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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Traveling with Parkinson's, Just Follow Your Routine?

You have everything packed and now it's time to leave on your trip. Your Doctor gives you this advice regarding traveling with Parkinson's disease, "Just follow the same routine you do at home." 

Follow my same routine? Yeah, right.

Living in Yuma, Arizona has some advantages. If you are flying, the Yuma airport has just one airline and only two gates, so getting through security takes 5 minutes or less. If you are driving, there are only three roads out; I-8 east, I-8 west and US-95 north. For our Las Vegas trip, we went north.

A LOT of desert between Yuma and everywhere else
Living in Yuma has some disadvantages, too. Once you leave Yuma heading north, the next bathroom is at least 90 minutes away in Quartzsite, Arizona. We got up at 5:30 and left at 6:30 am, so I took my thyroid pill with just a sip of water, instead of a whole glass. Routine slightly off schedule before we even left. 

Once you leave Quartzsite, then next bathroom facilities are in Parker, Arizona (40 minutes away) and then in Needles, California (75 minutes past Parker). There is a LOT of desert between Yuma and everyplace else! 

We stopped for breakfast in Needles at 10 am (pancakes, eggs and bacon.) From Needles, the next bathroom is another hour away, so I drank very little at breakfast and kept my fingers (and legs) crossed. Routine off even more.

We got into Las Vegas, Nevada about 11:30 am and got stuck in a huge traffic jam. Our daughter and grandson (The Kids) had flown to Las Vegas from Orlando, Florida the night before. The Kids call to ask where we were. Stuck in traffic, we answer. We could see the hotel from the highway, but it would take another 45 minutes to get there. We don't have ANY traffic jams in Yuma, except inside the grocery store on Senior discount day!

The Kids have a normal routine as well, and with the three hour time zone difference, we assumed their routine would coincide with ours. Wrong. Instead of going right to sleep when they arrived the night before (2 am their time), they stayed up until 4 am (7 am their time.) They had just awoken, were starving and ready to eat a big meal and we weren't hungry at all.

So, we stalled them for an hour or so and then ate. Later that evening we went to see a very humorous comedy show, walked up and down Fremont Street and then The Kids were hungry again. So we had a slice of pizza at 9 pm. We finally went to sleep at midnight. Routine completely gone, but we had a great first day (except for the traffic jam.)

On Day Two, we were up at 7 am and it was raining lightly. One of The Kids called at 10 am; she'd just woke up. The other Kid was still sleeping. Who knows when time they went to bed? The three of us had donuts at 11 am. Routine gone. 

The Kids were finally ready for a big meal at 3 pm. In the evening, we watched an Elvis type band on Fremont St and The Kids napped. They came down later and were hungry, so we had hot dogs at 10 pm. We finally went to sleep at 1 am. It was then that I realized I hadn't had a bowel movement in two days. Routine completely gone, but still having a great time. 

On Day Three, we slept until 9 am. I walked over to McD's and got some milk and oatmeal cookies. The Kids woke up at 1 pm and we went to a buffet. The Kids only had one more day here, so we grabbed our cameras and drove up to the Las Vegas Speedway.

Our Grandson went Drift Car Racing in a Camaro with a professional driver from Monaco. He had a blast and the huge grin on my Grandson's face was priceless. 
Grandson riding in Drift Race Car
We ate late, again, and went to bed about 11 pm. Routine gone, still no bowel movement, but we are having fun.

Day Four, our last full day together, came too quickly. We were up early. I did the McD's milk and cookies for breakfast again. I finally have a bowel movement. Maybe it was the oatmeal cookies? 

The Kids were up slightly earlier today and we had lunch at 1 pm. Our Grandson did a zip line from one end of Fremont Street to the other (about 4 blocks.)

Then we just sat in our room, took pictures and visited for a while. 
Grandson, YumaBev, Daughter, Wonderful Husband
Later, we got in the car and drove to the Stratosphere Hotel. My Grandson did the Sky Jump, which is like the free fall part of skydiving. We ate late again and said our goodbyes (the worst part) as The Kids had to leave for the airport very early the next morning. We got to bed after midnight. Routine completely gone.

Grandson getting ready to jump

He jumped from way up there!
I had set an alarm for 6 am and called The Kids to make sure they were up. Heck, for all I know, they may have never gone to sleep. Since we were awake, we went ahead and got ready to leave, too. We walked down together and they hopped into a cab and were gone. 
The Kids heading back home
We climbed into our car and headed back south through the desert to our home. Once again, I was mindful of just how far between bathrooms it is.

Just as we pulled into our driveway, we received texts from both Kids saying they had just landed back in Orlando (2300 miles.) Routine still gone, but who cares? 

It took about 5 days to get back on my "normal" routine. We had a wonderful visit and I'd do it all again next week. Except for the traffic jam, I definitely don't want to be in another traffic jam. Unless it's Senior discount day, of course. 

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your & yours trip, video and photos. Long time ago I showed my 12 & 14 old sons how 2 gamble in L.V., put a quarter in slot machine, no win, we left.
    OK, time to get back to packing......
    Take care.
    You and yours be safe out there.