On the Road with MS

I traveled to the great North Woods this past weekend to visit my daughter and her family in New Hampshire. Jean had been asking for a visit from me for quite a while. I’ve been hesitant because of the problems associated with traveling with MS.

When I finally decided to quit being such a noodge and step out off the “what if?”cliff, a curious thing happened. An inner calm took over where fear had previously resided. I knew if I didn’t make the attempt, I would never again travel anywhere.

Up to the time two years ago when my symptoms started interfering with my life, my husband and I traveled on a major trip and several weekend jaunts each year after our kids grew up and left the nest. Lately, even traveling to Home Depot would find me reading a book in the car while my husband shopped usually for things to adapt our house for a handicap person.

This recent trip marked a corner turned in my mental fight against this disease. It would no longer scare me enough to prevent me from having fun.

I found that highway rest stops along the way were all handicap accessible thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (thanks Pres. Bush Sr.) The problems I faced were in private homes. Either the toilets were too low with no handrails to help myself down and up, or the wheelchair access prevented me from getting out of the rooms. Going in was OK. Leaving was when I needed someone to help back me out. The hotel bed had no side rail to help me in or out of it. I depended on my husband to help.

I suppose these indignities pale when I count the good fortune of seeing my family. These are the things to hold on to when mentally dealing with this illness. I just need more victories like this.