Last week I gave a big F.U. to CML, packed up the car and took the family on vacation. Eight hour road trip to Virginia. We did eight days of amusement park, water park, swimming, walking around in 95+temp and had a great time. I found myself not thinking about CML that much. I was fine most days as long as I didn't stop and sit for too long. The water park day was the hardest, 10+ hours wave pool, water slides, walking around etc. but I had a blast and so did my family! I was wiped that night, but who wouldn't be? The worst part was that day I had walked around for a while with nothing on my feet and the hot ground burned the soles of my feet. My skin has been real sensitive and this was the only real mistake I think I made. I was careful all week with sun block and wore SPF shirts and did not burn at all.
The amusement park was really great. If you ever consider going to Busch Gardens they have an amazing program for people in our situation. I try not to play the CML card too often, but I knew standing in line all day long in the sun was going to seriously hamper my experience. I went to guest services when I got to the park and explained I had a medical issue that made it difficult for me to stand for long periods of time, especially in the sun. They said "no problem", entered some basic information in their system and gave me a blue bracelet. I didn't have to wait on any lines. Most rides had a "Quick Que" line that let me walk right up to the front of the line with up to three other people. This worked really well. We flew through the lines and it gave me time to rest in between. At the end of the day I didn't ride any more than I would have but it gave me the ability to take it slow and take breaks in between each ride which meant less overall time standing. No one gave me a hard time or dirty looks (or pathetic looks). It just was what it was. The park attendants were all really cool and polite about it. In fact one ride I did wait on line because it didn't have a Quick Que. When I got to the front of the line the attendant saw my blue bracelet and said to me quietly "sir, you do not have to wait on any lines, just come through the exit and we will get your going". It was nice at the end of the day to be able to get right on the tram and exit the park. I also paid an extra $5 for "preferred parking", which lets you park near the front gate, it was totally worth it. So if you ever go, be sure to take advantage of this great program. For my kids I just told them I bought special passes (i.e. "Quick Que") so they were fine with it, as they get older I'll have to come clean, but I figure by then they'll know and I'll have enough time under my belt to assure them that while I have a medical issue, I am ok and not going anywhere. I'm going to have to watch with my little one, he's very observant. The older one just took what I said and was content with it, the little one always has follow up questions. He saw the bracelet and asked what it was for, I told him "Quick Que", he looked at it and asked "why does it have a picture of a wheel chair on it?" I paused for a second and then said, "because they use the same bracelet for people with special needs". He smiled and said "that's cool".
I have another two days off before returning to work. And there is still some more things lined up for this summer.
CML is certainly a prevalent issue in my life but I'm trying my best to not let it hold me back. I enjoyed myself very much in spite of CML and I plan to keep doing so for many years to come!
I hope everyone is feeling well. Peace!!!