chastmastr, quakercub and faerie dust,
Thanks all for sharing the wisdom of your experience. So, along with sage advice, we’re hoping that this experience is going to be a good one.
Here’s what we’re thinking (be sure to let me know if I am wacked):
We’ve been to Disney a few times and we no longer do Disney commando style – you know, crack-of-dawn breakfast, which park is open early(?), the blisters, mole skin, and aches, oh yes the aches and pain, but the all-day smile, too. We’ve scaled down our attack on the parks to a leisurely pace.
Suzanne, because her disability is a brain problem (cerebellar degeneration) she has more of a problem with moderate to severe vision disturbance (Nystagmus), balance and spatial orientation (what’s up and what’s down) than stamina. Our thinking is that she can even push her own wheelchair for a good deal (up to 1/2) of the time, using it more as a walker, and give her the opportunity to walk as much as she wants to and can. If we had a motorized chair, someone would need to drive it all the time. At home, her disability has progressed to the point where getting around without assistance has become a much bigger mobility issue in the past six months to a year. She no longer drives a car. She has been somewhat resistant to any assistive devices (although she uses and needs a shopping cart in stores and grabs onto an arm a great deal in other situtations for such assistance), and doing just this with the chair is a big deal for her. At Disney, we are renting a car (SUV) and can see putting the lighter framed chair in it, but could only deal with the automated chair on the buses and monorail. We may well learn that having both types of chairs would be the best solution, or a motorized one the absolute best choice; but we think we’ll start with the regular wheel chair (rented from Wheeler Mobility by the way, thanks cub – the book will have to wait because we are practically on our way), and if we learn that this is not working, hopefully can get a motorized one. We have an appointment with her Neurologist tomorrow at Mass General in Boston, and perhaps I can get some input from him, too.
I hope this makes sense. One of the issues we are going to have is that this disability is so new, that we do not have a HandiCap sticker to get parking closer to the front of the parks. We’ll have to deal with this one, and consider taking the bus as an alternative.
We are in WDW on 2/3/2008 – less than two weeks. Yes! I am ready. Yes!(Please excuse the long post.)