Thursday, 29 October 2015

Hotel Frustations

It's late, at the end of a terrific day. When I awoke this morning, I was still carrying the residual frustration from my last hotel experience where the promised roll-in shower turned into a bathtub and the bathroom counter was standard height instead of wheelchair height. I get a lot of that at hotels, where they simply don't understand the difference between handicap access and wheelchair access.

This trip is a good example of the issue. We'be been out for a week now, staying at different hotels and chains along the way, including one independent resort hotel. Here is a run-down of our experiences.

Spokane, Comfort Inn - The room was setup with a bathroom door which opened the wrong way for wheelchair access. In this situation, the door opened outwards, normally not a bad thing. However when the door opened, it blocked all access to the bathroom. In order to get into the bathroom, I had to position myself just perfectly and Katherine had to operate the door for me. In addition, the bed was sufficiently high that I needed help to get onto it.

Lynnwood, Embassy Suites - Almost perfect. The bed was a bit high, but I managed. The bathroom was a bit small, but I managed. The biggest issue was that I could not turn around in the hallway space beside the bathroom, so I had to go into the bedroom or into the living room if I wanted to turn about.

Seaside, Coast Motel - Mostly okay. The room was a bit small so I had trouble getting past the bed. As Katherine says, if I stayed on one side of the room, it was good.

Gold Beach, Gold Beach Resort - The shower had a 6 inch lip on it and the toilet was sunk into a cubicle. I wrote about the toilet adventures yesterday. This meant I could not use the shower at all, and the toilet took a great deal out of me in terms of energy when I used it.

Fort Bragg, Holiday Inn Express - Another promised roll-in shower turns into a bathtub. The counter was standard height and the mirror even higher. Another fight in order to get clean. Another hard transfer. Another chin rest while I brushed my teeth.

San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf - Another hotel toilets in cubicles and showers that turn into tubs. My choice was to have a tough time with the toilet or a tough time with the shower. I choose shower; I'll be using the toilet more often.

None of these things, in and of themselves, is critical. All of them can be worked with, even the cubicle bound toilets. It's not the individual inconvenience that does it to me. It is the persistent torture, the complete inability of hotels to understand, their consistent failure to deliver what they promise. It is a continual water torture. I am forever waiting for the next drop.

The frustration of ALS is bad enough, with its continual loss and constant weakening. Then there are the other frustrations in my life, some brought on by ALS, others by wheelchair life, and others simply because I am getting older. I really don't need more frustration in my life, especially one where I am paying the bill, at a hotel

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