Tag Archives: Holiday

Spring Staycation For Those With Disabilities

With recent unrest and Brexit on the horizon, a holiday in the UK is looking like an attractive option this year. There has been a recent rise in the ‘staycation’ due to economic reasons, but though you may not have to change your sterling into another currency, a staycation still requires a little organisation, especially if your holiday needs to include accessible elements.
Though many would assume sharing a language would make everything infinitely easier (which it does) there are other elements of a mainly meteorological nature, to overcome. The UK has many fantastic locations for every sort of holiday you can imagine, from the picturesque West Country to the action packed Lake District. Though as with most things in life, planning is key.
While the UK is making great efforts towards being more inclusive, accessible for one hotel means wider door frames and a lack of steps, while what you really need is specially adapted facilities and a hoist. Ensuring that you are getting what you expect is mainly down to clear and open communication from the start and at every element of your trip.
Not only is accommodation vital to your trip, but so are many other elements, but often overlooked is dining. While on holiday, you wish to treat yourself, but if all the best eateries are up several stairs and do not cater to those with limited mobility, it will not be the vacation you are hoping for.
We spoke to those who know best when it comes to accessible holidays, for their top tips for a staycation to create a little guide that everyone should peruse before they indulge in a British break. Including everything from accommodation to activities, dining to domestics, it allows you to do nothing but relax by the time your holiday comes round. Click here for the in-depth guide :

http://www.companionstairlifts.co.uk/news/planning-your-spring-staycation/
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The 4 Star Hospital Stay

I guess i should have known that things weren’t going to run so smoothly on our holiday to Malta; finding out just 4 days before the holiday that Low Cost Holidays had stolen £700 from us, “cleverly set the business up in Spain knowing their customers wouldn’t be ATOL protected and wouldn’t get their money back, if, they went into Administration. The robbing bastards!

I’ve never been too good in the luck department and when one thing goes wrong; it’s essentially the domino effect from there on out…

Gary always tells me to stop running off all the time. and for once he didn’t tell me to wait, and for once I really shouldn’t have thought cliff diving onto concrete would be a wonderful idea! 😉

Of course i’m only joking; I didn’t purposefully injure myself but it happened and what ensued was mini chaos.
If you’re not sure what i’m on about read my earlier post the Holiday I’ll never Forget.

After the horrific journey of my leg being thrown round in all directions at hitting every pot hole Malta has to offer we eventually arrived at Mater Dei Hospital.

Maltease Ambulance

Arial shot of Mater Dei hospital

It’s amazing how you remember everything is connected in your body when you sustain an injury, every bed transfer, the slight movement of the trolley or just being asked to wiggle my toes was almost unbearable.

I don’t remember how much morphine was given to me, but apparently it was a lot ore than they initially thought I would need, Yet it never touched the surface. The proof was in the pudding when the people applying plaster of paris to my injured leg yanked and tugged at my leg. They were ruthless and even when my leg went into violent spasms and I told them to stop they wouldn’t!!

Right leg in a plaster cast

I’m not trying to be a doctor but seriously, if a patients’ leg is shaping to the point where you can’t hold it straight while wrapping it, and you are wondering why i’m yelping, and why the cast seems slightly off?
Maybe, just maybe you should have listened to your patient!

Sadly Gary was not around to be my knight in shinning armour and save me from the torturous beasts as he had to leave the hospital and travel on a 80 minute round trip to retrieve our passports and eHic1 card, otherwise we would have to pay 100€ just to be seen in A&E!




I was given an X-ray and an MRI; the results showed I had a level 5 fracture, considering there are 6 levels to a fracture this was not good!The results showed that I had broken the top of my Tibia, Fibula and my Patella was shattered. Not only had the bone gone into shards but they were also sitting on top of one another.

I was eventually moved upstairs on to a ward, the staff were brilliant, although the first night wasn’t particularly pleasant… We arrived on the ward an hour after dinner was served and even though the staff knew i’d be staying until my flight home on the Thursday, they only offered Gary and I a jug of water, until I asked if we could have a cup of tea.

For me it wasn’t so bad as I had been concentrating on my leg all day, but for Gary it was hard, we hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast earlier that morning.
Gary managed to find somewhere to buy us both a sandwich thankfully.

I had not long finished my sandwich when I asked the nurses for stronger painkillers as I just couldn’t handle it any longer.
The lovely nurse prewarned me that I may feel a little nauseous and the painkiller will probably make me fall asleep pretty quickly.
I got settled and said to Gary, i’m all woozy i think i’ll fall asleep any minute.
I was revelling in the wooziness when suddenly without any forwewarning from my body I threw up all over myself!
We had nothing around except an empty mug and so I managed to catch the remainder in it…
When Gary finally got hold of a nurse she came over and one of the first things she said to me was
“No, don’t drink anything if you’ve just been sick.”
When Gary replied:
“She was sick in the cup too.”
The nurse didn’t seem best pleased.
With the help of Gary, the nurse managed to clean me up

I didn’t get any sleep that night, the combination of pain and animal noises coming from another patient all night saw to that.
I kid you not when I say he sounded like a cross between Mufassa from the Lion King and a hippo. It was unnaturally loud and disturbing!




The Next Day.

The next day I was seen by a surgeon, who explained that I needed an operation as there was no way my leg was going to heal itself.
We discussed that as my flight was the next afternoon that I would be fit to fly and I could have the operation back in the UK which I was really pleased about!!

I was given a bed bath by two very lovely nurses, if you have never had a bed bath all I will say is leave your dignity at the door. They were extremely professional and careful, but I really wasn’t expecting the moment the nurse actually shoved a flannel up my vagina and gave it a good wipe!

I encountered my first time with a bed pan. They are slightly bumshaped and inside sits a plastic bowl cut to match. Using a bed pan allows urine to run everywhere, trying to lift my bum, hold my weight and stop the urine trickling down into a mini pool on the bed as I got off was much harder than I anticipated!

I also had to tackle using the toilet; when your cast goes from your ankle all the way up to the middle of your thigh and straight out is pretty strange not only pulling trousers etc down, but extremely uncomfortable to sit awkwardly as your leg sticks straight out.

I get this weird tension/ pressure in my leg… and don’t even think about pushing, it feels as if your leg is about to drop off!

Minus the pain, the stay at the hospital was good, the nurses were fantastic, even allowing Gary to sleep by my bedside each night and putting extra portions of food on my plate so we could share dinner.
They were great at supporting me by helping me go to the toilet, get dressed and generally had a calming and cheery disposition.

The Journey Home.

The front of the maltese Airport

The journey home would have been smooth, almost pleasant if the Maltese Ambulance service hadn’t of taken the piss to arrive. We booked the ambulance for 14:00 as the gates closed at 15:15 and according to the nurses it would only take 15 minutes to get there.

The paramedics didn’t turn up until 14:40 and thought it appropriate to laugh joke and go as slow as a sloth on sleeping tablets! We were losing time fast….No attempt at getting me transferred from the bed to the trolley, and again from the ambulance to the wheelchair, twice!
The drive itself was uncomfortable to say the least with it’s bumpy roads but thankfully my leg was now a lot sturdier in a cast.

Gary along with the nurse had to check us in, and when they did that (the receptionist was more bothered about what happened than actually scanning us in, we almost missed the closing gate!!

It was random being on a wheelchair with no arms and narrow frame getting on the plane, then getting hoisted onto the seats by a bed sheet!
I had always wondered how permanent wheelchair users would be able to get on the plane and get to their seat.

The flight back was more comfortable than I expected, I had an entire row to myself, and it was only the armrest digging into my back that made the journey uncomfortable.

Gary had to sit on the end aisle seat and hold my legs as the airport runway is small, so i became increasingly worried that my leg was going to go flying and I would be in agony.
I was happily surprised, the landing was very smooth and my leg didn’t jolt at all.

A big thanks to Ryanair for being so accommodating with flight adaptations! Thank you also to Luton airport for your smooth running specialist assistance and transfer! 🙂

And that was my hospital stay in Malta, stay tuned for the 2nd instalment coming soon!!

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Have you ever had an injury abroad? How was your medical treatment and attention? And the journey home?




The Holiday I’ll never Forget

The Holiday I’ll never forget.

We all look forward to a holiday don’t we? Whether it’s a cruise, beach/ poolside lounger or even a little weekend cottage We all look forward to a change of scenery, a bit of me time and most importantly a chance for you to do what you want when you want.

And for me that is no different. Personally i’m a big fan of lying by the poolside in a hot country lounging, and hopefully tanning, depending on how long I go away for I do try to explore the area and culture of that town, city or country.

You may have read that i’ve mentioned going to Malta for a sunny getaway, and most importantly my best friends’ wedding.

I was excited to watch my oldest best friend get married,spend some time soaking in the sunshine and generally enjoying a different country with Gary.

on the 16th Gary and I got a bit of a shock; Low Cost Holidays, the company we had booked our holiday through had gone into administrations… 4 days before we were due to fly out to Malta!
Even though we paid off everything back in May, Low Cost Holidays had taken our money, booked our flights, and not our hotel; the most expensive part of the holiday.
What were we going to do?

Understandably Gary was extremely frustrated and considered cancelling the holiday altogether,through some persuasion on my part, and a lot of help from the lovely Absolutely Prabulous Gary and I booked alternative accommodation, much cheaper than our original hotel, and a lot less than we originally wanted for our stay.

But we decided to keep an open mind and go with the flow.

The most important things were; attending the wedding and being able to have a relaxing time.

We arrived at our hotel Primera in the town Buiggbaa in St Pauls’ Bay.
Our room was much bigger than either of us expected and aside from having a view that consisted of a triangle of wall, we were pleased with the room.

When we went down for breakfast the next day everything seemed good, just on a smaller scale than previous hotels i’ve stayed in whilst abroad.

They did a continental breakfast daily that swapped between having bacon and sausage on alternate days and different types of eggs on alternate days also.
The staff were friendly and polite, and the food was pretty decent.
Because of the change in circumstances of our hotel accommodation, Gary and I decided to take everyday slowly and decided not to book any excursions, the only thing I wanted to do was go to the water park, and we decided to leave that until the very end of the holiday .

Malta is a lovely island; and although we didn’t go on excursions we managed to see a bit of the island by traveling on the local buses. A big disappointment is that where we were staying specifically was not blind or wheelchair friendly.
The pavements were very narrow, making guiding difficult, and even worse when there were people coming towards us.
The pavements were very high; and not every pavement had a slope; so it would make it extremely difficult for someone in a wheelchair to navigate safely.
There were a lot of grates and uneven paving so my cane tended to get caught; even though I deliberately have a large ball on the end.

View from the hotel roof with a view of the sea and the main town area

Due to the change in our circumstances Gary and I dinned out each evening, we went into the Plaza filled with different restaurants; most places offering similar menus’ but each had a different vibe and atmosphere 🙂
Although it isn’t how we planned to spend our holiday eating out every night, it was nice to try the different restaurants, enjoy the vibrant Plaza, and gave us time to be a couple. We both enjoyed each place we went to for dinner, but our main dislike is the encouragement of smoking, ashtrays were at every table; and in some circumstances the tables were so close together it felt like we were with other people when we were eating.

If you like Indian cuisine then my highest recommendation is to go to Grannies Indian Breeze, the food was absolutely delicious and the staff were fantastic!
I ordered a Chicken Tikka Masala hot with rice and pashwari nan bread; Gary laughed at me, because it’ is what I always order, especially if it’s a new Indian I haven’t been too before.

I told him I do it because I like to taste the difference between different restaurants of my favourite dish,; and I am so glad I did; it was absolutely delicious: the best Chicken Tikka Masala i’ve ever had!

When Gary tasted it, he even said it tasted better than his!
Who’s laughing now Gary Jones? 😉




The wedding was lovely; there were about 20 of us so it was very intimate, which was great. It gave Gary a chance to interact with everyone, and the whole day felt very relaxed and enjoyable 🙂
Congratulations to you both, it was a great day:) and i’m glad you make each other so happy!

Roxy and Nic exchanging vows

Gary and I had organised to meet the lovely Prabs the day after the wedding, I was looking forward to meeting Prabs, mostly to say a big thank you and buy her a coffee for all her help when we were stressing about accommodation, but also to chat to her in person.
The 3 of us had met face-to-face at the BML Fringe party but it was brief; so I was looking forward to chatting an relaxing in the sunshine together.

We arrived at Las Palmas, said a quick hello to Prabs and got ourselves seated on a separate table while Prabs had lunch with a friend.
Gary and I decided to have a cocktail as we waited, he told me there was a beach that was slightly rocky just at the end of the cafe, and we nattered away sipping our cocktails 🙂

A long island ice tea on the left and a Singapore slingshot cocktail on the right

View from the cafe looking out to the sea with sunbeds and tables on a small beach

As we were sitting at a 2 person table and the aisle was far too small to accommodate 6 of us we decided to move.

And that’s when the fun began.

I stood up, swung my cane as I took a step back.
*Oh crap, there’s nothing under my right foot, i’m falling, oh god when am I going to land? This is such a drop, brace yourself!*

OUCH! That wasn’t nice, OK Sassy get up quick, walk it off you’ll be fine.
In an instant lots of people were by my side.

Oh Sassy well done, you look like a right blind idiot in front of everyone.

OK my right knee hurts, like really hurts; I think i’ve done something to it.
It’s OK, it’ll be fine, it’s probably just your Arthritis shouting at you for being a fool, just stretch your knee out, we’ll move to the seating and all will be fine….

Are you OK?
Someone call an ambulance!
Oh no, don’t be silly, i’ll be fine in a minute.
That was a really nasty fall, you should really go to the hospital and have an x-ray.
No, i’ll be fine; I just need to stretch my knee out.
*Ice on knee*

No we’ve called an ambulance, it’ll be here really soon.

I just need to stretch my knee.
OK i’ll help you.
OUCH!! No don’t touch the knee.
There’s something really wrong!
*The adrenaline is wearing off, I’m shaking and can’t hold my knee up myself any longer*

I’m in shock, i’m going to be sick, OH MY KNEE.

Gary spent a lot of that time making jokes, ones which in the moment annoyed me, and didn’t find very funny… Poor Gary, his way of coping is to make light of the situation, an me going from laughing to silent only encouraged him further…

When the Paramedics finally arrived, they slightly straightened my knee as I yelped in pain, strapped my knee and put me on a stretcher and took me to hospital.

The ride to the hospital was agony, trust me to injure my knee and Malta to have the bumpiest roads known to man!!

It got to the point where Gary had to shout at me to breathe because I was holding my breath but managing to make this horrendous noise…

When we arrived at A&E I was seen pretty quickly, given an x-ray and CT Scan,my knee put into plaster, a lot of OUCH, OUCH, OUCH from me, and a lot of OK, OK, OK from the people yanking at my leg.
They were making me so mad with their constant OK’s. It’s a good thing I was in too much pain to say anything else!

Right leg in a plaster cast

I spent the remainder of my holiday in hospital with Gary at my bedside ( I don’t know what I would have done without him!)
We’re home and i’m waiting to go into surgery this week sometime. Apparently there are 6 levels to a fracture, and I managed to get to level 5… Ooops!

Needless to say; it’s a holiday i’l never forget!