At three in the morning I knew something had to change. We'd checked into a hotel, assured ourselves that the room was accessible, then looked to see if their 'accessible' came anywhere near our 'accessible'. It did. I admit I didn't look at the bed. We had taken the night flight, where night involved them turning off the airplane lights for two hours and dawn came when they turned the lights back on for breakfast. OK. No sleep.
Luckily our hotel had our room open so we got in easily. I tried to stay up until a reasonable bed time. We gave in and hit the sack around 5 pm. I slept like I hadn't slept which was appropraite for the situation. When I woke at 3 I had to pee like a ... like a ... like a guy who really has to pee has to pee. Yeah, that bad. I sat up and my knees hit my chin. The bed was low. Over the years my center of gravity has sagged and changed. I actually sat there and contemptated the complications of just peeing right then, right there, then rolling backwards into bed.
But no. Instead I rocked and rocked till I had enough propulsion and I shot to a standing position. My belly continued up and then paused and came crashing down into place. It sounded like my body was applauding my acheivement. I made it to the can, made it back to bed. I considered not getting back into bed because I didn't want to get out of it again. But I was tired.
I went back to bed.
In the morning I talked with Joe about the bed. I was worried and I knew that if I spent another night in that bed I lay there worried about being forever marooned on an increasingly stinky and disgusting island. The next day I was booked to do a presentation to over 100 people with Down Syndrome from across the globe. I had to be able to sleep.
Over breakfast I spoke with the hotel manager and asked if another mattress could be thrown on top of the one we have, that would give us height which would give us sleep. She paused for a second, I expected an explanation of why that wasn't possible. She said, instead, 'I don't see why we can't do that for you.' Shortly thereafter the mattress arrived. It's now the perfect height.
The most important tool for living an inclusive and valued life - a voice and the courage to use it. The second most important tool for living an inclusive and valued life ... The next morning we got up refreshed. We'd slept brilliantly. We stopped at the desk and asked for the manager. She came out looking tense, I'm guessing she gets a lot of complaints. I told her that what she had done was perfect and that I appreciated her flexibility and willingness to help. She smiled and said that it hadn't been a problem ... The second most important tool is the ability to say thankyou to those who listen to the voice you use.