Monday, 8 December 2014

Travel and Holidays with Polly. It Gets Harder With Time

I asked my friend Polly about ways her life has changed, getting older with arthritis. Christmas changes. and when you have to travel by yourself with disabilities it gets harder to do.

"Traveling...what's that?  Its been so long.  Now all of my trips are within a two hour drive and mostly to doctor's appointments.  Don't ask about the food at hotels near the hospital.

When I flew...we would always get a nonstop flight.  Those jogs and short layovers were like a marathon.  We didn’t go if there was no nonstop flight available.  Having to hang onto those skinny railings on fast shuttles to get to your next gate was always a challenge for me.  I think it is Cincinnati or Atlanta that has the buses where we had to walk outside on the tarmac and I had to get up those bus steps.  I could barely lift a leg that high then. Now I know I could not do it. I would be asking for a golf cart at the gate.  

Generic airport view (my own)
Packing medications is another obstacle. No, I'm not a senior drug dealer, I really have prescriptions....see???   The Enbrel had to go in the frozen ice pack bag.  Carrying all your medications onto the plane is quite a challenge.   And having to take off my shoes to show my arthritic feet.....lovely.  Many...oh I'm sorry's.."you poor thing".

                              a sample of my prescriptions

Disney do they expect people with our disabilities to get onto that moving assembly line for the rides?    That was a ride before the ride.  I didn’t look forward to trying to coordinate the moving sidewalk with the jump into the cars.  Or climbing down into the Pirates of the Caribbean ships.  Or the lady who did need a scooter in the Big Bear Jamboree who tried to get out of the doors at the end of the show and rolled over my right foot, hit the trash can by the door and almost took out an 8 yr old boy.  I'll take a condo by the beach any day. 

At Christmas, I don’t put a tree up anymore.  Even the easiest are tough and bulky for me.  I have a little ceramic tree that my parents had.  I'm always afraid of dropping it when I get it out of the box.  Almost "everything holidays" has gone to my daughter or the grandchildren. 

Wrapping gifts is totally out of the question.  I used to take pride in my wrapped presents.  Then they started to look like I let a 5 year old wrap the gifts.  No tight corners....fighting with the tape.  Since giving up wrapping, it's been gift cards and money for the family.   

This is the first year I'm not sending out Christmas cards.  It's too hard for me to address all those envelopes and write a little note inside the card.  My wrist starts to ache and my fingers are stiff.  I usually send out about 80-90 cards every holiday.  Stamps are expensive also.  That’s another tradition I'm not carrying over this year. 

 Holidays bring about the snowy wintery weather which is great if you're ten.  But for me, its another obstacle.  I have to pay for the snowplowing and watch my klutzy footing which is bad enough during July much less December.  I try to find rock salt that comes in a smaller and lighter bag. 

Now my idea of a fun evening is jammies and putting on my big fat slippers. Some days I do that right after the postman comes."

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