Life has changed dramatically for me over the last 18 months. There are lots of reasons for this, including my eye surgeries, having my spinal surgery and moving home. However, the most important thing that has changed for me is that I’m in a relationship.
I’m sharing my life with a wonderful woman, who loves me despite my disability and is not phased by the challenges that it poses within our everyday life. The way we met obviated having that most difficult of decisions, when to tell I use a wheelchair. The first time we set eyes on each other I was in my wheelchair. As we talked I soon discovered that Eve had worked with people with disabilities as well as having worked as a therapist. She was as interested in my pre-disability life as I was in her former career and we soon discovered we shared many interests. I invited Eve to my flat for supper and we both continued to attend at the synagogue where we first met, as well as going out on other dates. One of the first things I noticed was that enquiring about access to venues and arrangements for parking seemed second nature to Eve, one of the reasons I fell in love with her! Having Eve understand my world makes being together as a couple so much easier.
We have been spending lots of time together, I now have a social life again as we’ve been meeting each other’s friends and family. My nursing background had been helpful in giving support to Eve’s cousin who had end stage cancer, until her death. I felt useful again, even though I dearly wished the circumstances were different. Eve and I have found we can support each other in so many ways. I always find it easier to battle for other people than for myself and it’s the same for Eve so we’ve been helping each other deal with the bureaucracy of everyday life.
I’m more tech savvy than Eve so can help with her smart phone and computer, she is my legs when I’m too tired or in too much pain to move. On the nights when I don’t have a carer to get my evening meal Eve can help me cook and it great sharing a meal together and being able to discuss what’s on TV. We share the same political views and we have being getting involved with local left-wing political campaigns.
We’ve been going to music gigs, which has revived my interest in singing and I’m hoping to get chance to sing in a choir again, even if my repertoire will be limited. Another hobby that Eve and I share is horse riding and I’m hoping that Eve will be able to come to my local RDA group with me so I can ride once more.
Life has changed so much for the better. I’m happy again, some of the challenges I face haven’t altered but having someone beside me to share everything makes life so much brighter and easier.
Now with the move and the summer weather (though in England that never a guarantee of sunshine) and the lengthening days I’ve more reason to go out and about.
I’m looking forward to trips out where we can explore both new and familiar places together. I might actually be able to go abroad for a holiday for the first time in 10 years! Life has become so much more worth living.