We are on vacation. It’s so nice to be away from home, with the sound of the beach in the background and our children around us but unlike the days before MS, vacationing with MS is not a relaxing experience.
First is packing to go…I had to pack his cool vest, his exercise equipment for balancing, his Hayek vent, his peddler, medications, two power chairs (one is a 4-wheel drive for the beach), one manual wheelchair, a shower chair, nebulizer, catheterization supplies, and then the regular things you take with you.
I rented a wheelchair van this year because Lynn’s leg spasms are so bad I was afraid he would have a set-back if he had spasms all the way to the beach. The van allowed him to sit in his power chair, and if his legs spasmed, I pulled over and connected him to his peddler.
My daughter and her husband drove along with us and had to put most of our luggage in their car because our van had so much equipment in it. All the way here, I was driving and addressing his various needs at the same time.
Then we got here and unpacked the vehicles and discover that the entranceways have a steep threshold so fortunately, I thought to pack a portable ramp so we could get the wheelchair into the condo.
Once inside, we need to move the furniture around so the wheelchair can get by things without damaging anything. We test out the bathroom–powerchair won’t fit so we test the manual chair…it’s tight, but it fits.
Today we tried to take him swimming. It worked, but it took our two boys to lift him into the pool and me to hold his head out of the water while we floated around….but he was able to “go swimming.”
I used to get up first thing at the beach and go to the pool for the day. I would read 4-5 books during the week. So far, I’ve read three chapters. Here when I get up I get myself ready, fix his meds, get him up, fix his breakfast, help him eat if he needs it, take care of his morning hygiene, then he rests a while and needs to be cathed again, then he needs this or that, after about three hours, I can go to the pool for a while but with a walkie-talkie, in case he needs to be cathed again.
Not like it used to be, but it’s still vacation, and it’s still good to be away. Tonight we’re going to try to go crabbing after dark using his all-terrain wheelchair. He hasn’t used it yet, so we hope it works out for him. Let’s hope he doesn’t drive it into the ocean or get stuck in a sand bar! It’s all good though, and we’re glad to have this time together as a family.