It’s Friday March 6 . It’s three weeks since surgery. Damien has gone home. I’ve been on my own for a week. It’s been a blur of pain, drugs and showering sitting down in a chair. I get this recurring dread that the days are passing and that this is not a productive way to spend my life. I guess I just have to grin and bear it and get through it. Wheeled down to Manly this morning to get out of the apartment and get some exercise. Stopped for coffee at Hemingway’s and distinguished myself by spilling it all over my foot. Luckily I wasn’t burnt. The staff there are very nice and always help me over the front step which is only about 3 inches high. It’s a mountain when you’re trying to get a wheelchair over it. Had nothing much to do so wrote an email to all my friends about sex in a wheelchair.
“I have just finished my morning perambulation down to Manly and back. It is a beautiful day with a southerly swell building, the Queenscliff bombora starting to fire and a gentle westerly breeze smoothing out the ocean. One useful thing about being in a wheelchair is that it makes you slow down and consider all the good things in life. It also leaves me time to ponder. I ponder about my great good fortune in having friends such as yourself. I ponder about whether there is a God and whether he is vengeful and occasionally burns down apartments and breaks legs to achieve a goal unknown to us.
I also ponder whether it’s possible to have sex in a wheelchair. I don’t know the answer to this. I suspect it would involve a lot of contortion and bad language. In particular, if it was attempted on a sloping surface with the brakes off, it could lead to a horrific tangle of arms, legs, smashed crockery and broken wheelchair spokes. On top of that would be the resultant medical bills and an endless chain of litigation. Nevertheless, I am dead keen to meet the challenge if I could just find a sporting girl equally ardent to achieve a world first. So far this vacancy remains unfulfilled. Such are the musings of the wheelchair-bound athlete. Thanks once again for your kind wishes to myself and Amelia and Bergin.”
They had sent me a card to the Ayishs ion Park City wishing me well in my recuperation and I didn’t receive it before I left. It turned up today.
Caught a cab to Manly in the afternoon and had a drink with Anna A and her family at Manly Winebar. Lovely people. Then made an amazing journey all the way back to my apartment on crutches. This was the first time I’d done the whole length of the beach on crutches. I was beyond exhausted but felt somehow that I’d climbed a small mountain. I’m slowly leaving the wheelchair behind. This followed some coaching the previous evening from Alan Bolton who came down for a walk. We travelled all the way to Manly and return, him walking, me rolling in the chair . He then gave me some coaching on crutching technique. Up and back in the lounge room we went – him demonstrating, me trying to copy him. Amelia watched this exercise with some degree of skepticism. He said at one point,
“Your problem is you’re no better at using crutches than you are at swimming. You have to be an athlete to do this properly”.
Then he’d set off across the lounge room. It’s hard to have enough confidence and strength to swing all the way through and take really long strides. Anyway, today I did. I made it halfway back, without stopping. I’d then aim to get to the next seat so I could sit down. Each time I reached a seat someone was already sitting there. I kept going and going to the next seat and eventually arrived all the way back at my apartment. This was very hard on my forearms and hands. Still, in the end I made it. I’m now really intrigued about whether you can in fact have sex in a wheelchair. Guess I’ll never find out, but I would like to try. We should experience everything.