I was getting stronger and more confident with standing whilst using the walking frame. Each day I kept practising, with my PT, taking a step, then stepping back. Gradually, I mastered walking about 1 metre! I suffer with numerous health conditions, some which cause me to become fatigued more quickly than usual. Because of this, I wasn’t hopeful of walking further.
Only time would tell…
Grace and I arranged our final outing together, I had a shop in mind but I wasn’t sure what Grace would think. She came to see if I was ready and asked, “Have you decided where you want to go?” I was really hoping she would say ‘Yes’ to what I was about to blurt out…
“Can we go wedding dress shopping?” I asked, trying my hardest not to do the puppy-dog-eyes.
😱 “YES!!!!” You could see Grace was about to burst with excitement!
So on that happy note, we headed out and waited for the bus.
I will point out that I will not be talking about the styles of the dresses, that I fell in love with, just in case Ewan ever reads this and I don’t want to spoil anything, sorry!
We went to WED2B, Grace and I had never been before plus this was going to be the first time in using assistive technology in public. As I have mentioned before, I have hearing difficulties and central vision loss. In order to help me understand what people are saying, they must speak very slowly and clearly. Background noises can impact this too. Rehab kindly let me borrow an iPad which had the ‘Speech to Text’ function which enabled others to speak at their pace, the iPad would then convert what they had said into text so I was able to read it.
I was really apprehensive about using this in public as I lack in confidence with declaring that I have communication issues.
Plus, wedding dress shopping in a powered wheelchair? This should be interesting!
When we got closer to the store, we stopped and gasped…the front display was breathtaking! We had never seen so many wedding dresses in one room!
As we entered the shop, we were incredibly fixated on the endless rails of dresses that we didn’t notice a shop assistant wasn’t present. A moment later, a woman approached us and asked if she could help us. Grace quickly got out the iPad, along with a note attached explaining to use this to communicate with me. I was so nervous to say anything other than, “Sorry, I’m deaf” and handed over the iPad to the shop assistant.
Turned out I didn’t need to be worried because Natasha, the shop assistant was super lovely! Unfortunately, the ‘Speech to Text’ function wasn’t working as it was not connected to Wi-Fi (nobody knew that it needed to be connected to enable the function at the time) but this wasn’t too much of an issue as it was apparent that Natasha can type at super speed!
Once the introduction to WED2B and how they work was done, it as time to look at some dresses!
What made it more difficult to choose my top 4 was that I’m not a dress person whatsoever!
WED2B is very spacious, 100% accessible! No steps too so thanks WED2B for creating an amazing accessible wedding dress shop, not only for able-bodied woman but for us disabled brides-to-be too!
The first dress that was picked out was absolutely stunning! Unfortunately it was way over my budget 😭 typical! Dress after dress, I finally chose my favourite 4. Hard work! 😂
Then the next obstacle cropped up, how would I try a dress on?
I asked Natasha if they could accommodate a Ross Return, she suggested that we check out the fitting rooms first. OMG! The fitting rooms were huge! Again, 100% accessible! There were about 8 fitting rooms in total, so yeah….MAHOOSIVE!!
The fitting room we viewed had a sturdy rail attached to the wail, not entirely sure what the rail is intentionally used for but it could be used to help me stand up.
It was an overwhelming experience for Grace and I but we thoroughly enjoyed every second of it, so much so, I asked Natasha if I could give her a hug because she respected me as a bride-to-be and her enthusiasm was contagious! I really can’t wait to see her again in the new year 😁
On our way to catch the bus, I asked Grace, “I bet you’ve never been wedding dress shopping with a patient before” she replied, “No! It’s usually food shopping or clothes shopping”. “I bet you’ll never forget this’ I chuckled, Grace shook her head and replied, “No, it was the best shopping trip ever!”
Should have I waited to go with family instead? No…it was a spontaneous decision and i wouldn’t have changed a thing. I think that the best memories are made from spontaneous adventures.
Thank you Grace with sharing those few hours with me, something I will never forget!
Check out Critical Care Review where I talk about the one day I dont think I will ever forget…now live!