Was This a Vacation?


First, let me start by saying this is going to be a long blog, better grab a cup of coffee. I’m going to recap the good, the bad, and the seriously ugly moments of my Disney vacation. As you know, I was concerned about how I was going to do at Disney now that I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Autoimmune diseases don’t take vacation breaks, and Disney World isn’t exactly a relaxing vacation.

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up the pace that I did three years ago, but I was going to try. And try I did! When we arrived it was a gorgeous day and we got to our hotel in Disney, which was absolutely amazing. We stayed at the Grand Floridian in one of the new villas. I try not to ask how my mother-in-law was able to do it, but let’s just say it was as big as my house, maybe bigger, and it was gorgeous.

I’m kind of a simple person. We really just use our hotel to sleep so I wouldn’t spend the money on a big fancy place, but it truly was gorgeous in every way. We went to Epcot later that night and my kids were a pain in the ass. We had all been up since 3AM to get to the airport and everyone was tired and cranky. My youngest wanted nothing to do with Epcot. Then it started pouring. Torrential rain and Disney = great fun! Not to mention I was wear a paper thin, light blue blouse. Time for a pancho!

The second day we went to Magic Kingdom and that is kind of when the family drama started. I’m proud to say I was really uninvolved in any family drama during the whole trip…okay, I got flustered with kids, both my own and my nieces and nephews, but I stayed out the the adult drama.

My one sister-in-law has three-year-old twins, and I think that one of them needs to be evaluated. Working with families of children with special needs, and having studied so much about autism and early intervention, I think there is something going on. He screamed all day long. Not normal “the kid is exhausted” screaming, either. I’m talking, that he was fixated on one thing and wouldn’t let it go. The problem is that my sister-in-law’s husband was the only one disciplining him or trying to deal with the situation. She would count to three, and threat to go back to the hotel, but not once did she pick him and move him.

She also relied on my 10-year-old to help her chase him, and watch him. That got old pretty quick. Again, we had another day with a lot of rain.

By day three at Hollywood Studios, my legs and feet were not in good shape. Even using my cane, I couldn’t manage. I should have listened to my mother-in-law (first and only time that has ever been said by me) and gotten the scooter for delivery Tuesday night so I could use it Wednesday. I don’t think it was as much the walking that was killing me, but the standing in place. At one point in line, I was almost in tears, so we had a scooter delivered right to the park and it arrived around 2pm.

Any hang-ups I had about riding around in a scooter were gone. That thing was a complete godsend. I seriously couldn’t walk or stand anymore and I was only back tears trying to keep up with everyone. I admit I had a lot of fun bopping around in my scooter. It went really well, until…well, until I decided I was going to leave early to go back to the hotel and take an anti-inflammatory and get some rest for the next day.

It all seemed like a good plan. My youngest daughter always worries about not wanting to leave me alone and she said she was too tired to stay and watch the fireworks, so she and I left the park around 9:15. We found our bus right away (Hollywood Studios was the only park that we needed to take a bus to. Everything else we could just hop on the monorail.) I pulled up the the handicapped spot and waited for the next bus.

When the bus pulled up, they let the scooter on first, so the driver lowered the bus and got the ramp ready. I told her I had never done this before so she helped me line up the steering to the ramp, but in doing so, my cane hit the forward ignition lever. Oh people! My face is turning red all over again reliving the moment. The scooter jetted forward off a curb and into the bus with me on it.

That’s right. I crashed the scooter off a curb and into a bus in front of a crowd of 100 or more people. To make matters worse, I then had to ride the bus with 50 or so of the people that just watched me crash. At random moments I’d burst out laughing along our dark bus trip, and my daughter would say, “It’s okay, Mommy. Accidents happen!” I wanted to die of embarrassment. Here I thought I’d be embarrassed driving a scooter, little did I know I’d be more humiliated crashing it!

By our fourth day, I had really had enough of the family. My niece and nephew always had to be in front, they always wanted more than my kids at the store, etc. etc. The young twins were hell on wheels, screaming everywhere we went. It was to the point where, they just needed to go back to the room and give to the kids a nap. Put your kids first and stop trying to see every thing. Besides, they go to Disney every year! We did get up early that day and get on the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride and that was a lot of fun.

My girls also went to the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique and got their hair and makeup done. They had so much fun. And my rule of giving them a certain amount of money to spend ahead of time was fantastic. Instead of asking me for everything in sight, they asked how much money they’d have left if they bought something. I was really proud of them, and they all made good choices.

At the end of day four, one of the twins licked a urinal. The other took off and my son ran after him. When he tried to lift him back over a fence, my son fell and hit his head on a cement curb. Did anyone show a reaction? Nope! By the time I got outside my son was crying and when he told me what happened, a complete stranger came up to me and told me there was a First Aid place right next door to where we were. The man also said that my son was the only one watching the two out of control boys and that the mother sat there and watched as my son tried to lift a three-year-old over the fence.

So, I went a into Mamabear mode. I drove (on the scooter) with my son to the first aid place and got him some ice. The nurse looked at his eyes and he appeared to be okay. I was really annoyed, though. The father of the twins was like a single dad for the whole trip, and everyone noticed it. Now, I’m not going to cast stones because half the time I’m getting the my husband to step up and step in when I need help refereeing my children. He just doesn’t pay attention. Or maybe things don’t bother him like they do a normal person, or maybe I’m not normal. Who knows? My son and my youngest daughter can be tough. My middle daughter, in general is an easy kid. She has her moments, but out of my three, she’s the most easy going and doesn’t do things just to annoy people.

By Thursday, I just wanted some time all alone, but I didn’t end up getting that alone time. At the end of the night when my middle daughter hadn’t spent her money and since we were leaving the next day, I took her back into the park alone to shop. Even she mentioned it was nice to be alone.

Given that I pushed myself too hard, I had a full on RA flare….or maybe it’s a fibro flare? I’m not sure how you even tell when you have multiple autoimmune issues? Can anyone answer that question? I’ve been running a low grade fever since Thursday and my voice is almost totally gone. Laryngitis just seems like such an odd symptom to get with a flare, but I realized that this isn’t the first time. It just hit me that I’ve been getting laryngitis quite a bit lately (not nearly this bad) but it happens when my hip and other joints are really achy.

I suppose I need to add that to the list of things I need to ask my rheumatologist. We arrived home late last night and by then I felt like I had been hit with a truck. I was coughing, a little stuffy, fever, achy, and I had an ocular migraine with no pain. That was new for me. I get ocular migraines, but they usually are the start of my regular migraines or accompany my migraines. I’ve never have the ocular symptoms with the pain, but it did cause me to be nauseous enough to throw up. What I’m trying to say is yesterday sucked.

I’ve left my bed about three times today. While my joints aren’t nearly as sore, my feet and knees are still a bit swollen, and I just feel that autoimmune exhaustion. The type of exhaustion that you just can’t really describe to people who aren’t living with autoimmune diseases. It’s not tired, it’s not even exhausted. It’s so much beyond that.

Let’s just say my next vacation needs to be more relaxing, less rushing, and no extra family members. I’m amazed to say I got along terrifically with my mother-in-law. Perhaps it was that she was desperately trying to stay out of all the arguing going on between my sister-in-law and her husband. Whatever the reason, I can at least say, there was no drama between us on the trip, which reduced the need for xanax quite a bit.

I’m so happy to be home and back with my pets. I just need a few more days to recover.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Annette McKinnon (@anetto)
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 04:10:17

    Too bad that Epcot was not popular and the weather sucked. I was prepared to be a non-participant in Disney when we went but Epcot was so easy. All those little trains to ride on and totally a novelty to all of us. I hope you feel better now.
    Wow! The Grand Floridian! I took my mom and sisters there for lunch once. They had the biggest bouquet I had ever seen in my life right in the lobby.

    I can’t imagine how difficult coping with a big group of family would be. Your kids sound so responsible. I hope your daughter got something nice on the extra trip you made with her. Something about Disney made me want to buy a puffy Mickey Mouse sweatshirt – I’d have looked like the Michelin Man

    Hopefully at some point you can laugh about the scooter. What a memory! It’s so embarrassing when somethiing like that happens. Like when you fall on your face and the first thing you do is look around to see if there were any witnesses (me)


  2. findingmyinnercourage
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 20:44:13

    You got along with your mother-in-law . . . hallelujah! I have never been able to say that : )


  3. autoimmunemamabear
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 20:55:41

    Trust me, we do not have an easy relationship. This was a fluke, LOL!


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