No easy way to travel on your own when you’re at your best lying down, can’t propel yourself in a wheelchair, and struggle to keep compos mentishood and speech in reach. Fatigue-induced pain-levels may swing skyward first. Motivation is strong though as it’s more than two years since you last saw your mum. When you finally crawl away from TB and its treatment woes you plan, prepare, hope.
Terrified until the journey starts, you give yourself over to being conveyed by an array of strangers: driven, flown, rolled, even carried, and when parked in transit (far from the loo, just as well you’re without water) do not think beyond the next incremental task. You have a Zen master side! And a pocket full of cards detailing symptoms of POTS and M.E., and some of your immediate needs, should words fail you.
Popping grapes on parched tongue turns into ambrosian spectacle. During the flight you’ll slump across two seats (you paid for the privilege). At the airport you sit, slouch, hang, curl on a blanket on the floor, ready for another member of the relay-team. It’s an exercise in trust. Staff, on long shifts and underpaid, attend with grace and generosity. You radiate gratitude at every stage. The house you grew up in awaits.
For two weeks you spend much of your time in bed, eyes closed, but you and mother (who is elderly and now has to look after you) have gentle afternoons together, chatting as long as energy holds. So good. Wish everybody could.