I went on HOLIDAY!
So surprising on a number of levels. I didn't think I'd manage the flight. I am alcohol intolerant. I need to be mostly horizontal. But with the help of my mum/ travelling companion, the BA staff and a helping of gin (yes, gin) things went rather smoothly. I was helped onto the plane and even got chatted up by a boy! To be fair he was chatting up my mum too, and ended up kissing a woman in her late 80s who was on portable oxygen, but still, it's been a while and I'll take it ;) Yes... it was an interesting flight.
The weirdest bit was on the lift thingy that took you off the plane, as it was like a waiting room that went up and down and drove about. Another new experience to add to the ever-increasing tally........
The travel agent recommended the Hotel Sumba in Cala Millor as being flat and accessible. It later transpired that Saga were a main provider of travellers and that the hotel's reputation for being accessible had spread. As I sat by the pool and looked around, becoming aware gradually of the increasing numbers of walking sticks, crutches, rollators and wheelchairs I suddenly exclaimed "Oh my God mum, we've come to a DISABLED hotel!!!" My surprise was later replaced with gratitude for the fantastic facilities and accessibility. When will I lose my hang-ups about being labelled as 'disabled'?
You can see how close to the beach we were... and that we could take the wheelchair right down there. Although most of the holiday was spent lying down in various locations, we made it to the beach on two days! One was too windy and cool to settle and the other was glorious. I fulfilled my wish of going in the sea on both days! (Much to the horror of the lifeguard who had seen me hobbling around and was aghast at the thought of me going in the water).
Although many hours of each day were spent like this:
...after a few very restful days we managed a mini-adventure on a wheelchair accessible mini-train!
Of course there were some real challenges. The pain induced by the travelling- not even gin and tramadol could save me.... The lift was so small we could barely fit in it (the wheels scraped off the sides and sometimes the door wouldn't shut!) .... and the biggest challenge of all for me- sitting up at a table to eat meals three times a day. But we got a good routine going- my mum would take me on a quick tour of all the meals (it was a buffet restaurant but really lovely), I would chose, she would plonk me at my table and then she would go and get the food. The alternative was that someone from the hotel would do this but we were managing fine with our own system. The hotel caters for many allergies and intolerances, which are so common with this illness.
Behold: The Tiny Lift!
And to top it all off, the charging station didn't work for me:
So..... to summarise, we had a crazy, challenging, painful, wonderful, rewarding and fabulous time.
With thanks to my lovely, crazy, fun, wonderful mum who makes all things possible.