I grew to love these excursions, and they are one of the things I look forward to most as each summer approaches.
Nearly 10 years ago, one of my sister's classmates from nursing school, Austin, joined the team of people that help take care of me. He has since become a dear friend. On his first day, Austin whipped out a book of accessible hikes and asked if I liked hiking. My mind immediately went back to the less than exciting family hiking camping trips I had to endure during high school and all of the logistics involved with my "newfound" wheelchair-bound status, so I gave a hedging response of "sure" accompanied with a hesitant smile.
Since then, Austin, my family and I have made a goal of taking one hike or engaging in one outdoor adventure, each summer. I grew to love these excursions, and they are one of the things I look forward to most as each summer approaches. I know that it takes a little bit of extra planning if you are in a wheelchair and rely on a ventilator, but I encourage you to take the time to plan an outdoor adventure. The time spent in the fresh air and sunshine looking at beautiful scenery is worth the time and effort!
Our most recent hike at Gold Creek Pond was especially a joy because I brought something new along for our hike – VOCSN. Instead of having to move over both my ventilator and a heavy external battery, neither of which fit terribly well on the ventilator tray, I only had to slip VOCSN onto the bracket and throw a couple of extra batteries into my bag. Not only that, the compact design left space on my tray for the giant bag of chips we needed to bring to satisfy my nephews' voracious appetites.
The trip was, however, also bittersweet. It was Austin’s last trip for a while because he is leaving Seattle for a few years to further his education. Although there is no rule saying that I cannot go for a hike with my other friends and family, I will miss the special flavor Austin brings which turns a simple hike into an adventure. I am grateful to him, because, without him, perhaps I would not have reached this point of loving and acing outdoor adventures as I do now.
The views expressed by Loa are not necessarily the view of the Ventec Life Systems, its members or the clinical board. These blog posts are the personal experiences of Loa. The blog posts are not intended to provide clinical advice or training related to VOCSN. Always consult a physician or trained clinician prior to using VOCSN. Please refer to the VOCSN Clinical and Technical Manual for detailed instructions, including indications and contraindications for use. VOCSN is available by prescription only.