Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

As I write this I can't help but think that in less than one month 15 years will have passed since my official diagnosis.
Even with everything this illness brings on time still flies which I presume is a good thing.

We're in the final stages of getting ready for our trip to Vegas. Traveling without a disability takes a certain amount of planning multiply that by 100 to give you a sense of what is required when you travel with a disability especially if it involves mobility issues.

The first thing of course is the fligh, here you have a choice being stacked up like sardines at the rear of the aircraft or paying a few extra bucks for business class. I can almost guarantee if you do it once you'll never go back to that sardine can approach. For one thing accessing the aircraft is much easier our seats are 1A and 1B meaning they are the first as you enter the aircraft. I can take my manual chair enter the plane roll up to my seat and transfer to the aircraft seat. Once transferred my pit crew "spouse" takes the wheelchair apart in a matter of minutes, most parts are stowed inside the cabin once the chair is folded the crew slow it in the bulkhead which makes it the first item out upon our arrival.

The transfer in Toronto is a pain as there are no direct flights but it's a simple transfer and other than the physical effort required to move from seat to seat there is nothing special to mention. Upon our arrival in Las Vegas we require a wheelchair accessible taxi to transport us to our hotel, these taxis generally do not stay at the airport previous arrangements are required to ensure they are there when you arrive.
You finally arrive at your hotel and in all likelihood will need to repeat the requirement for an accessible room, even though the travel agent may have requested it rarely does the information make it to the appropriate person assigning the room. Finally your set, just have to check and make certain that electric wheelchair you rented has arrived and is waiting for you at the Bell desk. I could use mine yet I find it easier to rent one from a local establishment that way if I run into any problems I have someone to call and it's their problem, in addition they deliver it and pick it up upon departure. I find the cost $175 per week reasonable considering the service they provide. On this trip we have booked four shows the first being "The Rat Pack" followed by The Jersey Boys, Terry Fator who won America's got talent last year and signed a $200 million contract for a show in Vegas, he's a ventriloquist and is amazing. The final show is possibly one which depicts the Vegas that once was, called Jubilee I've seen it once and will see it every time I go to Vegas. Finally since I cannot see the Grand Canyon as it's impossible to get there in a wheelchair and besides I have seen it before my spouse will be going there in style! Picked up at our hotel with a black limo no less she will be driven to the McLaren airport to board a helicopter for a ride of a lifetime. The aircraft will land 100 feet from the Colorado River were lunch will be served along with champagne ending with a return trip including Hoover dam, the strip before finally returning to McLaren airport. I'd love to go with her yet unless you can board the aircraft on your own you are disqualified.

Reserving seats for shows requires little effort other than ensuring there are spaces allotted for wheelchair patrons ordinarily you would purchase tickets through a booking agency however with a specific requirement you usually end up calling the hotel directly. It is difficult to question pricing as the seats are usually predefined. You take what they have but luckily they are usually some of the best seats available.

Should get back to multiple sclerosis, in my view the worst preparation for the trip. Imagine sitting in an aircraft for five hours unable to walk it is impossible for you to use the facilities. You're left with two choices, you can either abstain from taking in any fluids whatsoever several hours prior to the flight during the flight. I tried it once wearing a diaper as a preventive measure yet little enjoyment is derived from sitting in business class and not being able to have a glass of wine, a beer or something to eat. As I am writing this I have shaved and I'm wearing a condom catheter attached to a leg bag, I'm drinking a lot of cranberry juice and water to test the system before we leave I've used this system in the past with good results it's just one of those things you have to do should you wish to enjoy and partake in all which is offered. All of this sounds easy yet it is very difficult many things that have to happen in sequence for you to urinate most have to do with signals from the brain specific muscles opening while others contract mechanical stuff but one of the hardest things is sitting there in a seat and letting yourself go. That in itself goes against everything you've ever been taught so far I've drank more than 1200 mL of fluid the urge is there yet I just can't seem to let go since it's close to noon I'll grab a beer instead eventually I will have no choice I will find out for certain if this bloody system works.

Have a great afternoon

1 comment:

Lisa Emrich said...

I hope that you have a great trip!! Have fun.

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