Wheelin' & Healin' Under the Sun

“But mom it’s 90 degrees outside! I don’t want to wear my leg braces.”
“If you don’t wear them you are not going to Disney World, you will be sitting in the car where it’ll be even hotter.”
“I’m not going to break anything, the kiddie rides aren’t that rough!”
“Put. Them. On.”

My clothes have always taken up less than ½ my suitcase due to my smaller stature. But instead of blow-up beach balls and bath tub toys, the empty space is crammed with what I have come to call Paradise Precautionaries. These are the splints, bi-val casts, braces, slings, ace bandages, medical tape, Tylenol Extra-Strength pills, and that stuffed animal comfort object. Because even in paradise, or while on vacations you can never be too careful!
Perhaps it’s because my parents are overly protective of me, but I was raised to be adamantly self-reliant. Sure, in most places we take our vacations in you can expect hospitals and doctors, or some form of medical care. But in few places around the world can doctors painlessly remove a 5 year-old’s inflatable floatation device, after sustaining 2 fractures in her upper arm. Never mind what to do after that.

Other Tips:
That's me, riding on the back of a jet ski on Lake Mousam in Maine.
  • Get a medical bracelet that says Osteogenesis Imperfecta “brittle bones” disease on it
  • If you’re flying, call the airline in advance to make sure that your wheelchair or other medical devices fit their requirements. (Airlines have alley chairs to transport disabled people to and from the seat to the gate).
  • One of the best ways for people with OI to exercise is by swimming! Water parks, hotels with pools, amusement parks with water rides, and beaches can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. (Ask your doctor about water proof casts in the case that you have a fracture).
  • It’s safest to take your most reliable wheelchair to travels. Experiencing wheelchair malfunctions or breakdowns can be risky when you are far from home and or your health care provider.
  • If necessary, call the hotel/motel and ask about accessible bathrooms and poolside assistance

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