In a perfect world, right about now my 8-year-old twins and I would be boarding our Icelandair flight to Iceland from Dulles Airport (IAD). Where upon arrival, we would have spent 11 hours exploring beautiful Iceland before catching our final Icelandair flight to London – Heathrow Airport (LHR). We would have then spent our time in London, visiting museums, historical sites and joining other royal wedding fans celebrate this historic occasion. We would have even ventured off the beaten path to find local black owned restaurants and eat to our hearts content. In a perfect world, my twins Ross and Phoebe would have gotten their first passport stamp and taken their first international adventure. In a perfect world a health crisis would not happen.
In a perfect world right…
Life happens and sometimes that means planned vacations, adventures or whatever you like to call your “break away from every day life” changes. As the parent you have to make those decisions based on what is happening and then comes the hard part of gently letting your child(ren) know that those plans they were looking forward to have unfortunately changed.
This is what happened for me and my children due to a recent medical emergency that truly impacted my health. I have Spina Bifida (neurological birth disorder) and due to the repeated surgeries and life happenings with my disability, I have developed severe anemia. After a routine trip to the doctor, I was frantically called by my doctor to head straight to the ER to receive several blood transfusions. YIKES My doctor stated that due to the high health risk, it was not safe for me to travel. Especially because they did not know the cause of the severe anemia.
So after crying my eyes out, I put on my big girl panties to cancel the trip and seek the medical treatment I needed. That day I also explained to my twins what was going on. Cancelling plans stink, especially ones where you pour everything into the planning and everyone is excited.
Tackling the Let Down
My son has autism and this sometimes makes it difficult for him to comprehend and control his emotions when he is overwhelmed or upset. He remembered today we were supposed to fly to London and he became very upset. I explained to him I was upset as well, but that now that my doctor’s have caught my illness this means I am alive. More importantly, this means we will have more adventures together. He was still upset with me, but in his sweet voice he said “I’m mad but I understand and I am glad that you are alive.”
BREAK FOR UGLY CRY MOMENT THAT I HAD
OK, I am back…
Once I get clearance from my doctor, we will be embarking on a trip for my birthday in August and going to Ontario, Canada. This birthday will truly be special because I am alive to see it. My children and I may have disabilities, but that does not stop us from going on adventures! We turn our “disability” into an ability to travel the world!
My name is Nicole and I am a single parent to 8-year-old twins, Ross and Phoebe (yes, I am a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fanatic!!). I have Spina Bifida and I walk with a cane. My son has Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). My daughter has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). I was raised in a military family and I was born into a world of travel. With that said I see myself as a child of the world.
I have a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies. I am currently in Graduate School for a Master’s in Peace and Conflict Studies with an emphasis in Special Education. My end goal is to obtain my PhD in Sociology and Research. I hope to become a Collegiate Professor aboard Semester at Sea, what is better than traveling the world while teaching young minds of the future?
Resource Information about our Disabilities:
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – https://add.org/adhd-facts/
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – https://add.org/adhd-facts/
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) – http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/oppositional-defiant-disorder/basics/definition/con-20024559
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) – https://www.spdstar.org/basic/about-spd
Spina Bifida – http://spinabifidaassociation.org/what-is-sb/