Always an expedition

Our trips away don’t happen that often but recently we went to Chichester for a weekend.

Travelling lightly – impossible!

Whether it is one night or ten – there is always a lot to take. For three nights at a Travel Lodge I took the following:

Normal stuff

  • 6 items of clothing.
  • electric toothbrush,
  • toothpaste,
  • soap,
  • flannel
  • my own pillow
  • hairdryer / brush
  • Contact lens case/fluid.
  • Poncho (+outdoor clothing).
  • Phone and charger.

This would have fitted into a small hold-all and we could have packed in minutes, jumped in the car and drove off with hub’s additions of some clothes etc.

I can’t do that… it takes all afternoon for my husband to get things together, bring disability equipment out of the loft and load up the car. I find people don’t understand this in ‘holiday’ conversations. It’s not like we can forget anything neither. You might be able to go to reception and buy a toothbrush if you forgot it but if you forget a vent hose you’d have to drive back home again. It’s this added pressure that you just can’t convey to people – or they don’t appreciate. Similarly making sure you bring it all back home!

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Disability ‘stuff’ includes:

  • Manual wheelchair
  • Shower hose extension.
  • Battery charger for my chair
  • 2 large foam cushions to prop up parts of me
  • Decking plank and wood blocks to keep my feet level on the toilet or under the sink
  • Foam mattress topper
  • Wedge pillow for my head (left side)
  • Second pillow for the other side of my head/cheek to protect the side of my face.
  • Blanket for between my knees and several towels and blankets to support me in bed
  • Ventilator
  • Ventilator mains lead, night time face mask, tubes and circuitry.
  • Ventilator mask ‘slugs’ and 2x padding that goes around the mask.
  • Nasal spray to keep my nose clear to breathe,
  • Adhesive plaster/tape to put over my face and nose to protect it from mask sores (and scissors to cut it).
  • Bottle of fairy liquid to clean my mask cuff and hand sanitiser liquid to clean the mask shell.
  • Shoe horn (personal hygiene item)
  • Andrex (personal hygiene item)
  • Change of clothes (personal hygiene item)
  • Wheelchair bits like footplates I only use when out
  • Radar Key
  • Allen Key to adjust bits of my chair if needed
  • Puncture repair kit

Sometimes we take more stuff with us depending on how accessible a place is e.g. this year we will take my mobile hoist for our main holiday.

Holidays are hard work but if you don’t put in the effort you never see anywhere new and that would be even worse.

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