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Colleen Displaced

one ordinary woman -vs- Multiple Sclerosis

Blog guilt, etcetera!

August 27, 2016

Hey there, if you have a blog or have ever started a blog you'll understand how I'm feeling right now. Guilty. That's how I feel.

And why?  Well, because I had a few days away from my blog and away from all of you good people out there.  And worse than that, I didn't even let you know I'd be gallivanting all over the country. Ok, not quite 'all over', just a five-hour drive, but hey that's a long trip in my book. I did think that I'd whip up a quick blog post to let you know I'd be eerily silent for a few days, but a lack of time and dodgy legs slowing things down saw that that post was never going to happen. Sorry.  Honest.  I did have good intentions!

And where have I been?

DUBBO.

I know some people laugh at the name of this country town.  But laugh is not what you should be doing.  This not-so-little town in Central West New South Wales is a more-than-respectable modern town (or is it a city now? I haven't checked that out yet).  No matter, it always was respectable, clean and populated by good decent folk, and happens to be where my father was born and raised, where many a holiday was spent with grandparents and relatives in my younger years.

And wow has this little town grown since the 1960s and 70s!  Time does that I suppose.  Have to admit that in my reverie as we drove through beautiful scenery on the way I didn't expect the changes, instead I had visions of the old timber- fronted, corrugated iron roofed, triple fronted house of my grandparents, a little park with swings and see-saws down the road, and a corner shop where dad could buy his newspaper every morning and where I would sometimes be treated to a couple of musk-sticks or maybe a choo choo bar, or threepence worth of cobbers. Ah yes, chocolate covered hard caramel cobbers, they were the BEST, and I don't think they exist any more.  Sad sad sad.  They might still be around though, perhaps I live too secluded a life these days?

Even sadder is the fact that the old town just isn't the same any more.  Instead of timber houses there are modern brick veneer homes, glitzy looking cafes and all sorts of shops, and a large shopping centre complete with enormous car park. Of course that's terrific really, as a visitor in 2016 we want all of the mod cons, and I can report that arriving in Dubbo today you won't be disappointed.  Every fast-food establishment you could want is easily found, as well as all the shops you'll usually find scattered around the suburbs of Sydney.  Actually I think there's a lot to be said for country towns, for one thing everything is in the one place, all of the services and businesses you could ever want are right there - not two suburbs across like they are in many of the large Sydney suburbs.  Which I think is RUDE.

Where I live today, in an outer Sydney coastal city, there is irregular public transport, and shops that are virtually inaccessible unless you have your own transport.  Actually the only thing that keeps me alive is the internet, I order my groceries online and have them delivered, and buy clothes and furniture online as well, simply because I have difficulty getting to shops.  And I live in a city.  Ridiculous isn't it?

Access for the disabled (wring hands & insert evil laugh here ... nyah haha heh heh ...)

We read all about how shops and services have disabled access etc.  Don't be fooled.   Hubby parked us in a disabled carspace the other day.  Nice.  Until I wrestle my way out of the car and find a foot high barricade to get over.   Ok, the entry was close.  Just a slight problem actually getting to it.  Hubby helped me over the barricade, lifted my dodgy leg over and I was off and away.  Without him I'd never have made it though.

Actually I don't want to pooh pooh disability friendly access, not at all, we do all appreciate those things.  Truly.  We know you tried, and heaven knows we are grateful for any assistance.  So thank you to everywhere for helping us less able folk.   Hugs even.

But.  Another thing.   Accessibility is all well and good, but only once you get there, if you can. Nobody seems to have a decent answer for that.  Transport for those less able.  I'm not in a wheelchair, and I hope not to be for some time yet.  Or ever. And with the peculiar individuality of MS I may not ever be.  But that's another story.

For now, I'd just like an affordable option, a service that will pick me up and take me to any of the local shopping centres.  And bring me home.  Too much to ask apparently.  Yes I know, those services do exist.  Try getting yourself on their 'list' though.  I've been waiting over six months, and still no luck.

Maybe I should try driving again.  I guess I could, with an automatic car all that's needed is a right foot and arms that work.  I'd have to give it a good practice run but I could manage.  It's my left leg that's the problem.  Have to admit that it frightens me, the thought of driving again, and I know there are others out there with vehicles specially built to enable the disabled driver.  I don't need those modifications, but what if someone runs in to me, or if I am subjected to road rage?  It's not like I can leap out of the driver's seat, or run away.  I'd be cowering in my seat, and having to lift my left leg out to get out of the car if that was necessary.  And if I did manage to get out of the car in my panic-stricken state, well, me trying to run away would be a pitiful sight.  Not to mention unsuccessful.  Oh dear.

But I'm lucky to have a husband that supports me in all things, even if I don't like having to ask to go shopping!  Such is the way my life has become that I'm sneaky about shopping these days, and have things delivered while hubby is at work, so that we are well stocked without me having to ask to be taken to the shops!  Being a good little wife, when you have a disability, certainly does have its own challenges.  And yes, I know I create some of these difficulties myself in a way, simply because I don't want to be a burden.  But MS truly does suck.  Sigh.

Maybe a move to Dubbo is on the cards?  Nah, bit too far, beautiful place though.

As usual I've wandered off on a tangent, but thanks for sticking around - all for now, but I'm back home and will be back here again soon!

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