Monday, March 18, 2013

Chapter 11: Ontario

At the end of June, we totally abandoned our senses and went to Ontario for 2 weeks. That may seem like a simple task, but as any parent of a special needs child knows, there are no simple tasks when trying to holiday with your child. Ontario was a 5 hour flight from our home. Kayda actually was very good on the plane. With the help of Bruce (her big pink dinosaur soother the trip went really well. The first week was spent in Toronto with Dave’s dad. As he speaks very little English and talks too fast for Dave to do much translating Kayda and I heard almost no English the week we were there. It was quite an experience. At night we watched old movies in Spanish. I was amazed that I understood as much as I did. We went to several Latin American restaurants. We did quite a few of the touristy things. We went to the Toronto zoo. Boy is that ever big!!!!! We probably saw less than a quarter of it. Of course we got a late start as it took so long to get Miss Kayda ready. The highlight of that week was a 2 day trip to Niagara Falls. We stayed in a motel right on the main strip but fairly far down. I hadn’t been since I was about 13. Dave had gone frequently when he was younger but hadn’t seen it for many years. It was nice because we were able to afford to do a number of the activities. Kayda really seemed to enjoy herself, even getting wet in the spray. She was so good even though we stayed out to nearly midnight. As time progressed and Kayda continued to develop and blossom we learned that she is a very determined stubborn girl. At that point she liked to have her arms sticking straight out to the side, no matter what they hit along the way. This was especially challenging in Niagara Falls as it was very crowded and you had to stand in line to see every attraction. Most of the lines were narrow and zig zagged. It was “delightful” to try and push a wheelchair and keep her arms from bothering too many people or getting caught on something. When staying with Dave’s dad Kayda had to sleep in the same room with us. What fun! not!!!!! She was in her sleeping every 2nd or 3rd night routine. Dave’s dad slept late in the mornings so it was quite tense keeping her quiet. The night before we drove to Ottawa she giggled hysterically ALL night. No matter what we did and how much sedative we gave her she giggled. I was very glad that Dave did the driving. The second week was spent in Ottawa with my mother. We did quite a bit there too including a trip to Montreal where I had worked many years earlier. It was my first time back in 12 or so years and my first visit with the daughter of the person who had been my closest friend there. We also went to a light show on Parliament hill one evening. For Kayda’s benefit we tried to stay home every 2nd day. She was pretty good. One day while visiting with my mother, it was quite warm (for us anyways) and Kayda’s temperature went up. I immediately stripped her down to just a diaper. That act had the same sort of long range effect as had my putting Bruce near her mouth. With no shirt on, she discovered her feeding tube with her hands. Once she finds something she won’t leave it alone. We have video tape of her lying on the couch playing with it. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you looked at it) she continued playing with it so much the site started bleeding. A month later it was decided that she needed a tube that didn’t hang out for her to play with. That was when she got her first “button” feeding tube. It wasn’t nearly as much fun-she couldn’t find it. After 2 wonderful weeks we headed home. It was such a good feeling to know that we’d taken a holiday and given Kayda the experiences that any other child could have. And…..most important of all: she didn’t get sick!!!!!!!

Video of Kayda playing with her tube while on holiday in Ottawa

Short video of Kayda the first day we were in Toronto. Just shows how responsive she is to people's voices

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