I'd be very surprised if anyone reading this won't have seen or heard of the Aardman classic The Wrong Trousers. In the film the anti-hero Wallace wakes up to find himself in the middle of a nightmare scenario as he is being used by thief Feathers McGraw as an unwitting accomplice in a major jewellery heist, which is achieved by altering a pair of “Techno Trousers” originally purchased by Wallace for walking his faithful companian, Gromit the dog. Wallace is asleep during the main part of the heist and awakes to find, to his horror, that he has been duped by Feathers McGraw and that he has no control over his legs.
In our household the weekday routine during termtime is pretty much the same day in, day out. My alarm goes off at about 7:00 am, although Elise, now that she is at secondary school, is invariably up by this time, dressed and getting her bag ready to go to school. Hmmmm – I wonder how much longer that will last for as we enter the uncharted (or is it enchanted) years of living with a teenager?
Getting out of bed, for me, these days is a major task in itself, and I am hoping this is a glitch associated with the cold and damp weather we tend to experience in the UK, rather than Parkinson's or a trade-off for the multitudinous drugs I seem to be taking these days. If I have had a bad nights sleep – which is not unusual considering I have suffered from insomnia on and off pretty much all my life – I find I can leap out of bed fairly quick. I'm not the sprightly young Gazelle I used to be, but at nearly 50 I can't expect to be. However, a good nights sleep (more often than not recently thanks to the Rotigotine patch prescribed by my support nurse, James, to resolve my restless legs during the night) seems to result in a lot of pain on waking and whilst trying to get out of bed. One such morning recently, I quite literally got stuck halfway – ie I couldn't roll back in to bed – too painful – and I couldn't get up either. On asking Tim to give me a hand, his response was to rollover, push me from behind, and job done. What I actually wanted was for him to come round to my side of the matrimonial bed we have shared for the past 26 years, and offer me his hand so that I could lever myself out. Oh dear – this does not bode well for the future I muttered to myself as I levered myself up off the floor!
On finally being upright and eventually mobile, sort of, and no thanks to Tim, I shuffled off at a breakneck speed, bent double, feeling 99 not 49, and cursing Parkinson's and my husband in the same breath. On finally reaching my destination, the bathroom (I was desperate – for the loo that is) I found that Elise had beaten me to it and had taken up residence behind the locked door for the next 15 minutes or so.
On such mornings as this, it is maybe just as well I wait my turn patiently outside the locked bathroom door. It gives my arms and legs (which frankly seem to be intent on doing their own thing these days when I get up) the opportunity to settle down and start behaving. The alternative, to me, is maybe taking possession of a zimmer frame – over my dead body! But, I can't deny it – when I have the good fortune to have a good nights sleep – I do feel that for the first half hour or so on waking that I am indeed wearing The Wrong Trousers! Gromit!