The Derwent River Valley in Tasmania
The Derwent River Valley in Tasmania.

I am safely home, back in cold upstate New York. It is 12:45 PM Sunday as I write this, and my body thinks it is 3:45 AM Monday because it is still on east coast Australia time. My head is woozy, my feet are swollen and my heart is 14,000 miles away. I am pretty sure this is jet lag.

I have not unpacked from my trip, and I am unsure when I will. Remember all of the apartment renovations I wrote about which were to be completed while I was gone? I returned home to find they were not done.

No new carpets. Incomplete paint job. Piles of boxes still surround me and I have just enough room to maneuver my chair from room to room. The mess would have been horrific but for the kindness of my friends Sally and Susan, who spent hours cleaning my bathroom and kitchen yesterday so I could function for the next few days. I already have an appointment with the property manager tomorrow.

Here’s the good news. My wheelchair survived the entire trip, all eight airplanes, with NO significant damage! That’s right – NONE! The seat elevation control box is bent a bit, but it is still attached, still functional and there is no other damage! Yes, I just wrote three sentences in a row which ended in exclamation points. But, when you consider this is the first trip I have EVER taken which did not involve me filing a damage claim for wheelchair repairs, I think there may be a need for even more exclamation points! Especially since this trip involved more than one airline, more than one country, and more than one opportunity for damage!

Thank you Southwest, Qantas and JetStar for delivering my chair promptly and in working order at every stop on my trip. I will be writing letters to each airline, commending them for the excellent service I received during my trips.

I will spend the day writing other posts and updates on my trip. I hope to have posts about each day completed by the end of the week. My posts for Redefining Disability will return next week.

In the meantime, I will start unpacking and figuring out my life back at home. And I think there may still be a basketball game or two on….

10 thoughts on “Reality

  1. Hi. Glad your trip was a success and that you made it home safely.
    I am writing a post on this tomorrow and asking Rose’s help, as she is the one who first thought up Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, but she said I should feel free to go ahead and try out a Facebook page for the challenge.
    Well, I’ve made one and now am looking to see if anyone else would be interested. If you wanted to follow it:
    Okay. I just thought the challenge seems to have taken off and people have found it helpful. I think it is important to talk about disability and remove some of the sigma surrounding it, redefining it for ourselves, while still being real about the challenges it presents.
    I will also be asking Rose’s opinion and I thought I would ask yours here. I am visually impaired and so photos aren’t really my thing. If you had any ideas or suggestions for profile pics for the page, I’d love to hear them.
    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Have a restful Sunday.


    • I had an email exchange for Rose about helping to gather and archive RDC posts. If you would like help managing a Facebook page or group, I would be happy to help with that too. I would like to include her in this discussion as this is her creation. If you would like to have a further discussion, I’m happy to contact you by email.


    • When I arrived at my final destination in Australia and had a perfectly functioning chair, I was leery of the trip home. I was certain it would be damaged. I was SO happy to have it all in one piece, in working order. It makes the headache of the apartment disaster easier to handle.


  2. […] I did not socialize with friends in person. During the week, I went to work and then came home. I didn’t go out with friends. I tried not to schedule anything after 6:00 PM. I didn’t always know how or when I would be going to the bathroom and going to bed, so I had to be available whenever I could find someone to help me rather than at the time of my choosing. I am an extrovert and recharge by spending time with others. It has been a long four months, especially dealing with the blues after returning home from Australia and finding my apartment a mess. […]


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