A Post Open-Heart Surgery/Anniversary Trip Report!!! Updated 5/30 PTR started!!
Hi everyone!! :wave:
I just finished a dining report of my boyfriend (aka Wingnut) and my's (is that correct? It looks a tad ridiculous...) trip to WDW this past December. But then I finished writing about our last table service credit and wanted to say more.
So, here we go again! (And yes, Wingnut will be chiming in as well, no worries!)
Ok, so the title. Open heart surgery...yeah, I definitely never thought I'd be saying that about myself, but here's the well-placed "however,"
This past spring, I started to feel exceptionally tired. Not having had any health issues before, I went to my GP, who told me he didn't want me to be concerned, but I had to see a cardiologist immediately, and made sure I had an appointment first thing the next morning. :eek:
Convinced this had to be a bit of an error, I went, at which point I found out I had mitral valve prolapse, a heart murmur, and a significant leak in my mitral valve, which he said my heart was handling well at the moment. We'd keep an eye on it.
Fast-forward to 3 months later, my energy is declining further, and it is time for my cardiologist follow-up appointment. He says we are now at a surgical point, the valve needs to be repaired.
I underwent the mitral valve repair on July 19th, 2 days after my 25th birthday. It went perfectly. My recovery has been slow, but steady.
So somewhere in the middle of this, before we knew I needed surgery, Wingnut and I decided to plan a trip to Disney for our anniversary (October 6th - 3 years). We made all the plans. We made reservations for Jiko for the 6th. We were tremendously excited to be going during the Food and Wine Festival, which we had never been to.
...and which we still haven't been to. Post-surgery, it was clear that I would not be close to the energy level I'd want to be at for Disney in October. It was incredibly disappointing to change our anniversary plans, but we knew it was for the best. We changed our dates to mid-December, re-booked dining, and began to wait for our trip to come.
So who are these wordy people anyways? And when are they going to talk about Disney? And isn't this guy cute :3dglasses?
Here we are, on our anniversary (not at Jiko, in my living room. Oh well.)
Me and my Wingnut :hug:.
Wingnut is incredibly caring, supportive, and patient. He makes an awesome vodka sauce, and will eat pretty much everything that I won't (due to pickyness or allergies). In his words, he is "6'3'', tan, athletic, and a billionare lawyer/astronaut."
Me, I am his Stringbean. I have no fewer than 5 Disney CD's in my car, and listen to pretty much no other. I love cheesecake, orange tic-tacs, and taking lots of pictures.
And my Wingnut. I love him too :lovestruc.
To come: I'm left alone with Disney plans for far too long :scratchin
An inability to leave well-enough alone...
So while recovering from surgery (or just sitting around generally as well, I suppose), there tends to be a lack of things to do. I mean, I was also fairly physically limited (thus ruling out rock climbing, darn!), so the couch and I were pretty close buds for a bit of time.
Earlier, I mentioned how this trip was supposed to be for our anniversary (3 years together, yay! :banana:). Well, not just for our anniversary, as it ended up being, but on our anniversary as well, which is October 6th. This had to be postponed, as we decided I would just not be physically up the trip in a close enough semblance to how we usually tour WDW (not crazy running around planning, but we're don't amble either).
Postponing the trip also meant rescheduling all of our ADR's, one task I was quite up for. I shuffled and reshuffled them around, swapping out Flying Fish for La Hacienda de San Angel, Brown Derby for Rose & Crown, and Port Orleans Riverside for the Yacht Club.
In late October, I decided we needed a treat, and upgraded our reservation to the Yacht Club. We had never stayed there (had never stayed at POR either, for that matter), but I was super-psyched about the location and being able to stroll to Epcot.
(Wingnut and I love Epcot. We literally call it Home Base while at Disney, as we always end up there at least once a day.)
So a few weeks passed, and I was amazingly able to keep quiet about the resort change. We got our original Magical Express tags in the mail, and I showed them to Wingnut ("look! Port Orleans Riverside!") while stashing the real ones in a folder with the rest of our reservation info.
(Note to those of you looking to surprise loved ones with reservation tweaks: it's a bit of a pain keeping separate reservation info folders, but worth it! :thumbsup2)
Cue to the day before we were leaving for Disney...
I'm in:goodvibes I've been following the food report also!
Checking in... I'll start reading now. :surfweb:
Oh, I love surprises. I can't wait to hear all about how you told Wingnut about the hotel switch.
Joining in too!
Hoping Wingnut enjoys surprises as much as I enjoy plotting...er...planning them!
So when we last left, I was poised with the proper paperwork in hand, ready to strike! Er...surprise.
Wingnut came by to pick me up (he lives a lot closer to the airport than I do, and when you take early flights like us, every morning minute counts!) the day before. Originally, when I was planning on how to surprise him, I had thought to stave it off as long as possible, with a plan involving the stealthy switching of luggage tags and possible distraction at several points.
I'm not a very stealthy person though. :laughing:
I'm more like this: :jumping1:
So I soon decided that a better plan would be to tell him very close to our departure, but still at home. It was easier. Easier is better, particularly when you're trying to pack for a week-long vacation and still are a distance from your normal strength and energy levels. It was definitely not easy, but sheer determination (and adoration for WDW) saw us through (I say us, including not only my Wingnut but also my parents and everyone else that helped make this a reality through their unending patience and help.)
Wingnut arrived at my house. He started to go upstairs to help me pack (assuming correctly that I was nowhere near completed), but I was :jumping1: with excitement (keeping it all inside, of course).
"I wanted to show you the rest of our travel info. I printed our boarding passes," I showed them to him "and here's our luggage tags."
[MOMENT OF TRUTH :hyper::hyper::hyper:]
"Wait, luggage tags? I thought we already got luggage tags. How many sets of luggage tags does Disney send?" he asked.
I handed them to him, with a "Merry Christmas".
He was totally surprised! :yay: He really couldn't believe I had switched us to the Yacht Club (despite, teasingly, accusing me of changing our reservation details a few weeks prior). He was very excited to stay there (telling me I shouldn't have about 5,000 times, but being very excited and telling me during the trip that he was thrilled that I did [oops, spoiler.])
I was so excited and happy to have been able to surprise him and give him this gift. We had been through so much the prior few months, and he had been so unendingly supportive and loving through it all - all I wanted to do was give him a little treat.
So we finished packing my stuff (knowing in advance we would have to pack for a huge temperature range), and I began pulling up pictures of the Yacht Club on the computer, showing him excitedly.
Which reminded me, I forgot to mention one little detail.
"Oh, and all they had available was a water view" :yay::boat::beach::yay:
Joining in!:goodvibes Wow, you have quite an amazing story!:goodvibes So glad to hear you're doing better, it must have been frightening for you.
Great start to your trip too. How fun that you managed to surprise DBF! (My DH loves the look of the Yacht Club so I'm thinking he'll request that soon!) It sure sounds like he was thrilled with the change of resort. Looking forward to reading more!:thumbsup2
'Cause we're leaving on a JetBlue, don't know what snacks we're gonna choose...
I normally wake up before my alarm goes off, especially when I'm excited about something.
Like, oh, say, a Disney trip.
My eyes popped open a few seconds before my alarm ("Never Gonna Give You Up" on my phone) began. At 4:15 in the morning.
Too early on any other day, this just means that we'll have even more of the day to spend in the Happiest Place on Earth! :yay:
Wingnut isn't much for pictures before the sun is up. But there's the first picture of our trip!
Pretty soon we were on board our very first JetBlue flight.
Wingnut and I had decided to go for the Even More Legroom seats, partially so we could board earlier and disembark (de-board?) earlier as well, and partially so we would have more comfortable seats. This turned out to be an excellent decision, as it made finding overhead space very easy, and our legs were nice and stretched out for the flight.
We are ready! Let's go, plane!
OH MY GOD JETBLUE GETS THE FOOD NETWORK!!! I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!
In-flight snack report
Soon enough we landed, and made our way over to the Magical Express. Backtracking slightly:
Before we left for Disney, Wingnut and I discussed my energy and strength. I was recovering and improving, slowly but surely (emphasis on slowly). I was able to walk, but not for extended distances, so Wingnut and I decided that it would be best to rent wheelchairs while we were in the parks, so I would actually be able to experience the parks, and not be sitting on a bench by the ticket booths.
While in the airport at home, we decided that it would be best for me to conserve my energy as best I could, and we would use a wheelchair there to get to our gate. The employees were very kind, helped us to where we needed to go, and it was a huge help (I was also walking at a slower pace as well).
They notated on my ticket that we would have a wheelchair meeting us at Orlando as well, which we thought would be a good idea. We got off the plane in Orlando, and...no wheelchair. When we asked at the desk, they said we would have to wait until everyone got off the plane, then we would get the chair.
On one hand, I could continue to conserve my energy, wait for everyone to get off the plane, then be wheeled to Magical Express.
But I could walk. Just a little slower and not as much. And I was planning on walking in Disney, between parks.
AND DISNEY WAS JUST SO CLOSE :jumping1:
We decided to take it as slow as we needed to, and I walked all the way to the monorail (first ride of the trip! :laughing:). And there I sat. And then I walked to Magical Express. And there I sat on the floor.
Yeah, I know. Gross. But I made it! (and not at an entirely abysmal pace either!)
Soon enough (only about 5 minutes), we were here, and the bus left straight away.
And then I was here
(My favorite place :hug:)
Confession time: I may or may not have cried a little bit during the Magical Express video. We were finally THERE, after this ridiculous year!
I was at a terrible angle for getting a shot of the sign. I realized this as soon as we sat down, but tried my best.
Bus stop order:
Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Caribbean Beach.
YAY we were first!! :cool1: (Wingnut gave me a look when I "yay'ed" a bit loudly. :rolleyes1
While on the bus, I began to devise a plan. Wingnut would get our bags from underneath the bus, while I went ahead to check in, in order to avoid a Magical Express bus line.
I had a plan. I was ready.
When we pulled up at the Yacht Club, I was bouncing with excitement.
"Okay, I'll go ahead and get in line, you get the bags"
The bus stopped, and I scooted off behind a family, not looking back. (Not even kidding, I didn't even see Wingnut getting off the bus. I was too focused.) The family got greeted by the YC greeter, I went around them, and bee-lined for the check-in desk.
Where there was absolutely no line. :woohoo:
I went straight up to the Online Check-In line (of course this overplanner didn't miss this chance at clicking around more on disneyworld.com), and was greeted exuberantly. I greeted the cast members just as exuberantly :wave:
Wingnut caught up with me fairly quickly (he's got the whole faster-than-me thing on me still), and we set about checking in, and seeing where our room would be...
Your title caught me since I am a cardiac surgery Nurse Practitioner. Congratulations on your successful mitral valve surgery. Great start to your TR. Looking forward to more.
Awww, you and Wingnut are cute!:goodvibes I know what you mean about not being able to sleep too! I'm usually so excited too and I am normally NOT a morning person at all. Ask DH, he'll tell ya!:laughing:
It's so exciting pulling up to your resort, isn't it? I love that feeling too, total bliss!
It sounds like it's off to a great start. That must have been frustrating though to come off the flight and not see your wheelchair. But you took it slow and easy! I'm glad to hear that you were well enough to go to Disney, this trip must have been a wonderful celebration for you guys.
Looking forward to reading more!:goodvibes
It was definitely unanticipated to not have the wheelchair right there, but I just kept reminding myself that we were going to take the trip at a slower pace. We kept calling this trip the rainbow at the end of the storm (Wingnut is chiming in that he phrased it as "light at the end of the tunnel") - it was a great thing to be able to look forward to throughout everything.
And pulling up to the resort has to be one of the best moments of the trip. Well, just slightly after biting into the first Napoleon of the trip :thumbsup2.
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