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Old 02-23-2013, 06:47 PM   #1
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First disAbled trip... adjusting expectations...

Ok, as I've mentioned, my dh is newly (& hopefully temporarily) disabled secondary to a stroke & some other concurrent conditions. We leave tomorrow for a short anniversary trip. (Our 15th anniversary!) Kids will be with us. 13, 12, 11. AKV-Jambo. Plan is to drive tomorrow, eat at Dtd after check in. Mon - DHS, Tue - AK, Wed - MK. Drive home Thursday. This will be our 6th trip, but the first with a mobility impairment. We've rented an ecv. I don't expect to be able to keep our usual pace. I expect to need to take it easy. What I'm seeking from more experienced folks is tips, advice, etc. What is reasonable, unreasonable, etc? Tips to help me help my husband enjoy his time even though this is different from our usual type of trip.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:26 PM   #2
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Our first trip after my DH had a stroke, we asked the doctor's advice on what he could and could not do. I was concerned about the effect rides might have on him, and it was reassuring to speak with a doctor. Rest was important to DH, so we slept in and moved at a slower pace. If you feel comfortable, let the kids do some rides on their own, which will take some pressure off.

If I can offer any reassurance, the brain has an amazing ability to rewire itself. After about a year, my DH had mostly recovered and suffers only slight residual effects. Good luck.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:38 PM   #3
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Just expect things to take longer...and go slower. From loading onto the tram or bus...to unloading or loading onto rides...waiting in lines...and even while walking. Unfortunately, many people are not quite aware of their surroundings so your husband will have to be careful of people suddenly cutting off the pwc. This is especially true when close to parade, opening, or closing times. I suggest that he practices with it before you go...even play acting like you are there with possible situations to figure out his response time. ( ie. a little kid is running right in front of you...what do you do? Now try...)

What I would suggest to counteract the cut offs is to use the big party to your advantage! You can rotate but basically you want a circular 'boundary ' made up of your family around the wheelchair. Put one Directly in front, two to the high corner sides, and one right by the side, or sometimes right behind him. Sounds strange but this formation will keep your family together...and prevent many people from cutting off the WC which might get somebody injured.

So if he is x and your family are l 's it will look like this.

l. X. l
Also you will need a GAC to keep all family together in alternate entrances. You can pick this up at guest relations in any of the parks. ( near the front of the parks). Take breaks! It is hard to navigate around all those people...make sure he also turns off the pwc while waiting in long lines to conserve the battery.

Most of all....have fun! and know that even with the slower pace..that often times...you have a much better time and are able to see details that w normal 'rushing family' who tries to get from one ride to the other doesn't see. Example...last trip I took to DL we found all the edible plants in Tomorrowland and talked about them with CMs while waiting to load and unload from rides. You can learn a lot by stopping to smell the roses....
If your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme, when you wish upon a star your dreams come true!

me on the way to DL...every time!

Last edited by rewardsinlife; 02-23-2013 at 09:39 PM. Reason: Revision of form
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by natfrac

If I can offer any reassurance, the brain has an amazing ability to rewire itself. After about a year, my DH had mostly recovered and suffers only slight residual effects. Good luck.
Thank you! It's been really a difficult adjustment. He's an airplane mechanic, so his job is really very physical & active. This has been hard for him!
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:39 AM   #5
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Relax. Things will take longer because your pace will be slower. He is also frustrated, and wishes he could go faster.

Have patience. He may not be finding the words he needs so easily. It's somewhat hard to ask a question when you can't find the words. Just give him time to find the word, and help a little bit if you can figure out which word he is going blank on. Realize that he is frustrated at his lack of word finding ability.

Don't tell him that the scooter is driving you nuts, that it takes up space in the room, that it's making everything different & even somewhat annoying. He already knows that, and he would love to borrow your legs. Don't make cute little jokes about wishing you could ride instead of doing all of the tiring walking. He wishes to be like you, getting tired legs & feet.

Offer to charge the scooter for him each night. Offer to get his clothing laid out each morning. Offer to put his shampoo, soap, toothbrush, etc in the bathroom each time he needs them. Put his deodorents, etc on the bed with his underwear without him begging for it. He will remember your kindness forever.

The best rule is - treat him the way YOU would want to be treated. Try to be as normal as possible when addressing any need. The small "acceptances" of his new needs will be the greatest gift you could possibly give. Love & enjoy each other!

You are a wonderful person for asking the questions you asked. Have a great vacation! I know that your Hubby's recovery will be a bit easier because YOU helped him without griping about it. You are awesome!
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I really shouldn't have been so worried. We're here now. Disney has been great. Even though he's slower, we've still been able to see & do a lot. The gac is good. He's getting around well on his ecv. I try not to push him too hard. We did hop from DHS to Epcot last night. We didn't stay til EMH were over though. Just hit the highlights. His stamina has certainly taken a hit. He just can't spend 12 hours in a park anymore, but even on wheels. I see where some could get upset about GACs & impact on lines. Really, if my husband is any indication, families needing/using alternate entrances just can't spend 12 hours in the parks. My husband's main issue is balance & mobility. We're not even talking about someone with severe disabilities who requires total care, which is time consuming. Give Wish kids all the access they need/desire!

Disney has made it easier for us to see attractions & shows & enjoy our day without worrying about it. Thanks Disney!

Last edited by dansamy; 02-26-2013 at 03:49 PM.
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