Kate's Respite Stay - Part 2

August 28, 2017

Following on from Kate's first blog last week, the next part of her story focuses on the first two days of her stay and the struggle she had to find her own voice and not just do everything from the fear of saying 'No'.
Monday - I rested all morning and got the Calvert Trust Kielder transport bus up to Kielder at about 1pm. Because my WAV still isn't here and I wanted to take my electric chair, they came down with the bus so I could get it all strapped in. It's a good job they bought a bus with the amount of things I took with me. My medication bag was nearly the size of me, considering I was staying 4 nights it was pretty impressive. We had a cheeky stop on the way to get some chicken and sweets (which weren't consumed together) and arrived at Calvert Trust Kielder .
The first thing I looked at was my phone from habit and was so relieved to find there was no signal, before realising my mum would worry like mad! We got off the bus and I parked myself up in the lounge area. I was shown to my room which was surprisingly spacious and I was so relieved I had an en suite as I'm funny like that! I rested for an hour of so before having dinner with everyone in the cafe.
The meals are all home cooked and Kate friendly. There's more stories on the Kate-friendly food to come! I sat with everyone in the lounge in the evening and we decided what evening activities we wanted to do throughout the week. Then, the group decided tomorrow morning they would do archery/laser clays then in the afternoon motor boating.
Me, being me, I was like 'yep I'll do them all' until one of the guests said she would like a lie in and I realised it's ok to rest. I then spoke to the carer and said that realistically, I do an hours activity a day so I usually rest in the morning and I'd be better doing something in the afternoon (as the morning there starts at 7am, I've never heard of that time...) and they were totally fine with that. I stayed up a little longer to play a game with another guest (giant connect 4 in electric wheelchairs is a nightmare when every time you accidentally ram into it all the counters fall out the bottom for the record...) and went to bed. I had a fairly panicky night, what with being my first night away, but I think I coped fairly well.

Tuesday - After a lie in, Rachael, Julie & I (Rachael is from Rosedale Leasing and Julie, her mum, is the other sponsored guest) decided to go for a little walk. I was being all professional, getting a map and directions. I started off with the map upside down then forget every single direction we got given.
My chair has good suspension, but poor old Julie was bouncing around so much I was concerned we might have lost her at one point (out of the chair, not died, I must add, Rachael is not that badder driver....). After our lovely little bonding trek we get to a metal gate. Now Julie is a whole foot smaller than me, meaning her wheelchair fits under the gate. I put my wheelchair in recline, the only way I personally could think of tackling this scenario, and attempt to limbo underneath (shaking my shoulders for the full effect). After nearly being concussed we realised my height had failed me once again. So, the only way around was to go a good mile down the incredible bumpy track again and miss lunch (we are not one to miss food), or, go around the gate. Either side of the gate were 2 massive bogs of mud followed by steep inclines. I slowly drove the chair through and realised when I was fully in this was not the best plan. Totally stuck, with the heaviest chair, I had no signal.
Rachael and I then spent the next 20 minutes trying to lift and pull the incredibly heavy chair out of the mud. We eventually did it, I had to be hosed down when we got in it was that bad, but we had lunch and Julie laughed most of the way back so at least we made her smile.

After lunch, we went on the motor boats. I'm not going to lie, I was dreading this. I have a phobia of being trapped and feeling sick, so boats aren't my favourite things. The first 10 minutes was amazing, sunny weather, lovely view and I was just really proud. After then I started to get anxious and by the time we got to the first stop I really wasn't good. So I went from my wheelchair to lying on the boat floor waiting for my medication to kick in and tried to get myself through the rest of the journey.
I did drive the boat though! It would honestly be amazing for anyone who wasn't me and was scared of everything in life, everyone else loved it, so don't be put off by what I say! Their water week is one of their top attractions! I got back and went to my room,

I had a chat with a lovely carer who helped me prioritise which activities I'd love to do and talked with me for awhile as she knew I was upset. I did have a bit of a private emotional breakdown afterwards, then went through to phone my mum and just needed to cry to her as the boat had rocked me (see what I did there...). But, I refocused.
It was a night walk so we went out at dusk around the nature trial which was really nice as the evening activity - the first time I've tried my wheelchair lights out too which was a bonus! Called it a night and went to sleep as I was so emotionally drained after that but ready to take on tomorrow.

To find out how Kate's week continued and what over adventures her, Rachel and Julie got up to see Kate's Respite Stay - part 3.
Find out more about Kate at her blog.

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