As I crept into Edith’s room at the ungodly hour of 2:30am I really began to wonder what the hell we were doing. Here we were 3 (and a half) days post-op about to get on a flight to a foreign country, we were only 2 hours from the UK but I knew it was going to feel alien none the less. Since the operation lifting Edith was very awkward and I knew the next day or so wasn’t going to be easy.
We arrived at the airport with ALL of our luggage; 3 suitcases, 1 medical trunk, 1 huge buggy, 3 hand luggage plus a feeding pump. We made our way to the check in desk where we checked in our cases and then were advised to take our trunk to the special baggage desk. We had arranged with the airline in advance to be able to take Edith’s buggy as far as the gate so that we didn’t have to carry her at all. After this we made our way to security. I was worried about this bit as I was having to carry 2 days worth of feeds and all of Edith’s medicines in our hand luggage, I knew legally this couldn’t be refused and thankfully it was a lot smoother than I had imagined. It took about 30 minutes to get all of the liquid checked but I was glad they were being thorough with the state of things at the moment. By the time we had done this we had to go to the gate and board straight away. We had requested special assistance at the airport so we had a separate bus to take us to the aircraft steps which was brilliant. When we reached the aircraft my friend, cabin crew with Thomas Cook and a fellow Springboard mum, Hannah was waiting for us. She helped us on board and when we arrived at our seats the specialist harness we had ordered to be on the flight was in the seat waiting for Edith. We made ourselves comfortable and prepared for take off.
During the flight we were very well looked after. Once the seat belt sign had gone off we led Edith down across the middle seat so that she was comfortable and able to sleep if she wanted too. Hannah, who also has a child with a additional needs, had told the rest of the crew all about Edith and everyone made us feel really special. We were given complimentary drinks and snacks and Edith even got a shout out from the pilot mid-flight. At the end of the flight she was given a special certificate signed by the pilot and all the crew, a Thomas Cook teddy bear and model aeroplane, it was lovely. The crew had tried to communicate to staff on the ground that Edith needed her adapted buggy to be available as soon as we got off the flight and not be taken to the carousel, unfortunately this didn’t happen. As we disembarked the flight and carried Edith into the terminal building we were met with a row of wheelchairs, none of which were suitable for Edith. We tried to explain to the staff but there was a bit of a language barrier. There was no way that we were able to carry Edith all the way to the baggage reclaim! The only way around our predicament was for Dan to sit in the wheelchair with Edith on his lap!! We got a few funny looks but we didn’t care.
We eventually made it to our beautiful villa at around lunchtime. We couldn’t officially get into the villa until a bit later so we dumped our suitcases and went for a wander. We were familiar with the resort as we had been to the same place a couple of years back. Still in our travel clothes, we headed for anywhere with air-con and at the risk of sounding like a Brit abroad we ended up in Burger King of all places!! Fast forward a couple of hours later, we were in and earlier than anticipated which was a bonus. The villa was beautiful and mostly all on one level which was perfect for wheeling Edith around in her buggy
We chose June as we thought it would be cooler, but it just so happened that Majorca were in the midst of a heatwave and it stayed between 34-38 degrees all week. Unfortunately this weather was too hot for Edith and combined with her recovery and the fact she wasn’t really allowed to go in the water, it wasn’t a great recipe for relaxing. I found myself feeling constantly on edge and worrying about the PEG site becoming infected because Edith was so sweaty all the time. She was probably coping better than me but it’s hard to tell as she can’t tell us how she is feeling. She was so quiet and exhausted for the first few days and not like Edith at all. A few days into the holiday the reality kicked in and we began to realise that this would probably be our last holiday abroad with Edith. The last time we had gone to Majorca, Edith was much younger and not to mention much lighter and as the week went on it became more and more apparent how much I rely on her equipment to help me move her around and also to keep her entertained and safe. This holiday was also the first time Edith had slept in a standard single bed, I had pre-ordered two bed guards so she couldn’t roll out but the thought of it still made me nervous.
All in all we had a pleasant holiday. The company of the other family we went with was fantastic and as they were family they fully understood Edith and her needs, better still they understood how anxious I was. We had a few smiles and giggles out of Edith which made the experience worth while and that’s what this journey is all about, experiences. Things like this are one of the reasons I started the blog, to share or experiences and hope that it will help other families, like ours in making decisions.
As Edith grows and changes so will what we are capable of as a family, this is the reality of having a child with additional needs; the want and the need for them to experience all these wonderful things is always there, it just isn’t always possible.
A few snaps from our holiday…
If you would like more details on the villa that we stayed at please visit: https://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/accommodation/p8158562?utm_campaign=ODUK_TRV_INQ_HASC_replied_PPS&utm_content=propthumb_image_o_lprop&utm_term=20170528&utm_source=SYS&utm_medium=email
I cannot praise the couple who own this enough! They were so accommodating.