Determination, or what I would more accurately describe as downright stubbornness, is definitely the aspect of SA’s character that has served him well in recent years. One day after he had been told he would never walk again and possibly never breath independently, he declared that he planned to complete The London Marathon.
The process of rehabilitation after his accident though was more a multiple series of much smaller hurdles. Being able to independently drink a pint again being one at the top of his list. There is a pub fairly near to Stoke Mandeville hospital which my brother and I took SA to on his very first outing in a wheelchair. Armed with his special cup, emergency medication (that frankly scared the bejeezers out of me) and strict instructions not to consume any alcohol, we trundled, slowly and nervously down the main road to The Bell. I was absolutely bricking it (although I didn’t tell him that at the time) but we were determined that some fresh air and a change of scenery was necessary to start to shift the Tenko appearance he had taken on. SA insisted that he wanted his usual ale (he was annoyed I only got him a half) and a substantial lunch, including starters. It was all going so well, we were doing something normal and enjoyable, SA couldn’t wait to try his Wild Boar Scotch Egg and was able to independently (albeit out of a special cup) drink his half pint. Then he suddenly went a bit grey. We tried upon his insistence to remain and finish, by raising his legs onto a bench and replacing the ale with some water. But he was definitely on a one-way trip to whitey town and we left.
He was fine of course, physically speaking – the fluctuations in blood pressure all being part of his autonomic system adjusting to it’s complicated re-wiring. His spirits were a little diminished though, convinced that he would never again be able to hold his drink. Well let’s just say that this particular hurdle has been well and truly overcome so there’s no need to go panic-selling your Rebellion shares.