When I put out the call for family after the New Years, many followed up, some with emails, with others sending me care packages which I TOTALLY mean to reciprocate. One person, Cheryl volunteered as Sister (I was a little unclear on whether that was “Sisterhood” with upraised fist or ‘I get to tell you how you really should be living your life’ older sister-hood?). She also offered to visit because she lives in Port Angeles, which would normally disqualify her (Skary Town) but she is a genuine US Forest Park Ranger (thus works in Olympic National Forest). And she was an EMT, and used to live in Death Valley. On the down side, spiders, of which I am phobic about, seem to love her as she has been bitten by black widows TWICE.
Anyway, she came for a visit and we played some air hockey and in some sort of fluke, in both games we tied (6-6. 4-4: not that I am so competitive I would remember the exactly scores). She however kicked my butt at pinball. What I found out is that a) I talk too damn much and b) When I talk too damn much for several hours then I have health problems (for up to two days after). I have “Hostess Complex” where you compensate any feeling of anxiety and worry that your guest isn’t having a good time by talking non-stop which just ends up making people thinking you are “okay, nice….but a bit of a loon.”
Anyway, after my Wheelchair Badminton is possible for a LOT of people post, Cheryl said “I have no hand eye co-ordination.” I challenged her to come back and just give it a try, and I would supply the wheelchair. Cheryl has some horrific thing with her back (the words crushed and vertebrae are in there) which means: No running, no walking fast, no leaning over, no bending, none of that. She can however sit and lift her arm above her head. So today, after she got off the boat from Port Angeles (and was pulled over again by customs because apparently the “I am coming to meet someone I met on the internet” is the WRONG answer to “Why did you come to Canada?”) we collected gear and headed to the Y.
After 20 minutes of the hit and miss of “I haven’t played this since a kid” Cheryl seemed to be getting the hang of it. And then, once we started playing a doubles game (with points) I noticed that Cheryl’s hit ratio went WAY up as she had Linda running here and there. After doubles we had a short game where I played Wayne and Cheryl so Linda could take some pictures and film and I hope later this week to make a quick video to convince you that YES, wheelchair badminton IS a fun sport, even for two wheelchair users. And it doesn’t matter that if after you finish your game of badminton, you can carefully stand up and walk home. Because a wheelchair is a mobility device. And if a wheelchair helps you have fun for an hour that you wouldn’t have or be able to do normally, then use the wheelchair! But if you CAN stand up afterward, then that is why you get the crappy extra wheelchair and I get the custom one.
Anyway, you can see here that Cheryl, who said quote “Badminton really IS slower than tennis” is in a very short time, not only matching my vast four weeks experience but is kicking my butt. Turns out that hitting long wasn’t a problem for her, must be those special Forest Ranger muscles. Anyway, it was nice to play a game of doubles with friends and thanks to the program director Wayne (in Red) for doing doubles with us. I promised I would TRY not to fill his entire badminton drop-in days with friends in wheelchairs. Not that it is such a bad thing! It is just we need to find enough able bodied people to do the running around in doubles while we sit there. Remember, able bodied people have uses too!
We hoped to have Thai for lunch afterward, but the restaurant had the “Now Open 7 days a week” sign as well as the “Closed” sign, so we headed back to our place only stopping by to visit some friends at the cemetery (second oldest in Victoria). There is one guy there who died at 37 and they relatives listed not just the years he lived but the months and the days too. Guess people in the 1830’s had OCD too (Does it really matter if he lived 37 years, 7 months, and 6 days or 7 days?).
That’s one of the reasons I have been a bit quiet today. The other reason is that my hostess syndrome is in high gear and that means I started the day with opiates (can’t sleep, a guest is coming!). I have been on oxygen a couple times and lost speech a couple times today already (at which point I keep going in sign language, which induces Linda to try to strangle me). So while I was sleeping Linda and Cheryl went out and got me a pack of Twinkies by HOSTESS. I think it was a hint. Or just some mockery of me.
Also, as I slept for two hours, Cheryl and Linda, who both have family cattle farming background, did the farm talk. This has reawakened my paranoia which goes a bit like this: Linda has put up with me for years because my neurotic and health issues are countered by your good parts. But now, she is meeting OTHER women, women who have connections with her that I don’t and who can talk to her and focus their attention on her and aren’t near as big a mess as I am (not actually talking about my physical issues, more my big squirming bag o issues). So, to counter this, I blurt out to Linda about once an hour this evening, “You’re going to dump me and then, because if you marry her, she can legally become a Canadian citizen, you are going to move in with her, aren’t you? Aren’t you!!” That is really reinforcing how I don’t have insecurity issues. Particularly when I accused her on Monday after I was doped to the gills and so sick I couldn’t move that she was going to run away with my caregiver (who is straight!). Linda finds this funny. I find that saying, “I don’t have insecurity issues, I don’t have insecurity issues!” over and over doesn’t really help.
So, it is sort of fun for the visitor who comes to see us because you get to see me play neurosis tennis with myself bouncing from “I’m such a bad hostess” to “You and Linda are the TRUE soul-mates aren’t you?” Anyway, even with all that, I am actually having fun and I did play badminton and even though I have at least one appointment every day this week, I managed to forget for a few hours today.
So come and join the party, the more the merrier (and we can always play wheelchair badminton!).
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