Maria’s compulsory car-free weeks

Maria-after-fallI did the unthinkable, the unimaginable, and certainly the unpredictable: I fell into a shallow hole whilst out walking, and broke my right ankle and left elbow on impact. Ouch!! So, I did what others do whilst facing a ban on driving, I got to and organised my days with the help of others.

I discovered that:

1. Family and friends are worthy of special mention for their helpfulness and kindness of using pricey fuel money to help with transport. When we ask for rides from others, we can forget that it is their generosity in time and money that helps us out.

2. Hamilton has an excellent bus service but it does take time to arrange your life around time -tables and bus routes.

3. The St John Health Shuttle is a wonderful service that delivers you door-to-door to your health appointments but you need to be organised in order to book them. No big deal and the drivers are so friendly. There is a small fee for this service.

4. Mobility vouchers are available for many (not in my case, though, as I am expected to make a speedy recovery). The Miss Daisy taxi service is fantastic and the drivers are pleasant, polite and trained to help everyone, irrespective of disability.

5. Walking is great, if you keep an eye out on potholes and uneven surfaces. Walking improves general fitness and it helps the environment.

6. A few brave souls actually bike everywhere, which is to be applauded. Hamilton has improved on its cycle ways but the city still has a long way to go in making it cycle-friendly.

7. Most people are decent sorts and would help you out, if you fell over, as I did. I don’t need to wear a medic alert bracelet but it would be useful to have, if I experienced epileptic seizures or any other medical conditions.

8. It is okay to feel embarrassed on falling over but it is better to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and hold your head up high. Having epileptic seizures are unpredictable, as is falling on uneven surfaces, but such is life. It could be worse.

9. Recognising that there is a team of caring professionals out there just for you and me. Thank you to one and all.

10. I am not alone, as you are not alone. Thank you for your support and encouragement. It has helped me to feel better already.

See you soon!