Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Road Trip To Vancouver

I headed to Vancouver tomorrow. While the purpose of the trip is sad, the opportunity to make this drive is something I look forward to. My daughter, Kate, called this morning and asked if I wanted to go. She has decided to drive down to Abbotsford for her Uncle Peter's funeral. I had previously offered to drive with her if she wanted, but she had, up until this morning, planned on flying. The flight option would give her more time with family and less time traveling. But things change, plans change, and now we are driving.

One of the things I like about myself is my ability to act spontaneously. It has become increasingly difficult as I have slipped further into disability from ALS. But I prefer to look at these difficulties as problems to be solved rather than roadblocks. I've learned that if I can be flexible and creative in approaching something, almost anything is possible. It just takes work, and perhaps some discomfort now and again.

We will leave early tomorrow morning with Kate taking the first shift at driving. I understand her desire to leave early; it gets her to Abbotsford around suppertime, and gives her the evening with her Mom and siblings. The funeral is on Saturday, so I will be in Vancouver for at least Thursday through Saturday, visiting with my Mom, my kids, my brothers, and my friends. I count myself fortunate to be able to do this.

The biggest challenge for me will be the bathroom. I have tremendous difficulty using the bathroom in Mom and Ray's apartment. I have my jug for going pee, but at least once a day I will need access to a toilet. So far I have been able to make things work at my Mom's place, but as I get weaker, that gets a lot more difficult. Since I cannot have a shower there at all, I usually try to get a hotel after two or three days. It's not cheap, but it works.

Once again, this is just another problem to be solved. At a minimum I could always go to Burnaby General Hospital and use one of their wheelchair accessible bathrooms. I could go to the mall too, but there is nobody there to help me if I get into trouble. These days I never know for sure. Or I might contact the ALS Society in BC; they are a terrific organization and might have some helpful suggestions for me. Worst case, or rather most expensive case, I could see about having some sort of home care come in for those mornings at my Mom's.

You see, there are solutions to almost every problem, multiple solutions. All I have to do is accept the challenge and outcomes. Surely I can do that.


  1. Sounds like road trips are one of the things you love and can still enjoy. Have a great visit.

  2. Why would there be no one to help you at the mall? (Although, of course, the hotel is best.)

    1. Someone would have to help me dress. Nobody at the mall can do that.