We were headed for Texas. Daughter Teresa lost the draw so, she was accompanying her dad, “Buck” and me, her mother, from Illinois to Grand Prairie, Texas where our son, Guy and his family lived.
The van was fully loaded with the walker, bags for medication and a c-pap, also lots of pillows and a bed railing. Buck had to sit in the front passenger side to accommodate the electric wheel chair. Nothing could be stored behind the chair because that is where the ramp was located. It was a tight fit and we resembled a rolling medical supply store. Then there was me, with a brand-new cast on my brand-new broken wrist. We were good to go.
Before we go any farther though, I need to tell you that hind-sight is one hundred percent, and if I knew then what I know now, there is no way we would have made that trip.
We made it by the grace of God, the kindness of strangers and a son and daughter who had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Until this trip, we were all pretty clueless. Finding handicapped accessible hotel rooms is a challenge not to mention bathroom stalls in dirty gas stations and restaurants. When we finally reached Texas and Guy was there to help, we checked out a few places until we found a hotel that could accommodate our needs. The staff at the hotel were very nice and tried hard to make a bad situation better. The most wonderful item was a roll in shower, it made all the difference in the world.
I only had to rouse Guy out at four in the morning once to come to the hotel to re-position Buck who had managed to tangle himself in his make-shift recliner. No, in case you are wondering, not many hotels have recliners, which is where Buck was used to sleeping.
The visit with Guy’s family went well and meeting our new great grandson made the trip well worth all the work. Until, that is, when we were on the trip home and had to call 911.
We spent the night in another hotel, a very nice clean place and once again, a very accommodating staff…especially at mid-night when we had to ask them to call 911.
Buck went to the bathroom, and closed the door, which opened “in” placing the hinges on the inside of the bathroom door. This is important because Buck fell off the toilet and landed against the door wedging himself between the door and the toilet. We were able to open the door only inches and somehow Teresa managed to squeeze herself in. He said he was ok, but the only way we were going to get him up was to call for help.
The paramedics were unable to take the door off the hinges because they were fastened to the inside of the door. By shear strength they managed to squeeze into the bathroom to remove the hinges. Once that was done the two paramedics put a sheet under Buck’s arms and lifted him to a standing position.
Buck had many falls in his fifteen years and each time when asked if he was hurt, he would answer, “only my pride”.
There are numerous web-sites that offer information on traveling. Check out ADA.gov. Always be sure to call ahead and ask questions. Since 2002 when we began Buck’s journey, many improvements have been made and equipment invented to make traveling safer and easier.
I must say, people are kind and helpful. Buck had every kind of complication, but people always stepped up to help him.
Much appreciated, Betty
“Struggles are required in order to survive in life because in order to stand up you got to know what falling down is like.” …The Cowboy Way.