Cruising and Health

Sorry for the lengthy break…we were a bit overwhelmed with preparing for the trip, wrapping up school projects, dealing with my brother being hospitalized just before we were to leave.  We left the Saturday before Thanksgiving to do Sunday and Monday morning in the parks before heading over to get on the Disney Cruise we had booked back in February. Things kind of fell apart at that point.

Mickey spent the first six months adamantly refusing to get on the boat.  The last three months he has started to go between excited and scared to death. The psychiatrist gave us Ativan to calm his anxiety (and I have to say our experience with it was not great).   Uncle (as Minnie and Mickey call him) was hospitalized Thursday evening with pneumonia.  Grandpa was recovering from bronchitis and our cruise was definitely looking like it might be in jeopardy.  But, we went ahead and headed down to the parks as planned.  Uncle was slated to be released sometime Saturday and we were hopeful, but it was not to be.

We spent Sunday at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom and we kept crossing our fingers that they would release Uncle from the hospital in time to drive down with my parents.  But, they didn’t and told him it would be at least another day.  Mom and Dad went ahead and headed down.  We bypassed our Monday morning plans and headed on over to Port Canaveral Sunday evening.

Uncle was being kept in the hospital, not because of his pneumonia, but because his kidney function was dangerously low.  This has been an ongoing concern for him, with his type I diabetes. He has been struggling for the last year or so, but it had been well controlled with medication.  Unfortunately the medication wasn’t doing the trick this time.  On Monday afternoon they installed a temporary port for dialysis.

This was particularly hard on my mom – she didn’t like being so far from her son when he was ill.  I didn’t enjoy it either, but he insisted that we go and he promised to email us regular updates.  I purchased a data package onboard and we began our cruise.  Mickey did ok, but the Ativan kind of made him a mess.  Monday was just not good.  He lost his cool at dinner and stormed off.  I have to say none of this was ideal – the meds made him whiney and kind of glazed – the plan fell apart when Uncle wasn’t there, Grandpa was not feeling great and Grandma was not in the best of moods, while worrying about her son.

Tuesday was somewhat better, but there was some residual annoyance by my mother with Mickey.  My mom is awesome.  She loves her children and grandchildren very much, but she deals with Mickey in smaller doses and she is not known for her patience.  When we were children, we were expected to behave – most especially in public.  There was no room for screwing up.  It was not always the easiest of childhoods and perfection was the expectation when it came to behavior.  She expects it of my children too, and even though she understands Mickey’s challenges, living with them is on me, and she understands them from afar.

This cruise put them in close proximity, he embarrassed her with his meltdown on night one and it put a damper on the rest of the trip.  Add to that my father was not well enough to be on the trip.  He wasn’t breathing well and just walking from one side of the ship to the other was wearing him out (his O2 stats were very low).  My mom is also still recovering from knee surgery and this would be the most walking she had done in months and she was sore and not always particularly comfortable.

I actually think Mickey did ok.  His behavior got better as the week went on and his anxiety lessened – Monday sucked, Tuesday he tried the kids club briefly and we went out to the Bahamas and shopped a little in the market.  Wed was decent, though he got angry about something at Castaway Cay and my mom called it a day, so that wasn’t good, but the rest of the day went fine  Thursday he did very well though.  Minnie had a blast.  I missed my buddy, my brother.  It was supposed to be an opportunity for us to spend some time together – we had adjoining rooms with my parents so they could keep an eye on the kids after they went to bed and he and I could go out.  But, instead, I sipped cocktails alone on the adult deck.  Not the cruise any of us had planned.

Disney does an amazing cruise. Mickey and Minnie loved the time they spent in the kids club. Castaway Cay was beautiful.  The food was amazing.  Would I do another Disney cruise? Yes.  Would I do it with my parents? That I am not sure of.  I am used to dealing with Mickey – I don’t take everything so personally, and I don’t know that my mother will ever be comfortable enough with Mickey’s challenges to deal with him in such close proximity for an extended period of time.  We had a bit of a blow out because of it. Perhaps if there weren’t so many external forces at play with her worry over my brother and my dad and not being in pain herself, she might have been better equipped to deal with it.  But, I am not sure.  Another trip, Mickey knows what to expect, so his comfort level would be better earlier, and maybe everything would have been different?  I don’t know….it just wasn’t the trip we had hoped and saved for for all those months.

The kids and I went back to Disney for Friday to see the Osborne Family lights one last time and we headed home Friday night.  They installed a permanent dialysis port for my brother, but we are still hoping the dialysis is temporary, but I am not so sure that is looking good.

Sorry this was such a depressing post – parts of the trip were amazing and I had tons of time to reflect on what I am thankful for, so I will end this post with that and a wish that all of you were able to reflect on the things that you are thankful for this season:

  1. My family – all of them and all of their imperfections.  I am the person I am because of my parents and my brother and I am able to be a single parent because of their support. My children are my everything – even when they drive me nuts – they are my biggest pride and joy.  My aunts, uncles, cousins, niece and nephews – they are all a little crazy and keep my life endlessly interesting
  2. Mickey’s progress – each and every day he overcomes obstacles and challenges.  I see them all the time – even the bad days, and I am grateful for the therapists and the people that have helped him along the way
  3. My job – which is challenging and interesting and affords me the ability to support my family and be at activities and appointments when needed
  4. Our pets – Mason and Sherbert – both high maintenance, both spoiled rotten and both make our family better by being part of it.
  5. A roof over our heads, a reliable car in the driveway (and a less reliable one too), the resources to provide Disney and dance and therapies for my son.
  6. Health – mine and my children’s.  My good health will likely make me the one person that can donate the kidney that my brother will likely need.  It is my hope that I can get healthier so that I can do that for my brother.








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