When the idea of vacation surfaced this summer it was very shortly after Franklin came home from the last EPS episode. It was too fresh and raw to even think about going anywhere. But, when talk of a cruise came about, who turns down going on a European Cruise vacation?!? So, with a bittersweet excitement me and the kids were going on vacation without The Husband/The Father.
Within a couple of days of getting out of the hospital we were asked to come down to see the Nephrologist to ensure Franklin was OK. During the visit they asked us about going to a cottage resort that had dialysis facilities on site. WHAT?!? Is this for real?? Although Franklin was hesitant I jumped all over with a big YES!
Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I had know idea that we could have the cottage vacation WITH the husband and dialysis. I’ve seen on different Facebook group’s people going camping in the woods and doing their dialysis with a portable machine. That blew my mind! We do not have those machines available to us and I’ve never camped outdoors before, so even if it was available, I’d be weary.
The cottage was the perfect solution. A great balance between civilization and outdoors. It was only a few weeks after The Cruise, but who turns down going to The Cottage?!?
There were some preliminary blood work and mouth swab, a sign off from The Nephro (The kidney doctor aka The Nephrologist) that Franklin’s health and blood pressure was stable, and the cash deposit. We’re on our way! Well, the paper work was done at least.
Next was packing (the day before and a bit the morning of):
- food – marshmallows, graham crackers, Jiffypop poporn, cans of soup, pasta, crackers, bananas, grapes, green onions, soya sauce, salad, dressing, bread – sliced, burger buns, hotdog buns, rice, spaghetti sauce, burgers, hotdogs, rack of lamb, cereal,
- clothes for everyone
- cooler for the meats
- those foldable chair thingys we use to watch soccer
- laptop to watch DVDs, DVDs, the DS, toys, camera
- a book for me to read
- after bite cream, sunblock, Benadryl, epi-pen, bug spray
- toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, lotion, shampoo/conditioner, body wash
Lion’s Camp Dorset was great! Tennis courts, park, swimming pool, mini-put, paddle boats, canoes, 3-bedroom cottage with full kitchen and 4-piece washroom, our own fire pit, horseshoe games area, croquet, basketball nets, playground, and the best part…a clean dialysis unit with great nurses! There was no stigma about dialysis since you were only there because a loved one was there due to the need of dialysis treatment.
We lucked out and got the first shift from 6am-10am. Unfortunately there were a couple of days Franklin was wicked tired after treatment and slept until 4-5pm. But, we enjoyed our nightly bonfire with smores. We befriended our neighbour’s children and all the kids had tons of fun.
One night Marcus wanted to be just like his dad and only wear shorts and a t-shirt. I said to put on pants and a long sleeve shirt since the mosquitoes were out, but all I heard “but I want to be like dad!!” over and over. He got 11 bites that night. Franklin got 0. Thank you After Bite inventor! I wore shoes all the time, but the one night I didn’t I got bit on the toe and it swelled. I get it. Mosquitoes are part of the outdoors, but I hate them! How the hell did I get the one on my thigh?!?
I think this maybe the only dialysis camp in all of Canada. A rare gem that gives the freedom of a vacation for the whole family. If you have Canadian Tire money please send it to them or to me and I’ll bring it to them next year. Every dollar helps. That was just one campaign that’s easy to do. One donator had a stipulation that it had to be used specifically for the dialysis patients. So they bought individual DVD players that will be setup and ready when you come in for your treatment (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), with a simple reservation of the wide selection of DVDs. Great way to pass time during the 4-hr treatments.
This is our second vacation as a family and dialysis. The first one was in the Bahamas. I’ll post about that experience if anyone wants to know more about the experience, cost, etc. Maybe Dialysis at Sea will be in our future. But, until then, I am thankful to have made memories of all of us together not watching the clock to go to work, kid’s activity, …reality.