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When I die, I can tell someone


Everyone knows what it’s like. We all have those days. Do you know what I mean? When you call those companies to book an installation or a repair and the response is: “We’ll be with you between the hours of 8am and 6pm because the driver has to cover the area between Scotland and Cornwall”. You know as soon as you hear those words, there’s gonna be a day in this precious life that you just ain’t gonna get back, so you may as well binge watch a box set and leave the catastrophes of the world outside your front door.

Let me tell you about the events that took place last week.

Monday morning began with no electricity, so the first port of call was to inform the housing company. After twenty minutes on hold with no option of silencing the mind-numbing music, I finally got through.

I stated that I was sitting in semi-darkness, and to make matters worse, I couldn’t have a cuppa. Before I had chance to finish my sentence, the woman on the other end of the phone interjected: “Your property is leased by the care company – they should be requesting the repair”. I calmly and politely explained to her that having wheels didn’t hinder my ability to make a phone call. However, the lack of electricity not only quashed the opportunity to drink tea, but also prevented me from charging my wheelchair. In turn, this would mean that I’d have to be wheeled around by another person, thus increasing the likelihood of unintentionally being pushed into the road.

I told her that when I died at the scene, I’d let her know... Sure enough, the electricity was back up and running between the hours of 8am and 6pm.

I went for a shower on Tuesday morning, only to find that the Electrician had inadvertently turned the water off. Here we go again. Greeted by the same delightful woman, I informed her that the Electrician shouldn’t give up his day job and that I now required a Plumber.

The previous day’s debacle evidently taught her nothing. “It’s not an emergency; someone will be out within three to five working days”. At this point, I couldn’t decide whether I was more disturbed by the sight of my hair resembling a chip pan or by the fact that she wasn’t at all alarmed to hear that the Electrician didn’t know which way was up. She soon understood that due to my Cerebral Palsy, it isn’t beneficial for me to be subjected to cold showers as it could induce Hypothermia.

I told her that when I froze to death, I’d let her know... Sure enough, hot water was flowing, between the hours of 8am and 6pm.

An entirely new problem arose on Wednesday. Thanks to the new and improved electricity, my chair may have been charged, but I couldn’t sit in it due to the back-support swinging from the hinges. Upon calling the wheelchair service, I learnt that someone would be in my area on Friday and that I’d have too make do until then.

Anyone with an inch of common sense would have been baffled by this. The clue is very much in the title. It’s a WHEELCHAIR service. They deal with people whose legs are dysfunctional on a daily basis. Therefore, why on Earth would it be deemed sensible to leave someone without the one thing that makes it possible for them to move?

I told them that when I died because I’d fallen backwards out of my chair and smacked my head, whilst my ankles were still attached to the footplates, I’d let them know... Sure enough, the wheelchair was fixed between the hours of 8am and 6pm.

Thursday was a day of excitement and thrills. A pre-booked appointment had been made for the remote to be serviced. Don’t be daft, I don’t mean the TV remote. I mean the remote that opens, closes and locks the front door. See, when you’re disabled you are entitled to all kinds of gadgets that sing, dance and wipe your arse!

They said it was imperative that they came. They said if they didn’t then the remote was likely to stop working, thus increasing my chances of getting stuck with the door open and an axe-murderer entering. They also mentioned that if they didn’t come the door could lock shut, and thus increase my chances of not escaping a fire, should one occur.

They said if they couldn’t make it, I’d have to let them know when I died, but they’d be sure to get it sorted between the hours of 8am and 6pm.

On Friday, I got a text from a friend who asked me out for coffee. She said there couldn’t possibly be anything else that had gone awry. How wrong could she be?

In the unfortunate event of the above repair guys getting stuck in traffic on route from Scotland to Cornwall and them not arriving between the hours of 8am and 6pm, there had to be a backup plan. The lifeline guy was coming to ensure that when I pushed the big red button, a call centre would receive my SOS.

That way, when I die, I can tell someone.

5 comments (Add your own)

1 Jo - Wed, October 10, 2018 @ 7:06 PM

Jo this is brilliant you have a natural talent. I know it's difficult for you and the way you deal with anything and everything is to laugh at it. I did laugh out loud when I read this as I could picture you on the phone giving people what for. Go girl !!!
2 Sue M - Wed, October 10, 2018 @ 7:31 PM

Feisty 2 year old with sense of humour grown into feisty adult with sense of humour! This is just brilliant Jo.
3 Denise Leah - Wed, October 10, 2018 @ 11:47 PM

Jo you have a great natural talent for writing.It made me smile and then laugh as the images you created appeared in my mind. I loved the repetition you used.
4 Emma Parr-Moody - Fri, October 12, 2018 @ 9:55 PM

Good god woman you crack me up. I love this! And the fact I know it all happens to you and more...
5 Tam O'Neill - Sat, October 13, 2018 @ 7:28 AM

You are right Jo, we have all been there and, regardless of disability, it's mind numbing and frustrating being the handmaiden of bureaucracy. For most people it's an inconvenience but for those with a disability, who depend upon devices for daily activity, it adds a whole new and often critical dimension to life.

During these 'lost' days, a sense of humour such as you possess, can ease a vexation situation but it can't make a kettle boil and though it can warm the cockles of your heart, it won't fend off hypothermia.

As I don't know if utility providers generally give priority to folk with a disability, I'll ask some of them today... between 8am and 6pm!

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