Friday, 26 April 2013

30


My last blog about holidays camping in France reminded me about the time we went on a big posh holiday to Disneyland in Florida.

As you might imagine this was a very big deal, Mum and Dad had been saving up for quite a long time so we could do this holiday. To be honest, it wasn’t really the OSOs favourite kind of holiday because, for all that she was always up for doing something fast, daring and active, she hated things that went up and down or round and round, so really Disneyland and it’s rides didn’t hold much appeal for her.

One of the first things to sort out was our accommodation which wasn’t straight forward as it had to be on the level with wide doors so I could get around in my wheelchair. We also had to look into getting a vehicle that would take my chair. I liked to keep people on the ball sorting things out for me! Obviously as well, it had to be great for my ugly bothers, though to be honest, I couldn’t see why we were bothering too much about them!

Anyhow, eventually it was all sorted out and off we went to Gatwick, we were flying very early in the morning so we decided to stay at the airport the night before. That was great fun cause the hotel had room on a sort of big balcony system looking into the hotel lobby which was right next door to the actual airport (sorry, not very well explained, but hopefully you get the picture) anyway we all got settled in for the night and we boys were in our pj’s when the OSO decided that we needed some milk for our bed time drinks , what she really wanted was milk to go in her tea as she couldn’t stand those silly little cartons, but we didn’t mind cause Dad said we could go out into the airport with him to fetch the milk. We were all dressed for bed, but no matter, off we went and me, ,of course, in my wheelchair. It was good fun, I think most people thought we were mad, but we were used to it!

 

Next morning we got on the plane, my wheelchair had to go in the hold (I hoped they would take good care of it as it was pretty important to me). We all sat near to each other though Mum had to carry me on and put me in my seat. Going to the loo would be impossible as in the toilets there was nowhere for me to lie whilst Mum took my pants down etc. ( sorry, FAR too much detail) but again, I was very used to things happening like that). So much for facilities for the disabled.

The flight was great fun and when we landed we got our hire van which could take us and my wheelchair to the bungalow we had booked. That too was brilliant, lots of space and lovely wide doors and corridors which I could easily get round, there was an outdoor pool as well, though that did prove very difficult for me to get into but hey ho you can’t have everything.

Mum and Dad then tried to put my wheelchair on to charge up the batteries, they had brought the relevant plug adaptors, but it just wouldn’t charge no matter what they did. BIG problem.

To cut a very long story short they eventually found (after nearly a whole day of searching) a wheelchair centre where we went and they sorted out the problem for us. It was all to do with America’s different voltage for wheelchairs. Anyway the staff there were fantastic and we were soon on the go again and we didn’t really have any more problems all holiday unless you count the time I felt out of the van head first, literally onto my head (well it wasn’t my fault I couldn’t put my arms out to save myself, one of the drawbacks of having DMD)

We had an awesome time, we went to all the centres and the great thing about being in a wheelchair is that you always get to the front of the queues!

We kept going round and meeting up with another family who had someone in a wheelchair, except that it was never the same person, they just kept swapping and taking it in turns pretending they needed a wheelchair so they too could dodge the queues, ha ha!

Eat, could they eat? We had never seen people eat so much, it was amazing. I felt that soon all Americans would be so fat they would need a wheelchair ‘cause they would be too fat too walk!

The OSO kept her marathon training up whilst she was there though she found running in the hot humid Florida climate very hard work (she never was built for speed bless her)

Sadly, eventually it was time for us to come home, the main problem on the return flight was that when we came to collect my wheelchair from the plane’s hold was that it was pretty bashed about and damaged, it hadn’t been carefully handled.

So we had a brilliant time, it really was the holiday of a lifetime, we all loved it and came home with loads of photos and happy memories aaah!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

29


Hi, in my usual manner, in my last blog about twins eating each other in the womb and the particular significance of this to my little bro Ali, I forgot to stay, for those of you who don’t already know, Ali is left handed. If you haven’t already read my last blog you will have to read it to understand what I’m on about!

I’ve also realised that I’ve not really said much about the family holidays we used to have. I know I’ve talked about North Wales, but we also had some great holidays camping in France. It got so it was difficult in Wales for me, as much as we loved going to the cottage, it had a lot of very steep steps and stairs which I eventually found it was impossible for me to climb.

Anyhow, Mum and Dad (well the OSO really) decided that camping in France would be a good choice. They used to go camping a lot in Brittany before they had us and took their own tent so they knew all about camping, also camp sites tended to be on fairly flat ground otherwise everyone tended to roll out of their tents at night which was only fun for the first time or two then it got tedious! This was obviously going to be easier for me to get about.

Before I got my powered wheelchair I had a trike which was brill. I really couldn’t ride a two wheeler so this trike had a motor which kicked in when I struggled to go uphill (to be honest at times just to go at all was a struggle) so I could take the trike with me on holiday whilst Roger and Al took their bikes.

One time though I did cause a bit of consternation when I went round a corner too fast and tipped it over and went flying, but hey ho!

Actually the facilities on the big camp sites were very good for people with disabilities as everything did tend to be on one level, even things like the showers and toilets, they also had great facilities like great swimming pools and kid’s clubs which we could all go to in the mornings. We also used to make loads of friends because there were lots of other children there and they never bothered about my disability at all, we just all got on.

The OSO always tells the tale of how one year (I must have been quite young ‘cause I was still sort of still walking a bit) anyway a whole crowd of us were playing a bat and ball type of game, as Mum put it; all the other kids were playing bat and ball and I was just wandering around in the middle of the game with my arms up in the air. The grownups (whilst slotting down French plonk) watched this for a bit and eventually Mum asked

‘Martin, what are you doing?’

‘Well I’m the net of course’ was my reply

Adults can be SO stupid especially when they’ve had too much wine!


Actually I always found that young people were never phased by my increasing disability, it was the adults who struggled and treated me as stupid when in reality it was the OSO who was lacking in the old grey matter!

When we went camping we always went to the sites where there were huge frame tents which took the whole family and they were already put up so we didn’t have to struggle when we got there. What was even better was that they did a miniature version of these tents which we boys could sleep in, we thought they were brilliant. We all loved our camping holidays, they really were such fun, they were cheap and cheerful, but we all loved them!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

28


Hey ho, it’s me again, you may remember in one of my earliest blogs I told you about my baby brother who seemingly ate his own twin whilst he was still in the womb? WELL it turns out it may well be true!

Alistair (the brother concerned) has been doing some research and this is the result-----
http://www.uber-facts.com/2012/11/left-handed-people-killed-their-twins/

Thursday, 4 April 2013

27


My brother Alistair was by this time having some interesting problems with his teeth, probably even more interesting than mine when I fell against the bath and knocked one of my front teeth out, needless to say, the OSO sprang into action and pushed it straight back in again before I had time to object; and yes, it stayed there though it did mean a trip to the dentist to make sure it was ok, I actually think he was quite impressed with Mum’s quick action (as you know she never does anything slowly!) and to be honest I was quite chuffed and somewhat surprised she got it in the right way up!

Anyway (oh, and I’ve got another blog to tell you about Roger’s oriental teeth!) Alistair lost his baby front teeth as you do, and then no other teeth came through as you would have expected. Eventually the OSO noticed the delay in the lack of emergence of the second teeth and took Al to the dentist. He x rayed Al’s mouth and yes, he had some more teeth waiting to come through, but not two as you would have expected, but four! They were sort of layered up like shark’s teeth sitting parallel to each other and therefore they couldn’t break through the gum and emerge. If I was a cleverer blogger I am sure I could find a picture or something to show you what I mean, but typically the OSO didn’t take a photo. Let’s hope you get the idea anyway.

So, Alistair had to go into hospital for a day to have an operation to dig out the spare set of teeth so he was just left with two (ugh!). He also had little chains attached to the remaining teeth which then had to be attached to a brace and then tightened bit by bit to pull the teeth out very gradually. I do hope you are getting all this!

I think he quite liked the day in hospital, he couldn’t come home until he had eaten a bowl of weetabix, bit tough as he didn’t like them ! Eventually his new and very smart front teeth did emerge, and unlike me, he hasn’t yet managed to knock one of them out yet!