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Friday, 26 August 2011

Travel Trepidation

 My sincerest of apologies to you for not having been in touch for the last couple of days. As per usual of late, I have been struggling massively with my pain and the side effects of my medication- and when coupled with a virus to contend with this week, it seems to have completely knocked me for six and frustratingly rendered me completely unable to do a thing!
Thankfully I seemed to have turned a slight corner this morning and with a bank holiday weekend looming, (albeit evidently an extremely soggy one!), I hope that I am well enough to travel to Devon this evening to visit my husband’s family for a few days.
With my sister-in-law’s idyllic country cottage located in the deepest and darkest of valleys in rural Devon, I am afraid to say that you will again have an imposed break from my incessant ramblings for three days as there is no internet access there for me to be able to write to you.
I am blessed with a truly wonderful family in the form of my brother and sister in-law and my mother and father in law, and I know that the break and country air will be exactly what I need; however I also know that as with any trip anywhere with a disability, there is always a stress and anxiety about the pain of travelling itself, along with the apprehension of the accessibility issues that may lay ahead of us at our destination.

 I’m sure you are well aware by now that I am currently in the process of trying to raise awareness of the huge inadequacies in our country’s provisions for disabled access. Unfortunately, the problem is not exclusive to our shores and whereas prior to most people’s holidays there are feelings of immense excitement- for my husband and I there is, (whatever and wherever our destination may be), much anxiety and trepidation that the accessibility at our hotel may not be quite as sufficient as the staff or host had assured us in correspondence prior to our trip.
I do believe that in my five years of being disabled and requiring the use of a wheelchair, I am as yet to be pleasantly surprised and relieved to find that the access in my holiday location is sufficient and as described in the brochure or by the representative.
On the arrival at our hotel on our last holiday to Barbados, we were confronted with no ramp to the reception or indeed our room. After 12 hours of travel, all my husband and I wanted to do was rest in our room; but instead I had to remain outside whilst Garry ran around the hotel chasing the maintenance man, so that they could build a makeshift ramp out of a dubious piece of wood and 4 bricks so that I may simply be able to get into my room that we had paid for!
Travel when wheelchair dependant, or indeed with any other form of disability, is often always accompanied by that feeling of holding one’s breath and anxiety that on arrival at your destination you will be confronted with access issues such as this and the inevitable battle with resort staff.
It appears to me that as I get more accustomed to my life with a disability, the more the word battle seems to keep cropping up!
I genuinely appreeciate that life is often a battle even without a disability; but when you add into the mix the scenarios that occur with this added issue, you soon realize how much life can at times feel like an impossible uphill climb.
 There are so many anxiety issues that occur from medication side affects alone, and so when you have forced yourself to get over these to go out socially, only to be confronted with being unable to access the restaurant where perhaps all of your friends are already sat waiting to eat their meal, you can understand why many people give up and avoid going out at all!
Well as I have said before, I believe that I personally have two options when it come to dealing with these issues- I can either sit back and complain incessantly and drive myself, my husband and indeed you mad with expressing my frustrations; or I can do my best within the confines of my physical limitations to really make a difference for the better.
Wherever you are in the world, whatever your level or form of disability, please email me at discoverdisability@hotmail.co.uk with any experiences you may have of insufficient access so that I may collate these examples to make a difference as a united voice. I would also like to perhaps feature some of your tales of access inadequacies on my site.
Whatever your plans may be, I pray that you may have a wonderful bank holiday weekend despite the rain and now thunder that appears intent on making an appearance; and that you are also able to access all of the restaurants, hotels or bars that you may possibly want to enter!
I look forward to speaking to you again on Tuesday- until then stay safe and well,
Karen.  
This video has made me smile today the puppy looks so much like my Barley when he was that age!
If you like cute dogs, check this out!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5V6XNAXXAE
 Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter pages what has done the job for you! 


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