn’t really register it. However, as it becomes increasingly obvious that he ain’t going anywhere anytime soon (not sure why I went all EastEnders there, it just seemed right) I’ve contacted them to see what sort of gear they’ve got. Well, who knew? OK maybe you all knew and it’s just me who’s a bit naive. Anyway, we’ve been and picked up a push along wheelchair (can’t think of the right name but basically one where he has to be pushed by someone) and a toilet frame, with the promise of a self-propelling wheelchair in a few days time when one comes back into stock. Eight week loan, no charges – just a donation at the end of the loan. The ladies were lovely and funny and sympathetic – one looked like she could have cried for him – practical and very, very helpful. I wanted to stay and have a cup of tea with them.
The toilet frame is fantastic, even A is loving it -“somewhere to rest your arms!” – and he seems more confident with each few passing days, as another good friend with extensive breakages experience told me he would.
We’re waiting to hear from school as to whether he can go back in the condition he is in, with crutches or preferably a wheelchair simply due to the weight of the bloody thing. I can’t at the moment see how he will be able to walk around the campus, changing rooms every 50 minutes and cope with the busy corridors – an early pass from lessons will give him a head start but it’s still going to be hard going with the “small, overweight child” clinging to his leg (our favourite way of explaining the weight of it). Hopefully, the kindness of friends (and the reward of an early lunch pass on offer) will get him through it.
Kindness is not something you see all the time, it only comes out when it’s needed, but we’ve seen it in bucket loads in the last 10 days. Thank you.