Sharing a life with MS

January 86 Vicki was offered a job working for her sister and brother-in-law, the following year after an accident I was declared unfit for work, and later became a taxi for my family. Drop the kids at school then take Vicki to work, back home and rest before the afternoon run.

After a couple of relapses in 1990 Vicki was now using a pair of elbow crutches for short walk and a manual wheelchair for distance, this helped both of us as I could use the chair for support, when out together.

Using crutches didn’t stop Vicki and her friend going to gigs to see bands, they went by train and I would pick them up, I always took a flask of hot water and slices of lemon for return journey. One time I took them to a village near Monmouth, where they stayed the weekend I returned home, next day I had a phone call Glyn Vicki’s friend had slipped and broke her ankle, unfortunately she was sober at the time.

Sunday I drove down and picked them up, they didn’t stop laughing on the way home, telling me all about it Glyn being taken to hospital in a stretch limo.

Everything changed January 1998, we had gone to Old Trafford to see Manchester United play Walsall in the FA cup, our son went by train with friends, and our daughter went on a supporters coach with friends. after the game for some reason I missed a turn and ended up on the M62, few minutes later we had a crash in the 3rd lane, while waiting for emergency services a St Johns nurse stopped and sat with Vicki.

I stood by the car as the Walsall coaches drove passed slowly, hoping Nikki wouldn’t recognise the car, police came and dragged our car onto the hard shoulder, AA arrived they had to carry and lift Vicki into the truck, then drove us to Warrington to wait for a driver back to Walsall. I phoned home and told our daughter what had happened and we were both ok, we arrived home after midnight.

Sunday morning I was in the kitchen when I heard a thump upstairs, Vicki had fallen and was crying, she couldn’t feel her legs, I picked her up but she could not stand, we tried many times result was the same. Next morning the doctor came, his knowledge of MS was very limited, he made an emergency appointment for her to see the neurologist.

Following week we were told it was unlikely Vicki would walk again, the day after Vicki’s sister phoned while I was out, Vicki explained that she couldn’t walk, the witch as she became known said it would be best if Vicki didn’t go back to work as she was always wobbling around the office and there was no room for a wheelchair. Sad to say Vicki and the witch never spoke, after Vicki had passed away I received a sympathy card from her, it simply said she thought that one day they would kiss and makeup, and would she be welcome at the funeral, short reply No.

So we became closer than ever, Vicki was quite independent and determined, she had a wonderful OT who filled in all the forms and in 2001 Vicki’s DFG was done, she could go up and down in her lift do whatever she wanted as Vicki often said because she could. We both became directors of a charity, Vicki company secretary, and we helped set up the first shopmobility service in Walsall.

January 2008 10 years after the accident Vicki was confined to bed, over the next 5 years Vicki had 3 really bad pressure wounds grade 4, lost use of her left arm, she learned to type with her right hand after 6 months lost use of right arm it became fixed at 45 degrees, and could only use her index finger and thumb. The rehab team were wonderful also the district nurses. 2012 due to her malnutrition, weight loss and difficulty swallowing she was admitted to hospital to have a peg tube inserted into her stomach, this was the turning point for Vicki as she was a strict vegetarian, and over the next 8 months she had numerous chest infections. Then 10.30 Saturday night 9th March she was rushed to A&E, on the Monday morning the Registrar told me they could do nothing for Vicki as her organs were failing.

I’m not sure if Vicki knew, I couldn’t tell her, it was hard enough telling the family and friends, Vicki passed away very peacefully 8.30pm March 25th with our children and elder sister around her bed.

Now every time Nikki drives past the hospital with her 4 year old daughter, Ellie-Mae says nanny was there but she lives in the sky now, don’t cry mommy.

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