Sunday, October 4, 2015

Central Florida Theme Park Life

As previously noted, I recently moved to Kissimmee, FL - a suburb of Walt Disney World (lol). That places me VERY close to numerous Theme Parks and other recreational spots. I will cover some I have frequented in more detail, later. Meanwhile, a brief synopsis.

Walt Disney World - I am there very frequently, and have found a few accessibility issues. Let me say that Disney WILL try to make things right ... BUT you HAVE to let them know there IS a problem - they aren't mind readers (and they really DON'T want you to be angry over an issue they aren't aware of)! A good example has been the accessible parking durin the recently opened Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT. I had the same issue on numerous days, and at first dealt with Parking Supervisors to try to resolve it, but they were only dealing with it as an isolated instance and were not making long term solutions. What was the problem - I have a ramp on the driver's side for my wheelchair, and need the extra space like a van accessible spot has. They were sending me to the far lot (Imagine, I think)that only has ONE, small row of accessible spots, and were attempting to place me in "overflow" - which is a regular parking spot and almost guarantees that someone would be parked on my driver's side and end up blocking my ability to load my wheelchair.  I went to Guest Relations - The first time I spoke to a CM and they assured me they would pass on my concerns; The second time, I spoke to a "Coordinator" - they assured me it would be sent to the appropriate people. Yesterday it was worse than normal, so I went to Guest Relations and asked to speak to a Manager - that got their attention. I ended up speaking to a "Leader", and she took my phone number and told me I WOULD be called back with a resolution!  Yesterday evening, I spoke with the GM of EPCOT! My situation had been discussed extensively, and there were looking at possible long term fixes (at which point I gave a viable fix - but it would require staffing changes, which can always be an issue). My suggestion was gladly accepted as a possible fix, and it WOULD be sent to the "right people" to see if it was the best fix - at least in the short term. Meanwhile, for the short term for me - my name and a description of my car has been sent to ALL the parking personnel to insure I have minimal issues with parking ... I am now in their nightmares, I'm sure.

Lots of changes are taking place at the ex-Downtown Disney - it's now Disney Springs and has a lot of new restaurants to try.

Sea World - Another of my Annual Pass locations. I have been there rarely, because of the HOT weather. There are few locations to get out of the sun and heat - unlike WDW. Now that the weather is changing, I will probably go more often.

Lowry Park Zoo (in Tampa, FL) - a VERY nice zoo with some interesting special happening. Well worth a visit - or multiple visits.

A New VA - Part 2

Neurology Consult - I'm only here to consult on your neuropathy, I need a new consult to deal with your other Neurological issue ... REALLY? I will deal with my other issues later, I guess.

I will condense the results of several visits and multiple tests:

EMG/Nerve Conduction Studies - slow conduction times and other equally bad results = mixed mode (affecting both the nerves themselves and the myelin sheaths), Sensory Motor (affecting both nerve types - sensory affects ability to sense pain, heat, cold, touch, etc,and motor nerves affect movement) PolyNeuropathy (affecting more than one nerve group - in my case a good deal more than one).

CT (with myelogram contrast in some cases) of my spine - Osteoporotic changes of my entire spine; lots of arthritic changes; NO disk problems - it's all bone issues; a severe narrowing the spinal cord channel in my cervical (neck) spine (myelogram shows it dents the dura, but doesn't impinge on the cord itself - a close call, since compression of the cord is a bad thing ... but it will probably happen in the future). Overall, There is a lot going on with my spine and it will only get worse with time ... that's life.

Lab work - a long history of B12 and Folate deficiency, so most of my neurological problems are probably related to SCD (Sub-acute Combined Degeneration).

Final outcome of the consult with Neurology - I am a high fall risk (that was already in my record); I have to - literally - watch every step I take when I am not in my wheelchair to ensure I have taken a stable step; Physical Torture (or was that therapy) to build up my legs some since I was in a boot for my broken foot for over a year; continue taking supplements. Basically, nothing new except a sort of diagnosis.

Endocrinology Consult - a lot of lab work; more tests; nothing really new learned other than my Osteoporosis is probably worse than they thought and I still have deficiencies that will continue to be treated. A lot of hmmm about the bad reaction to the flu shot while I was on active duty in the military - it MIGHT have been; MAYBE it was; your current neurological issue COULD BE related; etc. (all this about GBS/CIDP).

On a positive note, my broken foot has FINALLY healed (or as much as it's going to, anyway). The boot is off, but I still need to be careful with it; Compression socks are recommended; Podiatry is going to give me a pedicure (okay, they will clip my toenails) because my sensory nerve neuropathy makes it dangerous for me to do so; have a nice day ...

Next up with the VA - another hick up.