Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We returned from Vegas yesterday evening totally worn out exhausted from the trip yet we had a wonderful time. We were in bed by 9 PM woke this morning at close to 10 AM we couldn't believe it, it's nice to get away yet nothing beats the comforts of home.

Overall our trip went very well although it did remind me of a time when I used to enjoy fishing in Algonquin Park each July. At that time MS had taken it's hold yet I was able to walk on my own. Every year I could sense its hold or grasp more and more encompassing. Each year especially on the last day of our trip I would sit overlooking the lake and wonder whether or not I would be capable of making it the following year. One year I went fishing with a friend and realized I would not be able to make it for our annual trip. That hurt for certain and it still hurts a bit every time July rolls around yet I think about it less and less as it's been so long.

This trip was similar in some ways, we had not really traveled since our last trip to Vegas in order to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, several years later I could feel and taste the progression of the disease a fact evident from the onset of our journey.
Previously I was capable of standing from my wheelchair in order to transfer to a small chair the airlines utilize to bring mobility impaired clients to their seats. The chair is very small and narrow it can fit between the aisles, unable to transfer I required assistance for what is termed a full body lift, simply put they begin by lifting you out of your wheelchair and position you on the small chair, once in the aircraft they again lifted me up and deposited me into my seat, luckily we were traveling executive class having ample room to move around yet at that moment I had to accept the reality of the progression and wondered how many times I would be able to make a similar trip. Luckily I was able to have a few scotch on the rocks which made the memories fade quickly and the trip enjoyable.

The room I reserved for physically impaired guests was adequate "we stayed at the Paris hotel" yet it's quite daunting going from one environment to another you must adapt which can take quite some time, at home in your personal environment you are accustomed to where things are, what you can reach grab hold of several things to transfer, everything from the height of the toilet seat location of grab bars in the washroom in your bedroom etc. now all of a sudden everything is different. It goes without saying I relied on my spouse much more than usual transferring from the bed to the chair or vice versa proved to be quite a challenge at times exhausting. The washroom also adequate yet different from what I am accustomed to in terms of height location of grab bars also proved to be a challenge. By the end of the week I was getting better and had adapted fairly well another week would've done it I'm certain yet I don't believe I could have taken the heat is hard to believe that 100°F in late September is regarded as a typical autumn weather!

We saw several great shows the first being the rat pack a tribute to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Junior. The following day we saw The Jersey Boys also a fantastic show with terrific music. On Wednesday my spouse went for her surprise trip to the Grand Canyon by helicopter landing a few hundred feet from the Colorado River they had lunch toasted their trip with a glass of champagne prior to their return in the afternoon upon which she was summoned for a massage. The photographs she took are amazing, they allowed me to experience the canyon once more as the first time I had seen it some 35 years ago. On the Thursday we saw Jubilee another great Las Vegas icon long-standing 28 year show which unfortunately will be closing sometime in December. We finally closed out the week by seeing Terry Fator, the ventriloquist who one America's got talent last year. He had me in tears for the entire show, absolutely spectacular. He's the only one I know of in Vegas who starts his show by informing the audience of one rule that there are no rules he continues by informing his sold-out audience the pullout the cameras which were obviously smuggle in and take as many photographs even film parts of the show. At the end of the show he would also make himself available to sign autographs as long as there were people waiting for him. One of the advantages of being wheelchair bound is that most places treat you very well in this case we were moved up to the front of the line and had a chance to speak with Terry Fator as well as getting his autograph on our picture.

A few closing notes,

When making reservations to see a show do not rely on the local ticket agencies similar to ticket master, if you require special seating try and obtain them by contacting the hotel hosting the show directly. The rat pack and Jersey boys were purchased from a ticketing agency and while I paid top dollar the location of our seats were in my opinion substandard. The shows that I booked personally with the hotel were what I was expecting number one.

If you are unable to board an aircraft by yourself it is impossible for you to visit the Grand Canyon they simply won't allow it similarly there are no handicapped buses or tours available for mobility impaired guests.

Everything else in Vegas is excellent when it comes to meeting the needs of the mobility challenge individual. There are elevators or ramps everywhere even outside to get from one side of the street to the other the elevators bring you up to a bridge which crosses the street and only in Vegas would you find air-conditioned elevators. You gotta love it!
Hopefully God willing I'll be back in a few years.

1 comment:

Enjoying the Ride said...

I love Vegas. I find it to be perhaps the most accessible city I visit- I suppose because everything is so new. It must be tough with a manual chair, because things are soooo big, but it's perfect for a power chair. My wife is all worn out by the end of the day and I'm not :-)

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