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Ethyl17

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Well I honestly think Kira got the "Gods of Little Kitties being left alone" on board-LOL. I did not sleep well after the tree limb went down. Wind was still up and I was waiting for the next shoe. Tuesday morning we left around 10 am and we weren't 5 miles from the house when a gravel truck kicked back a rock and starred the windshield - exactly in my line of site, of course. Bruce said it was OK, so we continued. Get to the hotel, confirmation number and credit card are in my name - reservation is not. Clerk says I am wrong - LOL. But except can't you see I am me? Here's my photo ID drivers license to prove it. LOL.

 

The Valet and Porter (we had the same Porter both days - more there) could not have been more accomodating. They unloaded the truck, assembled the scooter. Valet even offered to transfer Bruce for me. I did it of course, but how nice? We went to lunch and then up to the room. Porter had ice in, newspaper, night lights on, WC assembled!

 

Now we got a discount because our side of the hotel was under reconstruction- scaffolding outside the window. But we love this hotel and we were on the fourth floor, right next to the stairs - in case of emergency and that was what was most important to me. TV remote did not work. Technician tells me it is "finicky". Well neither Bruce or I could work it. And as much as Technician did not want to deal with it (and you all know that is number one for Bruce) I had to play the "handicap" card and insist. If he had changed out the remote immediately instead of trying to sell it to me, would have been much quicker. Room safe did not work and fan in BR did not work. One the the windows did not close completely. These are things I will bring up later with management. Handicap room was lovely tho. And we stay in this hotel all the time - nice wide doors, big BR. I did not have to disassemble the scooter - just parked it in a corner. WC was fine - carpet not too deep. Bruce did have trouble with the bed - no side rails to move with. It took him a long time to settle. I put the WC between the beds so he would have some support. But when I finally went to bed, Bruce was diagonally across the bed so I just slept in the other one.

 

The amazing thing is I did not overpack.The biggest issue, for us, was orienting both of us to the new surroundings - where are the grip bars, what sides to transfer from, what angle is best for grip bars and transfer. Shower was step in. So no shower for Bruce. There was a floor drain and hand shower head, but we did not try it. Floor drain did not seem to have ever been used and I did not want to risk a flood. LOL. And the noise. The doors close very loudly in the hallway-both of us jumped at that and around 1am everyone returning from the Casino, talking. Not loud, no parties, but still not what we are used to.

 

Colleen clued me in to family restrooms and I got those locales immediately. Even tho Bruce did excellent with the scooter, learned to organize my schlepp with only the essentials and money in my front pants pockets. I put my pocketbook in the hotel safe - due to the room safe not working. And tickets for Valet, Porter, Hotel Safe. One always worries she will forget something - LOL.

 

Everyone assured me that Bruce was far enough along to be able to maneuver the scooter, manage his money and IDs. And he was. Once I got him positioned to his table or slot on the scooter, I would walk away. I did attach his comp card to his shirt so he remembered to take it with him.

 

This is the way to start, in my opinion. An overnight. Plenty of help from the hotel, manageable packing, orientation to the surroundings. Order a wine and sit back baby!

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You did it! That is a major accomplishment from my view. Sounds like your part was well in hand but the hotel needs to step up quite a bit better. You both seem to have taken it all in stride and still had a good time. I totally agree with you about how to start taking trips. Short ones help you learn the typical obstacles you are likely to encounter and what you need for a successful trip. You also learn what Bruce can and cannot manage. Little steps. Now is the time for the education of hotel management about what accessibility should mean. Although Lauren and I have not traveled together since stroke (and I doubt we ever will be able to), I scope out facilities for accessibility and most of them would not work for Lauren AT ALL.

 

You and Bruce have made some great advances over the last few months. That is just wonderful!

~~Donna

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I always hated the part of getting ready for a vacation... it was bad enough to make me not even want to go. But it was always great, once we got there. I think you have done a great job and are going to have a wonderful time! Things may go wrong, but as long as the whole thing was worth the trouble, is all that matters in the end.

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Debbie :

 

its amazing how much caregiver has to plan when going with their survivor with disability. hats off to you for attempting thiese vacations with Bruce. I am sure it wil get easier as more time goes on

 

Asha

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Well done Debbie, you done it. Yes they are always" bumps in the road", but so long as it is not a major crash, it is worth it. Enjoy both of you.

 

Yvonne

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Donna: I intend to make the management aware of the downfalls. Their customer service staff could not have been more gracious and accomodating and management needs to step up as well. Both servers of room service reminded me that the gratuity was already included in the tab - how honest is that? But no matter how great the service, if the foundation is slack, how much more can they do. So yes, I am going to dash off a letter. Based on the TV remote guy, maintenance needs some reminders - LOL.

 

I had a lot of advice and support from Nancy and Colleen - they did major trips and shared a lot of their experiences and planning with me. The one thing I have not figured out is how to look as beautiful as they do and still manage all this. I got a shower in and some generic moisturizer - LOL.

 

I traveled 10 years ago - much younger and in better physical condition with a handicap Mom to this same hotel. Service was exactly the same which is why I knew it should be considered. Donna, keep looking. Something may just hit you that "Yes, this may work." Norwich Spa had a fall special in the paper today - at the Norwich hotel: cranberry body wraps, cranberry and pear facials and Bruce says to me "this sounds like fun, honey and they have a shuttle to the Casino and it is for handicaps." Well just knock me over - Bruce in a spa? If he pushes it, of course we can do it - top quality hotel, sure to have handicap accomodations. But more importantly, he is thinking and trying to share, plan - look ahead. Amazing!

 

Sandy, you start with a good list. Look to what you need to get through the day. Plan well ahead - even for an overnight. Have a staging area. You probably already have duplicates of things you just set aside and cross off your list. I remembered the bed pad at the last minute. Bruce recently got a catalog of handicap items and they have a bed pad that spans a king size bed - that certainly is on the list seeing the way he slept there. Plus Bruce was a huge help. Our luggage is out on loan, so was only using schlepps. I would give him the list - items were marked schlepp 1,2 or 3 and he found the items and packed them. Did not miss a thing. Plus he was involved, excited. Same with packing up to go home.

 

Colleen: Bruce and I traveled alot prestroke and had a toiletries bag always restocked, so it just went into the suitcase. Now, of course, not. But take two toothbrushes in their packaging and toss them in your usual handbag with a small tube of paste - like you get from the Dental visits. And just leave them there.

 

Back to work tomorrow. Bruce and I were speaking tonight that we will miss each other. Nice to have a full week of just the two of us, no appointments. Erma came in to clean. We did errands, out to lunch and just enjoyed our time together. Been a long time and yes, I do need work for me and Bruce needs time away from me, now time alone with his own projects. But it was nice to get back to just us for a bit. Debbie

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