Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What do these three have in common?

So what does a wheel chair, stomach virus, and Strep throat all have in common? If you guessed that all three occurred during our trip to Virginia Beach a couple weeks ago, pat yourself on the back for being so perceptive, then read on-and if you didn’t guess, well better luck next time.

Now I know bad luck often comes in threes for some reason, therefore I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak. The thing is, I thought I had my three before our vacation-my son’s foot, our leaking furnace, and the problems with our satellite TV-but I guess the powers of the universe weren’t done with us yet. You already know about my ankle from my last Virginia post, but now I’m going to tell you about our actual trip, and yes, I’m laughing about it now. And my husband, who is still not too crazy about my blogging fixation, said near the end of our vacation, "I hope your taking notes for your blog," so I'm using that as the go ahead to reveal all…

Like I said previously, it took a lot of convincing on my part just to get my husband thinking about attempting this trip with my bum ankle, but with the help of my daughter, we were able to get the rest of our stuff packed. My husband then did some research online and he found a rental company that rented wheel chairs and beach wheel chairs for the week-I wasn’t to thrilled about a wheel chair, but after falling that night using my crutches in the bathroom, I agreed. I called the next day during our trip down, and as it turned out, the company had both a regular wheel chair and beach wheel chair available (according to the woman on the phone, the beach wheel chairs never hang around long, so this one must have been destined for me-I can’t say that I was ecstatic, but this was our first piece of good luck in a while…)

But that good luck started to run out during the trip down-what should have been a 5-6 hour trip soon turned into an 8 1/2 hour trip, and by the time we arrived, my son was complaining about a sore stomach and headache. We tried to get him to eat dinner, but he refused, and about an hour after we settled in our condo, he was throwing up. My husband was giving me the "I told you we shouldn’t have come" glare, but I still tried to remain positive.

Once again our luck turned-by next morning my son was back to his old self, so we headed for the beach. I love watching the waves, but I did start feeling a little sorry for myself as I watched my husband, daughter, and son enjoying themselves in the ocean. Plus, it got a little hot in my beach wheel chair (105 degree temps everyday will do that), especially since I had to keep battling our beach umbrella every time the wind blew, but I didn’t let on to my family.

We stuck mainly to the beach for our daily entertainment (other entertainment was who would push mommy in her wheel chair), as we got used to the two wheel chairs, but by Tuesday I was bored, so we decided we would head to the aquarium that morning. It turns out that the daycare and summer camps in the area had also decided on a Tuesday morning trip so the place was packed. My husband was worried someone was going to bump my foot (a daily occurrence from my son, so I was always wary of where he was at all times), my daughter started complaining about a sore throat and wanted to sit on my lap, and my son kept complaining about the crowd and how he wanted a snack. The perfect family outing!

We were also supposed to take a boat ride through the canal after lunch, but we were all pretty sick of one another by then, so we opted to go back to the condo. But it turns out that this might not have been the best decision-a freak storm had hit while we were in the aquarium, and although it was sunny out, none of the buildings on the boardwalk had electric including all the hotels and our condo, and the traffic lights weren’t working. So we headed away from the beach and drove to an area where we could watch the navy fighter jets landing, but by now my daughter was complaining of a back ache and curled up in the fetal position in the van, and my son was whining. And then I was looking frantically for a bag so my daughter could throw up-ah, the memories!

This was our clue to head back to the beach (and quickly), and we were relieved to see the traffic lights working again. But just as we thought we were in the clear, we noticed that the northern end of the boardwalk-where we were staying-was still dark. There was still no electric in our condo, we were on the 8th floor, and I didn’t have my crutches with me! My husband made the decision to high tail it up eight flights accompanied by my son and the flashlight on his cell phone (the stair wells were all dark-the emergency lights are on a battery and only work for so long), while my daughter and I waited at a boardwalk bench. It wasn’t until they both came back down that I realized I too would have to get up those stairs… It took me twenty minutes to tackle those stairs, and I was both sweaty and crying by the time I reached the top. And you know what? The electricity came back on exactly five minutes after we got there! My husband headed back down (this time in the elevator) to get us subs for dinner, and that’s when I got a flashlight to look at my daughter’s throat. Her tonsils were swollen and covered with white spots, so I called my husband and talked about taking her to the emergency room after dinner-he agreed.

The hospital was ten minutes from the beach and even though it was crowded in the emergency room, two triages-for severe cases and for cases like my daughter’s-meant we didn’t wait long. We decided on seats near a man in a wheel chair sleeping with his head on a waiting room chair-he looked harmless enough. But on closer inspection, the stub of his missing right leg sat on the chair as well, so I graciously said I would stay in my wheel chair, while my daughter and husband dove for the empty seats furthest away from the man. My son shot us a look (thank goodness he didn’t say anything) as he took the chair next to the man. My husband and I looked at each other and then at my son and almost lost it-I had to bite my tongue pretty hard to keep from laughing as my son glared at me. When we got in a room, my son said, "I can’t believe you made me sit by the man with one leg-he was looking at me," and even my daughter was laughing!

Better daughter, new umbrella, braver me!

When we were seen, my daughter’s temperature was 103 (note to self, stash a thermometer in your suitcase next time), and the doctor said that since she had 8 out of 10 symptoms for Strep throat, she was just going to go ahead and treat her for that-hallelujah! We were also able to get her prescription filled at a 24 hour CVS, and they had all my daughter’s records in their computer. She spent the better part of Wednesday sleeping and watching TV, while I watched my husband and son playing in the ocean below. We were tossing around the idea of going home Thursday morning, but my daughter started feeling better by that evening, and cried when we mentioned cutting our vacation short. So we took it slowly Thursday and Friday, spending the mornings on the beach and heading down the boardwalk for some entertainment in the evenings, and as it turns out, those two days were the best days of our trip-my daughter and son were both smiling again!

Now there is a bit more about Thursday and Friday than that, but I will save it for when I review Virginia Beach as a vacation destination. Until then, wash your hands and watch your step (okay, I think that’s funny, but I have so little entertainment these days…)


  1. Oh My Gosh, I don't know where to start with this!

  2. Wow, that could defnitely medal for worst vacation ever. You are a real sport! Hope your ankle is doing better and that everyone is recovered!!! Glad to hear that at least you got a little enjoyment there at the end.

  3. Molly, I still can't believe it myself, and I used to consider myself to be a lucky person.

    Organic Motherhood, funny comes at the oddest times doesn't it? LOL!

  4. Oh dear, maybe you can include great emergency service and a 24 hr CVS in your review. Glad you were able to enjoy the last couple days but I would have scrapped it and went to Disney World. They let you on all the rides first if you're in a wheel chair ; )

  5. MOTPG: I waanted to take advantage of this too but I had opposition:..

  6. You must have felt like you were on Candid Camera or something. What else could go wrong? I'm happy that those boardwalk entertainment evenings were good for all of you.

  7. Forgive me for laughing, but I can't help it! Sometimes all you can do is laugh, especially with your humor thrown in!! I am so sorry you had such a rough vacation. That sounded terrible. And I can't believe you had to climb 8 flights of stairs in your condition! You guys might want to stay home for a while. But, you were lucky that you didn't have to wait too long in the ER! Our ER here makes people wait for HOURS! I'm glad you are back home, safe and sound!

  8. I am so sorry!! The absolute worst is getting sick on vacation. We went to Disney in the spring and 3 of the kids got the stomach flu. Not fun! I hope your vacation was good overall though!

  9. Goodness, you covered just about everything on this trip - definitely one you'll never forget.

    Thanks for the warm welcome Susan.


  10. I can't believe you had such bad luck!:( I'm so happy you at least got a couple of good vacation days towards the end though.


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