Here are some pictures from our visit to the Shedd Aquarium a month and a half ago. Visiting Shedd has been a goal of ours since 2012. We finally realized there possibly may never be a “perfect” time to go in terms of my health; we needed to just go for it!
I am proud to say I finally sucked it up and got an accessible (AKA handicap) parking pass. We parked close to the entrance in a designated lot. It was uplifting to enter somewhere like that as a family rather than being dropped at the door. The pass is a definite game changer!
Emma (5) enjoyed hitching a ride in my lap. My behind did not love the extra passenger as much as I did. I definitely need a seat cushion! She tested her wheelchair driving skills in uncrowded areas. The component of her not being able to see over me was unnerving, but I certainly have had scarier wheelchair drivers! I won’t mention any names because any wheelchair driver is a good wheelchair driver…. and they may teach her the joys of letting go of the chair and screaming “Ahhh!!! I’ve lost control!!!!”
We saw loads of exhibits, an aquatic show, a 4-D movie (fun, but a POTS mistake!), and more. I have trouble knowing the animals are captives, but I had fun and could watch the smaller fish in a giant tank all day long. This picture does not do it justice.
Emma enjoyed everything. She was disappointed to learn we were not actually adopting and/or smuggling a penguin out of the aquarium for my penguin loving sister. We had a caricature drawn of us as superheros. She much preferred the shark video playing in the next room over the real deal (less scary). I tried to get a picture of her facing me with a shark swimming over her. This proved to be challenging since anytime she saw one coming out of her peripheral vision, she could not help but be startled and swing around to look at it. After many attempts, we accepted she possesses an inability to keep her back turned on a shark — probably a good trait to have.
Despite meticulous planning, boy did I pay! It is easy to get bitter over such simple things making me so sick. Going down that path is inevitable, but I try and not stay there long! I am not a fan of comparing one person’s situation to another in order to provide comfort, yet I am grateful I have the option of doing things like this at all. I do not regret going, nor the ~2 weeks of worsened symptoms following it, in the least. During my recovery, I felt contentment when I reflected on the day.
If you are sick and reading this, think of something meaningful you are putting off until you are healthier. It does not have to be anything big. Now, consider brainstorming if there is a way to make it happen! Talk to your family about it. They may very well have good ideas of how to make the day possible; my husband did. Maybe whatever you have been putting off will not occur exactly how you envisioned it. Your body may not feel fabulous the entire time. Your body may not feel fabulous any of the time. You will have to carefully schedule the month in which your special day happens. Those are facts we cannot change. However, those facts did not prevent me from feeling the satisfaction and happiness of doing something meaningful to my family and me. I hope you find the same to be true.