Some words of wisdom from my sister:-
Once you can’t sit down on the toilet your life is basically over.
Harsh, but with an element of truth.
It’s our mother who has the sitting problem; not just on toilets but on anything and it’s not really the sitting that’s the problem but the standing after the sit. She is riddled with arthritis – knees, hips, back, wrists and shoulders and once she gets down on a chair (which are always impossible low) she can’t get back up. She uses a walker to get around so when we’re out for lunch or shopping she just sits on the seat of the walker and she can get up okay because it’s high and has handles she can push up on but trying to find a public disabled toilet that she can use is almost impossible.
Whoever designs the public toilets in my area is obviously as sprightly as a spring lamb and as strong as an ox and I think that if I went around and smashed their kneecaps with a sledge hammer, broke one of their arms, then made them use every disabled toilet in town they might try a bit harder next time. Or hey – why not ask disabled people what they’d like to see in toilets for disabled people – radical idea I know.
Mum and I went to the art gallery on Wednesday because she wanted to see the Archibald prize exhibition and while we were there she said she’d check out the toilet because she thought they’d be clean. Sure they had a disabled toilet with lots of space in there but there was no railing beside the toilet so she couldn’t have got up anyway. So we went next door to the library to see what they had and they had a good sized disabled toilet, with a rail (yay) but it had a big heavy door that anyone trying to push or pull, hold open and get through while using a walker, a cane or a wheelchair would find to be a real struggle. It’s so annoying that they don’t seem to put much thought into access or facilities for disabled people, they’re more of an afterthought – something they have to have because it’s the law but nothing they spend a lot of time or money on. Until you’ve spent time outing with someone like my mother (or my father when he was alive) you don’t appreciate how difficult it can be. Even if they have ramps they’re always uneven or steep or have bloody uneven paving.
I can feel a letter to council coming on.
Anyway this is all leading to the point that Mum wants to go to Hawaii to meet Emjay next year and I’d travel with her. She of course doesn’t want to fly because of the toilet and the plane seat problem so she thought we could cruise there.
Do you know how long it takes to get to Hawaii from Australia on a boat??
I almost have a panic attack every time I think about it. I can’t swim, I don’t like boats and I don’t want to be out in the middle of the ocean with 2100 other people. But I’ll take one for the team if thats what she wants to do. I’m sure there’s a way we could fly and believe me I’m working on it. I’m going off to a rehab place on the weekend to see what sort of travel items they have that could help. Even if we fly one way and cruise back which is what I think we’d have to do anyway because cruise ships don’t frolick back and forth between Aus and Hawaii on a regular basis. What I am going to have to do is a sampler cruise just to make sure I don’t get sea sick because a friend of mine just came back from a cruise and she spent the whole ten days terribly ill. She spent the whole time away in the ship hospital. So there’s a two night one that does a loop out from Sydney then back again, or maybe I could cruise to Brisbane from Sydney then fly back.
Emjay said – it all sounds like it might be a bit difficult. I said to Mum – lol, not for her it’s not!, she just has to fly to bloody hawaii and meet us there!