It will be a day of waiting.
A day of anxiety.
We fly to Dublin tonight in order to be there for the World Down Syndrome Congress. We are flying in a couple days early in order to adapt to the time zone change, something we do less well as we get older. I am not a nervous flyer. Well, more honestly, I am no longer a fearful flyer. At one time I was terrified of flight. But after many years of travelling for a living, after thousands of flights, that fear has abated. Now I simply marvel at the process.
Becoming disabled had added a new wrinkle in the process of flying. I have to depend upon the help and kindness of strangers. Some paid, some not. I'll arrive at the airport with Joe and go to 'Special Services' to check in and then be assisted the long distance from the counter to the departure lounge. We double check the seating arrangements and then the great 'push' happens. I am big. I am heavy. I am on wheels. I know it takes work to push me. That knowledge is bad enough. Some who work there are gracious, some are not. Some are kindly, some are resentful. It's the luck of the draw. I worry, now and I will worry all day, about who's hands I fall into.
On the plane itself I'll be seated beside Joe, so that's OK. But it's the person in the seat ahead of me. Standing up is no longer really easy for me. I have to use the back of the seat ahead of me and the back of my own seat to brace myself and then to rise. In order to do this I have to have the seat ahead of me in 'the full upright position'. I'm going to have to ask. Sometimes the person is cool. But many more times than you will imagine, they are not. This could be an easy thing or a difficult thing, it all depends on who's hands I fall into.
When we travel by car to events I have no travel jitters. Joe and I work so well together on these trips, knowing what each other needs and managing to arrange for both to be happy. This is because we depend on no one but each other. I like that.
I am so looking forward to Dublin.
It's just the getting there.