How quickly one’s own words come back to haunt you, or as my mother would say: ‘Bite you on the bum’.
As with so many of my stories my mother is involved. Some years ago now whilst on a Christmas visit to Brighton she became ill. The ongoing effect was that she lost her hearing in one ear and now has an impaired sense of balance. By that I mean she wobbles around, not just a bit but quite a lot. With her mop of silver curls she looks like the ball in a pinball machine. The truth is she needs to walk with a stick.
But will she? No, she will not, stubborn as ever she refuses to acknowledge that a stick will help prevent her from falling over, she continues to careen around the world like an elderly Whirling Dervish, it’s quite a sight.
As a family of course we are united in our attempts to make her use a stick, pointing out the pros and ignoring her retorted cons.
“What you have there is a four-wheel Zimmer frame with the word Tesco on the front”
One day I took her to the supermarket – “Look, I can walk perfectly well,” she said. “Yes,” I replied. “But have you not realised that what you have there is a four-wheel Zimmer frame with the word Tesco emblazoned on the front.” She beetled off in a huff.
Now I have a bad leg and walking is not only painful but a pain. The impact of the bad knee has been more than doubled by me misjudging a tiny step and ripping the ligaments in the bad knee. Five hours in casualty, nowhere near as much fun as the TV programme, and one phone consultation with a GP and I am armed with new pills that seem to work. I have rested the leg and it is on the mend although getting about is slower than ever and not without pain. And there is the embarrassment of, for the very first time, having someone stand up to let me have their seat on a bus. And yes, I did accept their very kind offer.
My daily report to Mum and Dad (me checking on them really) now has dispatches about my leg. Today it went like this: “Hello Mum.” She replied: “Hello love, how’s your leg? You know you really should get yourself a walking stick.” I was, for once, lost for words.