Hello Everyone,

I’ve been absent for months and have been debating about the subject matter for my ‘gap year’ blog. Given the mood on the site at the moment I’ve decided to go for a lighter element rather than some of the other matters that I’ll talk about later.

Before I start though, I must post a WARNING! (Especially to those recently diagnosed). I am not necessarily the future you!!! I was diagnosed way before the recent drugs that NRAS campaigned so strongly for and I made lifestyle choices that weren’t always the best ones for my condition so if and when I do talk about any difficulties I have please, please don’t think that this is how you will end up. One thing that we do have in common is that we are all different.

Anyway moving (slowly) on……

A recent post from Lilac_Lion has made me realise how much the use of a mobility scooter enhances my life. I’m still working on being able to use my ebay bargain from my house but a slope is being prepared as I speak and freedom beckons. – Just a shame about the good old South West weather.

I was listening to someone complaining about mobility scooter drivers the other day and as I drove around Plymouth shopping centre I discovered to both my shame and joy that I am ‘That Person’. Lordy lor! How can you possibly have a good look around and concentrate on driving at the same time? It’s so much easier to drive a car. You have only to think about twenty things at once but then add in the bargain hunting element that goes with the shopmobility scooter and you’re done for. I have been known to zoom across a store with a rack of clothing trailing after me that had somehow mysteriously attached itself to the scooter. My friend, who was with me at the time, rapidly disappeared in the opposite direction denying all knowledge of me which wasn’t at all helpful as I was left laughing manically to myself and gathering strange looks from all around. Huh! Some friend!

And another thing……lifts…..whoever thought that putting ceiling to floor mirrors in them was a good idea? Now, I try to avoid mirrors whenever I possibly can. (My sister says it shows) so when the doors open and I am faced with a shocking image in front of me I’m bound to be distracted aren’t I? They should make then bigger to allow for this distraction in stopping time. Smack into the back of the lift – everyone a winner.

The bit I truly love though is pulling up next to a toddler in a pushchair. Mine is sooooo much better than theirs and the looks of envy I get as I toot my horn at them almost make it worthwhile. Yes, this is what I have stooped to, competing with a toddler. I love it!

Take care all. Keep smiling and love to all the oldies whom I’m hoping still remember me.


51 Replies

  • Lovely blog Judy,i teared round plymouth when we was on holiday in September so it could have been me they were talking about. As much as i hate my scooter i wouldn't be without it and i have been known to have some fun on it.xxxx

  • Hello me old hearty. (We are talking about Plymouth so I have my sailor accent on). Just what kind of fun are we talking about here Sylvi? Time to spill the beans I think.

  • Me trundling round primark and struggling up and down the barbican and hoe,it wasn't easy believe you me.xxxx

  • Slightly disappointed by this reply Sylvi I thought you meant "fun" wink, wink say-no-more.

  • I'm too boring.xxx

  • Never that Sylvi, never that. I hear that you are a new mother-in-law now. Are there any wedding pics? I'm so pleased to be back in touch. xxx

  • They are f/book if you want to see as my camera is too big to put on here sadly.Judy if you want to befriend me on f/book my full name is sylvia reynolds.xxxx

  • Can't find you Sylvi!!!!

  • Sylvia Reynolds,i am there somewhere. The picture is of my son and his wife and my daughter-in-law.My cover picture i'm wearing a pink and green hat and a pink top with a pink walking stick. Also i am posing with hubby wearing a black hat and son and his new wife and her parents. If you can't find me let me have your name and a description of your photo and i will try and find you instead.xxx

  • Hi Creaky

    Such a wonderful uplifting insight into your mobility scooter frolics. You write with such joy, despite all you have been through. You are a credit to yourself and us. Did you ever do any writing of your memories of the nursing home you did some of you recovery in??? Would make for interesting reading.

    Maybe a poem on mobility scooters would bring some more joy and laughter to those on board here.

    Love as always


  • Sadly not Carole. I wish I had taken notes as Feather and Tilda suggested! That place was such a rich source of material and I was teased mercilessly by the staff (in a good way). I used to tell them that there was actually nothing wrong with my leg and that I was really an undercover reporter who would expose their cruel ways unless they gave me cholcolate and whisky. I'm still waiting.

  • Ha ha..... a great remedy to cure all disease. I use to take fish suppers in to some of my elderly patients ( much to the wrath of matron) always the rebel. ;-)

  • That is a lovely post and I really appreciate the fact that you said to the newly diagnosed that they might be you. It is a very individual disease and can be very scary to those who get it . I like you have made some bad choices that have led to damage + more severe arthur but it is not the case. It is great your mobility scooter gives you freedom to get about despite the pitfalls:DXx

  • Oh so lovely to have you back just love reading post always put a smile on my face. Thank you xxx

  • Hi creaky , I am not to bad when I have to use my scooter , I give way and end up waiting too much for people!

    When I worked in a nursing home I kept those residents who wanted to stay up on Hogmanay a little party and those who could hot a little nightcap.

    I got into so much trouble the next day as the day staff wanted to get the residents up but I had just put them to bed! We laughed and sang all might and blast it, that s what they would have gone at home so I took it on the chin lol

  • That's my girl Allanah.

  • when my Mum first tried a scooter in asda, she rode through a hanging rail of lingerie! she had sexy bras and lacy fru fru knickers all over her, the scooter, and left a trail behind her! everyone was laughing with her - especially as she [in her best George Formby impression] said "oh me mother!"

    when I caught up with her, on my scooter, she spread her arms, smiled and said"well? your Dad always said I'd look good in sexy underwear!" :D

  • Sandra that is sooooooo funny i can't help myself thank foe sharing xx

  • sorry meant to you dam computers and fingersxxx

  • Miss - I love your typos - don't ever improve. lol xx

  • Your mum sounds just my cup of tea. xx

  • oh believe me she was!

  • Scooterers - how do your scooters cope with hills? I live at the top of a long (3/4 mile) and steep hill - 1 in 10 (more in places) and was wondering how well an electric scooter would cope with that? I was wondering about braking on the way down and how the motor / batteries would cope on the way back up?

  • Never done a big hill and would be scared stiff! Maybe the sales techy people would suggest a good brand that would cope with it? I know they have a type for hire in the lakes so there must be some more adventurous ones about xx

  • most scooters automatically stop & brake when you release the fwd/reverse lever. I used a mid-size scooter on the Isle of Wight in Shanklin where there were steep rises. it suggested low speeds on inclines, and managed well. I think as long as your are inside the weight limit it should be ok, but ask the suppliers or the manufacturers.

  • It depends on the size of the scooter and the size of the driver pb52.

    Basically, most of the fold-up scooters are designed for easy terrain so wouldn't really cope with the hill without eventrually burning out. Then you go up a notch to the standard 4mph and on to the larger one (like my beast in her Ferrari red livery) that can do 8mph (wow) and approx 30 miles distance on a fully charged battery. I think that these would probably cope. The one that I really long for is the easy-rider motorbike style that can go over hills and dale. My wrists don't cope terribly well with the motorbike handles of the off road Trampers however.

    It's a bit of a mine field sorting out the best option and to be frank a lot of the high street dealers can be pretty hard sell. I found advice from the motorbility website pretty useful for comparing options.

  • Ha, you could do with my Sterling Sapphire mark 2, the Ferarri of scooters!! It's force has got me into all manner of scrapes, indeed the first time I ever took it out to the local shopping centre I crashed it into double doors going out to multi storey car park, I was mortified with embarrassment, I cracked the front bumper and it cost £50 to repair!! However, the worst thing was, my daughter works in the customer service office in this shopping centre and within 2 mins of my unfortunate incident she was phoning me on my mobile, shrieking with laughter because she had seen my crash on the CCTV cameras, I have never been allowed to forget this !! This scooter is certainly the beast you need for hills, it's powers knows no bounds. When it went in for its untimely repair, even the repair man said it was a force to be reckoned with. He has reset it to a lower speed he sez, though you would never know, it would still get Beat Lewis Hamilton any time. In fact I took it to Majorca earlier on this year and the gorgeous young Spanish helper at the airport said he would like to pass my machine over to Allonso, he said he thought it would be much more successful that his current racing car. This beast of a scooter got me around Cala Bona/Cala Millor so wonderfully I could have sold it there and then to dozens of totally jealous fellow holidaymakers, in fact, I could have named my own price!!! We certainly had some laughs and boy was I glad I had been persuaded to take the beast, as on the third day of my holiday my knee locked completely and was total agony till I got home and had a steroid shot. Look on e bay, I only paid £200 for the beast and it was virtually new. I have actually seen some on line, brand new for £750. It does come apart for the car, but impossible for me as cannot lift anything at all having had two fractures in spine/neck, plus RA, OA and osteoporosis. Husband had major cancer surgery two years ago, so he can't lift either, so we made the very bold purchase of a fancy electric hoist which was super expensive, £1500, but absolutely essential in our case. It also lifts my wheelchair for me.

    I have decided that a more sedate powerchair may be better for me now, and we are looking for one presently. Meanwhile husband has taken to using the beast to get round our village, he sez to give it an airing, but I know he is secretly smitten with this fiery little sporty red number!! Thinks he is Allonso himself!

    Take care, lynda x

  • hilarious :D thanks for the chuckle!

    did you claim the vat back on the hoist?

    you might be able to get a powerchair through the nhs.

    when you get a new dla car and a hoist fitted at the same time you can often get a discount.

  • Hi Sandra, yes we got Vat exemption, the company who fitted it did all that for me. No chance of powerchair thru NHS with all the cuts at present I am afraid, and as I cannot push myself at all in manual one I want to be independent, so will keep looking for second hand one.

    I never thought I would end up like this, so dependent on aids and help from others but we have to battle on don't we? It always helps to have a good sense of humour, although there are days when it's hard to smile. I have been to bed, got up at 2am with ghastly hip pain, hade a cup of tea, read the papers and been reading all the news on here, it helps me a lot knowing there are so many others going thru exactly the same as me. Well, I am going back to bed, try a couple of hours sleep before battling the Monday housework!! (Takes me 3 days to do our little bungalow where years ago it would take only 1 morning) and now I have husband helping me as well!! What a state, but we get there in the end however long it takes.

    Lynda x

  • Lynda, I now have a new wannabe in my life! I'm checking out the sterling sapphire as we speak! How is it with heavy loads though (me)?

  • Hi Creaky, don't worry about heavy loads on this beast it sez the official weight is 21 stones. I am a hefty lump myself so the little mini scooters no good for me. By the way, if you are a knee sufferer like me, then my version of this sterling sapphire (which is a four wheeler) has deep channels at the front so as your legs don't have to be raised and scrunched up. Some other scooters need you to bend legs up. There is a three wheel version but the speed mine goes at I would be very nervous about that round corners ! Take care, lynda

  • Sandra that is hilarious hahaha!

  • Just reading this has put me off the idea of a scooter! I thought they would give me back some quality life not laughs for other people! But the pictures you all paint are incredible. I think I will stay with the wheelchair for the moment at times of need, maybe try a scooter one day from the city centre or at Tesco. Lovely to have you back Creaky and do tell all that went on in the nursing home with your antics. xxx

  • I have to admit to a degree of editing for comic effect Georje. I enjoy a bit of self-mockery it keeps these events in their place. On a more serious note they are an absolute godsend and apart from the odd slip-up I manage not to cause too much havoc. I had a brilliant time charging through the undergrowth at Haldon Forest on their off road scooter. I honestly didn't think I would ever be able to enjoy being so close to nature again. xx Tales of the nursing home to follow but so much has happened it seems almost like another lifetime.xx

  • Great blog, glad to have you back to cheer us up with your escapades again. Looking forward to hearing more.

  • Don't worry Georje, scooters are very controllable if you remember to turn the speed control down when you are in small spaces, but I'm the last person to give this advice really because I often shoot forward or back when I'm too busy talking instead of concentrating. No harm done so far, just backed into the odd shop display etc, just like creaky :-)

    Hello creaky, I'm pleased to see you back. I've been missing for a while too and it's so nice to do some catching up with you and everyone else. I don't know what you went into the nursing home for, but I hope you are tripping the light fantastic now !!

    I sloped off because I started on Enbrel 6 months ago and I wanted to give it a chance to do it's "magic" before writing about my response to it. Unfortunately it has been a bit hit and miss to be honest and difficult to write about. In fact I recently had such a bad flare that I had a steroid injection in my rear end and the clinical nurse told me that anti-tnf does not stop a flare happening !!! So I ask myself, why am I on it, but that's another subject entirely and I'm moving far away from SCOOTERS aren't I, sorry.

    I love your joyful tales too creaky and looking forward to reading more :-) :-) June xx

  • Hi June.

    Oh, you have struck a chord there. It can be so difficult to write about things in which you have invested so much hope but which fail to deliver the changes you anticipated.

    You have my heartfelt sympathy because I feel that you must still be dealing with the disappointment and being incredibly brave about it. Give it a little longer though but in the meantime, it probably wouldn't hurt to make a little note from time to time so that you can list any changes (or not) in your condition.

    To be honest, I'm not sure how long they leave the biologics to work before switching to an alternative but do remember, there are alternatives and the more information you can provide them with, the faster the rheumy team will be able to make a decision about it. xxxxx

    ps My rather bizarre stay in nursing home was following an ankle op which, sadly. didn't deliver the transformation I had hoped for either. My knee on my 'good leg' is too weak to weight-bear on so I couldn't manage my stairs. Hey Ho.

  • Oh creaky, our legs and feet are so vital to our daily lives and I bet you, like me, took them for granted when they were strong and we could run, jump and skip without even thinking about it.

    I'm sorry to know that you have been through so much only to be disappointed, but we have to make the best use of every opportunity which is open to us in an attempt to improve our mobility, mustn't we. But hey-ho, we're still here having a light hearted titter about crashing our scooters into innocent hanging rails and display items in the shops :-) I just put my hands together that I've never sent a whole tall pyramid display of tins of baked beans crashing to the ground, like in some comical film clips !! Never say never though, oh my god I'm touching wood as I write :-(

    Thanks for your advice about making notes on changes and talking them through at my next appointment, which is on Monday week 1st Nov. I'll certainly do that, positives and negatives. I hope you have a good week and things improve for you. June xx

  • Ooooo June. As I read this I had a sudden urge to seek out a pyramid of baked beans. We only live once. Haha

  • I regularly use my scooter, when I got it it have me a new lease of life!

    I was able to walk my dog as far as I liked,take my children to school and spend more than ten minutes in town.Much more comfortable than hobbling around only going to the essential shops!

    I remember when I first got it I was worried about what people would think.

    The first day I used it I had a birthday present wrapped up in the basket of my scooter. I rolled into the school playground and saw this 8 year old boy coming over to me. I thought here goes, ready for the first comment, but all he said was what's in the present? :-)

  • I'm really fortunate to live in an area with miles and miles of cycle paths through some beautful countryside. I can't wait to have free access to them (just as soon as the slope is done and it stops raining). I will also be able to scoot into town and spend time just looking about. I have a car which gets me from A to B but there is little I can do once I get to B now. Totnes doesn't have shopmobility.

  • Must be great to have so much countryside to look at Creaky.

    I have a free disabled bus pass but also have the same problem the problem that I can't get around once I get off.

    There used to be a shop mobility in Camberley but it closed a year ago- probably cutbacks.

  • Hello jazzie, I was born in camberley, live in midlands now. My grandad used to run the Blue Pool on the London road, was built over years ago with housing, are you old enough to remember it? He taught me to swim when I was a toddler, happy days, we moved when I was 5. Lynda x

  • Hi Jockety

    Sorry about the delay replying, I was trying to do some research.

    I am 39 and have only lived in Camberley 13 years, but I checked with my friend and she remembers it well saying it was an open air pool.She thinks it may have closed mid 70's.

    she said its now flats in Portesbury Hill Drive.

    I looked at some photos of it and it looks similar to the Aldershot Lido. Which we first visited last year. But unless its warmer then 25 degrees my teenage children say its too cold!

    I remember my Grandad teaching me to swim in the sea at Portsmouth.


  • Well, my grandad ran that pool from just after the war years all through to late '60,s when he retired when he was in his seventies. My dad was born in Camberley and I lived there till 5 yrs old. I had rheumatic fever when I was 4 and spent three months in hospital at Aldershot, I can still remember the terrible pain and crying to go home!! Grandad taught me to swim before I reached three yrs of age and It is something I have loved all of my life, I actually swam for Staffordshire when I was a teenager. However, after suffering the rheumatic fever I did never get over it and all of my life I have had pain in my joints. I was diagnosed with osteo arthritis in my twenties and got on with my life but got a virus seven yrs ago which unfortunately switched on RA and from therein life is a massive struggle. I am 65 yrs of age now.

    I still love the water though and go to the local pool once a week but only manage to do bit of stretching and tiny gentle swims now, nothing strenuous although I long to go for it some days and have jolly good swim, I did just that few months ago and the end result was my knee totally locked and that was me done for about 6 weeks till I finally had to get another steroid shot. I was supposed to get knee replacement but I have a quite bad heart murmur (remnant of rheumatic fever) and it has been put off till I have seen cardiologist again. Life seems a bit of a battle these days. Give my love to Camberley. Take care, lynda

  • Will do.

    Seems you have been through a lot.

    I got RA about 13 years ago, after the birth of my second child.

    I still work part time but find it increasingly hard.

    But by far the worst time was struggling carrying NY son when he was a baby and my daughter was 2.

    Nice to hear about some history of Camberley :-)


  • Hi and my story of the mobility scooter, I parked outside the Bakers, found myself tooo near to the wall and clonked myself. I got back and sat then tried to move away when the scooter shot forward as I had my hands on the forward control. I knocked a lady over and impinged my shoulder. My bruise was black and 8 inches long and four inches wide. Just got rid of it and now at physios today. I am glad of my Tai chi as at least I did some exercising but still have a lump of muscle and it is in the wrong place. X-ray even showed it. I am glad I am insured. I cannot claim anything but this lady is according to the solicitors.

    Well I am still trying to get back my nerve when last night I got to bed with a pain on my ankle. It hurt and so I tried to sleep, did so for 2 hours and woke up with the pain further up my leg. Well I went to A and E as I thought it might be DVT though my blood is very thin. Anyway got looked at and tested and it is just muscle. He pressed right on the patch.

    Does anyone on here get a pain like a sharp poker heater on the back of their calf? Let me know cos I want to discuss it. It surely cannot be the RA can it? On a muscle or is it just nerves?

    Help someone please before I spend more time. By the way the Doctor I saw was really nice here in Skeggy. Thank you Dr Ram.

  • Oh Skeggy, how awful for you and not at all funny! You must be totally shaken-up by your experience and actually a good reminder to us to get insurance.

    I have found it a problem sometimes locating the source of pains in my legs. Most of the time it is a nerve that has become inflammed or trapped. If the pain can't be controlled with my usual meds I take some designed to settle nerve pain (prescribed of course).

    I know that my body is generally a lot more tense because of pain and stress and that in itself is likely to leave me more open to muscle strain. I try to do relaxation sessions but am a bit slack. I really must get motivated again.

    Some time ago I posted about sleeping positions and as a result of the response from all you lovelies I now have several pillows that I put between ankles, knees, behind my back, - in fact, anywhere and everywhere. I couldn't afford a mattress topper but have put a single duvet on top of my double mattress and it really makes a difference.

    Put a separate post up Skeggy so that others can read your predicament (they may not be following this thread anymore) - I know that you'll get some amazing support if you do.

    Gently hugs to you xxxxxx

  • Thank you Creaky. I have written several times that I cannot have any medication. Allergies and intolerances mean I can only have half a paracetamol every four hours at the most. I get hot, BP goes up, heart rate goes up. I am sick and shake like a leaf and can't stop. It is horrid. Take you up on a separate slot. I am out this afternoon etc so will do it tomorrow.

  • Hi, my sister has MS and uses an electric wheelchair -she's lethal with it. We once sat in a cafe, she goes in regular for her latte and panini. The staff are that nice they even custom make a panini to what she wants in it. Anyway we went to leave, she reversed and crashed into the table behind her, she ignored my 'don't move', went forward too far and knocked the crockery of our table. The friendly staff came over to help and once all was sorted, my sister turned round and said 'i'll see you same time tomorrow'.

  • Haha - Loving her attitude.

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