This past week, my family and I went to Jamaica, to FDR which is our favorite family resort (for what it worth, TripAdviser.com has had them as the top family destination in Jamaica for years). For a family with medically fragile children, this place is a life line. Their nannies take excellent care of the medical and non medical children, and the resort is the perfect size. It’s big enough the parents can do things without the kids and small enough parents and kids can find each other whenever needed. We went last year, and we could not wait to get back this year. It’s the land of double rainbows where the pots of gold are smiles and free moments with spouses.
We were a little worried when the passport request for K was denied 12 days before we were to leave. However, the Maryland Department Social Services (DSS) office in Baltimore city came through in spades. We called our worker when we got the package returned to us Saturday. Sunday she came to our house and picked up the package. Monday afternoon, she brought the package back to us with the requested paperwork signed by a judge and notarized and other paperwork approved by DSS lawyers to meet the requirements of the State Department’s letter refusing the first application. For all many rightly bemoan bureaucracy, Baltimore DSS did well by us to get the passport reapplication accomplished quickly.
When I look back, I cringe thinking how much K would have missed out. She had her own nanny on the trip, and she thrived. People were amazed after the first day whenever we said she had problems seeing. We all watched as the first day we had to tell her “step” whenever there was one upcoming, but she quickly memorized the place and took off. She loved the pools, the beach, and even the water-slide. Watching her go from scared of sand to crying whenever it was time to go back to the room was a joy. I have never seen her so happy.
As for the rest of us, we got what we wanted too. Whether it was A getting a group of adults (the nannies) to play Parcheesi, O getting to hunt hermit crabs and play Foosball, or J and I getting to have quiet dinners alone to reconnect, we all got a much needed break.
That’s not to say there weren’t bumps along the way. When are there not? I can not for the life of me explain why A loved the water slide on alternating days with fear being the dominant emotion every other day. I still have no idea from where our kids drew their limitless energy rejecting sleep half the nights there.
However, the good days were so good, and the ability to rest and relax let me enjoy physical activity levels I have not had in years. When a day can start pushing K on a 5k run through the hills followed by a longer bike ride after breakfast, then some thing is going well. To have both of those things not tire me out for the rest of the days activities is an awesome testament to the value of the workouts I do most days at work and the efficacy of Tysabri thus far in controlling the physical symptom progression of my MS.