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Across the road

It sure has been a while since I’ve last blogged–I feel I have so much to fill y’all in on!

First and foremost, Happy Mother’s Day (a little late) to all you Mama’s and Mama’s-to-be! The title ‘Mom’ is the best title in the world! Am I right, or am I right?! Hopefully, all you Mommys got the one day off from cooking, cleaning and the other 5000 things you stress yourself over daily. I must say, I think Mother’s Day is my favorite holiday…I got homemade gifts from my little one; which seriously, are the best gifts ever! A box of chocolates, some dolla dolla bills, my choice for dinner and endless hugs and kisses from Eli. Oh, and how could I forget to mention the best gift of the day–my little guy picking me up from the airport with the biggest and warmest welcome!

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The few days before Mother’s Day, I went to Charleston, South Carolina for my very, very best friend’s Bachelorette party. How lucky am I to stand by her side as MAID OF HONOR?!?!?!

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I was kind of on the fence for some time about what I wanted my next post to be, so I figure traveling/social activities would be a fabulous topic to cover considering my latest weekend.

I’m sure some of you think traveling and maneuvering through the airport with physical limitations is quite the bitch, but actually it’s the complete opposite. The accommodations for someone with a disability in the airport are awesome.
Once you check your bags, you (and whomever you’re traveling with) get to skip to the front of the line for security. Since, I can’t get up to walk through the body screening machine, I have to be patted down from head to toe by a security officer. Because I’m getting felt up, touched and squeezed on and around my lady parts I think it would only fair to be able to pick from a line-up of attractive male security officers for this process. But Noooooo! Stupid federal regulations get in the way of that one.

When it’s time to board the plane, I (and my fellow travelers) get to pre-board. I usually fly Southwest–the airline with no assigned seating, so I typically grab a seat in one of the first few rows. Once we’ve landed, an airport transporter will push me in the wheelchair to baggage claim and carry my luggage from point A to B.
I must admit, traveling now with FA is a hell of a lot easier than traveling before without it.

The hard part is making sure where you are traveling to and staying is accommodating and easy accessible. Eight girls and myself rented a beach house on Folly Beach and it wasn’t very handicap friendly, but all the girls were super awesome and helped me tremendously. Our beach house had two flights of stairs to get into, so when it came time to go down, one of my friends piggy-backed me down as well as onto the beach. When I went to the beach, I found a comfortable spot to lay in on the sand and pretty much made that my home for a few hours.
I have heard of special equipment for individuals with assistive needs to use in order to maneuver around the beach, but I’ve never looked into it; so I can’t say much about it. BUT, if you, personally, have used it or you’re knowledgable about the equipment, please fill me in–I’d love to know more about it for future trips!

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When we went out to the bars or dinner, I used the wheelchair to conserve on energy and get from bar 1 to bar 2 quicker. Don’t forget, my balance and coordination is already off, so once you add a few drinks in the mix…let’s just say, the wheelchair became my best friend!

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We had a BLAST and I was sad to leave the beach, but 3 days was the perfect amount. I just can’t party hardy like I used to. I’m older. I have a child. And worst of all, I fatigue so easily. But I hung in there–and had so much fun with the girls!

These past few years I’ve tamed down and put the keg stands to rest. “Turn down for what?!” Well, Lil’ Jon, having FA sucks all the energy right out of you; mix that with being a mom…exhausting! Eli can always find that 10% of energy I was saving and use it up in 90 seconds flat. Which is why the days Eli goes to his Dad’s I try to catch up on some rest. I go to my house to veg out, read, work on my blog, do the little things I can to keep the house clean and orderly and my all time favorite–relax with a glass (or 3) of wine and watch some movies or catch up on the latest, ‘The Walking Dead.’ I love that show! Let’s be honest, it’s because I love Daryl. And Rick. And Glenn.
But, mostly Daryl.
He can slay walkers for me any day. Preferably with his shirt off.

The answer is yes, Daryl…I’ll marry you.

Ok, ok. Enough of the post apocalyptic world. Focus. Focus.

When I’m not being a total nerd or playing superheroes with Eli (yep, still nerdy), I like to go grab a bite to eat or drink and catch up with my amigos.

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I’ve learned the hard way on what my limits are and I do my best to stay in that zone; unless, of course, the fireball comes out. I may as well apologize in advance…it’s game over for me.

For real though, I want to give everyone, FA or not, a feel of going out, being social and having a good time even if you have a disability. I understand it’s not all that easy to be wild and free when you have a walker or wheelchair stuck to you amongst all those crazy looks and stares, but you’re gonna have to say “$&@# it” and just kick back with your friends. It’s good for the soul to get out once in a while!

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Like I said, I learned the hard way of what my limitations are with FA and I hate getting to that point where I feel completely helpless, so here is my little plan of action that puts me at ease…

-ALWAYS bring the wheelchair. Either bring it in or leave it in the car for that ‘just in case’ time. It’s always a good back up to have because those times hit when you just don’t have the energy to walk anymore.
-Never go in or out of the bars alone…too many creeps out there! We are definitely easier targets for people to take advantage of. Remember the buddy system?! Use it!
-If possible, have one of your friends be your D.C. (designated carrier) yes, I totally made up my own lingo, but I’m being for real! This is the best–especially when it’s a crowded place or there is stairs.

I want to give a HUGE thank you to anyone who has carried me, piggy-backed me, threw me over your shoulder or pushed me in the wheelchair. You guys and gals are the best!

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I totally get it if you’re having a hard time getting out of your comfort zone and little ‘bubble.’ Trust me, I’ve been there; but being in that bubble is so lonely. There is so much life out there for you to live. I really hope my fellow FA’ers can overcome that. Just take baby steps.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have my days when I’m down about FA. And it’s just something I had to accept–the rest of my life most likely will be filled with obstacles and be faced with some extremely tough decisions, but it was the hand I was dealt. I can’t change that; just make the best of it. How corny and cliché did I just sound?! On that note, I will end this post before I get too sappy.

Until next time…

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2 thoughts on “Across the road

  1. Hi Erin,
    You are so funny; it’s a blast reading your blog! Francis, Noah and I, met Hannah, Chad and his parents at Folly Beach several years ago. We had a blast! I’d agree that it’s not that handicapped accessible; but sure is great how you’ve made it work, (as you did in Mexico at their wedding as well!). Love the D.C. idea! It’s also so nice to see how you’ve seen the change in yourself since you accepted your FA, and been able to move forward with living your life to the fullest! And look what a happy person you are! Love you! Aunt Chris

    Liked by 1 person

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