Mixed feelings and gratitude

This morning at 10am I was being measured for a wheelchair. Me?

Yes, it was me they were measuring. I was for a moment angry that I was even there. I don’t want a goddam wheelchair I thought to myself. This is the beginning of the end. You’ll be pleased to know that these feelings lasted no longer than five minutes.

How lucky am I to live in a country where I will receive a German-made electric wheelchair worth £7,000 at no cost to me. Citizens of the UK……be very careful before you are too critical of our National Health Service. My experience so far has been positive all the way. Travel to other countries, even ones which might be classed as ‘developed’, and see what healthcare you get and/or what you pay for it.

Not only do I get this wheelchair, I also get it customised to my body dimensions. I didn’t ask if I could get a custom paint job. I also get a manual wheelchair too.

Back to the mixed feelings. My daughter, twelve, doesn’t want a wheelchair in the house; it is so natural that she is angry. I just tell her I love her so much, and have done so since the day she was born. My son, eight, wants to drive it.

So, thank you to the people who built the NHS after WWII, thank you to those who fight to maintain funding, and thank you to the people who work in every day to ensure that, as if by magic, I can get this amazing piece of equipment. Of course, I don’t intend to need it too long.

Author: Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

One thought on “Mixed feelings and gratitude”

  1. I’m grateful to the UK government NHS that you’re able to receive this wheelchair, I didn’t realise how much they cost. I understand how the kids feel & I wish you didn’t need it either x

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