It’s only been 18 weeks since my life was thrown into this ridiculous situation and i’m currently laying in bed feeling disgusting (but no more disgusting than a hangover) after an incredible weekend at glastonbury festival. When I first had my stroke I worried that I would have to give up my ticket but the more I recovered and with my friends support I realised I could still go. I applied for disabled access passes and for a free pass for a friend to take me as my carer which all worked out to be a god send. If it wasn’t for Rosie I literally don’t know how we’d have managed. she is a woman of steel and I could never thank her enough. My therapists told me I would be tired the whole time and increase my tone & would miss loads of bands and have to nap every day. I literally lose faith in them every step I take. I had next to no sleep on weds and thurs which meant I had to have a 40 min lay down on friday in a wierd tent church which was hilair and the only nap I had over the whole weekend which I reckon is pretty standard for any festival goer. I stood up and danced to every song I knew, saw almost every band I wanted to see and I even found myself walking in the mud when the wheelchair got too stuck to move it and my tone is no worse than if I had just had a good physio session. I’m pretty sure they forget i’m 21 not 60 and it makes it really hard for me to have faith in the treatment and advice that they give me.
Being in a wheelchair at glastonbury was interesting to say the least. Rosie was an absolute trooper. Obviously they can’t control the weather so it was inevitable that it was going to be muddy and difficult to get around and although the campsite was brilliant and the viewing platforms were handy I have a list of complaints which I plan on sending to the disaility co-ordinator. We were told that there was a shuttlebus every 15 mins to take you around the festival site, this turned out to run once every hour and a half and had only 2 stops that werent at the campsite so were pretty much useless for us and it was quicker to just soldier on, when we did try to use them not one steward/security or medical tent knew where they stopped. Another was that we were given the wrong code for the disabled toilets and many members of security were ignorant to how many girls it took to get me through the mud. the worst thing that happened to us all weekend was that we were using a disabled walk way to get behind the pyramid stage and to the viewing platform, halfway down it a security woman lead us to the front of the stage. the head of security then started shouting at us saying we werent supposed to be there and tried to make us all stand where we couldnt see. I went mental and after he had sent 3 of the 5 girls who were helping my wheelchair through the mud away told him I didnt want to be where I couldn’t see and that he had to get someone to take me to the viewing platform as he had sent my friends away. He was adamant that the 2 girls I was with would be able to get me there. after talking to me like I was a piece of shit and me screaming at him for an unnecessary amount of time it wasnt untill I started crying that he realised he had to do something and another security guard on his lunch break offered to escort us to the viewing platform. The mud was so bad that it took him and another security man to get us over to the viewing platform. so much for rosie and megg being able to get me there. Once we were where we had originally been heading this was a pretty easy situation to get over and we enjoyed tinie tempah as we had planned. Overall the facilities were pretty good and stewards were lenient about letting friends come on the platforms with me when they weren’t to busy which was helpful for me as I have a lot of friends!
Whilst we met some idiots like George (the security supervisor) we also met some amazing people, a lot of random boys helped push me through the mud whilst others exclaimed “she’s not disabled” (someone better tell my doctor) or asked if my legs were real (well i do have cracking pins), some security went the extra mile to make sure we got back to the campsite safe by organising lifts or pushing me whilst others were like George, and it was amazing to meet other determined people with disabilities. It was interesting to hear everyones own stories and to meet other people enjoying the festival in wheelchairs who were around my age and were often returning to the festival for their second or third years. To be honest I think the festival was probably harder for my friends than it was for me although I found it difficult when people would stare or drunkenly say things like “i wish I was in a wheelchair” I realise that some people are just ignorant to disabilities and by smiling at the people who stared I made it clear I didnt care what they thought and carried on having a good time. The absolute hardest thing for me was not drinking.
I certainly wouldnt suggest going to glastonbury in a wheelchair unless you have friends or family who you trust love you enough to keep a smile on their face and deal with getting you around in the mud. but if you do then I urge you to go for it. It will unleash a whole new wave of determination. As a girl said to me “It gives you a sense of belonging, in the real world you would rarely find yourself surrounded by disabled people with similar interests and determination to not let their disabilities stop them having a good time”
I could go on forever about the things that happened at glasto but I think I’ll stop now and upload some photos instead. I hope what i’ve written makes sense., I am so partied out its ridiculous.
- lifestrokeadventures posted this