Easter Weekend Camp-outs used to be an annual tradition in my family – not because we’re all that religious or anything. Just ‘cuz it’s fun to spend a three-day weekend in the spring outdoors around a fire, singing and drinking and generally making fools of ourselves.
We’ve cancelled the camp-out several years in a row; some due to family health, others to the weather (spring tornadoes and thunderstorms LOVE popping up at the wrong time!) But this year, besides it being more chilly than expected, went off without a hitch!
Especially since this year I was camping in a wheelchair.
I’ve only had it for just over a month, but I was bound and determined to get out into the great outdoors, and push it to the max, and it was worth it! Having a diagnosis like “Probable MS” means I have to be extra prepared – had to pack a bunch of medications, make sure I had everything I needed for my own health as well as the camp trip, and had to pack the gear in a much slower method than ever before just so I didn’t overdo it before we even got on the mountain where our favorite local camping spots are. And lord, anyone who knows me knows how truly hard it was not to overdo it!
It was also a slower setup than usual, taking my time and letting others take over when I started to get too hot (if you’re not familiar with Multiple Sclerosis, then I’ll let you in on a tip: heat is one of our worst enemies.) It also meant I didn’t have as much freedom to run around, but that was made better by getting waited on at meal times! Plus, safer than falling down a cliff or something crazy like that – I love pushing myself to the edge sometimes. <– Pun totally intended!
Slippery leaves and soft dirt, an incline from my tent site to our main cooking site made for some tough wheeling and dealing over the weekend, not to mention arms that felt like a worn-out Stretch Armstrong left me tired and crashing by the time we got home – but the camp-out itself was a huge success – for everyone that was there, and doubly/triply satisfying for me since I weathered two and a half days camping in a wheelchair, rock star style!