SCIATICA? ON A HAWAIIAN VACATION? By Victoria Giraud

A few years back—more than I care to tally—I had the funds to treat my grown kids to a Hawaiian vacation. The three of us would be staying at a hotel in Waikiki Beach across the street from the ocean with great views of Diamond Head and the old pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It was the first trip for Heidi and Hansi. I was feeling adventurous and generous and  couldn’t wait to go.

Since I’d been having some minor pains in my legs and back, I was seeing an acupuncturist and occasionally getting a deep tissue massage. The day before our departure, I got a treatment, which included the massage. I was determined to be in excellent shape to participate in whatever activities inspired us.

“Best laid plans of mice and men…” as the saying goes! When we got to LAX via airport bus, I was starting to have some shooting pains in my leg and hip. Walking to the gate was an exercise of patience and will, and I was either too proud or optimistic to think I might have used an “adult stroller” (wheelchair). Surely this pain would be temporary, I thought.

Each day we were in Hawaii I imagined I’d start feeling better if I stuck to my regimen of exercises, locating ice packs, and for pain control to imbibe some wine or even something stronger. A martini was just the thing for our first night’s dinner. Making the best of the circumstances, I enjoyed it all and was especially grateful I am blessed with tall, strong kids—Hansi’s 6’5” and Heidi is almost 6 feet. They occasionally had to almost literally drag me along! I walked gingerly with their help or sat down.

Still, we managed a trip around Oahu in a rented car, a helicopter tour, a whale watching cruise and lots of entertainment. I found the most relief when I took a long swim in the Pacific. No pain at all!

In my chariot in colorful rainwear

One of the most enjoyable excursions was to the Polynesian Cultural Center. When I could barely walk to the first exhibit without pain, my son strongly suggested that I give up, and he and Heidi would take turns wheeling me around in a wheelchair. It was an excellent solution. Hansi treated me like we were a race car team, whizzing in and out of exhibits and down open pathways as I giggled like mad. He commented that he’d never seen anyone in a wheelchair laugh so much.

When it started to rain, we bought enormous pink plastic ponchos, the perfect fashion accessory for more hilarity. I wonder what other visitors might have imagined as they watched the sizeable young man and woman howling with laughter as they wheeled their giggly, perhaps handicapped,  mother at top speed around this beautiful park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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