Posted by: sistermom1 | April 19, 2010

A Spa Weekend

I just got back from an overnight spa trip with a group of my girlfriends. It was a real education for me, and maybe for my girlfriends too. Let me start by saying that I had a fabulous time. Spending 35 hours with a positive group of women who are moving forward in their own lives despite whatever challenges they are facing individually was very powerful.  Plus, the food was delicious and the services were absolutely lovely!

I had an amazing time – but it was not easy.  Navigating through a new hotel was challenging.    The 2 1/2 hour drive was physically challenging, and one of my girlfriends had to drive my car with all of my equipment so I would have everything I needed, and as a result, we could not ride with the rest of the group.  I forgot to make sure that my walker was packed in the car, so when we arrived it was not with us. 

My wonderful friend who coordinated this trip made efforts to insure that the hotel was prepared to accommodate someone with my physical challenges.  I even spoke directly with the concierge to get my questions answered.  I considered renting a scooter, but decided to bring my own.  Despite my asking about the amenities, and after checking into a fabulous 2-bedroom suite with a beautiful terrace, I found several challenges upon my arrival:

– the handicapped entrance was not convenient at all

– the elevators were much smaller than I am accustomed to.  My scooter and I took up half the elevator, which made moving through the hotel difficult.

– the beds were very high.  Without a walker to hold onto, getting in the bed was very difficult.

– the shower had a lip that I needed to step over to get in, which was impossible without my walker.  Although the hotel did provide a shower chair, I was unable to use the shower.

These are not complaints, just stating the facts of my experience.  Despite these realities, I enjoyed myself immensely.  I missed my husband and children, but the break was probably as necessary for them as it was for me, so I really appreciated having the trip.

On the ride home, my good friend and emotional sounding board drove, and asked me several of the the questions I was already asking myself in silence.  These included:

How tired was I?

Did I have a good time and did I feel it was worth it to come?  Was it worth the effort and did I feel like I was too much trouble for the rest of the group?

How difficult had it been for me to manage the trip?  What did it really take for me to do it, and what support did I really need (from family and friends)  to make it happen?  How difficult was it for me to ask for what I needed?  What support do I really need to be able to do things like this in the future?  And how will it feel to maybe not be able to go next year when the group heads to Las Vegas for a week in July? (Like most people, my MS and heat do not play well together.)

All of these were really good questions.  She always asks good questions that make me think.  I have started working on the answers – I don’t have many of them yet, but I will keep you posted on my progress.  The spa weekend was a real success – not only the food and the services, but maybe this was exactly what I needed to get moving on finding my answers to these very important questions…

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