With only two weeks left to go before our trip, things were falling nicely into place: the house was rented, we had our visas and our bags were nearly packed. Then the call came from the hospital. It was worse than we initially thought. Would we have to postpone or cancel the entire trip?
Over the summer Dave had been helping his cousin who is a renovations contractor. Dave was finishing some work on the outside of a house when he tumbled off of the garage roof and landed on the driveway. He realized immediately that he had broken his left arm. In a state of shock, he drove himself to Foothills Hospital which was about 3 minutes away; reasoning that this would be faster than waiting for an ambulance.
By the time Laverne got there an hour after the call, she figured Dave would be sitting impatiently at the front door of the hospital, arm in cast, waiting for a ride. Instead she was told that he was being prepped for immediate surgery. He had fallen with all his weight onto his forearm and had broken both bones. One bone protruded through the skin.
While being prepared for the surgery one of the doctors asked how he had gotten to the hospital, having not come by ambulance. He could not believe that Dave had driven himself to the hospital with “one arm flapping in the wind”. At which point Laverne gagged at the thought.
Dave spent three nights in hospital so that he could receive intravenous antibiotics to prevent infection, which is a big concern when the bone has punctured the skin. He will now have to see the surgeon in 2 weeks to make sure he is healing properly and to determine when he will be fit to travel. He will also be fitted with a proper cast at that time, assuming that the swelling is down.
Unfortunately the two week check up falls on September 4th which is two days after our original departure date. In any case, Dave can not travel with a cast unless he has a doctors note. So we have decided to cancel all of our tickets and reschedule when Dave is cleared to travel. Hopefully this will only mean a week or two delay.
Overall we’ve been to lots of places. Since it is my second blog, I thought that I would talk about some of the experiences I have had planning our trips. On our past trips my mom and dad haven’t asked us to help plan any of our activities before hand. For this trip, they encouraged my brother and I to research the area where we are going. I think that is a good idea because we get to know stuff about where we are going before we even get there. If we know some information about where we are going, we can find everything easier.
In the beginning, I wasn’t ready to miss all that school. That was a big concern for me and my brother. Our parents sort of pushed us until I realized there was nothing that I could do. I was angry and a little frustrated at first. The reason why I was so angry and frustrated was number one, that I would miss all my friends, number two, that everything would be a little different, like not sleeping in my own bed.
Traveling in general is great. In general I don’t mind sleeping in somebody else’s bed. I don’t enjoy the hustle and bustle of the everyday moving. Like packing up wet when it is raining and we are camping. I like going to hostels and hotels. I like the people that we meet. I like trying different foods. That is a definite bonus.
Our overall plan is to follow the Mekong river. We might not get a chance to travel all around China but Beijing is where we are planning to fly into. We are also planning on staying in Beijing for a couple days or even a week. I have been searching in Vietnam for caves and little holes in the wall. I also came across the cheapest hotel in Vietnam. The cheapest hotel didn’t look nice so I searched via the internet for another hotel. The second hotel that I searched was on a beach and it did look nice. It was a bit more expensive but I thought it looked decent. The second hotel had a pool, the pool didn’t look like it was on the ocean, I may be wrong about that though. My brother suggested to me some more ideas about where to stay, but I didn’t think that my mom and dad would agree with his places because they were all super fancy.
Some other things that will be important in our trip:
Number one: the backpack. The backpack will be a fun thing to have in my travels. There was an article in the MEC magazine that was about a women and her brother. She has MS and her brother carried her on a three day hike in Costa Rica. We had the idea from that article to make a backpack that I could ride in and somebody could carry me. My dad is making the backpack. The pieces of the backpack came from 2 places. The first part was given to us from MEC and the actual backpack came from a garage sale for zero dollars!
Number two: Storing insulin. Storing insulin can be a bit of a challenge, especially when we are traveling. We have never gone that long on a trip, so we have to be careful to keep the insulin cool. We have a medi-fridge, it’s a little tiny fridge that we can store my insulin in. If we didn’t have that fridge we wouldn’t be able to carry insulin and my insulin is critical to my health. The diabetes clinic always says “Carry half of your supplies in one bag, and the other half in another bag” that way if it goes missing you will always have half of what you need.
Number three: What I think it will be like. It’s going to be a cultural experience. We’re going to eat lots of different food and that will be interesting enough. We are going to have to guess on my insulin because we don’t know how much carbohydrate is in some foods. That will be interesting to see if we are right. We are going to see and experience some interesting things: the Bird’s Nest and other interesting buildings, unusual wildlife, beautiful scenery, temples, restaurants, hotels, shops, caves, boat travel. I think there will be some English speaking people there and that will make the trip easier. Also, it’s going to be very hot there and we have to be prepared for rain or sun.
Number four: Lacey. Lacey has been my caregiver for a number of years. You are probably wondering why I’m writing about her, now here’s the time to tell you why. She is going on the trip with us. Lacey adapts very well to a lot of different situations. One particular situation that I remember well is when she heard a sound. As it was early one morning in Newfoundland and it was very cold, Lacey got into my sleeping bag and cuddled with me.
Bissky Dziadyk Family
Travelling the world as a family since 2008.
In September 2008 our family embarked on a four month journey through South East Asia. Traveling with a child who uses a wheelchair presented its challenges, but following the Mekong River through China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with a wheelchair was truly an adventure.
When we move beyond our fears and embrace our dreams, the Universe has an odd way of not only supporting us but giving us more opportunities than we ever imagined. Embarking on a journey with an open heart we can not help but be changed forever by the experience. Indeed it would be a waste to return untouched in the spiritual realm.
September: China (Beijing, Xi’an,Kunming, Yuanyang)
October: Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay) and
Laos (Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane)
November: Southern Vietnam (Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta)
December: Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampot and Sihanoukville).