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Traveling Tightrope

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Happy Sunday! What a week. We celebrated Stephen’s birthday and our 22nd anniversary this week. August is our busiest month. Tons of family birthdays, anniversaries and back to school. Caroline went on one last weekend getaway with friends before school starts next week. She’s going to be a SENIOR. I think I’m still in shock. It’s so cliché, but seriously where does the time go??? Like most Sunday’s I’ll spend the day getting stuff done around the house to get ready for the next week.

The Panama trip is just two weeks away and I have some things I need to start preparing for. I’m also the event planner and trip coordinator in the family fyi.  This kind of stuff is always a reminder of the challenges Stephen faces with traveling.  Spontaneous travel is not something we can do. There is some research and planning that has to go into our trips. And not just what sites we want to see and things we want to do. But more specific….how big is the hotel? Is there a lot of walking? Can we be close to the elevator? Is the city a walking city? Do we drive or fly? Bottom line…can he go and get around or will it be too much trouble? We take a few trips every year, usually to our same spots where we know what to expect and it is fairly easy to navigate. Large airports are exhausting, as there is lots of walking, waiting in lines, standing, and more walking. And to top if off, there are super small seats with no leg room…cue the leg spasms. And forget it if we have to change planes.  I may have strongly suggested he use one of the airport wheelchairs on our last trip. He offered a little resistance, but he was out-numbered. I know it’s a pride thing, but sometimes it is the only option. Not to mention he doesn’t like my wheelchair driving.

It didn’t happen overnight, but gradually over the years. Learning his limitations and planning for them has become our normal. Any event in a large venue is usually something we pass on.  Large resorts are a no-go, no hiking or water sports, no walking tours, and for sure nothing that is standing room only.  These questions usually determine where or if it is worth it. There are times when we don’t even consider the trip because we both know it is too much or that it just won’t be doable.  Our network of friends get it, and they are all so helpful and thoughtful when inviting us somewhere. But I would be lying if I said I don’t dream about the day when this isn’t our reality. I have dreams of an easier life for Stephen.

The stem cell treatment offers some great hope. We know it isn’t guaranteed that he will see any improvement, but we are praying and we have hope. HOPE for some relief, some change, being able to do the simple things that so many of us take for granted. Just hope.

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