During his 6 month long stay in hospital, when SA was allowed out for a few hours at a time, we would regularly go out for lunch on a Sunday in an attempt to break up the monotony of his current routine. The whole family ventured over to Stoke Mandeville and tried Sunday lunch in a nearby pub that (not so diligent) due diligence had confirmed was indeed accessible. In the pub’s defence, these were the early days when we assumed far too much. We could get in because there was an alternative access at the rear with a long ramp but we didn’t check out the toilet situation.
There was indeed a toilet, just for men, in the traditional fashion, but it was only just wide enough to pull up in. No room for u-turns or wheelies. Just enough room for SA to park in the open doorway. Given that SA’s condition was in its infancy, this was where his contribution had to cease and brother-in-law is nominated to help. At this point bro-in-law is a member of the exclusive few that are allowed to assist SA (possibly partly owing to the fact that he was the one responsible for keeping SA from drowning 4 months previously). A leg that is just long enough can be extended onto the ledge of the urinal and bro-in-law is promoted to flip-flo operator. Not quite Brokeback Mountain but a scene of brotherly love nevertheless.
This little scenario may have seemed questionable to any uninvolved onlooker but now it becomes downright bizarre: our little boy, convinced he is missing out on something, has joined the two men, found nothing interesting taking place and has decided to pass the time by sucking some orange squash through Daddy’s drinks tube. One end has brother-in-law draining amber liquid from the end of SA’s leg while the little one greedily gulps amber liquid from the back of the wheelchair.
Just one of those scenarios that you might have observed aghast, were it not so bloody normal now.