making friends at 50.

am 51 actually

but the strange concept remains.

i have not had any social life in over 2 years – about 2 and half years really.

2 and half years ago i was treated very badly and being unused to this, i assumed all would be resolved, and in the meantime i should do what in my head was “the right thing” and come INDOORS. Remove myself from making comment. Meeting potential conflict.

Hindsight is wonderful. I should have remained OUTDOORS with my head visibly high and not allow small minds and large imaginations to create rumours and rubbish.

THEN 2 years ago, the indoors ran into the INPATIENT. 9 weeks of surgery; brain surgery rarely happens without complications.

My mum died a month after i got out.

Then flutter of visitors wore of as people in REALITY have MAD BUSY LIVES!

they work

they have children

they have family commitments

some social time…

So there is a basic “social” contact – perhaps not what normal people would call a social life but, from here I have sat since those many moths ago, trying to rehabilitate, then accept the changes in my ability which in my case has been quite linear:

ABLE                                   UNABLE                               DISABLED.

and having GOTTEN to that point, I had to adjust. Part of that involved managing my mobility (which now is more IMMOBILITY).

I have a WHEELCHAIR – but i was unable to push myself far

I have a SCOOTER – but it’s for away from here. NOT in my home town. not yet.

I FINALLY have the right WHEELCHAIR with POWER-ASSISTED WHEELS to assist me come into town and manage the hills with some more power.


NOW the really scary bits, when i realise i have been removed from my existing social circle, i have met NO mums on the school runs, I have missed most football MOM days, I have missed the world…revolving without me.

NOW i get to face out.

i WILL – i will feel the fear and face it anyway. BUT am not stupid. Am far from it, am aware, hyper-aware of all the things that MIGHT happen.

  • there will please GOD be NO PROBLEMS with some people, and old friendships have not been thrown out, it has just been assumed i can’t ggo anywhere…but now that i can, some friendships may be there…STILL. the same.
  • there may be awkwardness
  • some people may ignore me
  • some be too busy – which when you are damaged, and vulnerable I may read as avoidance. i KNOW this is a difficulty for me!
  • some will even perhaps have listened to rumours  about me, and that may make them react differently, or weirdly to me….maybe thy would discuss that..or maybe not.
  • some people may comment on having  never had time to see me
  • some close friends may not feel comfortable
  • some people may be shocked at the wheels as the past 2 years hasn’t happened.
  • there may be looks
  • the poor you looks
  • the “woah you have got fat” looks
  • the awkward look between 2 friends i would love to be rewritten in the friends list
  • the avoidance of the elephant in the corner by people who KNEW why i went INDOORS
  • there may be cripple moments as i am not used to this etiquette yet…never mind the world out there.
  • what if i answer as impulsively as my new brain wants to…
  • what if i feel pain in public? if i need to CRY??
    • what about the questions?
    • what happened you?
    • will you get better?
    • but you can walk?
    • or even worse…the phrases
    • well you don’t LOOK disabled!!!!! (counting to 10 even writing that one)
    • but like your legs work?
    • but you aren’t really needing a wheelchair ALL the time?
    • well it could be worse.
    • or the inspire me ones..
    • so MANY i am afraid of hearing and petrified of answering – I am TRYING to prepare to be open, honest, NOT expect much.. but be prepared for most .
  • HOW do i do what took me all my life to do, all over again… but new… a new set of friends..when am NOT 4 and going to school.
  • but i will try.
  • there will be traffic on and off my facebook “acquaintances” as my superficial life, WAS only the best i could have as an interim.
  • There will be exhaustion- mental and physical… I AM used to my FATIGUE… but the world isn’t.
  • My baseline:
    •  is my husband and my anchor- the man who cares, has become me, counsels, and still loves me as i change in front of him. I would not be here without him
    • My sister who is very independent but strong, and i would love to feel part of her life in a more real active way.
    • My dad who has me on his visitation list – would be lost without that. The one who reminds me “i can do it!…i am stronger than that!”…
    • my children who understand me as i am, but have seen me evolve daily over those years….
  • Please GOD these what ifs, are WORST case scenarios….
  • I HAVE to do this…
  • i NEED to…
  • my family need me to…starting over agin

maybe that describes me….



  1. Hi Helen, I found your page while looking up Chiari Malformation online so its nice to see a blogger out there that can write about it. I am booked in to have a CT scan at the end of the month to find out what is going on. I actually wrote a list out for my Rheumatologist and told her to refer it on to my Neurologist and she was very impressed. I also mentioned Chiari to her and she mentioned that it is very rare etc etc and that I probably didn’t have it…

    Interestingly enough she must have read through my list a bit more carefully after I had gone as within no time I was given a call by the hospital telling me that they had booked me in for my first physio appointment and the following week I get a letter from Radiology booking me in for the CT scan. The physio is working with me on my pain and my hyper mobility that I have in my body so who knows??

    Best wishes to you from here in New Zealand 🙂

    • Brilliant!
      Although in Chiari brilliant is a weird word to use.
      Am delighted that you found something helpful in my rankings
      It was because I couldn’t find anything at Daly days that I decided to blog it as it happened.
      So delighted you are making progress

      Hang in there. We aren’t that rare 😉

      • Hi Helen,
        Sorry for not responding to this earlier, I have not been on my blogs for awhile so excuse the delay getting back to you. I really appreciate your pages as I hope that I can get some sort of help in finding out what is going on with me. I had a Brain CT scan done recently but that came back normal, would Chiari show up in a Brain CT scan anyway? I was thinking that it wouldn’t and an MRI would be the best bet. It is great that you are blogging all this information as like you are say sometimes its hard to find a page dedicated to something you may or may not have that is on a person’s personal journey so Kudos to you!

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