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URL:   http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/jan-chait/anticipation-ends-in-disappointment/print/

Anticipation Ends in Disappointment

Jan Chait

June 2, 2009

I’d been looking forward to last weekend for weeks. Sandy and I had signed up to attend this year’s Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) conference, and she suggested that we spend the weekend in Indianapolis — despite the fact that she lives in Indy and I live only one hour away. It was a chance for both of us to get a change of scenery.

That change of scenery was especially important for me, because I’ve been cooped up inside my house since having surgery on April 8 for a torn Achilles tendon. Not only do I need to stay off the affected foot, but there are steps up to my house that are difficult to maneuver.

Besides, we were going to be staying in an accessible room. Now that I was really looking forward to! I wouldn’t have to stand at the sink on one foot while brushing my teeth or washing my hands. I’d have a shower that was easy to get in and out of. In fact, I’d opted on Friday to skip a shower at home because I’d be staying in an accessible room and could shower there.

Wrong. All of the hotel’s accessible rooms had been taken, we were told when we were checking in. As it turns out, a number of people attending a meeting regarding a rare neurological disorder were staying there, and they needed accessible rooms.

While I don’t begrudge accessible rooms to people who need them, I wish the reservations folks had told me there were none available when I called to book a room, so I could have tried other hotels. I guess they were more interested in my money than in my comfort. I hope they spend it well, because they won’t be getting any more from me.

The room — ironically, it was number 1313 — was certainly anything but accessible. Not even my walker would fit through the bathroom door, which had a tub with a fixed showerhead, a low toilet, and no safety bars. Luckily, it was a small room, so I could park my walker outside the door and lean on the vanity to get to the “throne.” I could then use the vanity and the door handle to help myself on and off the only seat in the room.

No shower for me. They said they’d try to find me a shower bench, but nobody ever showed up with one. I guess there were none lying around anywhere.

Bathrooms in the convention center weren’t much better. Oh, there were the appropriate stalls in the bathrooms. Problem was, you had to be able to get into the bathroom to get to the stalls. Also, you could pull up to one of the sinks to wash your hands — but you couldn’t dry them because the towels were on the wall above the sink… w-a-y out of reach.

There oughta be a law that people who design these things be required to don paraphernalia that renders them something akin to handicapped and actually use the facilities. Sort of like I often wish there was something that could give people diabetes for about a month so they could see what it was like and maybe get off our backs!

This weekend, Sandy, my granddaughter, and I are going to Chicago, and I can’t wait. We’ll be in an accessible room…



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