I have written on several occasions how I am the “plan-a-holic.” I love to plan in advance. My theory is that by planning in advance I can get better flight details, and of course, it gives me more time to research a destination so that I don’t miss anything awesome.
But then one day Dan’s physio sent him to get a CT scan. Ongoing muscle pain in the neck is more than just a pain in the neck (ha-ha). After a quick CT scan, we were escorted by the technician across the street to the emergency room. Six weeks later we had gotten the biopsy results and Dan was going into hospital for a 13 hour surgery to remove a tumour which had devoured 80% of the vertebrae in his neck.
Not even the best laid plans saw that coming.
So now we are on the long road to recovery. A section of Dan’s spine has been replaced with rods and bolts (just think of going through airport security now!), and there was one side effect we were not expecting…
Dan can’t swallow. They not only cut through the back of his neck, but also the front of his throat – damaging the muscles and nerves which need to work together in just the right way to make you swallow.
So what does that mean for travel?
Well, Dan now can only eat through a tube going into his stomach. His food consists of three 500 ml bags of medically specific liquid food. There is no powder alternative. So now, even going on holiday for a week is almost impossible. A weeks worth of his food would exceed any airline baggage allowance easily.
Planning is out the window. We can’t really plan ahead. He might be able to swallow in a week…. but it might be a year.. or more before he can eat food again. And now that I have had to go back to work, our reality has changed even more. As a temp worker, I only get one weeks advance notice if I am getting my contract extended or not.
I would love to plan an epic trip (or even a small week away) for some specified time in the future, but the reality is, that is just not possible. Our new reality is going to be the last minute. Because believe me, as soon as he can eat again, and is medically fit for travel, we will be trawling the web for some awesome last minute travel deal.
So where do we want to go next?
We were hoping our next big adventure would be on the Trans Siberian, but any trip to Russia requires at least 3 months advance notice in order to sort out visas. So that idea is out. Dan’s medical condition and my work situation just do not allow that at the moment.
The Philippines are also high on our list. It would be easy to book a last minute flight to anywhere in South East Asia, but sourcing Dan’s food locally might be difficult. I guess there are always the Pacific Islands.
Who knows where we will go next, but one thing I know for sure is, that it will be a quickly made decision.
So how does the last minute compare to the meticulously planned? Well…. we will let you know.