The one with the wedding (2)

the picture shows two intertwined gold wedding bands
the picture shows two intertwined gold 
wedding bands
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1326034

A year on from the last wedding I attended, this past weekend, I went to another. This time, not of family, but of dear friends. I once looked into carers accompanying me to these things, but between their costs, my costs, and agency fees, it’s far too expensive. My Mum kindly steps in to assist me, and to do the driving, the easiest way of travelling, with all the stuff I need, even for one night. Arrangement was, I would pack my own bag the day before, so it was ready for Mum to put in the car. In my wisdom, I didn’t write a list of what I might need. I need so much, even for one night, the thought of writing a list was exhausting in itself, so I decided to ‘wing it’. This was largely successful, except I did leave one thing at home – my box of medications fondly known as ‘the UFO’. I was 30 minutes into the car journey before I realised this, meaning that we would be late for the wedding if we went back to collect it. I chose to soldier on.

My friends’ wedding was wonderful. The Church of England ‘civil’ part of the ceremony was conducted by a friendly, jovial vicar, who seemed genuinely fond of my friend. This wedding was different. The friend I now know better is a Christian, but my other friend, the one I knew originally, is a Messianic Jew. This meant that there was a wonderful mix of official ceremony, favourite hymns, combined with Jewish elements including a huppah, a canopy under which the ceremony was conducted; a glass being smashed underfoot by the groom, a chorus with a jewish tune, (sorry for the generalisation, unsure how else to describe it). At the end, the Aaronic Blessing (in Numbers 6) was read in both Hebrew and English. I’ve been to many weddings, and this one really stood out. Not just because of the elements recorded above, but also because this was a wedding which focused on their Saviour too; from hymn and reading choices, to the post ceremony message or sermon.

The teatime reception was fantastic too. Mum and I were seated next to a wonderful couple with whom we could easily converse, as we quickly discovered we had things in common, and both people were full of mischief and stories. The meal was one of Yorkshire portions – double helpings of meat, massive Yorkshire puddings, (made of batter, for anyone unfamiliar of them) at least three vegetables done different ways, and two lots of potatoes. The speeches were interesting and witty, at times sick-makingly romantic (from the groom, obviously) who had written parts of his speech in Hebrew (with translations into English) for his bride.

The evening disco had a great mix of songs, (great at the time, but now none of them spring to mind!!) Other friends arrived at the beginning of the evening too, which was lovely, though by this time it had already been a long day, and a massive effort to last that long. We left about 10 pm, which meant I was asleep from 11 pm. I was so exhausted I slept for 5 and a half hours continuously before my body woke me – my back having seized completely (which it does at home for less sleep) meaning without my electronically controlled hospital bed I needed a lot of help simply to sit up, shuffle to the edge of the bed, stand up, and get to the bathroom. Normally I would use the remote controls on the bed to sit, then effort-fully and painfully swing my legs and shuffle, transferring to my electric wheelchair which I use to get to the bathroom. It was during some of this that I prayed God would help me cope with the remainder of the weekend without medication, and with chronic pain, plus the emotional toll of being without ‘special someone’.   A picture came to mind, of sitting in Abba’s lap, with his strong arms continuing to hold me tight. I kept this in mind all night.

(N.B. Scroll to almost the bottom of the webpage for a clickable link to page 2 of the post)

This was the week that was The One With the Wedding

The beginning is a “jolly good place to start”

What a week this one was! Really don’t know where to start! Monday started with travel woes though. Not actual travel, just the woes… and panic about if I would be packed in time, when the parents had already packed a lot of my stuff two days before… you get the gist!!

Might have had something to do with the start to Tuesday though! Texting one half of parental unit at 5am as was crawling around in back-related AGONY. Doesn’t matter that said parent (Dad!) didn’t have time to read it till 9, I felt a weeny bit better having sent it. Cue panicked phone call a few hours later,. in which I tried to comprehend not going to only-b(r)other’s wedding. Phone call to doctors surgery went rather well I thought… till I tried to lock the door, phone care co-ordinator and drive my electric wheelchair on full speed at the same time. Had never asked for sit and wait appointment before, but knew they existed as I have a friend who asks for those often. I got seen within 45 minutes by a doctor who knows how complicated I am, and in which appointment we tried to work out which medication regime would be less harmful… don’t try it, it hurts my brain just thinking about it. My carer having met me at the doctors surgery, I bolted home at full speed trying not to wince too much before jumping in the car to speed round to the hairdresser. I thanked them for shifting the appts half an hour later, and they told me to take a deep breath and calm down, as I “looked like I’d had a bit of a morning”!!! One consultation later, hair colour applied, I could finally breathe! Spent the rest of Tuesday trying and failing to feel organised.

 

The ‘actual’ Travel, rather than just the ‘woes’!

Wednesday morning arrived all too quickly. Cue more speeding around, by the carer not me! I being aided by a well-known brand of pain-and-person-sedative. I dread car journeys at the best of times, but this was worse, as I’d had a nightmare the week before, which I reckon was a medication created hallucination that involved a car crash and ambulance helicopters! I could even hear the helicopters, which was even scarier. The memory of this lingered still. Knowing all too well what I’m like, my parents had very helpfully split the journey in three. The first part passed without incident, and included a stop over at Granny Edna’s house. 🙂

The next morning, after an early start, we were off to the other Granny Edna to collect the fascinator she and my ‘Auntie’ P had found in a florists in Arbroath. Panic not, this one was far more tasteful than the Philip Tracy monstrosities worn by either of Duchess of (i forget her name…) I nearly wrote princess Anne!! Please forgive me, it’s Monday. Beatrice and Eugene, that’s them. After lunch it was off up to Aberdeen too a VERY posh hotel called Ardoe House. After a room inspection we trooped off back to reception to ask if they had anything more accessible. Having been told that WAS their accessible room, I insisted we should make the best of it. I have since considered writing a review on “TripAdvisor” but it most people wouldn’t understand what “visitable” by a wheelchair-user, not fully accessible” means. Said room was a bath, not a walk-in-shower, horrors! I reasoned that at least the floor wouldn’t get flooded, and the bath was low, handrails were also unusually steady and in helpful places. All of these things make a huge difference. That, and the bed was so comfy it meant taking less head-swirling painkillers, always appreciated. The evening was a meal out at Rustico’s. A very lovely Sicilian Restaraunt in ‘A-berdeen’, apart from the two floor stair-climb. However, the loo was surprisingly accessible, especially given that it was at the top of two flight of stairs! still, full marks from me! Very lovely meal, with great company. Great to get to know my almost-sister-in-law, her family and most of the rest of the Bridal Party.

 

It’s here, Already

Finally, finally, the much anticipated day arrived, horribly early. It was lovely to get caught up in the excitement getting my hair and make-up done by lovely people the bride has known for years, and to get to know the Bride and Bridesmaids more. So relaxed, and so much fun. I’ve only been to a couple of registrar-officiated weddings, but this registrar seemed to rush through it, and didn’t know the bride and groom, which felt rushed and impersonal, at least to me. She left, so that my Dad could give the (unofficial) non-legally-binding Blessing. Wedding done, time for the photos. The award-winning photographer was ace! I managed to succeed in standing for the family photo (with five of us Squeeeeee!!) but almost succeeded in falling backward after… scaring the bride. Thankfully my Mum, caught me!! The meal later was lovely and the staff were SO attentive and helpful, helped make the day. I managed half of the Canadian Barn Dance in the Ceilidh even if I could barely stand after! So pleased though, as it’s one of my many favourites. Just happens to be my favourite-favourite. Lovely to catch up with my bestest-school-friend and some of my parents friends in the evening. Just realised I’ve neglected to mention the speeches. They were amazing, but doesn’t everyone say that! Such a good idea to interspersed speeches with courses of the wedding-banquet. I lasted until the very end of the evening which suprised everyone including me, especially given my #Spoonie ways 🙂

Saturday was a huge anti-climax given the excitement of the day before. We checked out of lovely Ardoe house and headed for Edinburgh to chill out and eat Takeaway. Sunday arrived, with me feeling even more tired than the day before, having had to call through to the parents in the middle of the night for water and painkillers. I still couldn’t move, even one baby movement at a time. horrendous! Thankfully, I made it to my Gran’s church eventually. So loved catching up with her friends, and some of my own. Just lovely to be at a different church for a change and hear a different perspective on two parables I had recently studied in my own church in Leeds. After that, we headed to the car for the journey south. However, this one was long, wet and foggy, in which I relived my hallucination or nite-mare or whatever-it-was. Our lunch stop was at Berwick  Garden Centre for lovely food. Scampi and chips are my ultimate comfort food, (brings back so many memories as well) followed by millionaire shortbread and tea (aka caramel shortbread/cake. What’s the difference (if any!) between shortbread and shortcake?

 

We eventually got home, it seemed to take an absolute age, compared to the journey up. It won’t have helped that I was squirming in pain. Potentially ‘payback fatigue from Friday’s shenanigans. So painful though, but entirely worth it. Today I’m sort-of-almost-nearly back to normal. I’d love to be off back to bed though! No chance, have spent all my nap-time writing — FAIL! I once watched an excellent Beeb documentary on sleep. I’m sure it said between 8 and 10 am that the heart is vulnerable to attacks (boo!) but that this is also the best thinking-time. It is definitely the time when I find my writing flows best, unless it’s one of those (many) days when I end up back in bed after my carer(s) have left. I’m off to edit this and brew moreTea Pigs Chai tea! LOVE it, the best I’ve found, and my favourite nausea cure. Until next week… (or tomorrow!)