The cost you pay for a day out

When it comes to having the opportunity of a special day out, I look at all the positives. I would not have managed it a few months ago, but I was now determined despite that fact that it would require some preparation in order to enjoy such a day.

This preparation would entail extremely early nights before and the acceptance that I would have to completely lose 2 or 3 days afterwards due to extreme fatigue and feeling unwell.

It was planned Jan, my friend, and I would go to Royal Ascot for the day. She kindly agreed to drive rather than us go by train, which would make it easier for me and to make the experience less stressful we booked a disabled car pass.

The journey down went smoothly and as we arrived we were met by a site that only the English exceed themselves in. A feast for the eyes, an array of picnic tables, hampers, tiered cake stands and even candelabras, topped with the splash of magnificent colours of lady’s outfits & hats. We joined in and enjoyed a wonderful picnic which Jan had prepared for us, relaxing, absorbing the atmosphere I felt I had already enjoyed a fabulous treat before we even left the car park.

This is where the first of my difficulties began. We had arrived as late as possible, rather than when gates opened, so hopefully enabling me to stay until the last race.

We had hoped, and expected, that our disabled parking spot would be close to the entrance of the enclosure so we could walk in with ease, but this was not the case, I had to struggle from the car across uneven ground before reaching a flat surface.

Once inside I looked for the disabled toilet, which to my relief, was close at hand, but I was faced with a queue of at least 10 people, the lady just coming out remarked that I was the only genuine disabled person in the queue, to which someone replied, “where else do we check our make-up”.

Having waited for my turn, we made it just in time to a disabled viewing spot in order to watch the Queen come into the ring. I was, by now feeling faint, due to standing for so long in the queue and however much I wanted to continue watching the Queen I had to find a place to sit down.

After the Queen had arrived we managed to find a disabled seat beneath the Royal box and at the finishing post, which meant we could watch the race on the big screen and the finish of the race right in front of our eyes.

Apart from being in the Royal box itself, which would have been warmer, we couldn’t have found better seats. I was not giving this up for anyone and so did not move until it was time to leave. Jan and others were able to go off to place bets and watch the presentations whilst I became the valuable seat minder, everyone was happy.

Before leaving for our journey home, Jan and I needed a second visit to the ladies. This time we managed to find a disabled one which was manned by two uniformed men, who on deciding if you qualified would unlock the door and allow you entry, I did find it rather funny that it took two people for such a task.

Things were looking better, or so I thought. I was allowed in no qualms, but on leaving, feeling exhausted and needing sleep, I explained because of one of my disabilities I was not able to stand for a long time so could my friend who is driving me a lengthy journey home, also use this toilet quickly please as there was no one else waiting?

He replied very sharply, “is she disabled? “ to which I replied no” but if I try and stand while she waits in that long queue I will become unwell which is the reason for my question.

I pointed to the lengthy queue and the fact there was nowhere for me to sit, no one waiting here and that I may well pass out. He simply said “lean on that” and promptly walked off, not to return, taking with him the only key. This meant his colleague could no longer let anyone in, one lady, so desperate attempted to pick the lock. What would happen in situations of a stoma bag needing attention or other similar difficulties?

I had by now been given a seat so Jan joined the lengthy queue outside the normal ladies, now, mentally on a mission, I watched the door at the disabled convenience whilst Jan waited. The guard had still not return to the disabled toilet after an hour so no one could gain access.

We travelled home after an enjoyable day but I was definitely flagging, this was mid-week, I am only now starting to feel better.

My brain shuts down, as though someone has flipped a switch or disconnected a wire. If I try to fight it and stay awake, I feel more unwell so I have to accept it.

I had a fun day out with a friend, but I have to accept that if I try do this I have to lose a few days afterwards to sleep and manage very little else.

One Response to “The cost you pay for a day out

  • Wow! sounds like you had an exhausting day! I think you should put in a formal complaint to the racecourse for their inability to provide adequate disabled provisions x

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