In Dire Need of Disney Therapy
I had originally planned on going to the parks this day as I knew it would be my only opportunity to attend the current Annual Passholder’s event at California Adventure. However, I woke up with an increased level of abdominal pain (click here to read about my pain and why I chose to go to Disneyland instead of the Emergency Room) which gave me another reason for going. My plan was to go on enough fast rides to loosen the hold that my abdominal adhesions have on my bowels.
8:20AM We arrived and parked. It was a chilly and foggy morning. Lines for the trams, security, and park gates were low. Even the line to get my morning Starbucks was shorter than usual.
9:00AM I rolled up to the handicap entrance for Ghost Galaxy and received a disabled return time of 9:15-10:15. With an increasing pain level and decrease of energy, I opted to take a break while my family rode Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear. While waiting, the fog began to clear and the sun quickly warmed the air. I also began thinking that I made the wrong decision in regards going to the ER, but decided to forge on.
9:45AM Riding Ghost Galaxy. If you have never been to Disneyland, you may not know that Space Mountain is transformed into the spooky experience Ghost Galaxy. Throughout the ride a terrifying ghost chases and swipes at guests. This was an exciting day for our family as it was our daughter’s first time riding this attraction as Ghost Galaxy. When the ride ended I excitedly asked her what she thought of this overlay. Her reply? I don’t know, I had my eyes closed!!!! This, from a girl who has never closed her eyes on this attraction in the past??!! Looks like I will have to try to get back at least one more time during the Halloween season. Click here to view the handicap entrance and boarding area.
10:04AM Received Fast Passes for Indiana Jones.
10:15AM Time for my second favorite thing about Halloween season at Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion.
10:30AM Standard queue for Thunder Mountain only had a 5 minute wait, so we didn’t need a disabled return time. Woohoo!! This ride was a little too rough for me today. My daughter rode with my husband, leaving me with a mine car all to myself. Problem with riding solo when your body is feeling weaker than normal is that there is no buffer. My body was slammed from one side to the other with each sharp turn. Until I am feeling stronger, I need to have someone seated next to me.
10:50AM Returned to ride Indiana Jones. I was about to give up on rides and forgo this attraction because I knew I didn’t have the strength needed to control my body from being tossed about. Instead, hoping that one more fast ride would provide even the most minimal amount of relief, I pushed myself to go through with it. However, I did have one request from my family. Normally I sit on the outer seat of the first row. In that seat it takes a lot of core strength to keep my body upright. Lacking that strength, I requested to sit between my husband and daughter. Having them on either side allowed my body to bounce back and forth between them.
11:30AM My hope of loosening any adhesions today was gone. I was in too much pain to go on anymore rides. Before leaving, I wanted to go over to California Adventure for the AP event, since that was why I came to the park in the first place.
11:45AM On our way over to the AP event gazebo at Paradise Pier, my husband and daughter grabbed themselves Fast Passes for Grizzly River Run. At the AP gazebo we received a special pin, a recipe card, and had our photo taken.
12:10PM Family rode Grizzly River Run while I rested in the shade.
12:30PM By this time it was blistering hot out, but not quite ready to admit defeat, we made our way across the park for the AP only meet and greet with a character dressed for Halloween. After an hour of waiting outside in the sun and heat we had our picture taken with Donald Duck. Unfortunately, the picture below was the best that the photographer took.
I can’t blame the photographer, as we felt just as out of sorts as we looked. My daughter was hot and tired. My husband was hot and exhausted after working 24/7 for the past week and my insides felt like they ripping from every seam. I have no idea how I even managed a smile, if you can call it that. What I really wanted to do in that moment was to lie down on the cool floor and just pass out.
1:45PM No matter how much I wanted to stay, my body refused. It was time to leave. As we made our way to the tram, my husband mentioned that we should plan a multi-day stay soon. By staying within walking distance we could go to the hotel room for a nap and then return in the evening. Hopefully, I will be up for another day of Disney Therapy soon.
While I felt absolutely wretched, there were times when I allowed myself to get caught up in the joy of a moment which served as a welcome distraction from the turmoil going on inside of my body. If you find yourself experiencing a flare or just an increase of pain and a decrease in stamina, don’t feel guilty for only being able to spend a few hours in the park or if you need to spend the day in your hotel room. The point of this post is to remind you that you will never be able to predict how your body will behave when vacationing at Disneyland and to be flexible and understanding when your plans go awry.
Wishing you a magical day,
Tagged: abdominal adhesions, California, California Adventure, chronic illness, chronic pain, degenerative disc disease, Disney, Disneyland, donald duck, fibromyalgia, Halloween, handicapped accessible, health, invisible disabilities, psoriatic arthritis, pumpkins, spoonie, this is halloween, thrill rides, vacation, wheelchair