Wednesday, 9 March 2016

I'm Not Going

I have made a difficult decision, a decision I have been contemplating for a while now. It's about Katherine. I have decided I will not go to Hong Kong with her, not even for a week, just a portion of her planned one month visit with family and friends. This has been a difficult decision for me, one made with plenty of input from Katherine and many others.

It's not that I don't want to go; I do, desperately. It's not a money thing; with the room on my remaining credit card and support from others, I can most likely make it work monetarily. It's not because Katherine doesn't want me to go. She hasn't said that at all. In fact she assures me that if I went with her, she would take that week and devote it to looking after me, to ensuring I got to see Hong Kong.

The real reason behind this decision is that I am now convinced that Katherine needs a break from me. Certainly we will miss each other very much during that one month apart, but I am convinced she needs to do this trip on her own, or at least with her sister.

There are a couple of things which have lead me to this point. Katherine, for example, has pointed out that most of her friends and family speak Cantonese only, meaning that were I to meet any of them, or go to any gathering with them, no English would be spoken. While that doesn't bother me too much, it would put Katherine in the position of constantly having to be the interpreter, an added role to the work she already does in ensuring I am enjoying myself when we travel.

Hong Kong itself presents challenges for a wheelchair. While most of the transit is wheelchair accessible, the streets are crowded, many without proper sidewalks. Katherine is quite concerned that I would not be able to get around much in the city beyond those spaces designed for wheelchair access. Many of the places she would like to show me would probably be inaccessible.

I really would like to go to Hong Kong, but not this time. I would like to think it might happen at some future date, but I see that as unlikely. I have to think about what I will do without her, while she is away. It will be rough without her. But no matter how much I want to go with her, I have decided not to go.


  1. Hello Richard,
    I just found your blog and have subscribed through email to get your posts.
    I found out yesterday that my dear sister Terri has ALS and my heart is truly broken :(
    Terri is 64 and has a beautiful family (2 sons , one with Down's Syndrome who lives with her and her husband and another son who lives in Hamilton , Ontario.
    Terri lives in Truro, Nova Scotia.

    I will keep you in my good thoughts and prayers.

    I wish you all the best and sorry you can not make the trip to Hong Kong ...

    Peace to you, always!

  2. Next time will be exclusively for both of you. She'll want to go back and will have already caught up, then you can plan for the sights that work best. You can go in 8 or 12 weeks or whenever Katherine has four or five days off. Maybe four days in Hong Kong, three somewhere else.

  3. A difficult choice for you, but one you've made with thoughtful consideration and sensitivity. It sounds like a good choice for both of you.

  4. I just don't understand why in this day and age we can't make everything handicap accessible. We have all these computers and we've invented robots yet we basically shut people out of activities because they're disabled. Don't get me wrong, we have some great advancements with that, but I just wish that people would be more considerate of that when building something. I also think that there should be private caregivers available so those of us with severe physical limitations can get help when a caregiver's not there. That way we're not bound by other people's schedules and they don't have rush over to us at the spur of the moment.