If you have CMT chances are that you may be a little unsteady on your feet or tire easily, making a trip to the beach challenging. We vacation in Aruba, most years staying at our Divi Timeshare at Druif beach. Since I’ve been diagnosed with CMT, I’ve noticed each year more difficulty entering the sea and finding it almost impossible to get out of the water by myself. With loss of nerve function and muscle, I have found myself beached, unable to exit the surf more than I care to remember. That one last insurmountable step-up in the sand, while the undertow drags me back, traps me every time.
Getting in and out of the waves gracefully is only one of the challenges faced at the beach. When the need arises to use the restroom, I walk the beach on the way there past the volleyball players and the pelicans resting on their posts. However, on the return trip I give in to my fatigue, taking the easier route along the sidewalk back to my beach hut. This year, while struggling to walk in the sand, carefully lifting my leg high enough hoping not to trip over my dropped foot, I needed to take a little rest. So, I paused pretending to look for sea shells. I found myself worrying about a day when I won’t be able to stroll the beach at all. I wondered how much time I had left before walking into and out of the water becomes impossible. What we will do with our time share then.
However, the next day while walking on the boardwalk at a nearby hotel along Palm beach, I noticed a sign for an area reserved for the handicapped. At this point, the boardwalk branched out towards the beach giving way to a wooden patio with palapas, accessible to wheelchairs and with a few beach lounges reserved for the rest of the group, just a few feet from shore.
Surprisingly, tropical beaches with wheelchair access and handicap friendly walk ways and even wheelchair friendly catamarans all are available in Aruba. I am so relieved knowing that as my condition worsens, I no longer have to worry about giving up the sun, the sand and the surf altogether.
photo Divi Phoenix
The idea for this post came after reading Jori Reijonen’s, Ph.d. “CMT Grief and Healing” Read more here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art174843.asp
I’ll research other accessible beaches and provide more info with my next post.
- Enroute to Aruba – Aruba, Aruba (travelpod.com)