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Cruise: So what was it like traveling with Aud?

September 7, 2010

All in all, it was a great time, really.

On the deck at Hubbard Glacier

Having said that, though, I’ll be honest: it was hard. I know Mom won’t read this, since she can’t see the computer screen, and all of you who know her are under strict orders to not mention this post to her, okay?

In a situation like this, it’s probably better to have a third person, to tag team the care and the activities. It was 24/7 of someone else’s schedule and wants. I’m used to taking care of myself, and of Nicholas (dear cat), and sometimes of Charlie.

Since Mom has some balance issues, being at sea meant more rolling than usual. On rough nights, she had to wake me every time she had to go to the bathroom, to make sure she didn’t get rolled off her feet. During the days, it was more of the same; I couldn’t leave her for long in case she needed to get up. It was necessary, but even so, it got old.

There were so many things I would have liked to have gone to onboard, but missed out because she was sleeping, eating, had to go to the bathroom, etc. I only saw a small part of one show, and didn’t get to a trivia night, high tea or anything else. Don’t get me wrong – we still did a lot, saw a lot, and had a great time, but I’m not naturally a selfless person and found myself feeling resentful occasionally. Good news is that I got over it each time, and relished the things we did do.

Here’s an example of something minor that just became trying over seven days. We ate in the Lido buffet every day. They post the menu on a standing-height placard for each meal, and it was usually crowded, so maneuvering her in her chair to all the stations was too difficult. I had to read the menu to her each time, usually several times, have her tell me what she wanted, find a table, get her from the wheelchair to the chair, put the wheelchair out of the way, stand in line for her food, bring it back, then go try to find something I wanted to eat. Repeat two or three times a day, almost every day. The wonderful dining room staff helped out at times by carrying dishes, bringing beverages, etc., so some meals were easier than others. Of course, Mom had it worse, since she couldn’t wander around and see what looked good and get her own meals. So it wasn’t a huge inconvenience in itself, but one of those things that added up.

Even though I went into the trip with my eyes wide open, the reality was harder than even what I anticipated. So at the risk of sounding like a selfish whiner, I’ll post this in the interest of full disclosure.


From → Elder travel

One Comment
  1. Pam permalink

    It does sound like it was constantly demanding. But what a wonderful thing to do for her. It’s such a gift for her with her limited mobility, ability and sight to partake in what would be a momentous adventure for even the most able of people.

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