Life in Our Bubble: Up and Down Day
Some days just don’t turn out as you expect them to. They may require a range of adjustments. You just never know how they will pan out. It’s true to say they can have their ups and downs as well. Take the other day. It was meant to centre around our daughter’s 6-monthly neuro appointment, an important event in our calendar. In the end it was not the only notable event of the day.
We were already stressed at the thought of the appointment. What if the doctor wasn’t happy with the new medication regime we’d begun and more changes were needed? What if our girl wasn’t well enough to go, or we were late and missed it altogether, or the inevitable wait in reception was too difficult to manage and people looking on tutted as we tried to amuse our daughter without drawing attention to her? It was easy to imagine these things, we’d been through them all before.
Our daughter wasn’t in great form but we set off, armed with a snack, drinks, rescue meds, the ubiquitous tablet to keep her occupied. To our surprise and delight we were seen almost at once. The doctor was pleased, said she could see our girl was doing well, but felt it was time for bloods to be taken again; they hadn’t been done for some time.
The queue for phlebotomy was lengthy and it was clear we wouldn’t be joining it. Waiting is hard for our daughter. She doesn’t get it. We’d had a good visit so far and didn’t want to overstay our welcome. We’d have to come back another time or arrange to go to the GP’s.
Then out of nowhere a nurse approached us. She’d shown us into the consulting room on our arrival at the clinic, we’d met her several times before. She said she’d seen our dismay at the queue for blood tests and it would be simple for her and a colleague to do them there and then in a quiet room, it was no bother. Within ten minutes we were on our way, mission accomplished. Three cheers for this act of unexpected kindness.
We decided to stop at the library and stay out a bit longer as our daughter was by now feeling better. We thought we may even have a spot of lunch in town before going home. We parked in the only empty disabled bay in the carpark which was pretty full. My partner went on and I helped our daughter into her wheelchair and locked the car.
As we turned to go, a man walking by yelled loudly we stopped in our tracks. A woman shot out of her car, almost on top of us, pale and shaking. Are you alright, she whispered. It seems she hadn’t seen us and had almost run into our daughter’s chair as she reversed out of the space perpendicular to our’s. She was driving very slowly, one of her passengers told us, but you’ve had a lucky escape. Any faster and the young lady could’ve been badly hurt. Anything could have happened, she said. But nothing had, at least not to us. We were unscathed, oblivious to the potential danger we’d been in. The woman’s car had been stationary when we’d passed it.
The driver was now in shock. I reassured her that we were fine, that no harm was done, and suggested that she sit down and we would go and get her a cup of hot sweet tea. She declined the offer, saying she’d rather have a cigarette. She looked awful.
When we came out of the library a while later she was standing alone by her car, still smoking. Her passengers were inside. Our daughter smiled at her as we drove off, perhaps unaware of the drama that had unfolded earlier, or maybe it was simply to cheer her up because of it. An up to a down? All thoughts of lunch out had been forgotten as we reached home. Our near-miss now felt scarier than we’d at first realised. How about a nice cup of tea, I said to my partner. Only we’ve run out of milk.